Information you need to know about your claim for

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Information you need to know about your claim for

Parenting Payment

A payment for the principal carer of the child(ren).

Parenting Payment is a social security payment paid by the Australian Government Department of Human Services, separate from Family Tax Benefit. It is paid to single parents with dependent child(ren) under 8 in their care and partnered parents with dependent child(ren) under 6 in their care.

Online Services

You can access your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support Online Services through myGov.

myGov is a fast, simple way to access a range of government services online with one username, one password, all from one secure location. To create a myGov account, go to my.gov.au

For more information

Go to humanservices.gov.au/parentingpayment or call us on 136 150 or visit one of our service centres.

If you need a translation of any documents for our business, we can arrange this for you free of charge.

To speak to us in languages other than English, call 131 202.

Note: Call charges apply – calls from mobile phones may be charged at a higher rate.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact the TTY service on Freecall™ 1800 810 586. A TTY phone is required to use this service.

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Information in other

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Contents

Parenting Payment 4

What is Parenting Payment? 4

Mutual Obligation Requirements 5

If you receive other payments 7

Australian residence requirements 7

International social security agreements 7

Requirement to claim a pension from a country other than Australia 8 Income from countries other than Australia 8

Income and assets test 8

The income test 8

The assets test 9

Compensation payments 10

Working Credit 10

Preclusion Periods 10

Definition of a partner 11

Confirming your identity 12

Changes you must tell us about 14

Other payments, concessions and help 16

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Parenting Payment

What is Parenting Payment?

Parenting Payment is a social security payment paid by us, separate from Family Tax Benefit. It is paid to single parents with dependent child(ren) under 8 in their care and partnered parents with dependent child(ren) under 6 in their care.

Background

The objective of Parenting Payment is to provide principal carers of child(ren) with:

• recognition of their parenting responsibilities, and

• opportunities for financial independence by helping people move forward to maximise their potential whether that is through getting a job, returning to education or training or helping in their communities.

There are 2 different payment types:

• Parenting Payment (single) – for single parents, and

• Parenting Payment (partnered) – for partnered parents.

Eligibility conditions

In general terms, to be eligible for Parenting Payment you must:

• have the care of a dependent child(ren) aged under 8 (single parents) or under 6 (partnered parents)

• have income and assets under certain amounts

• meet residence requirements

• meet any Mutual Obligation Requirements that you may be subject to.

Current rates

The current rates of Parenting Payment are listed in the booklet A guide to Australian Government payments which is available at one of our service centres. The rates of both Parenting Payment (single) and Parenting Payment (partnered) are indexed in line with the CPI in March and September each year.

Parenting Payment for single parents

Parenting Payment (single) is paid to a parent who does not have a partner and who must tell us within 14 days if their relationship status changes.

Parenting Payment for partnered parents

If you have a partner, only one member of a couple can be paid Parenting Payment. Parenting Payment (partnered) is payable under ‘allowance’ rates and conditions. The amount of Parenting Payment (partnered) you can get depends on:

• your, and your partner’s income, and

• your, and your partner’s assets.

If you are eligible for Parenting Payment you may also be eligible for:

• Rent Assistance

• Telephone Allowance

• Remote Area Allowance

• Pharmaceutical Allowance

• a Health Care Card or a Pensioner Concession Card.

Your eligibility for these is assessed from the information you provide.

If you are NOT eligible for Parenting Payment you may be eligible for another payment. Please contact us for more information.

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Parenting Payment • continued

Mutual Obligation Requirements

Mutual Obligation Requirements may apply if you have a youngest child aged 6 or over. These requirements are individually tailored to meet your circumstances and take into account your caring responsibilities.

If Mutual Obligation Requirements apply to you, you will have to meet certain requirements to show that you are actively looking for work.

This can include doing things like:

• attending our and your Employment Services Provider appointments when requested to do so

• accepting suitable work offers

• going to all job interviews

• not leaving a job, training course or program without a valid reason, and

• entering into a Job Plan if you are asked, and taking steps to meet the terms of your plan.

Mutual Obligation Requirements means Activity Test or participation requirements under the Social Security Act 1991.

A Job Plan means an Employment Pathway Plan under the Social Security Act 1991.

Your responsibilities, and consequences of not meeting your Mutual Obligation Requirements Meeting your requirements is a condition of your payment. If you do not meet your requirements you may incur a failure and you may lose some or all of your payment.

Compulsory appointments with Employment Services Provider

It is important to go to all appointments with your Employment Services Provider. If you cannot make it, you must tell your provider before the appointment.

