The week ahead 2 – Carer’s Allowance changes

The government is putting up changes to reduce the amount which new applicants for Carer’s Allowance can claim in back payments. I wrote about them in this entry. Some of the comments to that post also contain extra information.

The legislation goes by the title of the Family Assistance, Social Security and Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (2005 Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2006. The Committee report into the legislation was tabled last Friday. The report, along with submissions and transcript of evidence, can be accessed through the Committee’s website by clicking here.

Whilst there are other measures contained in the Bill, the Carer’s Allowance change is the only major or contentious one. The government Senators on the Committee have come up with a recommendation that the legislation be amended to allow a discretion for the backdating of Carer’s Allowance for a period in excess of 12 weeks where:
(a) it would have been unreasonable in all the circumstances for a claimant to have made an earlier claim for the Carer’s Allowance, and
(b) a failure to backdate would occasion significant financial hardship.

Whilst this is welcome as far as it goes, I really don’t think it goes far enough. Many carers struggle enough as it is, and when we have a multi-billion dollar surplus I can’t see how a measure that reduces the amount of initial payment for thousands of carers can be justified.

NOTE: The legislation passed around 6:45pm on Thursday evening. The provision regarding Carer’s Allowance was passed unchanged, with no Coalition Senator even supporting any amendment that reflected the recommendation put forward by Government Senators on the Senate Committee.

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  1. Probably the reason there are no comments on this page as yet is because carers do not get the luxury to be people. There is no reason the tax payers funds can not be paid direct into an account to provide at least two hours a day care instead of 4 to 4 hours week. The funds lost by being sent to the State Governments then to the Churches is criminal. No wonder we have had increased overeas travel delivering foreign aid.

    Please everyone write to John Howard and tell him our sick and elderly who paid their taxes and their families deserve much better. Will will all be old one day and what we do now will effect every person . Carers deserve quailty time with their loved ones and the government often are reasponsible for split family ties because of more stress put on the carers which in retun effects the elderly or person being cared for.I hope the public give the Government heaps over the way the use and abuse cares. After all they save the Government millions each year.Increase in home care a at least double the carers payments.

  2. Wendy, I think with the issue of carers you get the same problems and difficulties that arise when you delve into the matter of those that can get a disability parking sticker for their cars. Too many people are able to qualify as being disabled, some of those with disabled stickers say that they can’t walk to the shops, yet they can play golf and go dancing! The Government, and in turn us taxpayers, can’t cope with the expense of these people’s luxuries.

    It is a terrible shame the way the Government treats real carers, they are worth their weight in gold. They are the ones that always suffer as the others that ruin it for them don’t really care. Those that have real disabilities also really suffer because of those that abuse the system as people cant differentiate easily so they all get painted with the same brush. Its a double barrell.

    The Government needs to provide financial, medical and psychological help for those that are genuinely in need on an individual case basis, BUT I do think that families should also have to take some financial and emotional responsibility.

    We cannot have the Government paying those that don’t work, those that are sick and those that are elderly without an obligation and expectation that the families take some responsibility for their own. Otherwise, its just not sustainable.

  3. Andrew,

    Not having checked your website for a few days, I received notification of the above item via another forum.

    Thanks for providing this and I look forward to the debate within the Senate. Amending the Carer’s Allowance from 52 to 12 weeks shows how mean-spirited the Howard Government is and again shows that it is also interesting in creating more heartache for those thousands of Australians that are less-well off. For those who make sacrifices to look after loved ones or others, $94 per fortnight isn’t much.

    Whilst it remains interesting to see what government amendments will be made – if any, again we see cost-saving measures being employed. I also note the limited amount of submissions made to the Committee.

    The needs of people with disabilities continue to be ignored by government and we must not forget the changes to the Disability Support Pension DSP under the Welfare to Work legislation.

  4. I am on a Disability Support Pension. I have no carer except for a wonderful person who takes me shopping once a week and does my washing.

    I walk past her brothers place four or five times a day. I have to have the exercise. He is a pensioner but does have a disability card for his car. He can not walk. Just ‘shuffle’. I get his papers for him, pay his bills at the Post Office etc.

