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Taking a respite break
You can have 63 days of respite each calendar year without your payment stopping. A calendar year is from 1 January until 31 December.
You can use these days for anything, including a holiday or simply a break from caring.
While you’re having a break the person getting care can either be:
- in formal respite care, at home, or elsewhere
- looked after by a friend, neighbour or family member.
You must tell us if you take a break from caring. If your Centrelink online account is linked to myGov, you can sign in and select View/Update Absence from Care to tell us about changes to your circumstances.
If you have exceptional circumstances and may need a longer break, you can call our Disability, sickness and carers line to talk about your situation.
If the person getting care goes into hospital and they’re younger than 16 years old
We'll keep paying you Carer Allowance if the child getting care goes into hospital, as long as both of the following apply. You:
- keep caring for them while they’re there
- plan to still provide care for them at home when they leave hospital.
We’ll check back with you if they’ve been in hospital for more than 12 weeks.
If the person getting care goes into hospital and they’re 16 or older
We'll keep paying you Carer Allowance for up to 63 days in a calendar year. You’re eligible if the person you provide care for is in hospital and all of the following apply:
- you keep caring for them while they’re there
- they are likely to return to your care when they leave
- you plan to still provide care for them when they leave hospital.
Tell us if the person getting care is in hospital for more than 63 days in a year. We may be able to still pay you by using some of your respite days.
Call the Disability, sickness and carers line to see what we can do.
If the person getting care goes into hospital and you’re not providing care
If you don’t provide care for the person while they are in hospital, you can use your respite days.