If you do not attend an appointment and have not contacted your provider with a valid reason beforehand, your payment will stop. You will not be able to report until you have talked with your provider and, where required, attended a new appointment. You may also incur a financial penalty if you did not have a valid reason for attending the appointment or contacting your provider before the scheduled appointment to explain why you were unable to attend.

Connection Failures

You may incur a connection failure if you do not enter into a Job Plan when asked to do so, attend other compulsory appointments as required, or do not meet your job search requirements without a valid reason.

Connection failures do not result in a financial penalty. We will talk with you about what you need to do so that you do not incur a reconnection failure and have your payment stopped.

Non attendance Failure

You may incur a non attendance failure if you did not attend an appointment with your provider. Even if you had a good reason for not attending, you may still incur a non attendance failure if you did not contact your provider before the appointment start time to explain why you were unable to attend.

If you incur a non attendance failure your payment will stop until you do what you were meant to. You will not be entitled to back pay for the time you missed.

Reconnection Failures

If you miss an appointment for any reason, a new appointment will be arranged for you.

If you do not attend the new appointment your payment will stop. You may also incur a reconnection failure, which means you will not get back payment, if you:

• do not have a valid reason for not attending the appointment, or

• did not contact beforehand to advise why you were unable to attend, or

• do not enter into a Job Plan if asked to do so at this appointment.

If you incur a reconnection failure, you may lose some or all of your income support payments until you do what you were asked to do. You will not be entitled to any back payment for the time you missed.

Continued

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Parenting Payment • continued

No Show, No Pay Failures

You may incur a No Show, No Pay failure, resulting in the loss of a day’s income support for each day that you:

• do not participate in a compulsory activity included in your Job Plan (such as training or Work for the Dole) without a valid reason, or

• do not attend a job interview without a valid reason, or

• attend a job interview but deliberately act in a way that results in a job offer not being made.

If you do not contact your provider beforehand to advise why you will not be able to attend your activity, you may incur a No Show, No Pay failure even if you have a good reason for not being able to participate.

If you have not attended a compulsory activity arranged by your Employment Services Provider for a period of time, your payment may stop until you talk with us and agree to attend a new appointment with your provider to discuss your non attendance.

Comprehensive Compliance Assessments

If you appear to be having difficulty meeting your requirements by not going to your activities or appointments, we will conduct a Comprehensive Compliance Assessment to see if you need more or different assistance in meeting your requirements.

Serious Failures – non-compliance with Mutual Obligation Requirements

If you repeatedly do not turn up to your appointments or activities, you may be asked to attend a

Comprehensive Compliance Assessment, and you may incur a serious failure if you are found to have been persistently not meeting your requirements.

The penalty for a serious failure is 8 week non-payment period.

During the 8 week non-payment period your payment may be reinstated if you agree to do a Compliance Activity. If you have full-time Mutual Obligation Requirements this will generally be 25 hours a week of full- time Work for the Dole for 8 weeks. It may include other similar activities if appropriate. If you incur a serious failure and you are eligible to participate in a Compliance Activity, talk with us so that an appointment can be booked with your provider to negotiate an appropriate activity.

Serious failures for refusing suitable work

It is very important you accept all offers of suitable work and start work you have accepted as planned.

If you do not, you may incur a serious failure and your payment will stop for 8 weeks.

You can have your payment reinstated by doing a Compliance Activity.

Avoiding a failure

To prevent a failure, you need to:

• go to all appointments that we or your provider arrange for you or tell them in advance if you cannot make it, and

• read all mail from us or your provider and respond to mail if it asks you to do something, and

• undertake the activities in your Job Plan or talk to us or your provider if you are having difficulties with your activities, and

• tell us if you change your address.

If you cannot do an activity listed in your Plan, or cannot attend an appointment that has been arranged for you, contact the organisation that arranged the appointment or activity as soon as possible. If you do so, you may be able to make another time to attend your activity or appointment. If you do not contact beforehand when you are able to do so, your income support payment may be reduced, or stopped, even if you have a good reason for not being able to attend.

Talking to us is the best way to avoid a failure so, for more information on avoiding a failure or the consequences of a failure, contact us.

Also, talk to us if you have a reason why a failure should not apply to you. You have the right to an independent review.

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Parenting Payment • continued

If you receive other payments

There are special rules if you or your partner get:

• ABSTUDY Living Allowance, or

• a payment from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

If you get ABSTUDY

and you are a single parent, you cannot get both ABSTUDY Living Allowance and Parenting Payment at the same time. However, if you get Parenting Payment you may apply for the ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement.

and you are partnered, you cannot get Parenting Payment unless ABSTUDY is for part-time tertiary study.

