Parenting Payment

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

Eligibility basics

  • have income under the limits
  • meet principal carer rules and care for a child under 8 if you’re single or under 6 if you’re partnered
  • meet residence rules
  • can’t claim before the birth of a child
You may get a letter from us asking you to confirm some details. Read more about how to update or confirm your and your partner’s earnings

Eligibility & payment rates

Who can get it

You must meet certain criteria to get Parenting Payment.

Read more about who can get Parenting Payment

Principal carer rules

To get Parenting Payment you must be the principal carer of a child.

Read more about principal carer rules for 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 meet all the rules 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

If you’re single, when your youngest child turns 6 you’ll have to meet part time requirements to keep getting your payment.

Read more about mutual obligation requirements

Not meeting mutual obligation requirements

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

Read more about not meeting your mutual obligation requirements.

Change of circumstances

We need to know about changes to your or your partner’s situation. If you don’t tell us when these changes happen, you may get a debt you’ll have to pay back.

Read more about reporting your change of circumstances

Verify your relationship status - single parents

If you’re a single parent on Parenting Payment or Newstart Allowance with dependent children, we’ll write to you and ask you to verify your relationship status.

Read more about confirming your relationship status

Advance payment

You may get part of your income support early. This is an advance payment. You pay it back later out of your 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 for your main income support payment.

Read more about updating your family income estimate for FTB and Child Care Benefit. 

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

Start looking for work now using the jobactive website.

Read about jobactive on the Department of Jobs and Small Business 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 receive 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: 21 March 2018