18.104.22.168 Qualification for CP during overseas travel
Carer (1.1.C.40) goes overseas
Portability rules apply to all temporary departures overseas. CP can be paid during a temporary absence from Australia to travel overseas for up to 6 weeks.
Carer travels overseas WITH care receiver
The carer may continue to be paid CP when travelling overseas with the care receiver provided:
- the absence is temporary, AND
- the period overseas does not exceed 6 weeks, AND
- they continue to provide constant care.
If the period of overseas absence exceeds the allowed portability period (22.214.171.124) CP will be stopped (unless travelling in an agreement country which covers CP).
As at 20 March 2020, people who were receiving WP and CA will have their WP automatically transferred to CP based on their qualification for CA. If a person receiving ex WP CP exceeds the allowed portability period and their CA is stopped they will no longer automatically qualify for CP and will need to reapply and qualify for CP under the general eligibility conditions.
Note: A person receiving CP travelling or living outside Australia for more than the allowed portability period may be eligible to continue to receive payment under an international social security agreement. Several international agreements include CP. Refer to Part 10 for information on which agreements include CP and the conditions under which a person may be paid.
Note: Care receivers on income support payments will also need to comply with portability rules (see policy reference below).
Act reference: SSAct section 198AB Care not required to be in private residence during portability period
Policy reference: SS Guide 7.1 Conditions for payment outside Australia, 126.96.36.199 Application of portability rules (portability table), 7.2 Arrangements for payment outside Australia, 188.8.131.52 Summary of Portability under International Social Security Agreements
Temporary cessation of care during an overseas absence
If a carer stops providing constant care during a temporary absence overseas, temporary cessation of care days can be used (if sufficient days are available within the calendar year).
Example: Sophie is a full-time carer for her mother Kathleen. Sophie and Kathleen planned to travel overseas together for a 5-week holiday. Kathleen became ill after 2 weeks and needed to be hospitalised for 4 weeks. Sophie decided to use the time her mother was in hospital as an opportunity to have a break from caring and access her respite days under the temporary cessation of care provisions.
Provided the available temporary cessation of care days have not been exhausted, Sophie qualifies for CP throughout the whole period because the 6 weeks temporary absence overseas including the 4 weeks temporary cessation of care, are within the allowed portability period.
The 63 day hospitalisation provisions may be applied if the care receiver is temporarily hospitalised while overseas and the carer is attending the hospital regularly and assisting with their care.
Note: Should the carer or care receiver be prevented from returning to Australia within the allowed portability period due to an unforeseen circumstance that arises after departure, they may be entitled to a discretionary extension of their portability.
Act reference: SSAct section 198AC Effect of cessation of care etc. on CP
Carer travels WITHOUT the care receiver
Portability rules apply to temporary overseas absences. If the carer travels overseas without the care receiver, and intends to return to the care situation, then the temporary cessation of care provisions apply as well as the portability rules. The carer remains qualified for CP from the date of departure for the allowed portability period, if the carer has sufficient temporary cessation of care days available (184.108.40.206).
Care receiver overseas WITHOUT the carer
The carer remains qualified for CP if the care receiver travels overseas temporarily and intends to return to the care situation on their return. Temporary cessation of care provisions (220.127.116.11) are applied up to 63 days unless the delegate extends the number of days due to special circumstances.
Note: If the care receiver does not intend to return to the care situation the carer loses qualification for CP from the date of departure.
Carer travels temporarily overseas during CP bereavement period or following permanent admission of care receiver to an institution
CP remains payable to the carer if they temporarily travel overseas within the allowed portability period if they are in:
- a 14-week bereavement period, OR
- an adjustment period of 14 weeks following the permanent institutionalisation.
Note: This provision applies as long as the carer intends to return to Australia and the total absence from Australia does not exceed the allowed portability period.
If an ex WP CP carer who qualified for CP based on their CA qualification has their CA cancelled, CP qualification is automatically lost. The carer must apply for CP and qualify under general CP qualification provisions (18.104.22.168).
People receiving ex WP CP will not be eligible for a 14-week CP bereavement period or the 14-week adjustment period following permanent institutionalisation as it does not apply to CA.
Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.5 Bereavement payment provisions