If your partner gets ABSTUDY

– your partner’s ABSTUDY will not be counted as income.

If you are getting a Service, War Widow(er) or Wife Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs you cannot get Parenting Payment.

Australian residence requirements

To be eligible for Parenting Payment you must satisfy residence requirements.

You must be an Australian resident and generally, you must also be in Australia when you lodge your claim.

You are an Australian resident (as defined by the Social Security Act 1991) if you are living in Australia and you are:

• an Australian citizen, or

• a permanent visa holder, or

• a Protected Special Category Visa holder , that is you arrived in Australia on a New Zealand passport and you were in Australia on 26 February 2001, or for 12 months in the 2 years immediately before this date, or were assessed as ‘protected’ before 26 February 2004.

You are ‘living in Australia’ if Australia is your usual place of residence. That is, Australia is where you make your home.

When we are deciding whether you are living in Australia we will look at:

• the nature of your accommodation, and

• the nature and extent of your family relationships in Australia, and

• the nature and extent of your employment, business or financial ties with Australia, and

• the frequency and duration of your travel outside Australia, and

• any other matter we think is relevant.

You also need to have been present in Australia as an Australian resident for a period, or periods, that total at least 104 weeks, unless you:

• arrived under a refugee or humanitarian program, or

• hold or previously held a certain visa subclass, or

• were the partner or dependent child of a former refugee or humanitarian migrant at the time they arrived in Australia, or

• are claiming Parenting Payment Single and you became a single parent since the start of your current period of Australian residence.

For information about the conditions for payment outside Australia go to humanservices.gov.au/paymentsoverseas

International social security agreements

Australia has international social security agreements with a number of countries. Agreements may help you to receive Parenting Payment even if you are not an Australian resident and living in Australia, and/or if you do not meet the minimum Australian residence period to qualify. You can get more information on social security agreements by going to humanservices.gov.au/issa or call us on 131 673.

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Parenting Payment • continued

Requirement to claim a pension from a country other than Australia

If you are receiving Parenting Payment and you have lived or worked in a country other than Australia, you may be required to take reasonable steps to claim a pension from that other country. Even if you are not required to, we can help you to claim pensions from any other country.

You can get more information on claiming pensions from countries other than Australia, go to humanservices.gov.au/issa or call us on 131 673.

Income from countries other than Australia

For Australian social security purposes, income from any source in a country other than Australia is generally assessable under the income test. Income may be in the form of investments, pensions, superannuation-like payments or derived from real estate.

Pensions from a country with which Australia has a social security agreement may be treated differently, for example, directly deducted on a dollar for dollar basis, and some pensions, such as restitution payments from certain countries, may be exempt from the income test.

The gross rate of income is assessed, that is, the amount before any bank charges, health insurance or tax deductions. The foreign currency amount is converted to Australian dollars using a commercial exchange rate which is updated automatically each month. To find out the current exchange rates we use, call Freecall™ 1800 050 041.

Income and assets test

How much payment you receive will depend on your partner’s circumstances and income and assets.

We will calculate the amount that could be paid to you, and if applicable to your partner under both the income test and assets test. The test giving the lower rate of payment is the one used to pay you (and/or your partner).

The income test

Income includes money received from employment and money deemed to be earned from investments. It also includes money from outside Australia.

You can have income up to certain amounts before your payment is reduced.

Your income may include:

• deemed income from financial assets

• gross income from earnings (i.e. earnings before tax)

• income received to provide care

• net income from business, including farms

• family trust distributions or dividends from private company shares

• income attributable to the controllers of a private trust or private company

• income from rental property

• income from a life interest

• income from boarders and lodgers (other than immediate family)

• superannuation and pensions from countries other than Australia

• income from income stream products such as superannuation pensions and annuities.

Funding you (and/or your partner) or children receive from the National Disability Insurance Scheme does not need to be included.

For more information about income, go to humanservices.gov.au/income

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Income and assets test • continued

The assets test

Most things you own have a value and can be counted as assets. This includes assets held outside Australia.

For the purpose of calculating your payment, the value of your assets is what you would get for them if you sold them.

Generally, any debt owing on an asset is deducted from the value of the asset. Parenting Payment will not be payable if you (and/or your partner’s) assets are more than the assets test limits.

