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									Caring for someone?
March 2012
Help in other languages
If you need an interpreter or documents translated for your business with us, we can arrange this for you free
of charge.

To speak to the Department of Human Services in languages other than English, call the multilingual call
centre on 131 202 for Centrelink services and payments, or the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131
450 for Medicare and Child support services. For information in languages other than English visit
humanservices.gov.au and select the language button.

Call charges apply.

Information in other formats
Some information is available in alternative formats. These formats include audio CD/DVD, large print,
Braille and E-text. You can also select the ‘listen’ icon to hear the contents of selected web pages from our
website. We can also arrange to provide information products in other formats upon request.

If you are interested in this service call 132 717 or ask at a service centre.

Sign language interpreters
An Auslan interpreter can be arranged if you need to attend an appointment with us. If you have a TTY
phone, call Freecall™ 1800 810 586 to request an interpreter, or ask at a service centre before your
appointment.

TTY Service
If you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact us through our TTY service on
Freecall™ 1800 810 586. To provide compliments, suggestions or complaints, please call our TTY
Customer Relations Line on Freecall™ 1800 000 567. A TTY phone is required to use this service.

National Relay Service
If you are deaf or have a speech or hearing impairment, you can also contact us through the National Relay
Service. Call 133 677 and request any of our ‘13’ or ‘1800’ numbers at the back of this booklet. For more
information visit relayservice.com.au



Contents
Introduction 4

About this booklet     4
Payments for carers 5

Carer Payment 5

Carer Allowance       7

Carer Supplement      8

Child Disability Assistance Payment 8

Taking a break from caring   9

Changes to my caring situation       9

Working, volunteering or studying while caring   9

Extra assistance      11

Medicare cards        11

Medicare Safety Net 11

Concessions and allowances 11

Financial Information Service11

Pension Supplement 11

Mobility Allowance 12

Pensioner Education Supplement and

ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement           13

Assistance for Isolated Children     13

Early release of superannuation      14

Making a claim        15

Your rights and responsibilities     16

You must tell us if things change    16

Dealing with third parties   16

Getting someone to deal with us for you    16

Person Permitted to Enquire 16

Nominee arrangements         16

Our service commitments      17

Reviews and appeals 17

How to provide feedback      17
Keeping your personal information private 18

More information      18

Weekly Payments       18

Income Management 18

Centrepay       19

Rent Deduction Scheme         19

Specialist staff 19

How to contact us     20

Centrelink Self Service       21

Medicare Online Services      22

Other organisations and useful information 22

Introduction
The Australian Government Department of Human Services provides access to social, health and other
payments and services through Medicare, Centrelink, Child Support and CRS Australia. We started
delivering our services as one organisation on 1 July 2011.

We advise customers about relevant payments and service options. We can also refer you to our specialist
staff and other departments and agencies.

About this booklet
This booklet is a guide to the payments and services we offer to support you if you are caring for an adult or
child who is ill or has a disability or someone who is frail aged. It includes details about:
• payments, services and opportunities

• how to claim payments and use our services

• your rights and responsibilities, and

• how to find out more.

The information complements and should be read in conjunction with The basics booklet.

Payments for carers
Carer Payment
Carer Payment can provide you with income support if, because of the demands of your caring role, you are
unable to support yourself through substantial paid employment.
Am I eligible?

You may receive Carer Payment if, in the home of the person being cared for, you are personally providing
care for:
• an adult 16 years of age or over with a severe disability or medical condition, or

• an adult with moderate care needs and supervision of their dependent child if this child is:

  – under six years of age, or

  – between six and 16 years of age and the person caring for this child receives Carer Allowance for doing
    so, or

• a single child under 16 years of age with a severe disability or a severe medical condition, or

• two to four children under 16 years of age with a disability or medical condition whose combined care
  needs are equal to that of a single child under 16 years of age with a severe disability or severe medical
  condition, or

• one or two children and an adult who each have a disability or medical condition and their combined care
  needs are equal to that of a single child under 16 years of age with a severe disability or severe medical
  condition, or

• two or more children under 16 years of age with a severe disability or severe medical condition in an
  exchange care arrangement*.

In addition, you need to:
• meet the income and assets tests, and

• both (you and the person you care for) be Australian residents**, and

• have been in Australia as an Australian resident for at least 104 weeks (there are some exceptions), and

• be in Australia when you claim, and

• not be working, studying or training for more than 25 hours per week (including travelling time).

The person you care for needs to:
• be receiving a Centrelink payment, a Veterans’ Affairs Service Pension or Partner Service Pension, or

• be unable to receive any of these payments because they have not lived in Australia long enough to be
  eligible, or

• meet the care receiver income and assets limits.

You need a medical report from a doctor or a treating health professional to help establish eligibility.

If you are caring for a child under 16 years of age a medical report must be completed by one of the
following health professionals who is currently involved in the treatment of the child being cared for:
• a legally qualified medical practitioner

• a registered nurse

• an occupational therapist
• a physiotherapist

• a registered psychologist

• an Aboriginal Health Worker (in a geographically remote area), or

• a speech pathologist.

If you are caring for an adult 16 years of age or over a medical report must be completed by one of the
following health professionals who is currently involved in the treatment of the person being cared for:
• a legally qualified medical practitioner

• a registered nurse

• an occupational therapist

• a physiotherapist

• a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team, or

• an Aboriginal Health Worker (in a geographically remote area).

