Rules for a child younger than 16 getting care

A child younger than 16 must meet these rules for their carer to be eligible for Carer Payment.

The child getting care must meet all the following:

  • have a score high enough on the Disability Care Load Assessment (Child) Determination 2020 (DCLAD)
  • have an illness or disability likely to last at least 6 months, or have a terminal illness
  • need care in their home or in hospital.

The DCLAD has questions both the carer and treating health professional must answer.

Even if the person getting care has lower care needs we may pay Carer Payment for either:

  • 2 to 4 children younger than 16 whose needs equal 1 child with severe needs
  • 1 or 2 children younger than 16 and 1 adult whose needs equal 1 child with severe needs.

Children with short term or episodic conditions

We can pay Carer Payment to the carer of a child younger than 16 who needs either:

  • a lot of care for a short time
  • care on an episodic basis for 3 to 6 months.

A short term condition is likely to be a one off and last for at least 3 months.

An episodic condition is likely to happen from time to time.

Exchanged care

We consider care to be exchanged care in certain circumstances.

Exchanged care is where all of the following apply:

  • you have 2 or more children with a severe illness or severe disability who need a lot of care
  • the other parent isn’t your partner
  • you exchange the care of the children with the other parent
  • both parents give a lot of care to 1 of the children every day and you have a current parenting plan or parenting order stating your caring arrangements.

Page last updated: 27 October 2022