The main income support payment while you’re a young child’s main carer.
- under the limits in the income and assets tests and
- single and caring for a child under 8 or
- partnered and caring for a child under 6
From 1 July 2017, you may need to serve a one week ordinary waiting period when you claim a payment.
Eligibility & payment rates
You must meet the following rules to get Parenting Payment.
Principal carer rules
You must be the principal carer of a child.
If you're single, you must care for at least 1 child younger than 8.
If you have a partner, you must care for at least 1 child younger than 6.
You must meet the residence rules.
Income and assets rules
You and your partner’s income and assets must be below the limits for Parenting Payment.
You may need to:
- meet mutual obligation requirements
- agree to have a job plan
Read more about mutual obligation requirements and exemptions for principal carers.
Your payment rate will depend on your family situation. We update rates on 20 March and 20 September each year. The table is a guide only.
|If you're||the most you can get each fortnight is|
|single||$748.10 including the Pension Supplement|
|in a couple||$483.60|
|in a couple, separated due to illness, respite care or prison||$579.30|
The amount of Parenting Payment you get depends on you and your partner’s income and assets.
To claim Parenting Payment you must be:
- an Australian resident, and
- in Australia
To keep getting Parenting Payment
To keep getting Parenting Payment you must continue to be an Australian resident.
How long you need to have been a resident
What may be different
You may be exempt from serving the 104 week period if you:
- arrived in Australia as a refugee, or
- hold a specific visa subclass, or
- became a single parent during the most recent period of time you have spent living in Australia
If you don’t meet these rules but you’ve lived or worked in a country that has a social security agreement with Australia, the agreement may help you to claim.
Check if you're eligible before you start your claim.
- find out what you need before you start your claim
- fill in your claim form
- submit the form and other documents we ask for
- wait for us to assess your claim and tell you the result
Managing your payment
If you’re single, your Parenting Payment will stop once your youngest child turns 8 years old. When your youngest child turns 6, to keep getting your payment you’ll have to meet part time mutual obligation requirements.
They focus on getting you job ready as part of a job plan. You may need to look for work, work part time, study or take part in an approved activity. You must attend any appointments we make.
Read more about Mutual Obligation Requirements.
Support is available if you want to return to work before your youngest child turns 6 years old. Contact an employment services provider through the jobactive website.
Not meeting your mutual obligation requirements as a job seeker can affect your Centrelink payment.
We need to know about changes that could reduce or stop your payment. If you don’t tell us when these changes happen, you may be doing the wrong thing.
You may get part of your income support early. This is an advance. You pay it back out of your normal payments from us.
We may pay Parenting Payment if you leave Australia for a short time. You must keep meeting Parenting Payment rules at all times.
Some people can get income support payments each week instead of each fortnight.
We need to know what you and your partner earn so we pay you the right amount.
If you’re getting Parenting Payment and reach age pension age, you can transfer to Age Pension.
The Australian government is delivering payments in some areas using a Cashless Debit Card.
You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.
jobactive is a service that helps connect you with employers and find work.
Read about jobactive on the Department of Employment website.
ParentsNext connects you to local support services to help you with your study and work goals. ParentsNext is available in 10 local government areas.
Read more about ParentsNext.
The Skills for Education and Employment program may help you improve your speaking, reading, writing or maths.
Read about Skills for Education and Employment.
If you live in a remote area the Community Development Programme can help you contribute to your community and gain skills and training while you look for work.
Read more about the Community Development Programme.
Find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for. You can also work out what a change in circumstance might mean for the payments and services you currently receive from us.
We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.
Read about how to manage your money.
- Centrelink online accounts
- Dad and Partner Pay
- Education Entry Payment
- Energy Supplement
- Health Care Card
- Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance
- Mobility Allowance
- Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement
- Pension Supplement
- Pensioner Concession Card
- Pensioner Education Supplement
- Pharmaceutical Allowance
- Rent Deduction Scheme
- Schoolkids Bonus
- Skills for Education and Employment
- Telephone Allowance
- Parental Leave Pay