Generally Carer Payment (caring for a child under 16 years) is paid where a child requires care for six
months or more. However, it can also be paid where a significant level of care for a child is required and is
being provided on a short-term or episodic basis for a minimum of three months but less than six months.
The child’s treating health professional will advise on the medical report whether the condition is short-
term or episodic.

*Exchanged care refers to a situation where:
• you provide a significant level of care to two or more children, and

• you exchange the care of these children with the other parent or legal guardian who you are not in a
  relationship with, and

• each of the children has a severe medical condition or severe disability, and

• you have a parenting plan, registered parenting plan, or court approved parenting plan, that outlines your
  caring arrangements, and

• you and the other parent each provide a significant level of care to one of these children every day.

**For more information on residence requirements see The basics booklet.

Note: Australia has international social security agreements with a number of countries. These agreements
may help you claim Carer Payment if you are caring for a pensioner partner, even if you do not meet the
normal residence requirements.

For more information see the factsheets on Australia’s international Social Security Agreements.

How does it work?

You may receive:
• a fortnightly Carer Payment—see the Disability and Carer Payment Rates factsheet for the amount and
  details of how the income and assets tests may affect your payment
• a Pensioner Concession Card.

What else should I know?

You may also receive:
• Carer Allowance

• Carer Supplement

• Education Entry Payment

• Mobility Allowance

• Pension Supplement

• Pensioner Education Supplement or ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement

• Remote Area Allowance

• Rent Assistance

• Assistance for Isolated Children.

For more information on other types of assistance see The basics booklet.

Carer Allowance
Carer Allowance is a supplementary payment that may be available to you if you are a parent or carer who
provides additional daily care and attention for an adult or child with a disability or medical condition, or for
an adult who is frail aged. Carer Allowance is not income and assets tested, is not taxable and can be paid in
addition to wages, Carer Payment or any other Centrelink payment.

Am I eligible?

You may receive Carer Allowance if you:
• are looking after a child or an adult with a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability who needs
  additional care and attention, and

• live with the child you are caring for, or

• provide care for an adult in either your home or the home of the person you are caring for*, and

• you and the person you are caring for are Australian residents**, and

• are in Australia when you claim.

Carers who are eligible for Carer Payment (caring for a child under 16 years) will generally receive Carer
Allowance (caring for a child under 16 years) automatically, even if they provide short-term or episodic
care.

You need a report from a doctor or treating health professional to help establish eligibility.

If you are caring for a child under 16 years of age a medical report must be completed by one of the
following health professionals who is currently involved in the treatment of the child being cared for:
• a legally qualified medical practitioner

• a registered nurse

• an occupational therapist

• a physiotherapist

• a registered psychologist

• an Aboriginal Health Worker (in a geographically remote area), or

• a speech pathologist.

Written evidence from a medical practitioner will be required if the care receiver has a condition listed in the
List of Recognised Disabilities. A recognised disability is a condition or disability that is consistently
associated with severe levels of disability.

If you are caring for an adult 16 years of age or over a medical report must be completed by one of the
following health professionals who is currently involved in the treatment of the person being cared for:
• a legally qualified medical practitioner

• a registered nurse

• an occupational therapist

• a physiotherapist

• a member of an Aged Care Assessment Team, or

• an Aboriginal Health Worker (in a geographically remote area).

Carer Allowance may be shared between two people who care for the same care receiver provided that the
two people are not a couple.

*You may get Carer Allowance even if you do not live with the person you are caring for. However, if you
do not live in the same home you will need to meet the following requirements:
• you must be providing some personal care every day to the person aged 16 years or over, and

• this care must amount to at least 20 hours per week, and

• you must be providing this care in either your home or the home of the person you are caring for, and

• you must not be receiving wages (at or above the relevant minimum wage) for providing this care.

Carer Allowance cannot be shared when one carer lives with the person being cared for and the other carer
does not. In this case, the carer living with the person is paid the full amount of Carer Allowance.

**For more information on residence requirements see The basics booklet.

How does it work?

If you are caring for a child under 16 years of age you may receive a:
• fortnightly Carer Allowance payment plus a Health Care Card, or
• a Health Care Card only.
For more information about other concessions that are available to card holders see the A guide to Centrelink
concessions cards brochure.

You may receive Carer Allowance for more than one child.

If you have two children with disabilities and the children are not individually eligible for Carer Allowance,
but together create a substantial caring responsibility, you may still be eligible for a single rate of Carer
Allowance.

If you are caring for an adult 16 years of age or over you may receive a fortnightly Carer Allowance
payment.

You may receive Carer Allowance for up to two adults.

What else should I know?

You may also receive:
• Carer Supplement

• Child Disability Assistance Payment

• Assistance for Isolated Children.

When the child you care for turns 16

When you are paid Carer Payment and/or Carer Allowance for a child under 16 years and your child is about
to turn 16 we will need to establish if you can continue to receive Carer Payment and/or Carer Allowance
payments for an adult 16 years or over. You will need to complete a review form and a medical report will
need to be completed by a doctor or treating health professional to help establish eligibility.

Health Care Cards may be available to 16 to 25 year olds who are full-time students and who have a
disability or medical condition that previously qualified their carer for Carer Allowance (child).

For more information visit humanservices.gov.au/carerallowance or call 132 717 or ask at a service
centre.

Carer Supplement
Carer Supplement is an annual payment to assist you with the costs of caring for a person with a disability or
medical condition.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for Carer Supplement you must have been paid one of the following payments for a period
that includes 1 July of that year:
• Carer Allowance

• Carer Payment

• Wife Pension with Carer Allowance

• Department of Veterans’ Affairs Partner Service Pension with Carer Allowance
• Department of Veterans’ Affairs Carer Service Pension.