    As the others say – John Howard has me for free. And my friend as well. Albeit he is paying me a pension.

    He is fit and well and walking all the time. One day in the future though he will be confined to a chair and then will have wonderfull 20-20 vision in hindsite and recommend things to be done that he did not have the brains to do today.

    I cannot read the reports because I am not on broadband here in Cudal.

  5. Genuine carers of the profoundly disabled deserve much more consideration than they presently get. If they were not willing to sacrifice their own freedoms, and even their jobs, to care for their loved ones at home, the alternative would be to drain much more from the public purse to build the hospitals and nursing homes which would be needed to care for them. The Government can always find millions to fete a recently deceased billionaire businessman, hold sumptuous celebrations of its 10 years in government, and spend huge sums to saturate the media with its IR propaganda, but is appallingly mean-spirited to the genuine needy, most of whom made worthy contributions to this country’s wealth. Advance Australia Fair!!!

  6. Jolanda Re post 2. Yes the country will be stuffed if we dont get all these people off welfare. I could not agree more. However you clearly dont seem to understand the requirment for a carers allowance. Not everybody on disbilty P are entiled to a cares payment. In fact very few. The requirments are very high and must be done through an approval from ACAPS. They must asses the parent or person as in need of full time high level care.Its extreamly strick.

    Many elderly people should have carers but dont because they are hard to find and its only three cents an hour.
    Also to care properly for one elderly person requires no less than three people not one.

    Carers get absolutly abused all the time.

    if you want to scale down on the public purse look at the unemployed the single mothers.
    Did you know we pay single mothers and we also pay for their child care because its considered because they are single they must have a break/
    What about all the cares of the elderly at 3 cents an hoir.

    They dont they get a break.!

  7. Well said Betty . Also that so called businessman
    made his money out of the suffering of animals with his exporting animals alive on horrid ships to the middle east and other countries.
    While he was doing all of that he was stuffing up the country towns by causing the abattoirs to close.

    The carers next to the elderly are the most neglected matter in this country. Topped only by live exports.
    Want to start a cares lobby ?

  8. Wendy. I probably didn’t word that very well. I just used the Disability Parking sticker thing as an example because it is an obvious area where their is abuse and it shows how easy it must be to abuse the system.

    Unfortunately nobody cares or is required to care about anything or anybody anymore it seems like people just put all the responsibility on the Govenrment. So its every man for himself. As humans we are greedy by nature and there is alot of abuse. People loose respect for each other in circumstances like this and then everybody can justify their actions. Its the good who always suffer because they care.

    As a society we are becoming sicker. Auto-immune diseases are crippling society. The Government cannot afford to carry so many people. Families have to take some responsibility for their own. Too many families abandon the sick and the elderly. Much of the despair experienced by the elderly comes from feeling abandoned and lonely, and thats not by the Government. But by their own families.

    Sure those that are elderly and/or sick are vulnerable are too old to pick themselves up so they need help, but whilst money is needed to provide services, what these people need is the community to support them, help them and show them the respect and regard that they deserve and to do it out of love and respect.

    I do look at the unemployed and single mothers, you should see what I have to say about them!

    Oh and believe me when I tell you that children are also very neglected in this greedy and selfish society that we live it. Maybe we could include everybody in this care lobby as this attitude is affecting all. Whats a care lobby?

  9. Jolanda


    Carers lobby group.

    Smile ok Lets Ask Andrew to Do A post on Single mothers . I am up for it.

    Jolanda the elderly have paid taxes the whole of their lives. If there is one way to measure the moral fiber regarding the leadership of these country than it has got to be the aged and their carers. Carers save the Government 80 million each year.

    You connect these parking stickers and you are right about the society and abuse greed , down right mean spirted people. Lets face it we only have to look on this web site to find people snapping at each other before they even try being a bit reasonable.

    Carers should all be able to use disability parking stickers Jolanda let me tell you that much.

    However lets not get off post.

    This is about the carers penshion being reduced in the time that people are allowed to put in a claim for it or be registered to receive it.

    Unless under exception circumstances people should not get back paid for a years. The country can not afford it and its open to abuse.

