By Raising Children Network
spacer spacer PInterest spacer
spacer Print spacer Email
 
Mother holding preschooler and toddler
 
The Australian Government offers many different kinds of parenting payments and Centrelink payments. Depending on your situation, your family might be able to get financial help with the costs of parenting and raising children.

Understanding Australian Government parenting payments

It can be hard to understand the different government-funded family benefits and options available to you.

To start with, it helps to know that parenting payments are often income tested or asset tested or both.

Income tested means that the amount you can get (if any) is based on your family’s income or your individual income. This is what you or your family earn.

Assets tested means that the amount you can get (if any) is based on your assets or your family’s assets. This is what you and your family own. The family home isn’t included, but almost everything else is.

It also helps to know that parenting payments can change. Changes can happen when:

  • your circumstances change
  • the payment rate changes (usually due to indexation)
  • the Government passes new laws on payments.

There’s a list of parenting payments below. Changes in payment can happen for all of them.

Types of parenting payments

Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme
This payment is for families of students under 16 years who can’t go to an appropriate government school on a daily basis because of geographic isolation. Types of assistance are:

  • Boarding Allowance
  • Second Home Allowance
  • Distance Education Allowance
  • Pensioner Education Supplement.

This payment is not income tested and not assets tested, with the exception of the additional component of the Boarding Allowance.

Carer Allowance
This payment is for people who care for a child with disability at home. This payment is not income tested and not assets tested.

Child Care Benefit
This payment is for all parents and carers. This payment is income tested, but it is not assets tested.

Child Care Rebate
This payment is for all parents and carers. This payment is not income tested and not assets tested.

Dad and Partner Pay
This payment is for eligible working dads or partners, including same-sex partners. This payment is income tested (individual income), but it is not assets tested.

Double Orphan Pension
This payment is for people whose child’s parents or adoptive parents have both died, or one of the child’s parents is dead and the other parent can’t parent at that time. See the Centrelink website for other eligibility criteria. This payment is not income tested and not assets tested.

Family Tax Benefit (Part A)
This payment is for all parents and carers. This payment is income tested, but it is not assets tested.

Family Tax Benefit (Part B)
This payment is for all single parents and carers (in single-income families). This payment is income tested, but it is not assets tested.

Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement
This payment is for parents and carers who are eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A. This payment is income tested, but it is not assets tested.

Parental Leave Pay
This payment is for eligible working parents (usually birth mothers) of newborn or recently adopted children. This payment is income tested (individual income), but it is not assets tested.

Parenting Payment
This payment is for low-income parents and carers. This payment is income tested and assets tested.

Special Child Care Benefit
This payment is for carers of children at risk of serious abuse or neglect, or for families who have an exceptional case of financial hardship and who can’t pay child care fees. This payment is not income tested.

Example of parenting payments

Here’s an example of how Australian Government parenting payments work.

A single mother with no income, no assets and dependent children should be eligible for:

  • Child Care Benefit, if using approved or registered care
  • Family Tax Benefit (A and B)
  • Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement
  • Parenting Payment.

Depending on other circumstances, she might also be eligible for payments like Rent Assistance.

Other information and services for families

Where to learn more

For up-to-date information about your specific situation, contact the Department of Human Services, visit your nearest Centrelink office or use the Centrelink Rate Estimator to work out all Centrelink, Family Assistance and Child Care Benefit payments online.

 
 
 
  • Last updated or reviewed 28-07-2016