Carers whose payment has been back dated to include 1 July are also eligible.

How does it work?

This payment is paid automatically every July and no separate claim is needed. If you receive a part-
payment of Carer Allowance due to shared care, you will receive a part-payment of Carer Supplement. If
you receive Carer Allowance for more than one person with a disability or medical condition, you will
receive a separate Carer Supplement for each person you are caring for.

For more information visit humanservices.gov.au/carersupplement call 132 717 or ask at a service centre.

Child Disability Assistance Payment
Child Disability Assistance Payment is an annual payment to assist you with the costs of caring for a child
with a disability or medical condition.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for Child Disability Assistance Payment you must have been paid Carer Allowance for a child
under 16 years of age for the period including 1 July of the relevant year. This includes carers whose
payment has been backdated to include 1 July.

How does it work?

This payment will be made automatically every July. No separate claim is needed.

If you receive a part-payment of Carer Allowance you may receive a part-payment of Child Disability
Assistance Payment.

If you receive Carer Allowance for more than one child under 16 years of age you will receive a separate
Child Disability Assistance Payment for each child.

Taking a break from caring
You can take a number of breaks from caring, up to 63 days per calendar year, and still be eligible for Carer
Payment and Carer Allowance. You can use these breaks in a variety of ways including having a holiday,
visiting friends and family or for formal respite. You may also use these days if you are sick and cannot
provide care for the person you usually care for.

It is important that you tell us if you take a break from caring for any reason. Special rules apply if you are
leaving Australia.

For more information call 132 717 or ask at a service centre.

Can I get help to find respite care?

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres around Australia support carers in accessing respite or taking
a break. The centres can provide information and advice about respite options and help with organising
emergency or planned respite. You can contact Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres on Freecall™
1800 052 222 or Freecall™ 1800 059 059.
Changes to my caring situation
You must tell us as soon as possible if your caring situation changes.

What happens to my payments if the child I care for goes into hospital?

You can continue to receive Carer Payment and/or Carer Allowance (caring for a child under 16 years) as
long as you continue to provide care for the child while they are in hospital and you intend to resume caring
for the child when they return home. It is important that you tell us if this occurs. We will contact you after
your child has been in hospital for a continuous period of 12 weeks.

What happens to my payments if the adult I care for goes into hospital?

You can continue to be paid Carer Payment and/or Carer Allowance (caring for a person 16 years and over)
while they are in hospital for up to 63 days per calendar year (1 January–31 December) provided you intend
to resume care after the hospital stay. You need to be assisting them with their care during their stay in
hospital. The hospitalisation period is in addition to the standard 63 day allowable break from caring.

What happens to my payments if the person I care for is admitted permanently into an institution?

If the person you care for is admitted permanently into an institution (such as a residential aged care facility)
Carer Payment may continue for 14 weeks. However, Carer Allowance ceases from the day after the person
enters the institution.

What happens if the person I care for has died?

If the person you care for has died, Carer Payment may continue for 14 weeks. However, your eligibility for
Carer Allowance generally ceases when the person dies.

Working, volunteering or studying while caring
You can work (including voluntary work and paid work) or study for a total of 25 hours per week including
travel time and still be eligible for Carer Payment. Any income you receive may affect your payment.

Working, volunteering or studying will generally not affect your eligibility for Carer Allowance as long as
you continue to provide care.

If you want to return to study, training or employment, we can help you. For more information see The
basics booklet.

Extra assistance
Medicare cards
If you pay for a Medicare service for someone else—such as a grandchild or someone you are caring for—
you are able to receive the Medicare benefit for the service even if this person is not enrolled on your
Medicare card.

If you have paid for a Medicare service for a person in your care, you will need to:
• advise a Customer Service Officer in a service centre that you paid for the Medicare service
• provide the patient’s Medicare card or their full name and date of birth, and

• present the doctor’s account or account and receipt for the Medicare service you wish to claim a benefit
  for.

If you are unable to make it to a service centre, you can also make a claim by calling 132 011 or by posting
your account together with a claim form to Medicare, GPO Box 9822 in your capital city. If the person you
are claiming for is enrolled on your Medicare card and you are registered for our Online Services, some
claims can also be lodged online.

For more information go to humanservices.gov.au/medicarecard or call 132 011 or visit your local service
centre.

Medicare Safety Net
If you need to see a doctor or have regular tests you could end up with high medical costs. The Medicare
Safety Net is designed to help you when you need it most. Once you reach and qualify for a safety net
threshold, visits to your doctor or having tests may cost you less.

Individuals are automatically registered. Families and couples need to register—even if all your family
members are listed on your Medicare card you still need to register. To register, or for more information go
to humanservices.gov.au/safetynet call 132 011 or ask at your local service centre.

Concessions and allowances
You may also be eligible for other concessions and allowances such as:
• Double Orphan Pension

• Health Care Card

• Large Family Supplement

• Multiple Birth Allowance

• Rent Assistance.

For more information see The basics booklet.

Financial Information Service
Anyone of any age can receive the confidential, free, independent and expert information provided by our
Financial Information Service. It can help you make informed decisions about investment and financial
issues for your current and future needs.

Financial Information Service Officers can give you expert financial information so that you can understand
and be confident dealing with your financial affairs. They also alert you to risk levels associated with
different financial products.

Financial Information Service Officers do not provide financial advice or counseling, recommend particular
investments or products or tell you how to invest your money. They cannot tell you exactly how much of a
payment you may receive from us or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, but they can give you an estimate.
What else should I know?