Your assets may include:

• rental properties, farms, second or holiday houses

• cars, caravans, boats or trailers

• home contents and personal effects, including antiques or other collectables

• the market or trade value of all savings and investments, including funeral bonds

• loans you have made to other people, family trusts and companies

• value of most income stream products

• business assets

• interest in a private trust or private company

• superannuation investments held by people over age pension age

• licenses (e.g. fishing or taxi)

• surrender value of life insurance policies, and

• any assets given away or sold for less that their market value within the last 5 years.

The following assets are NOT included:

• your principal family home (and up to 2 hectares of privately used surrounding land that is on the same title document as the home), and any permanent fixtures such as wall-to-wall carpet and wall heaters

• some income stream products

• cemetery plots and pre-paid funeral expenses

• any property or monies left to you in an estate which you are not yet able to receive, generally for a period up to 12 months

• accommodation bonds paid to an aged care home or on entry to residential aged care

• aids for people with a disability

• monies received from the National Disability Insurance Scheme to provide for the needs of people with a disability

• most compensation or insurance payments for loss or damage to buildings or personal effects any life interest, reversionary interest, remainder interest or contingent interest unless it was created by you, your partner or at the time of death of your partner, and

• assets up to a certain limit held in a Special Disability Trust (SDT) for an immediate family member.

These are called exempt assets.

For more information about assets, go to humanservices.gov.au/assets

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Income and assets test • continued

Compensation payments

What to do before you accept a compensation payment

You or your solicitor should call 136 150 and ask for your nearest Compensation Recovery Team.

The people in this team can tell you:

• how a proposed lump sum compensation payment may affect your income support payment

• if you will need to make any repayment to Centrelink from your compensation.

Compensation Income

Regular compensation, such as weekly workers’ compensation payments, is assessed under a separate income test. For each dollar of compensation, income support paid by Centrelink is reduced by a dollar.

Lump sum compensation may stop you from receiving income support from Centrelink for a period of time.

If you get a lump sum compensation payment which relates to lost earnings or to your capacity to earn an income, we will work out a period (called a ‘preclusion period’) during which you are not able to receive income support from us. You cannot receive income support from Centrelink until the preclusion period is over. If you have already received income support from Centrelink in the preclusion, then this must be paid back.

Compensation that is taxable can affect Family Tax Benefit as it may increase your taxable income in the financial year it is paid.

How does a compensation payment affect couples?

If your partner also receives income from Centrelink, their payments will only be affected if your regular compensation payments prevent you being paid. If your income support payments have been reduced to nil and there is still an amount of compensation ‘left over’, the amount ‘left over’ is then treated as ordinary income of the partner not receiving compensation.

If you receive a lump sum compensation payment, your partner will not be affected by the preclusion period and they can still be paid their income support payment provided they are otherwise eligible.

Working Credit

Working Credit can assist you to take up work by allowing you to:

• keep more of your income support payment if you start full-time, part-time or casual work

• keep some extra benefits (for up to 12 weeks) if you are working and not getting any payment from us

• get your payments and benefits back if a short term job ends.

For more information on how Working Credit can help you, go to humanservices.gov.au/workingcredit

Preclusion Periods

The Income Maintenance Period – if a person receives leave entitlements or redundancy payments from their employment, including annual leave, long service leave, sick leave and maternity leave. Income Maintenance Periods generally apply from the date the leave or redundancy payments are received, for the period covered by the payment.

The Seasonal Work Preclusion Period – if a person or their partner has done seasonal, intermittent or contract work in the previous 6 months before lodging a claim and earned a higher than average income, they may have to wait an additional period before being paid.

The Unemployment Non-Payment Period – if a person becomes voluntarily unemployed without a valid reason or is dismissed from employment due to misconduct they may have to wait 8 weeks before receiving payments. You may need to wait up to 12 weeks before being paid if you received relocation assistance through an Employment Services Provider for suitable work that you did not start, left voluntarily or were dismissed from due to misconduct.

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Definition of a partner

For our purposes a person is considered to be your partner if you and the person are living together, or usually live together, and are:

• married, or

• in a registered relationship (opposite-sex or same-sex), or

• in a de facto relationship (opposite-sex or same-sex).

We consider a person to be in a de facto relationship from the time they commence living with another person as a member of a couple.

We recognise all couples, opposite-sex and same-sex.

For more information, go to humanservices.gov.au/moc

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Confirming your identity

As a customer you are required to confirm your identity when claiming a payment or service from the Australian Government Department of Human Services. In most cases, you will only need to confirm your identity once. You must confirm your identity by providing original documents (not copies) from the approved list below. We need you to provide the following:

• 1 Commencement of Identity document, and

• 1 Primary Use in Community document, and

• 1 Secondary Use in Community document.

