I am starting off this series of articles on Australian Government provided payments and services with an overview of Centrelink Payments because of recent discussions on the subject in our forums. Specific payments are available for parents of children and adults with a disability and for adults with a disability as well as the more general payments available for when you are raising a child.
As the degree of disability varies in Fragile X syndrome, having a diagnosis of Fragile X is not enough on its own to be eligible for payments. An assessment from your child’s doctor will be required when applying for payments to ensure that he/she meets the eligibility criteria. For carers this is based on the extra amount of care your child needs.
Many Payments are subject to an Income Test or Income and Assets Tests – I have indicated whether this is the case beside each payment. Payments with nothing beside them are those which may be given if you already qualify for another payment. Details of the Income and Assets Tests can be accessed from Centrelink’s list of Payments subject to Income and or Asset Tests
Payments if your child has a disability:
Overview – Caring for someone? downloadable booklet
Main Centrelink Page for this category of payment -
Payments and Allowances
- Carer Payment Child - Inc/Ass Tests
- an income support payment for people who cannot support themselves through participation in the workforce while caring for a child with a profound disability who has extremely high care needs.
- Carer Allowance Child No Income /Asset Tests
- for people who care for a child with a disability at home. May be paid on top of the Carer Payment.
- Health Care Cards for both child and parent if eligible.
- Pensioner Education Supplement – provides additional help for carers on certain Pensions who undertake study.
- Assistance for Isolated Children – if your child cannot attend school locally because you live in a remote area or your child has special needs.
Payments for Adults (aged 16 or over) with a Disability and their Carers
Payments and Allowances
- Disability Support Pension Income/Assets Tests
- Youth Disability Supplement – for people with disabilities who are under 21 years of age.
- Mobility Allowance
- Pensioner Education Supplement
(once your child is 16 years of age) – provides additional help for Disability Support Pension recipients who undertake study.
- Health Care Cards
Payments for Carers of Adults with Disabilities
- Carer Payment Adult - an income support payment for people who cannot support themselves through participation in the workforce while caring for a child with a profound disability who has extremely high care needs. Income/Assets Tests
- Carer Allowance Adult - for people who care for an with a disability at home. May be paid on top of the Carer Payment No Income /Asset Tests
- Health Care Cards for both child and carer if eligible.
In addition to these payments children and parents may be eligible to the following – depending on which other pension or allowance they receive
Payments to help you raise children (including those without disabilities)
If you are not eligible to receive payments for caring for your disabled child because the degree of disability does not warrant it these payments are available to all parents who qualify because of low income levels.
- Family Tax Benefit Part A Income Test
For parents or carers to help with the cost of raising children.
- Family Tax Benefit Part B Income Test
For single income families and families with one main income.
- Parenting Payment Income/Assets Tests
For parents or guardians to help with the cost of raising children.
- Child Care Benefit and Child Care Assistance page of mychild.gov.au Income Test
For families to help with the cost of child care.
- Baby Bonus Income Test
- For your child – Youth Allowance for a young person who is studying, undertaking training or an Australian Apprenticeship, looking for work, or sick.
- Newstart Allowance – If you are unemployed, Newstart Allowance helps you while you are looking for work and allows you to participate in activities designed to increase your chances of finding work. Income/Assets Tests
- Remote Area Allowance gives you extra financial help if you are getting income support and you live in a remote area.
- If you are under 21, you may also be eligible for the Youth Disability Supplement.
If you want to research the criteria more fully you can check out the Carer and Disability section of the Guide to Social Security Law.
The National Welfare Rights Network (NWRN) The NWRN as well as advocating for rights provides casework advice and assistance to individuals to ensure they can “exercise their rights, fulfil their obligations, meet their responsibilities and maximize their entitlements under the Australian Social Security system”. Information available from their site:
- Factsheets to assist individuals with Social Security or Centrelink problems.
- Relationships & Centrelink” booklet This booklet aims to assist people who are receiving income support payments from Centrelink. It provides information regarding a person’s rights and obligations when being investigated for an alleged marriage-like relationship, by Centrelink, and explains who is considered to be a “member of a couple” for Social Security purposes.
- If you want to get into the real depths of the provisions the 6th edition of the Independent Social Security Handbook available in hard copy or by subscription online – this may be available in your local library. This handbook provides information about Social Security and Centrelink to assist service providers working with clients who are receiving payments.