For more information or to arrange an appointment with a Financial Information Service Officer visit
humanservices.gov.au/fis or call 132 300.

Financial Information Service Officers also conduct regular information seminars on a range of financial
topics, such as Understanding Superannuation, Managing Your Money, and Investing with Safety.

For more information about a seminar near you or to make a booking call 136 357.

Pension Supplement
If you are eligible, Pension Supplement is paid with your fortnightly income support payment.

How does it work?

Pension Supplement is paid automatically each fortnight with your income support payment. You can
choose to receive the minimum amount of Pension Supplement quarterly instead of every fortnight.

For more information visit humanservices.gov.au/pensionsupplement or call 132 300 or ask at a service
centre.

Mobility Allowance
Mobility Allowance assists you if you have a disability, cannot use public transport permanently or for an
extended period without substantial assistance and you are engaged in certain activities. These activities
include looking for work, participating in a Disability Employment Services program, or any combination of
paid employment, voluntary work, vocational training and independent living/life skills training.

Am I eligible?

You may receive Mobility Allowance if you:
• are 16 years of age or over, and

• cannot use public transport without substantial assistance for the next 12 months or longer because of your
  disability (there does not need to be public transport in your area for you to be eligible), and

• need to travel to and from your home as part of your work, training or job seeking, and

• are an Australian resident*, and

• have been in Australia as an Australian resident for at least 104 weeks (there are some exceptions), and

• are in Australia when you claim.

*For more information on residence requirements see The basics booklet.

There are two rates of Mobility Allowance. The rate you receive will depend on whether you meet certain
criteria in addition to those mentioned above.

To be eligible for the standard rate of Mobility Allowance, you must also:
• be undertaking vocational training, voluntary work, paid work, independent living/life skills or any
  combination of these for at least 32 hours every four weeks on a continuing basis, or
• have an agreement to look for work through an employment services provider (for example, Job Services
  Australia or Disability Employment Services), or

• be participating in a Disability Employment Services-Disability Management Service program, or

• be receiving Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance or Austudy and be required to meet the Activity Test.

Voluntary work must be for a charitable, welfare or community organisation on a continuing basis.

To be eligible for the higher rate of Mobility Allowance, you must also be receiving Disability Support
Pension, Parenting Payment, Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance (job seeker) and:
• be working for at least 15 hours per week on wages that are at or above the relevant minimum wage, or

• be undertaking job search activities for work of at least 15 hours per week on wages that are at or above
  the relevant minimum wage under an Employment Pathway Plan with us or with an employment services
  provider (e.g. Job Services Australia or Disability Employment Services), or

• be working for at least 15 hours per week on productivity based wages under the Supported Wage System.

How does it work?

You may receive a:
• fortnightly Mobility Allowance

• Health Care Card if you are not getting any other payments from us.

Mobility Allowance is not subject to an income or assets test and is not taxable.

You do not need to get any other payments from us to be eligible for the standard rate of Mobility
Allowance.

For more information visit humanservices.gov.au/mobilityallowance call 132 717 or ask at a service
centre.

Pensioner Education Supplement and ABSTUDY Pensioner Education
Supplement
The Pensioner Education Supplement or ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement assists you with the
costs of study if you are undertaking an approved secondary or tertiary course of full-time or part-time study
at an approved institution. This assistance is not taxable and not income or asset tested.

Am I eligible?

You may get a Pensioner Education Supplement or ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement if you are
studying an approved course and you receive one of the following payments:
• Carer Payment

• Disability Support Pension

• Newstart or Youth Allowance as a job seeker (in some circumstances)

• Parenting Payment (Single)
• Special Benefit as a sole parent

• Widow Allowance

• Widow B Pension

• Wife Pension (if you are a full-time student and your partner receives Disability Support Pension)

• Some Veterans’ Affairs pensions and payments.

How does it work?

The amount of Pensioner Education Supplement or ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement you
receive depends on your study load and the pension or payment you receive. Previous tertiary study may
affect your eligibility. Other payments or entitlements may also be available. For more information about
Pensioner Education Supplement see the Pensioner Education Supplement brochure and for more
information about ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement see the ABSTUDY brochure. For more
information call 132 490 (for Pensioner Education Supplement) or 132 317 (ABSTUDY) or asking at a
service centre.

Assistance for Isolated Children
Assistance for Isolated Children helps parents and guardians with a primary or secondary student who
cannot go to an appropriate state school because of geographical isolation or they have a disability or
special health need. It also helps some isolated families with tertiary students who would otherwise attend
secondary school.

Am I eligible?

You can claim Assistance for Isolated Children on behalf of a student in your care if the student:
• cannot go to an appropriate state school because they live too far away from the school, and

• has reached the minimum primary school entry age and is less than 19 years of age at the beginning of the
  year of study.

The student must also be undertaking:
• full-time primary or secondary studies (or equivalent ungraded studies), or

• tertiary study and be under the minimum age that the state or territory requires them to participate in
  education or training.

In some cases, age limits can be lower or higher. For example, if the student has a disability or a learning
difficulty.

You and the student must be living permanently in Australia and be Australian citizens, the holders of
permanent visas, or New Zealand citizens (waiting periods may apply).

An appropriate state school is one offering the student’s level of study or that provides access to:
• programs for students with disabilities, other health-related conditions, a special educational need or
  learning difficulties, or

• special facilities or a particular environment needed for students with disabilities or other health-related
  conditions.
How does it work?

