Media Release by Senator the Hon Jan McLucas

More support for Australia’s carers

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Disability Reform

From today 560,000 carers across Australia will receive a $600 boost to help ease the costs of caring for a loved one.

Carers across Australia will share in $506 million in Carer Supplement payments.

The annual $600 Supplement will be paid to people who receive:

  • Carer Payment;
  • Carer Allowance;
  • both Wife Pension and Carer Allowance;
  • both Department of Veteran’s Affairs Partner Service Pension and Carer Allowance; and
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Carer Service Pension.

Recipients of Carer Allowance will receive the $600 supplement for each person they care for.

This means that if a person is in receipt of Carer Allowance and Carer Payment (or Wife Pension, Department of Veterans’ Affairs Service Pension or Carer Service Pension) they will qualify for two Carer Supplement payments, with an additional payment for each extra person they care for.

The Australian Government introduced the annual Carer Supplement in 2009 to give carers certainty about the level of assistance they receive each year, and help them with budgeting for any unforeseen costs.

Also from today, about 140,000 carers who receive Carer Allowance (child) will receive the annual $1000 Child Disability Assistance Payment for each child they care for.

The Australian Government values the enormous social and economic contribution of carers all over Australia who are caring for loved ones with disability, mental illness or other medical conditions and the frail and aged.

We know the enormous sacrifices carers make, caring for some of the most vulnerable people in our community. They also provide an invaluable social and economic contribution.

That’s why we want to make sure that carers have financial support to make ends meet. The $600 supplement will be a big boost for carers’ budgets.

It comes on top of the biggest increase to the pension in its 100 year history – the Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment have increased by about $154 a fortnight for singles and $156 a fortnight for couples combined since September 2009.

And more than 1 million disability and carer pensioners have also received household assistance payments in the last month of $250 for single pensioners and $380 combined for pensioner couples, to cover the expected impact of the carbon price, which starts on 1 July, as part as our Household Assistance Package.

Only Labor will deliver for those people doing it tough – like carers and the loved ones they care for.