Note: An identity document cannot be used multiple times (e.g. a document used as Commencement of Identity, cannot be used again as a Primary or Secondary Use in Community document).

If you have difficulty in obtaining or providing these documents, you need to contact us as soon as possible.

Where possible, we will use the documents you provide to confirm your age, residence, income and/or assets if that is relevant to the payment or service you are applying for. To be eligible for some payments or services, you may need to provide additional documents.

Who needs to confirm their identity?

Depending on the payment or service you are claiming you may need to confirm your identity by providing identity documents from the approved list. You will be advised of the identity requirements for the payment or services you are claiming when you apply. For more information, go to humanservices.gov.au

If you are required to confirm your identity, you will need to provide one document for EACH of the following categories:

• Commencement of Identity, and

• Primary Use in Community, and

• Secondary Use in Community.

Commencement of Identity

Document Explanation/description

Australian Birth Certificate Original Australian birth certificate, extract or birth card issued in your name/former name.

Australian Visa Australian visa, current at time of entry to Australia as resident or tourist, issued in your name/former name.

Australian Citizenship Certificate Australian citizenship certificate issued in your name/former name.

ImmiCard A photo identity card issued in your name/former name by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that assists the cardholder to prove their visa/migration status and enrol in services.

Australian Passport (current) Australian passport in your name/former name. Expired passports are not acceptable.

Certificate of Identity Certificate of Identity issued in your name/former name by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to refugees and non Australian citizens for entry to Australia.

Certificate of Evidence of Resident

Status Certificate of Evidence of Resident Status issued in your name/former name by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Document of Identity Document of Identity issued in your name/former name by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), to Australian citizens or persons who possess the nationality of a Commonwealth country, for travel purposes.

Note: The above documents can also be used to satisfy Primary or Secondary Use in Community (if not already used as Commencement of Identity).

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Confirming your identity • continued

Primary Use in Community

Document Explanation/description

Shooter or Firearm Licence Current shooter or firearm licence showing signature and/or photo and same name as claim.

Cannot accept: minor or junior permit and/or licence.

Australian Driver Licence – Motor

Vehicle Current state or territory issued driver licence, learner permit or provisional licence showing signature and/

or photo and same name as claim.

Australian Marriage Certificate Marriage certificate issued by a state or territory government agency.

Cannot accept: church or celebrant issued certificates.

Passport issued outside Australia Current passport issued by a country other than Australia, with a valid entry stamp or visa.

Proof of Age Card Current proof of age or photo identity card issued by a government agency in your name with photo and/or signature.

Student ID Card (Persons aged under 18 years with no other Primary Use in Community only)

Current secondary student ID card issued in your name with photo and/or signature.

Note: The above documents can also be used to satisfy Secondary Use in Community (if not already used as Primary Use in Community)

Secondary Use in Community

Document Explanation/description

Security Licence Current security protection industry or crowd control licence, showing signature and/or photo and same name as claim.

Bank/Financial Institution Card,

statement or passbook Current ATM, credit or debit card showing your name and signature. Statement or passbook from current savings or cheque account showing your name and same address (if applicable) as your claim.

Cannot accept: cards issued by organisations other than banks, credit unions or building societies, ATM or internet receipts/statements or account documentation issued by banks/financial institutions outside Australia.

Child’s Birth Certificate Australian birth certificate for a child showing your name as parent/guardian.

Cannot accept: sibling’s certificate.

Defence Force Identity Card Identity card issued by the Australian Defence Force, showing same name as claim, and photo or signature.

Australian Divorce Papers Australian divorce papers in your name/former name (e.g. Decree Nisi, Decree Absolute).

Educational Certificate Educational qualification certificate in your name/former name (school/TAFE/university/Registered Training Organisation [RTO]).

Certified Academic Transcript Certified academic transcript from an Australian university in your name/former name.

Mortgage Papers Legally drawn mortgage papers for an Australian residence in your name/former name.

Name Change Legal change of name certificate or deed poll certificate.

Veterans’ Affairs Card Current Department of Veterans’ Affairs card issued in your name.

Tenancy Agreement or Lease Current formal residential tenancy agreement or lease in your name and showing same address as claim.

Motor Vehicle Registration Current motor vehicle registration showing your name, same address as claim and proof of payment.

Foreign Government issued

Documents Documents issued by a country other than Australia (comparable to Australian issued documents), including foreign birth, marriage and education certificates, lapsed foreign passports, foreign driver licences and overseas national identity cards.

