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. Qualification for CA (child) HCC only

Qualification (1.1.Q.10) criteria

If the carer of a child under 16 years of age at the time of claim does not qualify for payment of CA, the child may still qualify for CA HCC (1.1.C.100).

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

To qualify for a HCC only, the criteria in the following table MUST be met. Where more detail about a criterion is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.

Criterion More detail
ALL of the following:
the child has a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability (1.1.P.280), AND -
the child is likely to suffer from that disability permanently or for an extended period (1.1.P.230), AND -
the child is or would, but for section 5(3) of the SSAct, be a dependent child of the carer, AND CA child (1.1.D.70)
because of a disability, the child requires a level of care and attention that is substantially more (1.1.S.390) than that needed by a person of the same age who does not have a disability, AND This topic
the child receives care and attention from the carer or their partner, AND This topic
the carer satisfies the CA income test.

Act reference: SSAct section 5(3) A young person who has not turned 16 cannot be a dependent child if …

Care & attention requirements

There are 2 DIFFERENT care and attention requirements.

The first is that the child NEEDS 'substantially more care and attention'. For this requirement the amount of care and attention is important - it must be 'substantially more', but does not have to be provided solely by the carer or their partner.

Explanation: Some of the care and attention can be delegated to others.

Example: A special school or therapist.

The second is that the child RECEIVES care and attention from the carer or their partner. For this requirement the amount of care and attention is less important than who provides it, where, and how often. In addition to the care and attention NEEDED by the child, care and attention must be actually:

  • received by the child on a daily basis, AND
  • provided by either the carer or their partner, AND
  • given in the private residential home of the carer and the child.

Explanation: The second requirement for 'care and attention from either the carer or their partner' is intended to ensure that the child receives at least some of the additional care and attention from their parent/carer in the family home, before CA is granted. Relatively minor additional care and attention is sufficient to satisfy this requirement.

The level of care and attention required because of the disability is measured against the 14 hours rule. This rule is explained below and in

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZK(3) This section applies to a disabled …

Policy reference: SS Guide CA (child) HCC only - measuring the level of care & attention

14 hours rule (1.1.F.170) not met

The 14 hours rule is not a method of assessment prescribed by legislation, although a CA/HCC claim must be rejected if the child does not satisfy the rule. In such cases, if the carer seeks a review of the decision, the delegate should consider whether the child GENERALLY requires substantially more care and attention than a child of the same age without a disability. That is, their care and attention needs measured as a whole, not in terms of the number of hours per week. This test can only be applied if the carer:

  • provides additional evidence, OR
  • seeks a review of the decision to reject or cancel the HCC (see explanation).

Explanation: Look at AAT Decision, Re Secretary, Department of Social Security and Pamelia Maclean (193) 17 AAR 104 (1993) 30 ALD 95 [1993] AATA 10 for guidance on the level of care that is needed by, and provided, to the child.

Act reference: SSAct section 1061ZK(3) This section applies to a disabled …

Policy reference: SS Guide 6.1.7 Steps in the social security review & appeals system

Proper claim

A carer must lodge a proper claim before a CA HCC can be granted to the child.

Policy reference: SS Guide 8.1.1 Claim lodgement provisions

Last reviewed: