Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Carers to receive Budget Bonus Payments next month

Carers will receive their one-off bonus payment in June following the successful passage of legislation today.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today said the measure was in recognition of carers’ valuable role in our society.

“A bonus of $1,000 will be provided to current eligible recipients of Carer Payment and a bonus of $600 will be paid to Carer Allowance recipients for each eligible care receiver,” Senator Patterson said.

“I am pleased to once again be offering these one-off bonus payments which recognise the extraordinary effort of carers and can only be made as a result of the Howard Government’s sound economic management.

“This year’s Budget measures continue the Howard Government’s strong commitment to carers and builds on last year’s Budget and election initiatives where carers were given more flexibility and support in their care arrangements.”

Over the past 12 months the Howard Government has delivered a range of measures to provide more support for carers including:

  • Expanding eligibility for Carer Allowance carers who do not live with the person for whom they provide substantial levels of personal care on a daily basis;
  • A $72.5 million offer to the State and Territory Government’s to provide respite care for older carers who are caring for their sons and daughters with disabilities;
  • A package for young carers, including respite services, telephone help line and age appropriate information has been delivered; and
  • The number of hours a carer receiving Carer Payment customer can work, train or study has increased from 20 to 25 hours a week, up from just 10 hours under Labor.

“The Howard Government recognises the range of care needs, differing care situations and the long-term commitment of carers and will continue to provide support and assistance,” Senator Patterson said.