Australian Government

(Commonwealth, state or territory) issued photo ID Card

Current Commonwealth, state or territory issued photo identification card issued in your name.

Rates Notice Paid rates notice in your name and showing same address as claim, less than 12 months old.

Utility Account A paid utility account (e.g. gas, water, electricity or phone) in your name and showing receipt number and same address as claim, less than 12 months old.

Student ID Card Current student ID card issued in your name with photo and/or signature (secondary/TAFE/university/

Registered Training Organisation [RTO]).

Electoral Enrolment Proof of electoral enrolment card issued in your name and same address as claim.

Aviation Security Identity Card (ASIC) Current aviation security identity card showing same name as claim, photo and/or signature.

Maritime Security Identification Card Current maritime security identification card showing same name as claim, photo and/or signature.

Police Identity Card Current police identity card showing same name as claim, photo and/or signature.

Prison release certificate A prison release certificate in your name with a photo and/or signature.

Note: Certificates that do not meet this criteria cannot be used.

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Changes you must tell us about

You must tell us within 14 days if any of the following happens. If you have a partner, you must also tell us if any of the following happens to your partner.

If you do not tell us about changes you could have a debt. If you have a debt you may have to pay all or some of the money back. If you do not tell us about income you have earned, or provide false or misleading information about this income, you may also have to pay an additional recovery fee.

To advise us of changes, call 136 150.

Changes to your work You must tell us if:

• you or your partner start, restart or stop work

• you or your partner change jobs or become self-employed (this can be full-time, part-time or casual work)

• your or your partner’s income from employment changes

• your or your partner’s hours worked per week changes

• you start, reduce or stop voluntary work

• you are sick or injured and cannot look for work or go on a training course

• you leave a training course before it ends, or are absent for any period

• you or your partner work and your earnings go up. You must advise within 14 days, otherwise you will have to pay back some or all of your payment

• your or your partner’s earnings go down. Tell us immediately as you may be entitled to more money

• you or your partner receive any leave entitlements

• you or your partner have received a redundancy payment since 20 September 2006.

To help us pay you the right amount you should bring your payslips with you if you are required to lodge an Income Statement or Participation Record.

You must also tell us about your or your partner’s earnings if your payments are reviewed. We will need to see payslips, or a letter from your employer showing how much was earned during the period covered by the review.

Changes to your personal circumstances

You must tell us if:

• you change address

• the amount of rent you pay changes

• you start to share accommodation with another person

• you stop sharing accommodation with another person

• your family circumstances change impacting on your ability to seek paid employment

• you move into a retirement village

• you marry, are in or commence an opposite-sex or same-sex registered or de facto relationship, reconcile with a former partner, start living with someone as their partner

• you separate from your partner

• your partner dies

• you are admitted to a nursing home or hostel

• your Australian residence changes.

Travelling outside Australia You must tell us if you or your dependent child(ren) are going overseas and:

• will be away for longer than 6 weeks, or

• are paid under the terms of a social security agreement, or

• are travelling on a cruise ship and have not been back in Australia for 6 weeks since your last absence.

For more information, go to humanservices.gov.au/paymentsoverseas about how your payment or concession card may be affected and whether you should contact us when leaving or returning to Australia.

You can also contact us if you want to find out more.

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Changes you must tell us about • continued

Settlement of estate You must tell us if the estate is settled and you receive or will receive proceeds from the estate.

Changes to your financial circumstances

You must tell us if:

• you sell, buy or change an investment (i.e. shares, managed investment units and debentures)

• you are issued with bonus shares

• you receive any lump sum payments such as proceeds from an estate or winnings

• your income stream balance or payments change or you start receiving an income stream payment (e.g. account-based pension, defined benefit pension or annuity)

• you make any commutations from your income stream (e.g. a lump sum withdrawal other than your normal regular payments)

• you buy or sell a property or the income you receive from a property changes

• you receive any payments from a country other than Australia or your payments change

• you become involved in a business, or the nature of your involvement changes

• you become involved in, the nature of your involvement changes or you receive a benefit from a private trust or private company.

Gifts and loans You must tell us if:

• you receive a valuable gift, or win money

• you make any gifts to family, friends or charities, such as giving a deposit to buy a home, cash, valuable jewellery, a car or a holiday

• you sell assets for less than market value

• you take out a loan or lend money (including to family).

