Frequently Asked Questions about Carers

What payments and benefits are available to Carers?

Carers Payment is an income support payment available for people who personally provide constant care in the home of someone with a severe disability, illness, or who is frail aged. Subject to an income and asset test.

Carers Allowance is a supplementary payment for carers who provide additional daily care and attention for someone with a disability or medical condition, or who is frail aged. Not subject to income or asset test, can be paid in addition to other wage or income support payments, and carers may be eligible for carer allowance for more than one person in their care.

To find out more phone the Centrelink Carers Line on 132 717 or visit the carers section of the DHS website.

What types of respite are available to Carers?

In-home Respite: This is where a care worker attends your home and looks after the person you care for so you can take a break from your caring role and/or spend time out of the home.
Overnight Respite: Where the person you care for spends a night or a weekend being cared for at a respite cottage.
Community Access: Care workers can also take the person you care for out for a coffee or on a special outing in order to give you some time to yourself in the home.
Centre-based Day Respite: The person you care for may be able to attend an activity group one or more days a week which can then provide you with a break from your caring role.
Residential Respite: This is useful if you are requiring respite for an extended period, for example if you are going away on holiday or recovering from illness. In this case, the person you care for has a short stay in an aged care home or supported disability accommodation whilst you have a break.

For more information about the types of respite available to carers and how to access them telephone the CRCC on 1800 052 222.

How can I avoid becoming burnt out in my caring role?

Telephone 1800 052 222  for more information on how we can help you avoid burn out.

Take regular breaks

Carers are far more likely to become burnt out if they don’t take regular breaks. You owe it to yourself – and the person you care for. CRCC can provide information and respite assistance for carers wanting to take a break from their caring role. A phone call is it takes to get assistance.

Take care of yourself

Don't always put your needs second. Remember to visit your GP regularly, exercise, eat well and try not to skimp on sleep. Overnight and residential respite can provide carers with the opportunity to get a good night’s sleep if they are unable to do so due to the demands of your caring role. CRCC also offers exercise programs specifically for carers. In addition, meditation and yoga are effective ways of reducing stress and maintaining a healthy mind and body.

Talk to someone

Sharing your feelings and experience with someone who understands the caring role can help to reduce stress and make a difference to your life as a Carer. Carers Vic offer a free counselling service specifically designed for Carers. Your GP may also be able to refer you to an appropriate counselling service. Joining a carer support group may also help you connect.

Do something special for yourself!

It’s important to pamper yourself every now and then.CRCC and other carer support agencies offer special events and recreational activities throughout the year specifically for Carers.

Telephone 1800 052 222  if you need help from us. If you are interested in learning more see: Carers Victoria website and Help guide articles for caregivers.

How can I maximise informal Support Networks?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. Chances are they don’t realise the stress you are under as a Carer and may be more willing to lend a hand then you realise. Try giving small tasks to them, such as doing the shopping or dropping the person you care for at an appointment.

Friends and family can provide an important network for you and the person you care for, especially when you need a break from caring. They know you and the person you care for, and may already know about the care needs of the person you care for.

What can you expect from the Carer Recognition Program?

The Carer Recognition Program is a booklet and a card which saves you money, enabling you take a much needed break and treat yourself. These is a range of services, products, and accommodation, dinning and leisure activities. The booklet has 36 detachable vouchers for many dinning and leisure activities. A list of accommodation and dining offers is available at our Carer Recognition website.

For more information about this program telephone 1800 052 222  or 1300 277478.

Download a print-friendly PDF version of this page.