Caring for someone with an illness or disability
You can get financial help and other services if you care for someone with a disability, an illness or who is frail aged.
Financial help for carers
Carer Allowance is an additional fortnightly payment if you give daily care to someone who has either:
- a disability
- a serious illness
- an adult who is frail aged.
Carer Supplement is an automatic yearly payment to help cover costs when caring for someone with a disability.
Caring for a child
Carer Adjustment Payment is a one-off payment for carers of a child aged under 7 years. It helps with care needs of a child with a severe illness, medical condition or major disability because of a catastrophic event.
Child Disability Assistance Payment is an automatic yearly payment if you get Carer Allowance. You’re eligible if both of the following apply. You:
- got Carer Allowance during a period that includes 1 July
- are looking after a child with a disability or serious illness.
The Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme helps pay for distance education, boarding fees and other education costs. You can get it if the child you care for can’t go to a state school because of one of the following:
- geographical isolation
- special needs.
A Carer Allowance Health Care Card comes with Carer Allowance for a child. It helps you get cheaper healthcare for the child you care for.
Caring for someone with severe disability
A Special Disability Trust is for people living with a severe disability. Immediate family members can set this up for the recipient. The trust can include money or assets to help provide for someone’s long-term care and accommodation needs. It will get concessional treatment under the social security means test.
Financial help for people who need care
Help with medical costs
The Continence Aids Payment Scheme helps pay for continence products.
The Essential Medical Equipment Payment is a single yearly payment to help with energy costs to run medical equipment or medically required heating or cooling.
A Chronic Disease Management Plan can help when you have a chronic medical condition. You can get Medicare benefits for some health services.
Health Care Card
People needing care can get cheaper health services and medicines, and some discounts with a Health Care Card.
Change of circumstances
It's important to tell us if your circumstances change, so we can give you the right payment. For example, when a child in your care goes into respite care, or they need less care. You also need to report any changes to your income. Read more about how a change in your circumstances will affect your Carer Payment or Disability Support Pension.
You need to both:
- tell us within 14 days about any changes of circumstances
- make sure your details are up to date in myGov.
Other government and community support services
You can use our Payment and Service Finder to find other help in your local area.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports people with disability, their families and carers. The NDIS helps people with disability to get work and participate in the community.
If your child has a disability or recent diagnosis, and you’re not sure where to start, try the early intervention services for children with disability at the Department of Social Services:
- Early Intervention Helpdesk connects you with an early intervention service.
- Better Start for Children with Disability Initiative and Helping Children with Autism funding packages provides early intervention funding - for children who need care; both funding packages are joining the NDIS.
Carer Gateway is a national online and phone service that provides practical information about services and support available for people who:
- care for someone with a disability
- chronic illness
- mental illness
- frailty due to age.
Disability Employment Services can help the person you care for find and keep a job.
My Aged Care has a phone line and website to link you with community, aged care and support services.
australia.gov.au has information about caring for others.
MoneySmart has information to help you make the most of your money.
beyondblue provides information and support to help you achieve your best possible mental health, whatever your age and wherever you live. They can help if you are experiencing depression, anxiety or stress, while caring for someone with an illness or disability.
Page last updated: 19 February 2020