Financial and Legal Matters
There are a number of financial and legal issues that you will need to address as a carer. Some of these are outlined below.
You can obtain up to date information about your eligibility for income support from Centrelink by visiting their website: www.centrelink.gov.au
CARER PAYMENT / CARERS ALLOWANCE
Carer Payment (caring for a person 16 years and over) can provide you with income support if you are unable to support yourself through substantial paid employment because you are caring for someone aged 16 years or over on a daily basis who has a sever disability, medical condition or who is frail aged.
The amount of Carer Payment you receive depends on your income and assets and the income and assets of the person you are caring for. If the person you are caring for does not receive an income support payment from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans' Affairs, special care receiver income and assets tests may apply.
You can work, volunteer or study/train for up to 25 hours a week and still be eligible for Carer Payment. Any income you receive may affect your rate of payment.
You can still receive carer payment for up to 63 days in a calendar year if the person you care for is in respite care, as well as 63 days in a calendar year if the person you care for is in hospital.
Carer Allowance (caring for a person 16 years or over) is a supplementary payment that may be available if you are a carer who provides daily care and attention for a person with a disability, medical condition or who is frail aged.
Carer Allowance can be paid in addition to wages or other income support payments such as Age Pension, Carer Payment or Parenting Payment.
You do not have to meet income or assets tests to receive Carer Allowance and you do not have to pay tax on Carer Allowance. Carer Allowance is usually adjusted on 1 January each year in line with the Consumer Price Index - that is in line with increases in the cost of living.
If you are receiving a Carer Allowance payment on the 1 July each year from 2010, you will also receive an annual carer supplement.
Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS)
To be eligible for the CAPS payment an applicant must be five years of age or older and have permanent and severe loss of bladder and/or bowel function (incontinence) due directly to an eligible neurological condition and have a valid Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card. CAPS application forms are available from the Bladder & Bowel website http://www.bladderbowel.gov.au You can also contact or visit any Medicare Australia office or call the National Continence Helpline 1800 330 066.
If you are eligible you will receive a payment to purchase your own products from your own choice of provider. CAPS may be paid once or twice per annum and is income tax exempt.
The Public Trustee provides a range of financial and asset management services, including:
- Writing and updating Wills
- Safely storing Wills in the WA Will Bank
- Administering deceased estates when acting as executor or administrator
- Assisting people who are nominated as an executor to perform their duties
- Preparing Enduring Powers of Attorney and acting as Donee (the person appointed to manage your financial affairs under an EPA)
- Managing the financial affairs of people who are unable to manage their own (e.g. due to dementia or mental illness), when appointed as their administrator by the State Administrative Tribunal
- Providing advice and support and examining the accounts of people who are appointed as an administrator for another person by the State Administrative Tribunal
- Acting as trustee for damages awarded by a court, tribunal or assessor
- Acting as trustee of a fund established in a Will or Deed for the benefit of a minor (person under 18) or of a charitable trust.
- Investing our clients' funds and providing legal advice when required
565 Hay Street, Perth WA 6000
Contact Public Trustee http://www.publictrustee.wa.gov.au/
GPO Box M946
PERTH WA 6843
New enquiries and appointments:
Phone: 1300 746 116
Fax: (08) 9222 6617
Enduring Power of Attorney
For further information about EPG"s and appointing an Enduring Guardian contact:
Office of the Public Advocate
Level 1, 30 Terrace Road
T: 1300 858 455
TTY: 1300 859 955
Advance Health Directive
Resources are available to help you make an AHD and appoint an Enduring Guardian. For further information about AHD's contact:
Department of Health
PO Box 8172
Perth Business Centre
Perth WA 6849
T: 08 9222 2300
The introduction of new laws in Western Australia has widened the chioces people have in planning how decisions are made on their behalf if they lose the ability to make them for themselves.