    Thats almost like hearing there was a bargin going on for a car a year ago but you missed it and want it anyway.

    The Government do put out information on the carers P and the carers allowance that I feel covers it.

    So I agree with the Government that payments should be back dated up to three months and no more.

    The illness increases also because of this. Please click here and watch all the way through.

    People who care for the aged need help.

  10. Wendy. Please dont misunderstand me. I fully support that the elderly and those that care for the eldery etc., should be treated with the utmost respect and regard and should be supported in every way possible.

    The disabled parking sticker thing was not connected to carers. It was connected to abuse of the system. Abuse that then means that there isn’t enough money to go around to support these carers and elderly and it also means that people loose respect for the system and for those that need to use it.

    I just believe that the system is set up to cover up abuse and misconduct within thier own ranks so as to protect those in power and it flows into the community and into society. IN the end the vulnerable pay the price.

    I agree that the allowance should not be backdated for more than 3 months unless there are extenuating circumstances. I dont agree with carers allowances being reduced – how is that going to help them cope?

    I watched the video. It wasnt’ news to me!. I am sure you have heard of Mycoplasma Infections that causes disease in animals including man and is triggered by stress and that is serious issue for these animals being transported in such cruel and horrible conditions. Well my daughter was diagnosed with an active Mycoplasma infection in Year 6, the stress of what she was experiencing at school made her so sick and triggered the infection in her blood and she suffered severe symptoms of chronic fatigue, severe joint and muscle pain, migraines, depression. She was so sick that she couldnt’ even turn in bed, she was in so much pain – they thought she had rheumatoid arthritis. At first they couldn’t figure out waht was wrong with her but I could see the connection between stress and her symptoms as it was obvious so after I begged the doctor to find out what was wrong with her as it wasn’t normal the doctor said she would do some really expensive blood tests. The paediatrician said that the Mycoplasma infection was a highly contagious common infection that the majority of people carried that lay dormant in your body and was activated by stress and could cause the symptoms that my daughter was experiencing.

    We have so much to learn from the animals and how we treat them and what it does to them and the connection with us. Animals get the same things we do, they are not that much different! How people can be so cruel and unthinking is beyond comprehension.

  11. Jolanda
    Only you would know however it may be she did not get it that way but from eating meat of an animal that went though the same stress as the millions do
    However we can go into that on the three or four animal welfare sites Andrew has .
    We will do it soon.

    Getting back to post. If we ask the federal G to send the tax payers money straight to the persons private choice care provider we can in crease care from the now three hours a week to fouteen hours a week]’
    feds send it to state. State waiste it .Then send it to mainly Church groups who then ?It
    After that it leasves a balance of 3 hours a WEEK .
    So to assist these people why should they not be able to choose between and extra two hundred and fity dollars a week or more help.
    Thats costs the Government nothing.
    Then the center Link D would have part time jobs availabe.
    All those people doing 3 days a week pay taxes.
    Thats a win for carers a win for the elderly being cared for and a win for Employment
    I put it to them
    I worked on it on and off for a few years.
    Said it was fantasic [adviser] .

    Still waiting for them to introduce it.

    Good carers who are normally family are people too.
    It usually gets left to one person in the family
    Thats not fair.

  12. Wendy. I didn’t mean that she got it from the stress. The stress triggered it. I now have no doubt that it is a virus/bacteria and that she could very easily have caught it from eating meat. Kinda like the cold sore virus, it just lays there and every now and again when you are run down – it attacks you! From what I read and from my interpretation and experiences Mycoplasa Infection is a serious issue in animals and people and it can even trigger off symptoms of SARS and it is contagious.

    Back to the post. State Governments waste everything! They are dead wood. The only role they are providing is that of covering up and whitewashing their incompetance and misconduct. We need to get rid of the State Government and introduce something that is run with integrity and vision.

    Then these carers and needy would be better served.

  13. Jolanda
    Correct was the word.
    Bird Flue and all diseaeses come from the cruelty of intense farming. They even made bi weapons from it.
    So I guess we will all pay for turning our backs on the animals sooner or later.

    woops off post

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