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. Saved cases - CA (child) recipients before July 1998 (historical)


A person receiving child disability allowance (CDA) on 30 June 1998 continues to qualify for CA (child) under different provisions to the new provisions introduced on 1 July 1998. These were known as 'saved cases' (1.1.S.40), and had the protection of a 5 year savings provision from further medical review.

Explanation: The qualifications for CDA changed from 1 July 1998 to ensure that assistance is determined by the level of functional impairment because of the child's medical condition, rather than the level of care and attention that is required.

Five year savings provision

'Saved' cases continued to qualify for CA (child) for a child on the basis of the definition of a disabled child in SSAct section 952 as at 30 June 1998. This meant the young person was a child with a disability if they needed substantially more care and attention (1.1.S.390) than another child of the same age, without a disability. The child's disability was NOT measured against the list of recognised disabilities (1.1.R.90) or the CDAT.

Who did savings provisions apply to?

Savings provisions applied to CA (child) recipients who:

  • were receiving CDA on 30 June 1998, OR
  • had CDA suspended or cancelled before 1 July 1998, but it was subsequently restored to include payment for 30 June 1998, OR
  • lodged a claim on or before 30 June 1998 and who were qualified on that date, although their claim was determined later.

The savings provision applied for each child for whom CDA was payable on 30 June 1998. It was possible for a person to receive CA (child) under the savings provision for one child, and under the new assessment for another.

Example: A person was already receiving CDA for one child and applied for a second child after 30 June 1998.

The provisions did NOT apply to new claims lodged after 30 June 1998, EVEN THOUGH payments may have been backdated to before this date.

Duration of savings provisions

The savings provisions continued to apply for a child until:

  • 30 June 2003 (the end of the 5-year period), OR
  • the day on which CA (child) ceased to be payable to the parent/carer who was claiming for the child on 30 June 1998 (see example).

Example: A person who was in receipt of CDA prior to 1 July 1998 and whose child moved to a new care situation in July 1999 no longer qualified for CA (child). The new carer would not be covered by the savings provision, and their claim was assessed under the current rules.

The saved status did NOT transfer from one parent/carer to another if there was a change of care or care of the child was shared. The new parent/carer needed to lodge a full claim for CA (child) and qualification was assessed under the current rules, including measuring the child's disability against the list of recognised disabilities or the CDAT.


A child who attracted CA (child) under the savings provisions was not subject to periodic or medical review, initiated by a delegate, until the end of the 5-year period.

Explanation: This is because all CDA children were reviewed in the first half of 1998 with a view to establishing entitlement for the next 5 years.

This does NOT mean qualification for CA (child) could not be reassessed. Carers were still subject to the full range of notification and recipient obligations, and any notification resulted in a review of qualification. A medical review could therefore occur if the carer notified a change to the child's condition.

Policy reference: SS Guide 6.2.5 Disability & carer reviews

Cancellation of saved status

The savings provision applies to any child who attracted CDA at 30 June 1998. The loss of saved status for one child therefore did NOT necessarily affect the saved status of another.

If a person lost saved status for a child, any subsequent qualification for CA (child) would not be under the savings provisions.

Example: A carer lost qualification for CA (child) under the savings provision when their child went to live with another person. If the child subsequently returned to the carer's care, they had to reapply for CA (child) for the child under the current rules and assessment regime.

Cancellation following suspension/cancellation of CA (child)

The same rule applied when CA (child) payment was suspended or cancelled, and the person failed to seek a review of the decision within 3 months of being notified. Unless the person was not properly advised of the decision to suspend/cancel, CA (child) was NOT payable for any period between the date of suspension/cancellation and the date of restoration. As the saved status was lost when CA (child) ceased to be payable to the person, payment could ONLY be restored by having the child/ren assessed under the current rules for CA (child).

Example: CA (child) was cancelled from 1 September 1999 because the person did not reply to a request for information. The person was notified of the decision on 2 September 1999, but did not return the requested information until 10 December 1999.

This was initially treated as a request for a review of the decision to cancel. The following table explains the possible outcomes:

If the person was … then …
not advised, or not properly advised of the decision to cancel payment of CA (child) resumed under saved status provisions, effective from the date of cancellation.
properly advised of the decision to cancel saved CA (child) was not payable from 1 September 1999. The person could not regain access to the savings provision even though it would otherwise have been payable from 10 December 1999 - the date of request for review. Instead the request was treated as a claim for CA (child) under the new rules, and if successful, arrears may have been payable under the backdating provisions.

A person continued to qualify under the savings provision for a child who was boarding away from home for education, training or treatment (1.1.E.20) if CA (child) was being paid at a proportional rate. This may NOT have been the case where the child only returned home periodically. If payment was cancelled or suspended with the intention of paying arrears for weekends or other periods spent at home, the person lost saved status unless the child had spent at least one night per fortnight in the family home.

Explanation: CA (child) ceased to be payable if the child was not at home during a fortnight, except under temporary cessation of care or hospitalisation provisions, and the person would have to reclaim CA (child) under the rules that applied on or after 1 July 1998. The usual provisions about review of decisions applied.

Health care cards

HCCs are only available to CA children and students 16 to 21 years of age who qualified a parent/carer under the CDA 5 year savings provision. The following table shows when HCCs were issued for saved and non-saved cases.

  Saved under CDA 5 year provision NOT paid under savings provision
Children under 16 years CA HCC issued CA HCC issued
Students 16 to 21 years CA HCC issued No HCC issued unless the student is qualified for a concession card in his or her own right.

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