Double Orphan Pension
Help with the costs of caring for orphaned children or children who are unable to be cared for by their parents in certain circumstances.
- care for the child at least 35% of the time, and
- care for a child where both parents are deceased
- care for a child where one parent is deceased and the other parent is in prison for at least 10 years, a psychiatric or nursing home for an indefinite period, 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
Eligibility & payment rates
You may be eligible for Double Orphan Pension if all of the following apply:
- you provide care for the child for at least 35% of the time
- you receive Family Tax Benefit for the child, or would but your family's income is too high or the child receives a prescribed education payment, such as ABSTUDY or Veterans' Children Education Scheme
- the child is younger than 16 years of age, or a full time student 16 to 19 years of age and they don’t receive Youth Allowance - a person 19 years of age will be eligible for Double Orphan Pension up to the end of the calendar year in which they turn 19 years of age as long as they are in full time secondary study
- the child does not receive an orphan pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, and
- you and the child satisfy residency requirements
And one of the following applies:
- the child's parents or adoptive parents are both deceased
- the child is a refugee and has not, at any time, lived in Australia with either or both parents, and the child’s parents are outside Australia or are of unknown whereabouts, or
- one of the child's parents is deceased and the other parent is:
- in a term of imprisonment for at least 10 years
- on remand for an offence punishable by a long term of imprisonment for at least 10 years
- in a psychiatric institution or nursing home for an indefinite period, or
- of unknown whereabouts
You do not have to meet income and assets tests to qualify for Double Orphan Pension.
Double Orphan Pension is paid at $62 per fortnight and is not taxed.
You may receive an additional amount depending on the amount of Family Tax Benefit paid for the child immediately before they became an orphan.
Payment rates are adjusted on 1 January each year and reviewed every 2 years or when your circumstances change to make sure you are receiving the correct payment amount.
To be eligible for Double Orphan Pension you must satisfy residence requirements.
You must be living in Australia and:
- have Australian citizenship
- hold a permanent visa
- 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 the duration of the payment.
If you have lived or worked in a country with which Australia has an international social security agreement, it may help you meet the residence requirements.
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 advise you of the outcome
Managing your payment
Do your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options, including our Express Plus mobile apps, online accounts and phone self service.
For example, not telling us if:
- the child receives an orphan pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
- your personal circumstances change
- you no longer meet the residence requirements
- you change your address
- your care arrangements change, or
- you or the child leave Australia, even for a short time
Doing the right thing is easy:
- tell us about any changes to your circumstances as soon as possible
- regularly check that your information is up to date through your myGov account
It is never too late to report a change. By telling us about any changes today, we can help make sure you receive the correct payment.
If you have received payments you are not eligible for, you may have to repay the amount. Having to repay a debt may be difficult but choosing not to tell us when your circumstances change could lead to far more serious consequences.
If you deliberately do not tell us when your circumstances change, you could be committing fraud. Read more about how to avoid committing fraud.
To get your payment while outside Australia you must continue to meet the qualification rules for Double Orphan Pension.
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.
There is support available to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.
Getting control of your money can be hard, but we’ve got some great advice and tools to help. Read more about budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt, to help manage your money.
Select the options that describe your circumstances then explore a suggested list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.