Within Australia, Federal Government generated parenting payments are managed through Centrelink. Payments are designed to help parents support the cost of one or more children and are separate from other forms of government assistance. In New Zealand the Ministry of Social Development is responsible for administering the Domestic Purposes Benefits (DPB). See section below on New Zealand specific information.
Due to the complexity of many families, parenting payments may be extended to include grandparents, foster and kinship carers. The payment is made to the person who is the main carer and is usually delivered in fortnightly instalments directly into a designated bank account.
If you fit the criteria for receiving parenting payment as a single parent, you may need to attend a training course or prove you are seeking employment. From your youngest child’s 6th birthday you will need to show evidence that you are doing this. This is known as an Employment Pathway Plan. Supports and incentives are available for single parents who show motivation to become employed and no longer rely wholly on parenting payments. Access to subsidised child care, training, return to work programmes and updating of skills are all available through Centrelink.
The amount of parenting payment you qualify for depends on your own and your partner’s income and assets. Full, as well as part payments, are provided to eligible families. In cases where there is some income, a part payment is estimated based on the fortnightly earnings coming into the household.
Other Entitlements for Those Who Meet the Criteria May Include:
Centrelink has very clear frameworks for when and how they provide parenting payments. Each year, thousands of dollars is paid to individuals who no longer qualify for federal government support.
If your conditions or circumstances change, if you start working or you re-partner then you need to tell Centrelink about this.
They need to know within 14 days so they can make the necessary changes to your details.
Some examples of change would be
Each year, thousands of people need to repay Centrelink for overpaid money to which they were not entitled. If you feel you have made a genuine mistake in underestimating your income or have not been able to contact Centrelink don’t delay advising them. Being charged with fraud constitutes a major offence.
In order to be paid Family Tax Benefit Part A and Family Tax Benefit Part B you will need to meet the criteria for an income test. Some assets are excluded from needing to be tested.
You have the right of appeal if you feel you are entitled to financial and other support but have been denied. The Social Security Appeals Tribunal and Administrative Appeals Tribunal both provide a means of fair appraisal of claims when individuals feel they have been unjustly denied payments.