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Government parenting payments

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 assets 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

Additional Child Care Subsidy
This payment is for carers of children at risk of domestic and family violence, or for families who have an exceptional case of financial hardship and who can’t pay child care fees. This payment is income tested but not assets tested.

This payment replaced the Special Child Care Benefit on 2 July 2018. You need to be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy to receive this payment.

Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme
This payment is for families of students under a certain age who can’t go to a local government school on a daily basis because of their location, disability or special needs. If you meet the age, study and living requirements for this scheme, you can get government assistance.

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, except for part of the Boarding Allowance.

Carer Allowance 
This payment is for people who care for someone with a disability or serious illness, or for someone who is elderly and needs care and support. This payment is not income tested and not assets tested.

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

This payment replaced the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate on 2 July 2018.

Dad and Partner Pay
This is a short-term payment for eligible dads or partners, including same-sex partners, to help care for a newborn or newly adopted child. This payment is income tested (individual income), but it is not assets tested.

Double Orphan Pension
This payment is for carers of children whose parents can’t care for them or have died. This payment is not income tested and not assets tested.

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

Family Tax Benefit (Part B)
This payment is for 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 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.

Example of parenting payments

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

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

  • Child Care Subsidy, 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 Australian Government Department of Human Services, visit your nearest Centrelink office or use an Australian Government Department of Human Services online estimator to work out all Centrelink, Family Assistance and Child Care Subsidy payments online.

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Last updated or reviewed
07-08-2018

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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