Caring for a child with disability as they get older

There may be different things you need to consider as your child with disability gets older. There’s information and support to help you.

Your child may need different types of support as they move through new life stages.

What changes occur during the early years

You can get early intervention support for your child. This is specialised support if your child has disability or special needs. This includes getting a diagnosis for your child.

You can find out more about early intervention for children with disability on the Raising Children Network website.

Carer Adjustment Payment is a one-off payment for carers of a child under 7. It helps with children with a severe illness, medical condition or major disability following a catastrophic event.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) offers support for early childhood early intervention (ECEI). The ECEI approach supports children aged 0 to 6 who have disability. Read more about help for children under 7 on the NDIS website.

What changes occur during teenage years

Your child is 14

When your child turns 14, you’ll no longer be able to access their Medicare records. You can apply to act as their authorised representative. You’ll need to complete the Authorisation to act on an incapacitated person’s behalf for Medicare purposes form.

Your child will also gain control over their My Health Record. You can apply to become your child’s authorised representative if they’re unable to make decisions for themselves. Read about becoming your child's authorised representative on the My Health Record website.

Your child is 15

Before they turn 16, it’s a good idea to make sure your child has the following:

  • a bank account in their name with a linked debit card
  • their birth certificate
  • a tax file number.

Your child is 16

When your child turns 16, they may be eligible for their own income support payment.

If you get Carer Payment or Carer Allowance, you’ll need to apply to transfer to an adult payment. This is because getting Carer Payment for a child is different to getting Carer Payment for an adult. We’ll contact you to tell you when to apply. If you don’t apply to transfer, then your payment or payments will stop.

If you have a Carer Allowance Health Care Card, it will stop on the expiry date.

If you get Child Care Subsidy, you may continue to get this until your child turns 18.

Your child may be able to get one or more of the following payments:

If your child isn’t eligible for Disability Support Pension, they may be able to get Youth Allowance. This is financial help if they’re 24 or younger and a student or Australian Apprentice. Or they may get it if they’re 21 or younger and looking for work.

What changes occur during adulthood

If your child can’t get Disability Support Pension, they may be able to get JobSeeker Payment. This applies if they’re between 22 and Age Pension age and looking for work.

As your child gets older, they’ll reach different milestones. Read more about learning to thrive when you're living with disability.

Page last updated: 10 December 2021