2.6.3.10 Eligibility Requirements for Up to 50 Hours CCB

Summary

This topic explains the requirements of the work/training/study test when using approved care or registered care. An individual may be eligible to receive CCB for up to 50 hours per week of approved and/or registered care for each child if they satisfy the relevant work test, or an exception to the test.

This topic includes:

  • the work/training/study test - approved care - CCB,
  • combining work/training/study commitments to satisfy the work test - approved care,
  • averaging hours of participation to satisfy the work test - approved care,
  • the work/training/study test - approved care prior to 3 July 2006,
  • the work/training/study test - registered care, and
  • exceptions to the work/training/study test - approved care and registered care.

Note: In this topic the 'work/training/study test' and 'work test' have the same meaning.

The work/training/study test - approved care - CCB

The following table shows the commitments that satisfy the work/training/study test for individuals using approved care. Any specific conditions that apply to a commitment are listed in the second column of the table. All commitments must coincide with the week CCB is claimed (1.1.C.27). Both the individual, and their partner (1.1.P.30) if they have one, must satisfy the test. Unless stated otherwise, activities must be undertaken for a minimum of 15 hours per week, or 30 hours per fortnight. The exceptions to the test are explained below.

Commitment - CCB Specific conditions
Paid work or self-employment
  • If the person is about to start work, this must occur within 14 days of claiming CCB for more than 24 hours per week.
  • Hours of paid work need not coincide with child care hours.
Setting up a business  
Looking for work A person is considered as looking for work if they are able to provide evidence of actively looking for work
Studying to improve work skills or employment prospects Study commitments satisfy the work/training/study test when:
  • receiving:
  • undertaking any other study to improve work skills or employment prospects.
  • Both contact and non-contact study hours are included.
  • Semester and vacation breaks throughout the duration of the study course are counted where the person intends continuing the study in the following semester (including the end of year/Christmas vacation, when the person intends continuing their study in the first semester of the new year).
  • Vacation breaks after the course of study has concluded are not included.
  • Lecture and tutorial times do not need to coincide with child care hours.
  • Contact hours do not need to match child care hours.
Training to improve work skills or employment prospects Training must improve work skills or employment prospects.
Semester and vacation breaks during the training course are included.
Vacation breaks after the training course has concluded are not included.
Voluntary work to improve work skills or employment prospects Voluntary work must improve work skills or employment prospects.
Work hours need not coincide with child care hours.

Example: Catherine and her husband Peter volunteer at the Smith Family and will be dropping letters in people's mailboxes for 10 hours per week. As their volunteer work will not improve their work skills or employment prospects and totals less than 15 hours per week, or 30 hours per fortnight per person, their commitments do not satisfy the work/training/study test for approved care. If they were each volunteering for at least 15 hours per week, however, this would satisfy the test.

A combination of work, training, study, looking for work or undertaking voluntary work to improve work skills/employment prospects. A person may undertake a combination of the above activities such that the total number of hours undertaken must be a minimum of 15 hours per week, or 30 hours per fortnight.

Example: Soraya works as a receptionist every Wednesday and Thursday for a total of 12 hours, and is also studying a bookkeeping course for 4 hours every Wednesday night. As Soraya's total activities are more than 15 hours per week, she satisfies the work/training/study test.

Voluntary work that does not improve work skills or employment prospects To satisfy the work/training/study test voluntary work must be undertaken for a minimum of 15 hours per week, or a minimum of 30 hours per fortnight.
Voluntary work, which does not improve work skills or employment prospects, and is undertaken for less than 15 hours per week, or less than 30 hours per fortnight:
  • cannot be counted towards meeting the participation requirement, and
  • cannot be combined with other activities to meet the participation requirement.

Example 1: Kath volunteers at the Red Cross and will be dropping letters in people's mailboxes for 16 hours per week. Even though her volunteering activity will not improve her work skills or employment prospects, because Kath is undertaking this voluntary work for at least 15 hours per week her commitments do satisfy the work/training/study test.

Example 2: Tony works 8 hours per week, and also undertakes voluntary work, which does not improve his work skills or employment prospects, for 8 hours per week. Even though Tony's combined activities total at least 15 hours per week, Tony does not satisfy the work/training/study test because his voluntary activities cannot be counted towards satisfying the work/training/study test.

Annual leave
  • Annual leave, and purchased annual leave, both half pay and full pay.
  • Unpaid annual leave does not satisfy the work/training/study test.
  • Maximum of 25 days per calendar year.
  • If the regular working hours are less than 15 hours per week, or less than 30 hours per fortnight, and the person undertakes no other work related commitments and does not have an exemption, annual leave does not satisfy the work/training/study test.
Sick leave
  • Sick leave with pay for any period.
  • Maximum of 2 years leave for unpaid sick leave.
  • If regular working hours are less than 15 hours per week, or less than 30 hours per fortnight, and the person undertakes no other work related commitments and does not have an exemption, sick leave does not satisfy the work/training/study test.
Long service leave
  • Paid long service leave is counted.
  • If regular working hours are less than 15 hours per week, or less than 30 hours per fortnight, and the person undertakes no other work related commitment and does not have an exemption, long service leave does not satisfy the work/training/study test.
Other paid leave Leave granted under a State/Territory law, Industrial Award or Enterprise Agreement would satisfy the work/training/study test.
Paid or unpaid parental leave Maximum of 12 months leave:
  • for a single parent (1.1.P.10), or
  • combined parental leave of both parents.

