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Carer Payment extension to also assist parents otherwise affected by Welfare to Work reforms.



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ARTICLE

Paul NEVILLE MP

paulneville.com.au

Carer Payment extension to also assist parents otherwise affected by Welfare to Work reforms Tuesday, 13 September 2005

Carers of children with severe intellectual, psychiatric or behavioural disabilities that result in challenging behaviour may be eligible for the Carer Payment under new measures announced yesterday. Member for Hinkler Paul Neville, a long-time advocate of parents caring for disabled

children, said eligibility for the Carer Payment will give more support to several thousand people, including many parents who may otherwise be affected by the Coaltion’s Welfare-to-Work changes. “It’s expected that these changes, which will take effect from July 1 2006, will benefit some parents who currently receive Parenting Payment and who under the Welfare to Work package would otherwise be expected to undertake part-time work when their youngest child reaches the age of six,” Mr Neville said. “These changes to Carer Payment, worth about $57 million over four years, underline the Coalition’s strong commitment to supporting the needs of carers around Australia.” Carer Payment is an income support payment with a single rate of $476.30 per fortnight and a partnered rate of $397.70 for each person per fortnight. “In July 1998 the Coalition Government extended eligibility for Carer Payment to primary carers of children aged under 16 years who have a profound disability, a payment not available under Labor,” Mr Neville said. “We will now extend eligibility to help more people who, because of the demands of their caring role, are unable to support themselves through substantial participation in the workforce.” “This will include carers of children with severe intellectual, psychiatric or behavioural disabilities that may result in challenging behaviours.” Earlier this year, Mr Neville led a debate in Federal Parliament drawing the Government’s attention to the plight of Australian families living with severely disabled children. Mr Neville raised the matter after meeting with the fathers of 12 disabled Bundaberg children late last year, and specifically called on the Government to recognise the role of parents raising profoundly disabled children and acknowledge the challenges faced by these parents in respect of caring, respite and funding of special equipment and services. “These children often require constant supervision for their safety and the safety of others, and quite often they are unable to attend school, which prevents their parents and/or carers from taking up substantial paid employment.”

Further aspects of the Welfare to Work package will be announced shortly.