Are you dependent? 7 parental income facts you need to know

19 September 2019

Do you know how your parents’ income affects your payment?

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When your parents’ income affects your payment

Your parents’ income usually affects your payment if you’re dependent. In most cases this is if you’re 21 or younger.

When we consider you independent

If you’re 22 or older, we consider you independent.

We may also consider you independent because of your work, relationships or children, or because you can’t live at home.

How much of your parents’ income affects your payment

We include:

Maintenance income includes child support or voluntary maintenance your parent got for any children in their care. If you’re under 16 and get ABSTUDY Living allowance we won’t include maintenance income.

If your parent pays child support to someone else, we subtract this amount from the income we include.

When your parents’ assets affect your payment

Your parents’ or guardians’ assets don’t affect your payment.

How much your parents can earn before it affects your payment

Your parents’ or guardians’ income won’t affect your payment if their total income is $53,728 or less. This amount doesn’t include any maintenance income they may get.

Your payment would reduce from your maximum payment rate for every dollar your parents earn over $53,728.

If you have eligible dependent siblings in your family, your parents can earn more before it affects your payment.

If your parent pays child support, they can earn more before it affects your payment. The extra amount they can earn is the same as the child support amount that they pay.

If your parents get more than a certain amount of maintenance income, this may reduce your payment.

Whose income to report if your parents don’t live together

If you normally or most often live with 1 parent or guardian, we consider their income only.

If you spend equal time living with each parent we'll consider the income of the parent you ask us to.

If you don’t live with either parent now, we consider the income of the parent you last lived with. We do this until we consider you independent.

If your parent has a partner, we also include their income if they normally live with you.

When you live away from your parents’ home

If we consider you dependent, we usually expect that you live with your parents or guardians.

In some cases you may need to live away from your parents’ home to study or look for work. You may get a higher payment rate living away from home.

If we consider that you’re unable to live at home we may consider you independent.

What to do next

Learn more about how parental means can affect your payment.

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Page last updated: 9 October 2019