Parenting Payment

Verify your relationship status - single parents

Single parents on Parenting Payment or Newstart Allowance with dependent children need to verify their relationship status. We'll write to you about how to do this.

Why we’re asking you to verify details

We ask you to verify your relationship so we can check you're getting paid the right amount. This helps you to avoid getting a debt.

Single parents will verify their relationship status as part of a new Newstart Allowance or Parenting Payment claim. This is if they claim after 20 September 2018.

We’ll also ask you to verify if you’re getting a payment and your circumstances change. For example, you separate from your partner and have dependent children in your care.

Read more about how we assess your relationship status.

When we'll write to you

If you’re a single parent getting Newstart Allowance or Parenting Payment before 20 September 2018

We’ll write to you between January 2018 and November 2021 and ask you to verify your single relationship status.

If your circumstances change

You’ll need to verify your relationship status if you’re getting Newstart Allowance or Parenting Payment Partnered and become single.

We’ll write to you if you’re getting:

  • Newstart and you change to the single with dependent children payment rate, or
  • Parenting Payment Partnered and you claim Parenting Payment Single

How to update your relationship status now

If you’re no longer single you must tell us. You need to let us know you have a partner as it may affect your payment. To do this you need to use a separate form.

If you haven’t received a letter from us yet, read more about telling us about your relationship now.

It’s important you tell us if your situation changes so you don’t get a debt.

What you need to do

When you get the letter in the mail or in your myGov Inbox you need to take these actions.

  1. Download the Verification of Relationship Status form.
  2. Ask an independent person – a referee – to verify your current relationship status by completing the form with you.
  3. Once you’ve completed the form, return it within 28 days.

You can return the form:

Department of Human Services
Reply Paid 7802
Canberra ACT 2610

Who can be a referee

A referee is an independent person who can verify your current relationship status. They must be over 18 and can’t be an immediate family member. If they provide a false declaration, they may face penalties of up to 12 months in prison.

If you can’t ask a referee

If you haven’t told anyone about your separation, there may not be anyone who can act as your referee. In this case you should contact us as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Page last updated: 20 September 2018