- care for a child where both parents are deceased, or
- care for a child where one parent is deceased and the other parent is in prison, a psychiatric or nursing home, or is of unknown whereabouts, or
- care for a child who is a refugee and the parents are outside of Australia or of unknown whereabouts
- care for the child at least 35 per cent of the time
Eligibility & payment rates
Eligibility for Double Orphan Pension
You may be eligible to claim Double Orphan Pension for a child if you meet:
One of these requirements
The child’s parents or adoptive parents are both deceased.
One of the child’s parents is deceased and the other parent is in long-term imprisonment, or is on remand for an offence punishable by long-term imprisonment, or lives in a psychiatric institution or nursing home on a long-term basis, or is of unknown whereabouts.
The child is a refugee and has not at any time lived in Australia with either or both parents, and his or her parents are outside Australia or are of unknown whereabouts.
And all of these requirements
You provide care for the child for at least 35 per cent of the time.
You receive Family Tax Benefit for the child, or would but your family’s income is too high or the child is in receipt of a prescribed education payment—for example, ABSTUDY or Veterans Children Education Scheme.
The child is under 16 years, or a full-time student aged 16–19 years and they do not get Youth Allowance. A young person aged 19 will be eligible for Double Orphan Pension up to the end of the calendar year in which they turn 19 as long as they are in full-time secondary study.
The child does not receive Double Orphan Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
You do not have to meet income and assets tests to qualify for Double Orphan Pension. Double Orphan Pension is not taxed.
We review your circumstances every 2 years to make sure you are getting the correct payment amount. If your, or your family’s, circumstances change this may affect your payment.
Payment rates for Double Orphan Pension
The Double Orphan Pension payment rate is $59.30 per fortnight and is not taxed.
You may receive an additional amount of Double Orphan Pension depending on the amount of Family Tax Benefit paid for the child before they became an orphan.
Double Orphan Pension payment rates are adjusted on 1 January each year and reviewed every two years or when your circumstances change.
Residence requirements for Double Orphan Pension
To be eligible for Double Orphan Pension you must satisfy residence requirements. You must be living in Australia and:
- have Australian citizenship, or
- hold a permanent visa, or
- hold a special category visa, or
- hold either a partner provisional, interdependency or temporary protection visa
Your child must also meet the residence requirements or be living with you and you must continue to meet the residence requirements for as long as you get this payment.
If you have lived or worked in a country with which Australia has an international social security agreement, it may help you meet these residence requirements.
Other benefits while receiving Double Orphan Pension
If you qualify for Double Orphan Pension, you may be entitled to other payments and benefits, such as:
Once you have read about eligibility the next steps are:
- register an intent to claim
- complete the claim form
- provide supporting documentation
- submit your claim
- we will assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
You can do most of your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service. There are options using mobile apps, online accounts or phone self service.
Change of circumstances while receiving Double Orphan Pension
You need to tell us if your or the child’s circumstances change. For example, if:
Double Orphan Pension while travelling outside Australia
From 1 July 2014, the length of time you can be paid Double Orphan Pension while temporarily outside Australia will reduce from 3 years to 56 weeks.
If you or your children leave Australia to live in another country, your payment will stop on departure, unless you qualify for Double Orphan Pension under an international social security agreement.
If you are overseas, as long as you remain an Australian resident you can continue being paid for up to 56 weeks outside Australia. If you or your children are overseas for longer than 56 weeks, return to Australia and then leave again within 6 weeks, Double Orphan Pension will stop on your next departure.
If you have a Partner Provisional Visa subclasses 309 and 820, or Interdependency Visa subclass 310 or 826, you will only be paid outside Australia for a negotiated period of up to 6 weeks, for the following approved reasons:
- an acute family crisis, for example to visit an immediate family member who is critically ill
- humanitarian reasons, for example to adopt a child or attend custody proceedings, or
- eligible medical treatment that is not available in Australia
If you have a Temporary Protection Visa, you will not be paid Double Orphan Pension if you leave Australia for any reason.
Australian Defence Force members deployed overseas or Australian Federal Police engaged in peacekeeping or capacity building activities overseas, may be paid for longer than the usual period up to a maximum of 3 years.
Advising us of your travel outside Australia
You should tell us if you or your dependent children are leaving Australia and:
- will be away for longer than 6 weeks
- are paid under the terms of a social security agreement, or
- you hold a Partner Provisional or Interdependency visa and you are leaving due to an acute family crisis, for medical treatment overseas or for humanitarian reasons
Otherwise you do not need to tell us if you are leaving Australia. We will be advised automatically by Australia's immigration department when you leave Australia and when you return.
Someone to deal with us on your behalf
If you want someone else to handle your Centrelink, Child Support or Medicare business you can authorise them to deal with us on your behalf.
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