Carer Payment

The carer payment is an income support payment for people who personally provide constant care in the home of someone with a severe disability, illness, or who is frail aged for a significant period (usually taken to be at least 6 months).

The carer payment is subject to an income and assets test.

Where both the carer and care receiver are under Age Pension age, the carer payment is not taxable.

[news Feb 2019]

“Proof of life” to be required of overseas pension recipients

From 1 July 2019 pensioners aged 80 and over living permanently overseas will need to return a “proof of life” certificate within 13 weeks to avoid having payment suspended, or full cancellation after 26 weeks.

The measures are designed to ensure that payments are only made to pensioners who are still alive and will be required every 2 years.

Payments affected include the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Widow B Pension and Carer Payments.

For progress of legislation see Social Services Legislation Amendment (Overseas Welfare Recipients Integrity Program) Bill 2019

New Residents Waiting Period

From 1 January 2019 the waiting period for newly arrived residents to receive a range of benefits has been extended. The new waiting periods will apply generally to visas granted on or after 1 January 2019.

Examples of adjusted waiting periods include:

BenefitVisa on or after 1 Jan 2019Before 1 Jan 2019
Commonwealth Seniors Health Cardwaiting period 4 years2 years
Low Income Health Care Card4 years2 years
Parenting Payments4 years2 years
Carer Payments2 years2 years
Dad and Partner Pay2 yearsno waiting period
Parental Leave Pay2 yearsno waiting period
Family Tax Benefit Part A1 yearno waiting period
Family Tax Benefit Part Bno waiting periodno waiting period

Details of further benefits affected along with exemptions and NZ residents are set out here.

Carer payment rates

The Basic payment rate is aligned with the Age Pension and is inflation-adjusted on 20 March and 20 September of each year.

Further information



This page was last modified 2019-02-14