Service Directory for Drug and Alcohol Users

parenting payment (single)

To be eligible for Parenting Payment (single), you must:

  • Be single and care for at least 1 child under 8.

This payment used to be called the Sole Parent Pension.

Or, you may be eligible for Parenting Payment (partnered) if you:

  • Have a partner and care for at least 1 child under 6.

You will be considered to be partnered and not single if you are in a ‘marriage-like reliationship’ (see the 'Marriage-Like Relationships' section below).

To qualify for either payment, you need to:

  • Be legally responsible for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of at least one child under 16, who is either your natural child, your adopted child, or in your legal custody;
  • Meet an income and assets test (both you and your partner combined, if you have one);
  • Have been an Australian resident for a period, or periods, that total at least two years, unless an exemption applies (for example, being a refugee or a lone parent); and
  • Be able to meet activity test and participation requirements as a principal carer if needed (click here for more information). 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 any information sent to you by Centrelink, as they often send letters to parents 'inviting' them to undertake activities, however not all of these are required by law.

To apply for Parenting Payment, ask about the payment at your local Centrelink office. For the first 12 weeks on the Parenting Payment, you may be reviewed frequently by Centrelink to find out whether your situation has changed at all. 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.

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