Breaks from caring

You can still get Carer Payment if you take a break from providing care.

This can be if:

  • someone else provides care while you have a break
  • the person you provide care for goes into hospital.

You must tell us if you take a break from caring. You can do this online. Sign in to myGov and access your Centrelink online account. Then use the View/Update Absence from Care option from the Carer menu.

If you can’t go online, let us know by calling the Disability, sickness and carers line.

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.

If the person getting care goes into hospital and they’re younger than 16 years old

We'll keep paying you Carer Payment if the child getting care goes into hospital, as long as both 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 Payment for up to 63 days in a calendar year. You’re eligible if the person you provide care for is in hospital and all 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.

Page last updated: 24 February 2021