Changes to Parenting Payment

The rules have changed for people who started receiving Parenting Payment before 1 July 2006. The same rules now apply to these parents as to someone who is claiming for the first time.

From 1 January 2013, you are no longer eligible for Parenting Payment when your youngest child turns:

  • 6 years of age if you receive Parenting Payment Partnered, or
  • 8 years of age if you receive Parenting Payment Single

We understand this change may not be easy for you and there is support available to help you. We will arrange an interview for you at your local service centre to talk about this change and your options.

How you will be affected

Any changes for you will depend on whether you are receiving the single or partnered rate of Parenting Payment. If you move to Newstart Allowance you will still be able to access a lot of the same allowances you could while you were on Parenting Payment.

If you are on Parenting Payment Single and you move to Newstart Allowance your payment may be less. Some parents will be eligible for a higher rate of Newstart Allowance, which is the same amount as Parenting Payment Single. Single principal carers with large families of 4 or more, foster carers, relative (non parent) caring under a court order, and those who are providing home schooling or distance education have access to this higher rate. If this applies to you we can help you with your claim in your interview.

Parenting Payment and Newstart Allowance comparison

Find out what you can access if you are eligible for Newstart Allowance compared with Parenting Payment.

Parenting Payment (Partnered) and Newstart Allowance (partnered)

 Parenting Payment PartneredNewstart Allowance
Maximum rate per fortnight$452.30$452.30
Income test

Income between $62 - $250 per fortnight reduces your payment by 50 cents in the dollar

Income above $250 per fortnight reduces your payment by 60 cents in the dollar

Partner income above $848 a fortnight also reduces your payment by 60 cents in the dollar

Maximum income so still can to receive part paymentCombined income of $1,708.00 per fortnightCombined income of $1,708.00 per fortnight
Advance PaymentEvery 12 monthsEvery 12 months
Pensioner Concession CardNoNo
Health Care CardYesYes
Pensioner Education SupplementN/AN/A
Pharmaceutical AllowanceMust be over 60 years of age and on income support for nine monthsMust be over 60 years of age and on income support for nine months
Rent AssistanceYesYes
Mobility AllowanceYesYes
Telephone AllowanceMust be over 60 years of age and on income support for nine monthsMust be over 60 years of age and on income support for nine months
Read more aboutParenting PaymentNewstart Allowance

Parenting Payment (Single) and Newstart Allowance

 Parenting Payment SingleNewstart Allowance
Maximum rate per fortnight$699.90$542.10
Income testIncome over $176.60 per fortnight (plus $24.60 for each additional child) reduces your payment by 40 cents in the dollarIncome over $62 per fortnight reduces your payment by 40 cents in the dollar
Maximum income so still can to receive part payment$1,959.60 per fortnight (plus $24.60 for each additional child)$1,440.25
Advance PaymentEvery 12 monthsEvery 12 months
Pensioner Concession Card*YesYes
Health Care Card**NoNo
Pensioner Education SupplementYesOnly until you complete your current course
Pharmaceutical AllowanceYesYes
Rent AssistanceYesYes
Mobility AllowanceYesYes
Telephone AllowanceYesYes
Read more aboutParenting PaymentNewstart Allowance

From 1 January 2014, customers who are no longer eligible for Parenting Payment Single, due to their youngest child turning eight years of age, will still be entitled to their Pensioner Concession Card for a period of 12 weeks from the date their payment is cancelled.

What you need to do

We will send you a letter inviting you to an interview with us to talk about your current family circumstances as well as any other payments and services you may be eligible for. It is important that you go to this interview.

How we can help you

At your interview we will help you apply for payments you may be eligible for and talk to you about other support available to help you move into employment, education or training. We will give you information about local support services available for you and your family, including child care and career advice services.

We can also refer you to a Job Services Australia or Disability Employment Services provider if you don’t already have one.

Read more about the support available to you as a job seeker.

Help with child care

We offer payments to help with the costs of child care. Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate and Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance could help with child care costs when you are at work.

Read more about these Child Care Payments.

Visit mychild.gov.au to find information about different types of child care available in your area. The site also has useful information about child health and wellbeing, parenting and family support services.

Participation requirements

You may already have participation requirements and an Employment Pathway Plan. If you do not, and you start receiving Newstart Allowance, you will need to have one.

To keep getting payments, you will need to look for work for at least 15 hours per week or spend 30 hours a fortnight in a combination of paid work, training or study. You may already be meeting these requirements.

Changes to the income test for single principal carers

The income test for single principal carers on Newstart Allowance has also changed. You can earn up to $400 more per fortnight before losing your payment than you could under the previous Newstart Allowance rules. This means your payments will reduce by only 40 cents for each dollar of income you earn above $62 per fortnight.

Read more about the income test for Newstart Allowance.

Support you may be eligible for

You may be eligible for other support from the Australian Government.

Reporting your income

If you are eligible for Newstart Allowance, you will still need to report your earnings for Parenting Payment before you receive your first Newstart Allowance payment. This is because there are different income tests for Parenting Payment and Newstart Allowance

There will be no change to what day you have to lodge your Reporting Statement with Centrelink once you start on Newstart Allowance.

Find out more about Reporting Statements for Newstart Allowance.