There is a variety of support systems in place, including benefits and concessions, available through the government and other organisations, that can avoid you carrying the responsibilities of caring alone. Through Centrelink, as a carer, you may be entitled to a Carer Payment, to provide income support if you are unable to work because of the demands of your caring role. A Carer Allowance, which is a fortnightly income supplement for parents or carers providing additional daily care and attention to an adult or dependent child. And/or a Carer Supplement, an annual lump sum to assist with the cost of caring for a person. For each of these, there are rules about who is eligible. You can also contact Centrelink on 132 717.

No Interest Loan Scheme

NILS gives Australians on low incomes access to fair and safe credit of up to $1,200 to purchase essential items, from home appliances to medical treatments.

The repayment period is usually between 12 to 18 months, and eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.

For more information contact our advisory service on 1800 422 737, or download our NILS brochure.

Work and finance

It is estimated that carers provide 1.9 billion hours of unpaid care. The replacement value of the unpaid care provided in 2015 was $60.3 billion – over $1 billion per week. Caring families often experience financial hardship. It can be difficult to juggle caring with paid work and the extra costs related to illness and disability can be enormous.

Working and caring

1 in 8 employees also have some kind of caring role. Many carers of working age want to continue in paid employment. They may want to earn extra income, build up superannuation for retirement, or take advantage of the independence, self esteem and important social connections that the workplace provides. Or, they may just have to work for financial reasons.

Your employer may not have all of the necessary information to understand your needs as a carer, or even that you have caring responsibilities. You may need to present a case to them for flexible working arrangements. Remember that your experience and skills are valuable, and that it will cost money to recruit and train somebody to replace you.

Your rights and entitlements are set out across a number of documents. Talk to your HR or personnel department, your union representatives or contact Fair Work Australia to find out what conditions might apply in your workplace.

Need more advice?

For information on what might be applicable to your situation, contact our knowledgeable, friendly team for advice by phone on 1800 422 737, use online chat 9am – 5pm weekdays (or leave a call back message) or by using our contact form.