Time off to work, study or train

You may still get Carer Payment if you’re working, studying or training up to 25 hours a week.

We may still pay you Carer Payment if you do any of the following for up to 25 hours each week:

  • paid or self employed work
  • volunteer work
  • study
  • training.

The 25 hours includes travel time and meal breaks. You must still provide care for a significant period each day.

You must tell us within 14 days if you:

  • get paid or self-employment income
  • start doing voluntary work, study or training.

Any income you get from a job can reduce the amount we pay you. Read more about employment income reporting.

If you have a job you may be able to get Working Credit. It increases how much you can earn before we start reducing your payments.

Work Bonus

If you’re an eligible pensioner, the Work Bonus can help you keep more of your Carer Payment while you’re working. Read more about Work Bonus.

Examples of the 25 hour rule

Renee is 22 years old and gets Carer Payment to look after their mother who needs constant care. Renee is a hairdresser and works part time from 10 am to 2 pm, Monday to Friday. Renee travels for a total of 30 minutes each day to get to and from work.

This means they work for 20 hours and travel for 2 and a half hours each week.

Meeting the 25 hour rule

As Renee only stops caring for their mother for a total of 22 and half hours each week to work, they meet the 25 hour rule.

Occasionally exceeding the 25 hour rule

One week on Thursday and Friday, Renee’s employer asked if they could stay back for 3 hours each day to cover for another employee. Renee said yes. This week, Renee will exceed the 25 hour rule because they'll work 26 hours for the week.

Since this is temporary and doesn't happen every week, Renee can choose to use some of their respite days to remain qualified for Carer Payment. If Renee doesn’t have any respite days their payment will be cancelled.

When it’s time to report their fortnightly income, they can tell us to use respite days for the week they worked more than 25 hours.

Exceeding the 25 hour rule

Renee was asked by their employer if they could work an extra 2 hours each day on an ongoing basis, and Renee said yes. Renee now exceeds the 25 hour rule because they’ll be working 30 hours each week.

Renee no longer meets the eligibility rules for Carer Payment and their payment will be cancelled.

Page last updated: 14 May 2024.
QC 54004