parenting payment (single)
This payment used to be called the Sole Parent Pension. To be eligible you must:
be a single person (i.e. unmarried and not in a marriage-like relationship (see 'Marriage-like relationships', below); and
have the care and control of at least one child under 16 who is either your natural child, your adopted child or in your legal custody.
Under changes to the Parenting Payment, depending on when you went onto they payment and the age of your youngest child, there may be activity requirements for your payment. These will range from an 'annual interview' when your youngest child is quite young, to 'partial capacity' (part-time work for example) for parents of older children. It is important to carefully check information sent to you by Centrelink, as they often send letters to parents 'inviting' them to undertake activities, however some of these are not required by law.
To apply, ask about the payment at your local Centrelink office. For the first 12 weeks on the Parenting Payment (Single) you may be reviewed frequently by Centrelink to find out whether anything in your situation has changed. After that you will be asked to complete a review form periodically to find out if anything has changed.
problems you may run into with parenting payment (single)
If you are living in a communal house with a person of the opposite sex, Centrelink may accuse you of being in a marriage-like relationship and threaten to stop your payment.