Depending on the student’s situation, you may receive:
• Basic Boarding Allowance if the student has to board away from home to study

• Second Home Allowance if your family has to maintain a second home so the student can go to school
  each day

• Distance Education Allowance if the student is studying full-time through distance education, or

• Pensioner Education Supplement if the student gets a Disability Support Pension or a Parenting Payment
  (Single) and is undertaking primary or equivalent ungraded study.

You may also be able to get an Additional Boarding Allowance that is subject to a parental income test and
the level of the student’s boarding fees. Other Assistance for Isolated Children payments are not means
tested and payments are not taxable.

For more information see the Assistance for Isolated Children brochure. This is available by visiting
humanservices.gov.au/isolatedchildren calling 132 318 or asking at a service centre.

What else should I know?

Claiming Assistance for Isolated Children for a student does not affect a family’s eligibility to receive
Family Tax Benefit.

Early release of superannuation
In Australia superannuation cannot generally be accessed before you are 55 years old. However, in some
specific circumstances, the law does allow you to access your superannuation early. These limited
circumstances for which we have a role include specified compassionate grounds and severe financial
hardship.

Am I eligible?

Early release of superannuation on specified compassionate grounds

You may be eligible if:
• you meet the specific requirements of the legislation regarding early release of superannuation on
  compassionate grounds as defined in the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) regulations 1994

• your superannuation fund obtains approval from us before they can release benefits to you.

You may be eligible for early release of superannuation on specified compassionate grounds for:
• medical or dental treatment/transport—if you or a dependant need treatment to treat a life-threatening
  illness or injury, alleviate acute or chronic physical pain, and/or alleviate an acute or chronic mental
  disturbance

• modifications to your home and/or motor vehicle—if you or a dependant has a severe disability

• palliative care for you or a dependent.

The department is responsible for assessing applications on compassionate grounds.
For more information on early release of superannuation on compassionate grounds visit
humanservices.gov.au/earlysuper call 1300 131 060 or +61 3 6222 2189 — TTY 1800 552 152 (hearing
and speech impaired — call charges apply) — TIS 131 450 (Translating and Interpreting Service — call
charges apply from mobile and pay phones only)

Early release of superannuation for severe financial hardship

You may be eligible if:
• you have been receiving an eligible Centrelink income support payment for at least 26 weeks

• your superannuation fund has determined that your circumstances are severe financial hardship and agrees
  to the early release of your superannuation benefits.

The role of the department is to confirm your income payment status to your superannuation fund. We have
no involvement in determining financial hardship, this will be determined by your superannuation fund.

For more information on early release of superannuation on severe financial hardship contact your
superannuation fund.

What else should I know?

There are other circumstances where superannuation benefits may be released early. We do not process or
approve applications under these other grounds.

For terminal illness, permanent incapacity, balance $200 or less contact your superannuation fund.

For permanent departure from Australia contact the Australian Tax Office on 131 020 or visit
ato.gov.au/super.

Making a claim
From 1 July 2010 we released new claim forms and medical reports for carers who are wishing to
claim Carer Payment and/or Carer Allowance for a child or adult care receiver.

There are now personalised versions of the Carer Payment and/or Carer Allowance claim forms and medical
reports available for carers.

If a carer or care receiver is known to us (or has a record), a personalised claim form will be issued with pre-
population of carer and care receiver information included in the form.

In addition to this change, there are now circumstances which may allow the details from a medical report
that has been previously supplied for a care receiver to be used in place of a new medical report.

These changes have been put in place to reduce the administrative burden and expense on carers.

Hospitals and community groups will no longer be able to issue claim forms and medical reports to carers.
Instead carers or a nominated third party will be required to contact us on 132 717 or visit a service centre
where our staff will ask some questions to determine individual circumstances and issue the appropriate
claim forms.

By contacting us on 132 717, carers will ensure they minimise the amount of documentation required to
claim a Carer Payment and/or Carer Allowance and ensure their intention to claim is registered from the
earliest possible date.
When you are making a claim you need to provide us with accurate information about your circumstances.
The information you need to provide is listed in the claim information booklet and your notification letter. If
the information you provide is not correct or your circumstances change and you do not tell us you may be
overpaid and will have to repay the money.

See The basics booklet for information on how to make a claim, what you need to prove your identity, the
definition of a partner, how soon a payment can be made and how to arrange an Advance Payment.

Can Carer Allowance be backdated?

If you are caring for a child under 16 years, Carer Allowance can be backdated for up to 12 weeks prior to
the claim being lodged under special circumstances.

If you are caring for an adult (16 years or over), Carer Allowance can be backdated for up to 12 weeks prior
to the claim being lodged if the care needs were caused by an acute event.

Can Carer Payment be backdated?

Carer Payment is granted from the date the claim was made with us. If you lodge a claim within 14 days of
first contacting us, your claim will be paid from the date you first contacted us.

Your rights and responsibilities
It is your responsibility to decide if you wish to apply for a payment and to make the application, taking into
consideration your particular circumstances.

You must tell us if things change
When you are granted a payment or service from us, we will send you a letter listing events and changes to
your situation you must tell us about.

To tell us if things change, you can:
• update your details at humanservices.gov.au

• call the ‘13’ or ‘1800’ number most relevant to your circumstances

• visit a service centre.
Note: we match information with the Australian Taxation Office, Australia’s immigration authorities,
government departments and other organisations and verify income with employers. We also act on public
information. If you are overpaid benefits, you will probably have to repay the money. If you have
deliberately given us incorrect information you may face a range of consequences from recovery fees to
criminal prosecution.

