The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The 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. Care receiver income & assets (CRIA) tests


To qualify a carer for CP, the care receiver/s must meet the CRIA tests. Exemptions may apply for some adult care receivers and these are detailed in the following table. Child care receivers are always subject to the CRIA tests.

The CRIA tests ensure income support is appropriately targeted to those needing the most support by expecting a care receiver to contribute to the costs associated with their care, where they have the means to do so.

If the care receiver is … then they …
a higher ADAT score adult and receiving a social security/income tested DVA pension or benefit are exempt from the CRIA tests.
a higher ADAT score adult partnered to someone other than the CP claimant, and their partner receives a social security pension or benefit/income tested DVA payment are exempt from the CRIA tests.
a higher ADAT score adult and the only reason they don't receive a social security pension or income tested DVA pension or benefit, is that they do not meet the necessary residence requirements for that payment are required to meet the ordinary income and assets tests as though they were receiving a social security pension/income tested DVA payment.
a higher ADAT score adult who does not fit any of the above situations, or a lower ADAT score adult must meet the CRIA tests.
a child with severe disability or severe medical condition, or 2 or more children each with a disability or medical condition must meet the CRIA tests.
an adult with a disability and one or more children each with disability or medical condition must meet the CRIA tests.

Example: Mary is an Age recipient who has lived on her own for many years, but due to declining health and recent falls, her son Marcus has moved in to care for her. Marcus applied and qualified for CP. As Mary was already receiving a social security pension payment and assessed as a higher ADAT score adult (an ADAT score of at least 25 with the THP component being a minimum of 10) she was not required to provide her income and asset details and meet the CRIA test as part of Marcus’ CP application.

Example: Pratik and his brother Sannat emigrated from India and have been Australian residents for 8 years. They both worked full time but Sannat was injured in a car collision 2 years ago and as a result is unable to work and requires daily assistance with most physical activities. Sannat applied for DSP and although he was given a qualifying rating under the DSP impairment tables and satisfied the pension income and assets tests, DSP could not be granted as he did not meet the residency test requirement of 10 years.

Pratik ceased his employment to provide the care Sannat needed, and he applied for CP. Sannat was assessed as a higher ADAT score adult and Pratik met the residency and the pension income and asset test, so Pratik’s application for CP was granted. As Sannat was found to meet the pension income and asset test when his recent DSP assessment was completed, his income and assets did not have to be reassessed under the CRIA as part of Pratik’s CP claim.

Carer receiver’s income is underestimated

If evidence is received that the care receiver’s taxable income was underestimated and the actual taxable income exceeds the income test ceiling, CP will be cancelled or suspended. CP overpayments arising this way may not be recoverable, unless it would be reasonable to expect the CP recipient knew of the situation that led to the debt arising.

Act reference: SSAct section 1223(1B) Some CP overpayments are not debts, section 1223(1C) Some CP overpayments are debts if carer knew about care receiver's affairs

Policy reference: SS Guide 6.3.6 Disability & carer overpayments

Discretion to decide that the care receiver’s assets test does not disqualify a person from CP

A delegate of the Secretary has the discretion to decide that the care receiver assets test does not disqualify the carer from CP under certain conditions, where particular circumstances are met. Information on applicable circumstances, and the application of the CRIA tests, including the appropriate tax year used for calculation and the assessable income and assets for each carer and care receiver/s situation, is set out in 4.2.5 CP income & assets tests.

For further information on current CRIA test limits, go to Services Australia Income and assets test for CP page.

Act reference: SSAct section 198A to section 198Q Income test

Policy reference: SS Guide CP qualification - higher ADAT score adult is not receiving an Australian Government income support payment, Part 4 Income & assets, 4.2.5 CP income & assets tests

Last reviewed: