Work, Training, Study test for Child Care Benefit

The number of hours for which you can receive Child Care Benefit depends on whether you and your partner meet the Work, Training, Study test.

Work, Training, Study test

In some circumstances, Child Care Benefit payments have requirements to meet the Work, Training Study test. The test requires that you and your partner be undertaking a work related commitment or have an exemption.

Defining a work-related commitment

A work-related commitment is defined as one or more of these activities:

  • paid work or self-employment
  • setting up a business
  • training or studying
  • looking for work
  • voluntary work to improve your work skills

If you are not doing voluntary work that does not improve work skills it must be undertaken for at least 15 hours a week or 30 hours a fortnight.

Satisfying the Work, Training, Study test in other ways

You will satisfy the Work, Training, Study test if you are either:

  • on annual leave or long service leave
  • on sick or other paid leave
  • on paid or unpaid parental leave, for up to a maximum of 12 months
  • on self-employment leave, including sick leave
  • on carer leave or carer sick leave

You will also satisfy the test if you are:

  • receiving Carer Payment
  • receiving Carer Allowance
  • caring for a person with disability

Exemption from the Work, Training, Study test

You or your partner may be exempt if:

  • you or your partner has a disability, including being eligible for Disability Support Pension
  • you or your partner is overseas or in prison

If you are exempt, your partner must still meet the test. If your partner is exempt you must still meet the test.

You and your partner may both be exempt if:

  • you or your partner is a grandparent with primary care for your grandchild or
  • you are facing exceptional circumstances

Hours of eligible care

Approved care

The number of hours you can receive Child Care Benefit for depends on whether you and your partner meet the Work, Training, Study test.

Up to 24 hours per week

You will get up to 24 hours of Child Care Benefit per child per week without having to meet the Work, Training, Study test for Child Care Benefit.

Up to 50 hours per week

If you and your partner each have work related commitments of at least 15 hours a week or 30 hours a fortnight, you can receive up to 50 hours of Child Care Benefit per child per week.

You can combine activities for the purpose of meeting the Work, Training, Study test. For example, part time or casual work may be combined with study, looking for work or voluntary work that improves work prospects, to calculate the total number of hours you are committed to.

If you are on leave you need to have been working 15 hours or more per week, or 30 hours per fortnight before starting leave to be eligible for up to 50 hours benefit per week.

More than 50 hours per week

In some circumstances, you can receive more than 50 hours of Child Care Benefit per child per week.

If you are receiving your benefit as a fee reduction, you may be eligible for increased hours of Child Care Benefit.

You may be eligible for this extra assistance if you are:

  • single and cannot care for the child or children due to work-related reasons or study
  • partnered and neither of you are able to care for the child or children due to work-related reasons or study
  • partnered and cannot care for the child or children as one of you has work-related reasons or study, and the other has a disability

To request extra assistance, contact us on 136 150.

Work-related reasons can include travel time and sleep of up to 10 hours if the person works evening or night shifts. Study means attending a course to improve work skills or job prospects.

Registered care

Up to 50 hours per week

There are no minimum hours required to meet the test for registered care. You and your partner only have to participate in work-related commitments at some time during the week child care is being provided or have an exemption.

When to notify us of changes

You need to tell us if your or your partner’s Work, Training, Study commitments:

  • reduce to less than 15 hours per week, or 30 hours per fortnight, or
  • increase to 15 hours or more per week, or 30 hours per fortnight

You also need to tell us if you or your partner:

  • no longer meet the requirements for an exemption, or
  • start meeting exemption requirements

You can update your Work, Training, Study test details using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

You don’t need to tell us if the type of activity you are undertaking to meet the test changes, unless the total hours reduce to less than 15 hours per week or increases to 15 hours per week or more.

Page last updated: 26 February 2016

This information was printed Monday 5 December 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/work-training-study-test-child-care-benefit It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.