Where the care receiver is an adult, the care receiver may be in hospital for a maximum of 63 consecutive days or non-consecutive days that amount to 63 days in the calendar year.
Where the care receiver is a child, the care receiver may be in hospital for an unlimited number of days in the calendar year.
In the case of adults or children (including babies who have not been home since birth and care receivers who are terminally ill) who are hospitalised, the carer may qualify if the claim is made while the care receiver is in hospital, providing they meet all qualification requirements. This includes a reasonable expectation that the care receiver will reside in their private home upon leaving hospital and the requisite score under the ADAT (for an adult) or DCLA (for a child) is achieved or the child's disability is a recognised disability, and other criteria as found in the SSAct are met. Backdating provisions may also apply.
Having qualified for CA while an adult care receiver is hospitalised, the carer may at the expiration of the hospitalisation period (63 days), use their temporary cessation of care entitlement (63 days). If both hospitalisation and temporary cessation of care provisions have been used in full within a calendar year AND the care receiver remains in hospital or is readmitted to hospital within the same calendar year, CA should be cancelled. The carer will need to reclaim CA when the care receiver returns home. In this case the carer will not receive further temporary cessation of care or hospitalisation entitlement until the next calendar year unless the delegate deems there is a special reason, under the SSAct section 957(3).
Example: Mr Smith is caring for his wife who enters hospital for a lengthy period on 1 August. As he is participating in his wife's care by helping to feed her and assists in her exercise regime while she is still in hospital, Mr Smith continues to receive CA for 63 days until 2 October. Mr Smith has not used any temporary cessation of care entitlement during the calendar year so payment may be continued for another 63 days, until 4 December. Payment will be cancelled from 5 December. As 63 days temporary cessation of care days and 63 days hospitalisation allowance are credited each calendar year, Mr Smith may reclaim from 1 January the next year. Mr Smith may also reclaim CA if his wife returns to his care before 1 January, but will not receive further temporary cessation of care or hospitalisation allowance until the next calendar year.
A person is allowed 63 days hospitalisation for each adult care receiver for whom the person is qualified for CA in their own right. Where 2 carers each receive a percentage of CA in a shared care situation, the carer receiver may be hospitalised for 63 days and both carers will remain qualified provided they provide care to the care receiver while they are in hospital.
A carer who is admitted to hospital can utilise the temporary cessation of care provisions.
Act reference: SSAct section 954B Qualification for CA-receiving CP for caring for child or children, section 955 Qualification for CA-hospitalisation, section 957(1) Continuation of allowance where temporary cessation of care, section 957(2) Continuation of payment after hospitalisation-s955 ceases to apply, section 957(3) Limit on subsections (1) and (2)
Policy reference: SS Guide 188.8.131.52 Qualification for CA (child) - Automatic Qualification for CA (child) through Qualification for CP (child), 184.108.40.206 Qualification for CA during Temporary Cessation of Care
Last reviewed: 1 July 2010