Change of dependants details

You must tell us if:

• you become or cease to be a principal carer of a child under 16 years

• you have a child under 16 years who ceases full-time studies and has income above the dependency limit

• you have a child under 16 years and you share the care of that child with someone other than your current partner (such as their other parent, if you are separated)

• you have a child under 16 years and the child:

– leaves home

– is granted a pension, benefit or allowance

• a child dies.

Other changes You must tell us if:

• you apply for, or vary, your enrolment at, school, college, university or other technical institution

• you claim or start to receive another government pension or payment (including Department of Veterans’

Affairs payments)

• you change or close the account into which payments are made

• you are imprisoned

• you are sent to a psychiatric institution.

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Other payments, concessions and help

If you receive a payment, there are other payments, concessions and help you may receive.

Advance Payments Our customers can apply for an advance payment of up to $500, once in 12 months. This is recovered, interest free, from your payments over 13 fortnights.

Centrepay Centrepay allows our customers to have regular amounts deducted from their income support payment for various purposes such as gas, rent, water, rates and electricity. Participation in the scheme is entirely voluntary and customers may withdraw from the scheme at any time. This service is provided free of charge.

Child Dental Benefits Schedule

You may also be eligible for assistance under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. For more information, go to humanservices.gov.au/childdental

Community Engagement Officers

Community Engagement Officers may be able to visit you if you are homeless, living in a hostel or refuge, suffering from a mental illness, or fleeing from domestic violence. Community Engagement Officers can tell you about income support payment and services and help you access these services. They provide our services in locations like rehabilitation centres, psychiatric hospitals, prisons, hostels, drop-in centres.

Education Entry Payment Education Entry Payment is an additional amount to help with the cost of study.

For more information, call us on 136 150 or visit one of our service centres.

Employment Services Providers

Employment Services Providers are a national network of organisations that provide individually tailored assistance to job seekers (e.g. Disability Employment Services, Remote Jobs and Communities Programme or jobactive). These organisations also assist employers in addressing skills shortages and filling job vacancies. For more information, call us on 132 850.

Family assistance Family Tax Benefit helps with the cost of raising children. It is made up of 2 parts: Family Tax Benefit Part A and Family Tax Benefit Part B.

Family Tax Benefit Part A is paid for each child. The amount you get is based on your family’s circumstances.

If your child is born or adopted on or after 1 March 2014, you may receive an increase to your Family Tax Benefit Part A called Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement.

Family Tax Benefit Part B gives extra help to single parents and families with one main income, where one parent stays at home to care for children full-time, or balances some paid work with caring for children.

Child support and family assistance are closely linked. If you receive child support and Family Tax Benefit, the child support you receive will be considered when we calculate your Family Tax Benefit payment.

Family Tax Benefit is income tested.

For more information, go to humanservices.gov.au/families Financial Information

Service Officers

Financial Information Service (FIS) Officers can give you free, independent information. This will help you understand investments and how they work, and help you make better financial decisions.

Health Care Card A Health Care Card provides you access to pharmaceutical medications listed under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme at a reduced cost. You may also receive other concessions provided by state and territory governments.

Indigenous Services Staff Indigenous Services Staff are located in most of our service centres. Some service centres also have interpreters who speak Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages and teams who visit and help remote communities.

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Other payments, concessions and help • continued

Jobs, Education and Training Child Care fee assistance

Jobs, Education and Training (JET) Child Care fee assistance provides extra help with the cost of Child Care Benefit approved child care for eligible parent(s)/guardian(s) undertaking activities such as job search, work, study or training as part of a Job Plan or Participation Plan, to help them to enter or re-enter the workforce.

JET Child Care fee assistance can help meet the cost of child care by paying some of the difference between the total child care fee and the amount covered by Child Care Benefit for care related to participation in approved activities.

JET Child Care fee assistance payments are made directly to the child care service on behalf of parents.

Parents will still make a contribution towards the cost of care.

A different gap fee may be payable for any child care used in the week not related to an approved activity.

Note: To be eligible for JET Child Care fee assistance, you must receive the maximum rate of Child Care Benefit as reduced fees (you cannot elect a lesser rate) and be on a qualifying income support payment.

For more information about JET Child Care fee assistance, refer to the Request for Jobs, Education and Training Child Care fee assistance claim form (SC320) or call us on 136 150 to find out if you qualify for this additional assistance.

Mobility Allowance To provide help to people with disabilities who are doing voluntary work, paid work, vocational training, or any combination of these and cannot use public transport without extra help. There does not need to be public transport in the person’s area to qualify.

Mobility Allowance helps with the extra costs of travel.