Dealing with third parties
You may deal with a third party who is not a member of our staff. If you do, please remember that we have
not authorised any third parties to provide information or advice to you about payments and cannot be
responsible for the information these parties provide.
Getting someone to deal with us for you
Some of our customers have difficulty managing their business with us. We offer customers who are
receiving a payment and/or service from us several ways for someone to deal with us on their behalf.

Person Permitted to Enquire
You can arrange to authorise a person or organisation to make enquiries to the department on your behalf.
This is referred to as a Person Permitted to Enquire. This is not a nominee arrangement.

Nominee arrangements
There are two types of nominee arrangements:

Correspondence nominee arrangements enable you to authorise a person or organisation to act on your
behalf when dealing with us. Correspondence nominees can:
• make enquiries on your behalf

• receive copies of your mail

• notify of changes to your circumstances

• complete the Departments forms and statements on your behalf

• provide us with documents relating to your circumstances, and

• attend appointments with you or on your behalf.

Payment nominee arrangements enable you to authorise a person or organisation to receive your payments
into an account maintained by the nominee. A payment nominee can be:
• given only minimal information regarding issues affecting your payments, and

• asked to supply records of how the money received was used for your benefit. The nominee must maintain
  relevant financial records (monetary penalties may apply if they fail to do so).

You can choose to have a correspondence nominee, a payment nominee or both. You may choose to either
have one nominee for both correspondence and payment arrangements or have different nominees for each
type of nominee arrangement. If you are interested in this kind of arrangement, ask for the Authorising a
person or organisation to enquire or act on your behalf form.

A nominee is required to advise us of anything that might affect their ability to act as a nominee. Nominee
arrangements are subject to review. We are not obliged to accept a nominee arrangement unless it is in the
customer’s best interests. Nominees can register for Online Service to view or update information on your
behalf.

If you have a nominee appointed to manage your affairs, you cannot be appointed as a nominee for
someone else. For more information visit humanservices.gov.au/nominees call 132 717 or ask at a service
centre.
Our Service Commitments
We are committed to Our Service Commitments. It is a public statement about the standards of service that
you can expect from us. It also contains information about your rights and what you can do if you are
unhappy with the services that you have received and how to provide other feedback, both positive and
negative.

Reviews and appeals
If you are not happy with a decision made by us there are several things you can do. You can discuss your
case with the person who made the original decision. You do not have to do this but it gives you a chance to
correct misunderstandings and present new information.

You have the right to ask for a review by an Authorised Review Officer if you think a decision is wrong.
You may do this without first talking to the person who made the decision, but that person may still look at
your review unless you have asked for this not to happen.

You should contact us as soon as possible because time limits apply in some cases and back payments may
not be paid if the decision is changed. For more information see The basics booklet.

If you believe the Authorised Review Officer’s decision is incorrect, you can then apply for review by the
Social Security Appeals Tribunal. For more information, visit ssat.gov.au or call Freecall™ 1800 011 140
or write to GPO Box 9943 in your nearest capital city.

Both you and the Department of Human Services may apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a
review of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal decision.

Both you and the Department of Human Services may appeal a decision of the Administrative Appeals
Tribunal to the courts, but only on a question of law.

You can choose to be legally represented at any stage of the review and appeals process. People have been
successful at all stages without representation.

Free advice and assistance may be obtained from welfare rights centres and legal aid services.

How to provide feedback
If you have feedback about our services you have the right to contact us. Feedback can include compliments,
suggestions for improvements and complaints about our service, a decision we have made, the way that a
policy is interpreted, staff behaviour and attitude or any other aspects of our operations.

Feedback can be provided by:
• completing an online comment card at humanservices.gov.au

• talking to any Customer Service Officer

• completing a comment card at a service centre, or

• calling the Customer Relations Line on Freecall™ 1800 050 004.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact Customer Relations staff using a TTY phone
on Freecall™ 1800 000 567.
We will not discriminate against or otherwise disadvantage anyone who lodges a complaint or provides
other feedback.

If you have contacted our Customer Relations staff with a concern and it has not been resolved to your
satisfaction, you can take the matter further by contacting the Commonwealth Ombudsman on 1300 362
072.

Keeping your personal information private
You have a right to have the personal information that we collect about you kept private. We are bound by
legislation that contains strict confidentiality provisions that limit who can look at information about you
and when and to whom it can be given. We are also bound by the Privacy Act 1988.

Specific details of how your information will be used and who it may be given to can be found in the
privacy notices we provide when you give us personal information.

Limited information about you may be used as part of market research undertaken by the Department of
Human Services and its policy departments, or by research organisations on behalf of the Department of
Human Services or policy departments. Your privacy is protected throughout this process.

If you have a question about privacy, confidentiality or access to information, ask to speak with the
Departments of Human Services Privacy Officer in your area.

More information
Weekly Payments
Weekly payments may be available to customers who find it difficult to budget on a fortnightly basis.
Eligible customers would receive their income support payment on a weekly rather than fortnightly basis,
until their circumstances improve. Weekly payments form part of our services for vulnerable and ‘at risk’
customers. We currently have a range of options to assist these customers, including but not limited to:
• Centrepay

• Income Management, including Voluntary Income Management

• referrals to welfare agencies, housing authorities and social workers, and

• payment nominees and youth agencies.

Income Management
Income Management is a way to help you manage your money. It means that part of your Centrelink and/or
Department of Veterans’ Affairs payments will be used to pay for things you and your family need. It
applies only in selected locations.

