Financial Support for Carers

Caring has many direct and hidden financial costs, which can stretch the budget. Financial assistance may be available to offset or directly subsidise some of the costs of living, even if only to a small extent.

Problems Paying Bills

If you have problems paying your utilities bills (electricity, gas, water, telephone) you may be eligible for subsidies or you can request extra time from the utility company to pay your bills.

For more information regarding troubles with paying utility bills or troubles with debt in general, available subsidies and grants go to the MoneySmart website:

Early Access to Your Superannuation

Superannuation cannot generally be accessed before you are 55 years old. However, in circumstances, based on specified compassionate grounds and severe financial hardship you can apply for money to be released early. For release conditions see:

Medicare Safety Net for those extra medical expenses

Once you reach a Medicare expenditure threshold you may become eligible for the the Medicare Safety Net to cover things like out-of-hospital visits or tests such as:

  • GP /Specialist consultations
  • Blood tests
  • CT scans , x-rays or ultrasounds
  • Pap smears
  • Psychiatry
  • Radiotherapy
  • Tissue biopsies

For annual threshholds and eligibility see:

Do You or the person you care for have fines?

The Revenue NSW Department administers the Work and Development Orders (WDO). WDOs are open to clients who:

  • Have a mental illness
  • Have an intellectual disability or cognitive impairment
  • Have a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or illicit substances
  • Are homeless, or
  • Are experiencing acute economic hardship

Through the scheme, clients engage with WDO approved organisations that will help the person to pay off their fines by participating in the following activities:

  • Volunteer Work
  • Educational Courses
  • Case Management Programs
  • Counselling (various types such as financial; parenting, anger management, psychology etc.)
  • Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs
  • Mental Health Treatment Programs
  • Mentoring Programs (clients under 25 years of age)

You may qualify for the Carer Payment, Carer Allowance or Carer Supplement

The Department of Social Services provides financial support for carers based on eligibility criteria. A person who receives a Carer Payment for a child may automatically be entitled to a Carer Allowance. Carer Payment cannot be paid in addition to another income support payment, such as Age Pension, Rent Assistance, Newstart Allowance or Parenting Payment. However, the person may be entitled to other payments such as Family Tax Benefit or essential medical equipment payment.

To find out more information on what you can apply for as a carer, including eligibility criteria, contact the Department of Human Services 

For Disability, Sickness and Carers payments: Call 132 717

If you are aged 60 and over, you can apply for the NSW Seniors Card Discount Card

Seniors Card is a free government program that gives members access to the Gold Opal transport concessions as well as discounts from thousands of participating businesses. The Directory is no longer delivered to households by direct mail.

Instead seniors can pick up a copy from participating Australia post outlets, local councils and libraries, local Member of Parliament offices and community centres. The Directory is also available to download on the NSW Seniors Card website

Seniors Card eligibility:

  • Aged 60 or over
  • A permanent resident of NSW
  • Working 20 hours or less per week, averaged over a year

Material or Financial assistance

The Salvos provide Emergency relief support to people in crisis. To find out if you qualify, contact the Salvos Emergency Relief assessment Team on 1300 371 288 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday)

Or you can contact an organisation that provides the  NILS (No Interest Loans Scheme). To search for a local provider go to:

Financial Literacy for Women

'Women Talk Money' is an online finance education program specifically developed with women in mind.

© 2016 South Western Sydney Local Health District
Last Updated: 21 June, 2018
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