Double Orphan Pension

Helps with the costs of caring for orphaned children or children who are unable to be cared for by their parents.

Eligibility basics

To receive Double Orphan Pension you must care for the child at least 35% of the time because:

  • both parents are deceased
  • one parent is deceased and the other parent is imprisoned for at least 10 years, in a psychiatric institution or nursing home for an indefinite period, their whereabouts are unknown, or
  • the child is a refugee and both parents are outside of Australia or their whereabouts are unknown

Eligibility & payment rates

Who can receive it

You can receive Double Orphan Pension if:

  • you care for the child at least 35% of the time
  • you receive Family Tax Benefit for the child, or you could receive it but:
    • your family's income is too high, or
    • the child receives a prescribed education payment, such as ABSTUDY
  • the child doesn’t receive an orphan pension from the Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • you and the child meet the residence rules, or
  • the child is:
    • younger than 16 years of age, or
    • 16 to 19 years of age, a full time student and doesn’t receive Youth Allowance

One of the following must also apply:

  • the child’s parents or adoptive parents have both died
  • the child is a refugee who hasn’t lived in Australia with their parents, and:
    • has parents outside Australia, or
    • doesn’t know where their parents are
  • one of the child’s parents has died and the other parent is:
    • in prison for at least 10 years
    • in custody and could be sentenced to 10 years in prison
    • in a psychiatric institution or nursing home for an indefinite period, or
    • of unknown whereabouts

There are no income or assets tests.

How much you receive

You can receive $62.60 a fortnight untaxed.

You may receive more depending on how much Family Tax Benefit we paid before the child became an orphan.

We update payment rates on 1 January each year.


To make sure you receive the right amount, we review your payment:

  • every 2 years, or
  • when your circumstances change

Residence rules

On the day you claim Double Orphan Pension, you must be living in Australia and either:

The child must also meet these rules or be living with you.

To keep getting Double Orphan Pension

You must continue to meet these rules for as long as you get this payment.

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
  • register an intent to claim
  • fill in your claim form
  • submit the form and other documents we ask for, and
  • wait for us to assess your claim and tell you the result


Managing your payment

Try self service

Do your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options, including our Express Plus mobile apps, online accounts and phone self service.

Read more about using self service.

Change of circumstances

You need to report any changes to your circumstances.

Read more about reporting your change of circumstances

While travelling outside Australia

There are rules about how long your Double Orphan Pension can be paid while you, or the children for whom you receive this payment, travel outside Australia.

Read more about Double Orphan Pension while travelling outside Australia

Someone to deal with us on your behalf

If you want someone else to deal with us, you can authorise them to enquire, act or get payments for you.

Read more about someone to deal with us on your behalf

My bank account is overdrawn

You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.

Read more about what to do if your account is overdrawn


Manage your money


We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.

Read about how to manage your money.

Payment and Service Finder

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.

Start using Payment and Service Finder

Page last updated: 27 August 2017