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- single and care for a child under 8, or
- have a partner and care for a child under 6
- meet an income and assets test
Eligibility & payment rates
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.
Eligibility for Parenting Payment
Parenting payment is paid to the principal carer of a child. Only 1 parent or guardian can receive the payment. You may qualify for Parenting Payment as a parent, grandparent, or foster carer, if:
- you are single and care for at least 1 child aged less than 8, or
- you have a partner and care for at least 1 child aged less than 6, and
- the income and assets of both you and your partner (if you have one) are below certain amounts
- you meet residency requirements
- are able to meet participation requirements if needed
Payment rates for Parenting Payment
The amount of Parenting Payment you get depends on your family situation. The rates are updated on 20 March and 20 September each year.
|Family situation||Maximum fortnightly payment|
|Single||$683.50 (includes the Pension Supplement)|
|Couple, separated due to illness, respite care, or prison||$537.80|
Income and assets tests for Parenting Payment
The amount of Parenting Payment you get depends on the income and assets of both you and your partner, if you have one.
Residency requirements for Parenting Payment
To meet residency requirements you and your children must be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day that you lodge your claim.
To be an Australian resident, you must be living in Australia as:
- an Australian citizen
- the holder of a permanent resident visa, or
- the holder of a special-category visa - that is, someone with a New Zealand passport living in Australia, or
- a New Zealand citizen who was in Australia on 26 February 2001 or for 12 months in the 2 years immediately before that date, or who was assessed before 26 February 2004 as 'protected'
Newly arrived residents generally have a 2-year waiting period. Some exemptions apply for refugees, holders of certain other permanent visas, Australian citizens, and in some circumstances their partners and dependent children.
Other benefits while receiving Parenting Payment
If you qualify for Parenting Payment, you may also be entitled to other payments and services, such as:
Once you have read about eligibility the next steps are:
- register an intent to claim and start the claim process
- provide supporting documentation
- complete a claim
- we will assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
Change of circumstances while receiving Parenting Payment
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you are receiving a payment. For example, if:
- your child stops living with you
- your relationship changes and you become partnered
- your relationship changes and you are no longer partnered
- your personal circumstances change
- you are getting child-support payments, and the amount changes
- you change your address
- your income changes
- you do not have to lodge a tax return
- your care arrangements change
- your work or study load changes
- you leave Australia
If you do not tell us about the changes within 14 days your payment may be affected. You may be overpaid benefits and you will probably have to pay the money back.
If you deliberately do not tell us about changes, you could be charged with fraud, and a recovery fee may be imposed.
Participation requirements while receiving Parenting Payment
If you receive Parenting Payment (single), from the time your youngest child turns 6 you will have compulsory part-time participation requirements. The activities could include applying for jobs; taking a course or other study; or working part time.
Personal Contact Interviews
You will need to regularly attend Personal Contact Interviews so we can talk with you about your agreed activities and help you with anything that may be impacting on your participation in these activities. These interviews can be either face-to-face in your local service centre or over the phone, depending on your circumstances.
Advance payment options
You may be eligible to receive part of your Centrelink payment in advance. Accessing an advance payment depends on the type of payment you receive, how long you have been receiving it and the amount that you receive.
Payments paid while outside Australia
There are rules about getting your payment when you leave Australia.
Information you need to know about your claim
Read the Information you need to know about your claim for Parenting Payment booklet.
Helping Young Parents
If you are aged 19 or younger, receive Parenting Payment and live in 1 of 10 selected Local Government Areas, we will provide you with extra assistance as part of our Helping Young Parents measure.
We will ask you to meet with us every 6 months from when your child turns 6 months old. When your child turns 1, we will meet with you to help you develop a plan that suits you so you can work toward achieving your year 12 certificate or an equivalent qualification. We will also give you information about local services that are available to assist you in caring for your children.
Language, Literacy and Numeracy Program
Language, literacy and numeracy training is available to people who receive certain Centrelink payments. The training can improve your chances of getting and keeping a job by developing speaking, reading, writing and basic maths skills.