Income support for parents or guardians to help with the cost of raising children.
- single and care for a child younger than 8 years, or
- have a partner and care for a child younger than 6 years
- meet an income and assets test
Eligibility & payment rates
Parenting Payment is paid to the principal carer of a child. Only 1 parent or guardian can be the principal carer and 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 younger than 8 years of age, or
- you have a partner and care for at least 1 child younger than 6 years of age, and
- the income and assets of both you and your partner if you have one are below certain amounts
- you meet residence requirements
- you agree to have a Job Plan if you have Mutual Obligation Requirements
- you meet Mutual Obligation Requirements if needed
You may have Mutual Obligation Requirements as a principal carer.
Read more about Mutual Obligation Requirements and exemptions for principal carer.
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||$737.10 (includes the Pension Supplement)|
|Couple, separated due to illness, respite care, or prison||$570.80|
The amount of Parenting Payment you get depends on the income and assets of both you and your partner, if you have one.
To be eligible for Parenting Payment you must satisfy residence requirements. You must be an Australian resident and you must:
- have been an Australian resident for a period, or periods, that total 104 weeks, or
- be exempt from this requirement, for example, if you are a refugee or have become a lone parent during your most recent period of Australian residence
You must also:
- meet residence requirements on the day you lodge your claim. Generally you will need to be physically present in Australia on the day you lodge your claim, and
- 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.
Check if you are eligible for this payment before you start your claim.
Once you have read about eligibility, the next steps are:
- find out what you need before you start your claim
- begin a claim
- submit your claim
- provide your supporting documentation
We will assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
Mutual Obligation Requirements are activities you need to do to continue to get your income support payment and increase your chances of finding work.
If you do not tell us when your circumstances change, you may be doing the wrong thing.
For example, not telling us if:
- your child stops living with you
- another child comes into your care
- 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, or
- your work or study load changes
Doing the right thing is easy:
- tell us about any changes to your circumstances within 14 days
- 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 plus a recovery fee may also be applied. 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
If you receive Parenting Payment (single), from the time your youngest child turns 6 years of age you will have compulsory part time Mutual Obligation Requirements. These activities could include looking for work, taking a course or other study, participating in an approved activity or working part time.
If you do not meet your Mutual Obligation Requirements as a job seeker, your income support payment may be affected.
You may be eligible to receive part of your income support payment in advance depending on how long you have been getting it and the amount that you get.
To get your payment while outside Australia you must continue to meet the qualification rules for Parenting Payment.
In certain circumstances you may be eligible to receive your income support payment weekly, instead of fortnightly.
How much you earn affects your payment. We need to know what you have earned each fortnight so you are paid the right amount.
Parenting Payment can continue to be paid to people who are over age pension age.
The Australian government is trialling a new way of delivering welfare payments using a cashless debit card.
There is support available to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.
jobactive is the government’s employment services system.
If you have any questions, speak to your jobactive provider.
Read more about jobactive on the Department of Employment website or call their National Customer Service Line on 1800 805 260.
ParentsNext connects you to support services in your local community to help you plan and prepare for future employment. ParentsNext operates in 10 Local Government Areas.
A program to help develop speaking, reading, writing or basic maths skills to improve the chances of you getting and keeping a job.
Read more about Skills for Education and Employment.
Select the options that describe your circumstances, then explore a suggested list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
Select your state and topics of interest to find links to government and community organisation support.
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.
- Centrelink online accounts
- Clean Energy Advance
- Dad and Partner Pay
- Education Entry Payment
- Energy Supplement
- Health Care Card
- Income Support Bonus
- 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