Paid Parental Leave Parental Leave Pay is a payment under the Paid Parental Leave scheme. Parental Leave Pay helps eligible working parents with costs following the birth or adoption of a child. If eligible, you will be able to receive Parental Leave Pay at the National Minimum Wage for up to 18 weeks.

Parental Leave Pay, Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement paid with Family Tax Benefit Part A cannot be paid for the same child. Where Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement paid with Family Tax Benefit Part A has been received and Parental Leave Pay is granted at a later date, the Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement will be overpaid and will have to be paid back.

For more information, go to humanservices.gov.au/paidparentalleave

Pensioner Concession Card A Pensioner Concession Card provides certain customers with access to Australian Government

concessions. These include subsidised prescription medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

State and territory governments also provide a range of concessions on government and household services to Pensioner Concession Card holders.

You may be eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card if you are a single principal carer of a dependent child(ren) under 16 years, or if you have been assessed as having a partial capacity to work. You can also get a Pensioner Concession Card if you are aged 60 years or over and have been continuously receiving certain payments for more than 9 months.

Pensioner Education Supplement

The Pensioner Education Supplement and ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement are payments that help with the costs of full-time or part-time study. They are not taxable and not income or asset tested.

To get the Pensioner Education Supplement or ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement you must be getting a Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension or another eligible Department of Human Services or Department of Veterans’ Affairs payment. You must also be doing a course that is approved by us. Other payments or entitlements may also be available.

For more information about Pensioner Education Supplement, call us on 132 490 or for information about ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement, call us on 1800 132 317.

Pension Supplement Pension Supplement is paid automatically to people receiving Parenting Payment who are over age pension age. It is paid fortnightly with your regular pension payment. A separate claim is not required for the Pension Supplement.

You have the choice of receiving the minimum amount of the Pension Supplement as a quarterly payment.

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Other payments, concessions and help • continued

Pharmaceutical Allowance Pharmaceutical Allowance helps with the cost of prescription medicines. It is paid to:

• Parenting Payment (Single) recipients who are under age pension age, or

• Parenting Payment (Partnered) recipients who are:

– over 60 years but under age pension age and being in receipt of an income support payment for at least 9 months, or

– under age pension age and temporarily exempt from Mutual Obligation Requirements because of an incapacity to work, or

– been assessed as having a partial capacity to work due to a disability and under age pension age.

Pharmaceutical Allowance is paid automatically with your payment, a separate claim is not required.

Remote Area Allowance Remote Area Allowance was introduced as an additional assistance for our customers in remote areas. It recognises that many customers who do not pay tax, or very little tax, do not get the full benefit of tax zone rebates. Remote Area Allowance makes a contribution towards some of the costs associated with living in particularly remote areas.

Rent Assistance You may be eligible for rent assistance if you rent your accommodation in the private rental market. This includes paying private rent, board or lodging for accommodation in a house, flat or unit, boarding house, hostel or private hotel. It also includes paying ground rent, site fees or mooring fees for a caravan, mobile home or boat in which you live.

Rent Deduction Scheme The Rent Deduction Scheme allows customers in public housing to have their housing payments (such as rent, loan repayments and arrears) deducted from their payment and sent directly to the Housing Authority in their state or territory.

Schoolkids Bonus The Schoolkids Bonus will be paid in January and July each year to help students with school costs. The Schoolkids Bonus will be available to families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A, as well as young people in school receiving Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY (Living Allowance), Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, Special Benefit, Parenting Payment and some veterans’ payments. Customers who claim Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum, will get the payment (if eligible) when the lump sum claim is assessed. You do not need to make a claim for the Schoolkids Bonus. All eligible customers will receive the payment automatically to their bank account.

Social Workers We have professional social workers in our service centres and Smart Centres throughout Australia. Social workers can offer you personal counselling and support in difficult times, such as domestic and family violence, severe financial hardship, homelessness, loss and bereavement. They can refer you to other services and programs like housing, health, emergency relief, legal and/or counselling services and support groups.

Telephone Allowance Telephone Allowance is paid to assist you with the cost of maintaining a mobile or home telephone service in Australia. It is paid to:

• Parenting Payment(Single) recipients who are under age pension age, or

• Parenting Payment (Partnered) recipients who are:

– under age pension age and temporarily incapacitated from Mutual Obligation Requirements, or – over 60 years but under age pension age and being in receipt of an income support payment for at

least 9 months, or

– their partner is over 60 years but under age pension age and is receiving Newstart Allowance or Sickness Allowance for at least 9 months.

You must have a telephone or mobile phone service connected in your name or your partner’s name to receive

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