Under Income Management your payments will not reduce but the way you receive them will change.

Your income managed money can be used for priority items such as food, rent, utilities and clothing. The
rest of your regular fortnightly payments will be paid to you in the usual way.

You can spend your income managed money by using the BasicsCard, or we can organise direct payments
to organisations such as stores, landlords or utility providers.
Voluntary Income Management

If you are on a relevant Centrelink and/or Department of Veterans’ Affairs payment and live in a selected
location, you can choose to have your payments income managed.

To find out if your payments can be income managed you will need to talk to us. Once you sign up you will
have to stay on it for at least 13 weeks. After that you can stop whenever you like.

For more information about Income Management visit humanservices.gov.au/incomemanagement call the
Income Management Line on 132 594 or ask at our service centre.

Centrepay
Centrepay can make it easier for you to pay your bills. Centrepay is a free bill paying service offered to
customers receiving regular payments from us. Through Centrepay you can choose to pay bills by having
a regular amount deducted from your Centrelink payment.

These deductions are forwarded directly to participating organisations as full or part payment for services.
Participation is entirely voluntary and you can choose to start, stop or change your Centrepay deductions at
any time.

Centrepay can help you pay regular bills and expenses like:
• rent

• telephone

• electricity, gas, water

• medical services and equipment

• food

• child care

• council rates

• ambulance costs

• home care services

• Indigenous Business Australia loan repayments

• rental of household goods

• no-interest loans

• court fines or infringements, and

• school fees.

Centrepay has thousands of participating organisations. To find out if an organisation is registered with
Centrepay contact us or speak to the organisation you would like to pay.

For more information about Centrepay see the Manage your bills for free—Centrepay brochure. This is
available by visiting humanservices.gov.au/centrepay or asking at a service centre.
Rent Deduction Scheme
If you pay rent to a state or territory housing authority you can choose to have your rent paid automatically
from your Centrelink payment directly to your housing authority.

The Rent Deduction Scheme is a service provided by usin partnership with state and territory housing
authorities.

This service is free of charge and you can apply to join or withdraw from the service at any time. To join
the Rent Deduction Scheme you need to contact your local housing authority and ask for a deduction
form. To withdraw from the Scheme you need to contact your local housing authority or the Department
of Human Services.

For more information visit humanservices.gov.au/rentdeduction or ask at a service centre.

Specialist staff
We have specialist staff to assist you in difficult times. A comprehensive list can be found in The basics
booklet.

How to contact us
For more information about payments and services visit humanservices.gov.au or or contact us in any of
the following ways.

By phone

Disability and carers 132 717
Illness and injury
Caring for someone

Older Australians      132 300
Seniors
Needing help after someone has died
About to retire or in retirement

Employment Services            132 850
Looking for work (21 and over)
Farmer, self-employed or rural Australian
Needing help in a crisis
Recently moved to Australia

Families and parents 136 150
Guardian

Youth and Students 132 490
Looking for work (under 21)
Youth Allowance
Austudy
Pensioner Education Supplement

ABSTUDY       132 317

Assistance for Isolated Children       132 318

Australian Government Services
Fraud Tip-off Line 131 524

BasicsCard Balance Check Freecall™ 1800 057 111

Business Hotline       131 158

International Services        131 673
Outside of Australia +61 3 6222 3455

For information about claiming a payment from a country other than Australia and about claiming or
receiving an Australian payment while outside Australia.

Country calling from          Free call phone number

Austria 0800 295 165

Canada1888 2557 493

China – North*         10 800 6100 427

China – South 10 800 2611 309

Denmark       8088 3556

Germany       0800 1802 482

Greece 0080 0611 26209

India 000 800 61 01098

Indonesia     001 803 61 035

Italy   800 781 977

Republic of Korea      003 081 32326

The Netherlands        0800 0224 364

New Zealand 0800 441 248

Philippines   1800 1611 0046

Poland 00 800 6111 220

Portugal      800 861 122
Singapore      800 6167 015

Spain 900 951 547

Thailand       001 800 611 4136

Turkey 00 800 6190 5703

United Arab Emirates 800 061 04319

United Kingdom        0800 1695 865

The United States of America 1866 3433 086

*China (North) includes the provinces of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang,
Liaoning, Jilin, Shandong and Henan. All other provinces are considered to be China (South) for this
purpose. This free call may not be available from every location within the country, and may not be free
from mobile phones or public phones.

Customer Relations Freecall™ 1800 050 004
Suggestions, complaints or compliments

Drought Assistance 132 316

Financial Information Service seminar bookings 136 357

Foreign Income Exchange Line          Freecall™ 1800 050 041
If you get income from a country other than Australia and want to know the exchange rate that has been
applied to that income.

Income Management Line 132 594

Indigenous Call Centre        136 380

Australian Apprentices        133 633

To speak to us in languages other than English       131 202

TTY* Customer Relations       Freecall™ 1800 000 567

TTY* Enquiries        Freecall™ 1800 810 586
*TTY is only for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment. A TTY phone is required to
use this service.

Note: calls from your home phone to ‘13’ numbers from anywhere in Australia are charged at a fixed rate.
That rate may vary from the price of a local call and may also vary between telephone service providers. Calls
to ‘1800’ numbers from your home phone are free. Calls from public and mobile phones may be timed and
charged at a higher rate.

Some tips when calling

• Stay on the line—try not to hang up and redial, you may wait longer
• Have your details ready—it helps if you have your reference number and any letter you want to talk about
  with you when you call

• Have a pen and paper ready to take notes

• We will not give you details about other people, even family members, unless you have written
  permission or they are with you when you call.

