Verify your relationship status - single parents

Single parents getting or claiming Parenting Payment or Newstart Allowance will need to verify their relationship status.

Has someone asked you to verify their relationship status? Read more about what to do if someone has asked you to be a referee.

Why we ask you to verify your relationship status

We may ask you to verify your relationship status so we can check we’re paying you the right amount. This helps you to avoid a debt.

Read more about your relationship status.

How we ask you to verify your relationship status

You need to ask a third party, a person we call a referee, to verify your relationship status.

The referee will need to complete a form, or they may be able to use an online service. The options available depend on your situation.

Who can act as a referee to verify your relationship status

Your referee must be someone over 18 who can confirm your relationship status. But they can’t be any of the following:

  • your parent or step parent
  • a sibling or child
  • your correspondence nominee
  • your most recent ex-partner.

If they provide a false declaration, they may face penalties of up to 12 months in prison.

Call us on your regular payment line as soon as possible, to discuss your options, if you either:

  • don’t have a suitable referee
  • haven’t told anyone about your separation so there isn’t anyone who can act as your referee.

If someone has asked you to be a referee

If someone asks you to verify their relationship status, there are 2 options available, depending on the situation.

You can use either:

If you can use the online service, you’ll need a Reference Number and Access Code. The person who asked you to be their referee can give you these.

When you already get Parenting Payment or Newstart Allowance

If you’re getting Parenting Payment or Newstart Allowance, there are 2 situations where you need to verify your relationship status.

If we ask you to verify your relationship status

We’ll send a letter to your myGov inbox or in the mail asking you to verify your relationship.

To do this, you must use the Verification of Relationship Status form.

You must give us your completed form within 28 days. You can do this online or post it to:

Department of Human Services
Reply Paid 7802
Canberra ACT 2610

Read more about giving us your Centrelink documents online.

If your circumstances change

We’ll need to verify your relationship status if your circumstances change. For example, this may be because you separate from your partner and have dependent children in your care.

If your circumstances change, tell us by either:

  • calling us on your regular payment line
  • telling us in person at a service centre.

We may ask you to get a referee to verify your relationship status. To do this, you must use the Verification of Relationship Status form.

You must give us your completed form within 28 days. You can submit this online or post it to:

Department of Human Services
Reply Paid 7802
Canberra ACT 2610

Read more about giving us your Centrelink documents online.

When you make a new claim for Parenting Payment or Newstart Allowance

When you make a new claim for Parenting Payment or Newstart Allowance, you need to verify your relationship status.

If you claim online

If you claim online, we’ll ask you to verify your single relationship status during the claim.

If you claim online, your referee has 2 options to verify that you’re single. They can either

If your referee uses the Third Party Logon Service, they’ll need a Reference Number and Access Code. We’ll give these to you in the online claim.

If you claim using a form or over the phone

In these cases, the easiest way to give us the Verification of Relationship Status form is to upload it online.

You must submit the form before you can complete your claim.

If you can’t do this online, you can either:

  • give it to us in person at a service centre
  • post it to:
    Department of Human Services
    Reply Paid 7802
    Canberra ACT 2610

You need to complete the form with your referee. Make sure you follow the instructions in the form.

When your relationship status changes

It’s important to tell us when your relationship status changes so you don’t get a debt. You need to tell us even if we haven’t asked you to verify your relationship status.

If you’re no longer single you must tell us. Having a partner may affect your payment. To tell us, you need to use a different form. You can find the right form under updating relationship changes.

You need to tell us about any change in your situation. Read more about a change in circumstances for:

Page last updated: 6 December 2019