The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. TheĀ information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Carer allowance (CA) - description

Purpose of CA

CA is a fortnightly payment that recognises the care provided to a person with disability or a medical condition in a private home.

CA (child) - for care receivers aged under 16 years of age

CA (child) may be paid to carers of dependent children with disability or medical condition aged under 16 years of age and where the income test requirements are met. The CA income test is set at a fixed limit non-indexed amount of $250,000 per annum, for single and partnered households ( Carers who qualify for CA (child) automatically through qualification for CP (child) (1.1.C.361) may or may not be providing care to a 'dependent' child.

CA (child) provides 2 levels of assistance:

  • A CA HCC for children who do not meet a rating of intense on the DCLA (1.1.D.170) but who require substantially more care and attention (1.1.S.390) because of disability or medical condition. This level of assistance recognises the significant costs of pharmaceuticals and treatment that are often associated with the care of children with disability or medical condition.
  • A fortnightly payment AND a CA HCC for children who receive a rating of intense under the DCLA or have a disability or medical condition included in the list of recognised disabilities. This level of assistance recognises the wider impact on a family in social, occupational, emotional and financial terms, of disability with a significant level of severity. Qualification for this level of assistance is determined by the DCLA, which measures the level of care required for the child (1.1.F.250). Children with a recognised disability (1.1.R.90) or medical condition (1.1.R.95) do not have to be assessed against the DCLA.

Note: Entitlement comprises a CA HCC in the child's name. The income test applies to both levels of assistance.

If another person is already in receipt of CA (child) for the same care receiver the Secretary must make a determination as to who should receive CA and in what amount.

If a child qualifies for the CA HCC prior to the day they turn 16 years of age the CA HCC remains valid until they turn 16 years and 3 months of age (

Note: A carer in receipt of CA (child) payment which includes the CA HCC, before the child turns 16 years of age can remain qualified under CA child provisions until:

  • the child turns 16 years and 3 months of age, OR
  • where all CA (child) to CA (adult) transfer documentation is submitted on or before the day the child turns 16 years, until the ADAT assessment is completed.

Act reference: SSAct section 953 Qualification for CA-caring for either 1 or 2 disabled children, section 954B Qualification for CA-receiving CP for caring for child or children, section 1061ZK(3) This section applies to a disabled child ā€¦, section 981 Secretary may make declaration where 2 people are qualified for CA for the same care receiver or care receivers, section 953A Remaining qualified for CA after child turns 16

Policy reference: SS Guide Qualification for CA (child) HCC only, Qualification for CA, Overview of the DCLAD (Child) scoring regime, Payability of CA - carers with shared care responsibilities, CA (child) to CA (adult) transfer process

CA (adult) - for care receivers aged 16 years & over

CA (adult) provides a fortnightly payment in respect of a person who is aged 16 years or over, whose disability or medical condition substantially impairs his or her capacity to perform activities of daily living. Eligibility is determined by the ADAT (1.1.A.78), which measures the level of disability and care required by the care receiver.

The carer must also meet the $250,000 family income test in order to qualify for CA (adult) (

Act reference: SSAct section 954 Qualification for CA-caring for a disabled adult in a private home of both the adult and the carer

Policy reference: SS Guide Qualification for CA

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