There are many reasons why people become carers. Some people may feel it is part of their responsibility as a friend or family member to take on a caring role. Others may take on the role because there is no one else available or willing to provide the care needed
A carer provides ongoing support, care or assistance to a person with disability or a chronic illness (which includes mental illness) or who is frail, without receiving a salary or wage for the care they provide.
This definition summarises section 5 of the Carers Recognition Act 2004 which provides the Western Australian legal definition on a carer. A copy of the Act can be found at www.slp.wa.gov.au
Carers WA is the peak body for carers in WA and provides a wide range of carer supports, with a key focus on information, advice, counselling and social supports. Carers across the state can access the majority of these services for free.
Contact 1300 227 377 or www.carerswa.asn.au
Commonwealth Respite & Carelink Centres (CRCC)
The Commonwealth Respite & Carelink Centres are information centres for carers, older people, people with disabilities and service providers, They provide free and confidential information on community aged care, disability and other support services available locally, interstate or anywhere within Australia. The Centres can help arrange respite, when carers need to take a break from their caring role.
Contact 1800 052 222
The Department of Human Services (formerly Centrelink)
The Department of Human Services have several payments that may be available to carers who provide daily care to someone with a severe disability or medical condition or someone who is frail.
Carer Payment: Provides financial support to people who are unable to work in substantial paid employment because they provide full time daily care to someone with a severe disability or medical condition, or to someone who is frail aged, for more information on eligibility requirements contact the Department of Human Services.
Carer Allowance: Is a supplementary payments for parents or carers providing additional daily care to an adult or dependant child with a disability or medical condition, or to someone who is frail aged.
Carers Line: 132 717 or www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/themes/carers
Carers WA has produced a number of fact sheets for carers from Culturally and Linguistically Divers CaLD backgrounds. The fact sheets contain information about the programs and services offered by Carers WA and are available in 10 languages, to access www.carerswa.asn.au/publications/cald-factsheets/
Carers Counselling Line: 1800 007 332 (free call)
Free Transport for Carers
As of 1 May 2013, eligible carers can now travel free of charge on all Transperth bus, train and ferry services during off-peak periods. That is, between 9:00am and 3.30pm Monday to Friday, and all day Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
To access free transport carers must receive the Commonwealth Carer Payment and apply for a Pensioner SmartRIDER.
Applications for the Pensioner SmartRider can be made at Transperth InfoCentres and at SmartRider Retail Sales Outlets. Alternatively application forms can be requested via the Transperth InfoLine 13 62 13 or download www.transperth.wa.gov.au