In person

When you visit a service centre you will be referred to an appropriate Customer Service Officer.
Appointments can also be arranged. If you live in a rural or remote area, we have an extensive network of
Agents and Access Points that may also be able to assist you.

For more information call 132 316 or ask at a service centre.

In writing

Our contact address is on every letter we send you.

Customer postal address
Write to:      Centrelink Payments
       Reply Paid 7800
       Canberra BC ACT 2610

Centrelink Self Service
Online Services—are secure, convenient and protect your privacy. Some of the options that make it easier
for you to do business with us:
• report income, Activity Test/participation requirements and changes to your circumstances

• view your payment history and check when and how you next payment will be

• apply for an Advance Payment

• print an Income Statement, Rent Certificate or Reporting Statement

• update contact details, bank account details and study details

• view a summary of your current income and assets

• view, add, change or cancel deductions

• check appointment details and reporting dates, and

• claim for Age Pension, student payments and family assistance payments.

Phone Self Service—provides you with a convenient way to do some of your business:
• call 136 240—to access a range of phone services

• call 133 276—(13 EARN)—to report income, Activity Test/participation requirements and changes to
  your circumstances.
For more information about reporting requirements visit humanservices.gov.au

Nominee access to Online Services—gives nominees the choice to do business on behalf of a customer
they are a nominee for, using Online Services.

Online Letters—gives you the choice to view some letters from us online rather than having them sent to
your postal address.

Electronic Message Reminder—is a free personalised reminder service that sends an SMS text message or
email to remind you about appointments and other messages.

For more information about Centrelink Self Service visit humanservices.gov.au/onlineservices

Medicare Online Services
Medicare Online Services provide you with an extra way to view, update and request information and
services from Medicare.

You can register for Online Services at humanservices.gov.au/onlineservices or at your local service
centre.

Online Services is useful if you can’t get to a service centre or just prefer to do your business online.

Once registered for Online Services, you can:
• lodge some Medicare claims online

• request a replacement or duplicate Medicare card—only two replacement Medicare cards can be
  requested online per year

• register and update your bank account details—claim at your doctor’s and get your Medicare benefit paid
  into your bank account

• update your personal details—such as contact details, preferred language, Indigenous status and Medicare
  card address

• view, print and save your Medicare claims history statement—for up to 12 months from the date of the
  request

• view your Medicare Safety Net balance

• view, print and save your Medicare benefit tax statement—previous and current financial years available

• view your Individual Healthcare Identifier number history

• view and update your Individual Healthcare Identifier number alternate names

• view your Care Plan access history

• view your organ donor registration details

• view your child’s immunisation history statement—a statement of your child’s first seven years is
  available to parents of children aged up to 14 years.
Medicare program—delivers health payments, services and information.
• Visit humanservices.gov.au/medicare
• Call 132 011.

• Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme: call Freecall™ 1800 020 613.

• Australian Organ Donor Register: call Freecall™ 1800 777 203.

• Australian Childhood Immunisation Register: call Freecall™ 1800 653 809.



Other organisations and useful information
Please check the phone book for details of these organisations in your state or territory.

Australian Hearing—dedicated to helping
people manage their hearing impairment to achieve a better quality of life. Australian Hearing provides
services to eligible pensioners and most veterans.
Visit hearing.com.au or call 131 797.

Brain Injury Australia—the national Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) advocacy organisation representing the
needs of people with an ABI, their families and carers, through its state and territory member organisations.
Visit braininjuryaustralia.org.au

Carer Advisory and Counselling Service—can refer you to services and tailored information and
resources to support you in your role. They can also provide you with a Carer Support Kit containing
general information about issues such as looking after yourself, managing health care and medications, loss
and grief and an Emergency Care Kit. Call Freecall™ 1800 242 636.

Carers Australia—the national peak body for carers, representing the needs and interests of carers at the
national level. The members of Carers Australia comprise the eight state and territory Carers Associations.
Visit carersaustralia.com.au or call Freecall™ 1800 242 636.

Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres—assists carers to access respite or to take a break and
provides information about community and other aged care services. They can provide information and
advice about respite options and help with organising planned or emergency respite. Visit
commcarelink.health.gov.au or call Freecall™ 1800 200 422.

CRS Australia—helps people with a disability, injury or health condition get a job or return to work by
providing individualised vocational rehabilitation. CRS Australia also helps employers to keep their
workplaces safe. Visit crsaustralia.gov.au or call Freecall™ 1800 277 277.

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs—looks after a broad
range of issues affecting the living standards of Australian families, communities and individuals. Visit
fahcsia.gov.au

Family Relationships Centres/Family Relationship Advice Line—provide information, advice and
dispute resolution to help parents/carers focus on the needs of the children and develop workable
arrangements for the children without going to court. Visit familyrelationships.gov.au or call Freecall™
1800 050 321.

LifeCircle—offers confidential non-judgemental listening, practical non-medical information, and links to
local services for carers who are caring for someone with a terminal illness, as well as enabling them to find
the support they need from within their personal community. Visit lifecircle.org.au or call 1300 364 673.
Medibank Health Services—delivers expertise and experience in medical advisory, assessment and health
screening services. Visit medibankhealth.com.au or call 1300 361 046.

Disclaimer
The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to payments and services. It is your
responsibility to decide if you wish to apply for a payment and to make an application, with regard to your
particular circumstances.

This information is accurate as at March 2012. If you use this publication after that date, please check with
us that the details are current.



CD001.1203

								
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