Raising children is not getting any less expensive or any easier, so it’s definitely worth finding out what help you can get. It’s important not only for the health and well-being of the child or children, but for yours too. Help may be financial (through child care payments – family tax benefit, newborn upfront payments, child care benefits – and Medicare services), counselling or advice – often these can be essential in difficult times. It’s not uncommon for seniors to find themselves caring for the younger generation all over again, either as grandparents or as non-parent carers and providing care that goes beyond helping parents with babysitting and the school run.
The government’s specialist Grandparents Advisors can help you find the most appropriate options for your own particular circumstances, so you need to talk to them. This snapshot illustrates how many different schemes and allowances are available:
You may also be able to access rent assistance, carer payments, carer allowances, Centrepay or other financial information services.
The process of working out what you’re eligible for starts simply with making a call to the Grandparent Adviser Line on Freecall™ 1800 245 965. (This is free if you call from your home phone.) If you’re deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact them through a TTY phone on Freecall™ 1800 810 586.
More information is available on line at, www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/grandparent-advisers