Parenting Payment

The main income support payment while you’re a young child’s main carer.

Eligibility basics

You must have income and assets below the limits, and be the principal carer of a child:

  • younger than 8 if you’re single, or
  • younger than 6 if you have a partner

You can’t claim Parenting Payment before the birth of your child.

From 1 January 2018, you need to confirm your relationship status if you’re a single parent on Parenting Payment or Newstart Allowance.

Eligibility & payment rates

Who can get it

You must meet certain criteria to get Parenting Payment.

Read more about who can get Parenting Payment

Residence rules

To get Parenting Payment you must be an Australian resident and in Australia.

Read more about residence rules

Income and assets tests

Your and your partner’s income and assets must be below the limits for Parenting Payment. The amount you get depends on your and your partner’s income and assets.

Read more about income and assets tests for Parenting Payment

How much you can get

How much Parenting Payment you can get depends on your family situation.

Read more about how much Parenting Payment you can get

Waiting periods

You may have to wait before your payments start.

Read more about waiting periods


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

You can’t claim Parenting Payment before the birth of your child.


Managing your payment

Mutual obligation requirements

When your youngest child turns 6, to keep getting Parenting Payment you’ll have to meet part time mutual obligation requirements.

Read more about mutual obligation requirements

If you don't meet your mutual obligation requirements

Not meeting your mutual obligation requirements as a job seeker can affect your Centrelink Payment.

Read more about if you don't meet your mutual obligation requirements

Change of circumstances

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.

Read more about reporting your change of circumstances

Confirm your relationship status - single parents

From 1 January 2018, if you’re single parent on Parenting Payment or Newstart Allowance with dependent children, we’ll write to you to confirm your relationship.

Read more about confirming your relationship status

Advance payment

You may get part of your income support early. This is an advance. You pay it back out of your normal payments from us.

Read more about advance payment

If you travel outside Australia

We may continue to pay Parenting Payment if you leave Australia for a short time. You must keep meeting Parenting Payment rules at all times.

Read more about Parenting Payment if you travel outside Australia

Weekly payment option

Some people can get income support payments each week instead of each fortnight.

Read more about weekly payments

Income reporting

How much you or your partner earn affects your payment. We need to know what you and your partner earn so we pay you the right amount.

Read more about income reporting

When you reach age pension age

If you’re getting Parenting Payment and reach age pension age, you can transfer to Age Pension.

Read more about Parenting Payment when you reach age pension age

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


jobactive - helping you get work

jobactive is a service that helps connect you with employers and find work.

Read about jobactive on the Department of Employment website.

ParentsNext - helps you with study and work goals

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.

Improve your skills for education and employment

The Skills for Education and Employment program may help you improve your speaking, reading, writing or maths.

Read about Skills for Education and Employment.

Help to find jobs in remote areas

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 on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

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 get from us.

Start using Payment and Service Finder

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.

Regular deductions using Centrepay

You can use our free and voluntary service to pay bills as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.

Read more about how Centrepay works.

Green Army Programme

Provides training and work experience in environment and heritage conservation for young Australians while generating environmental benefits.

Read more about the Green Army Programme

Page last updated: 15 November 2017