Example: Kelly takes 52 weeks maternity leave without pay. Kelly's husband, Mark, is in full-time employment. Their commitments satisfy the work/training/study test for this period.

Note: If Kelly's regular working hours prior to maternity leave were less than 15 hours per week, or 30 hours per fortnight, and Kelly undertakes no other work related commitments and does not have an exemption, paid or unpaid parental leave does not satisfy the work/training/study test.

Self-employment leave Leave must be equivalent to a paid employee's:
  • annual leave,
  • long service leave, or
  • parental leave.
Self-employment sick leave Person must:
  • not be able to work because of sickness or injury, and
  • provide a medical certificate.
Carer leave Leave must be equivalent to a paid employee's:
  • annual leave,
  • long service leave, or
  • parental leave.
Carer sick leave Person must:
  • not be able to perform caring commitments because of illness or injury, and
  • provide a medical certificate.
Receiving CP The person receiving CP satisfies the work/training/study test.
Receiving CA for a disabled adult The person receiving CA satisfies the work/training/study test.
Receiving CA for a disabled child The family satisfies the work/training/study test if one member of a couple is receiving CA for a disabled child.
Caring for a disabled person Person must be:
  • personally providing constant care and supervision for a disabled person, and because of this:
    • is unable to work, train or study, and
    • can provide evidence of the above.

Combining work/training/study commitments to satisfy the work test - approved care

Any approved activity which, if undertaken for 15 hours per week, or 30 hours per fortnight, would satisfy the work/training/study test for approved care can, when undertaken for less than the required number of hours, be combined with other approved activities to satisfy the 15 hours per week or 30 hours per fortnight requirement.

Example: Jane works 8 hours per week, and undertakes study to improve her work skills for a further 8 hours each week - Jane satisfies the work test as her total work/training/study commitments are at least 15 hours per week.

Exception: Voluntary work, which does not improve work skills or employment prospects and is undertaken for less than 15 hours per week or 30 hours per fortnight, cannot be combined with other activities to satisfy the work test. This activity must be undertaken for a minimum of 15 hours per week or 30 hours per fortnight to satisfy the work test.

Example: John works 8 hours per week, and also undertakes volunteering work, which does not provide work skills or improve his employment prospects, for 10 hours each week. Although John's combined commitments are at least 15 hours per week, he does not satisfy the work test. As John's voluntary work does not improve his work skills or employment prospects, these activities cannot be counted towards the required 15 hours recognised work or work related commitments for that week.

Averaging hours of participation to satisfy the work test - approved care

Individuals are able to average the number of hours of work, or work related commitments, they undertake in a fortnight to satisfy the work test for approved care.

When either the sole parent, or both parents, undertake 15 hours activity in a week, or a total of 30 hours activity in a fortnight (i.e. an average of 15 hours per week), they will satisfy the work test for the week concerned.

When determining the total number of hours activity undertaken in a fortnight, the activities undertaken in either the week preceding the relevant week, or the week following the relevant week, can be considered.

Averaging provisions do not apply for period greater than a fortnight.

Example 1: Lina works as a casual sales assistant on a rotating roster- 24 hours one week, and 8 hours in the alternate weeks. As Lina's total fortnightly activities are at least 30 hours, she satisfies the approved care work test for both weeks in the fortnight.

Example 2: Nathan works 5-hour shifts at the local pizza bar, working 3 shifts one week, and 2 shifts in the following week. Because Nathan's total fortnightly activities are less than 30 hours, he will only satisfy the approved care work test, and be eligible for up to 50 hours of CCB, in the week that he works 3 shifts (totalling 15 hours work). In the week Nathan works 2 shifts (totalling 10 hours work) he will only be eligible for up to 24 hours of CCB.

Weekly & fortnightly eligible hour scenarios

The table below shows how the number of hours of work/training/study activity undertaken in a week can be combined with the number of hours activity in the previous or following week to determine a person's eligible hours limit.

Example: A person who works for less than 15 hours in week 1, but works more than 15 hours in week 2, and has a fortnightly total of at least 30 Hours, would be eligible for up to 50 hours CCB for both weeks.

# Hours of work/training/study activity
Week 1
# Hours of work/training/study activity
Week 2
Total fortnightly hours activities CCB Eligible Hours
Week 1
CCB Eligible Hours
Week 2
Less than 15 Less than 15 Less than 30 24 24
Less than 15 15 or more Less than 30 24 50
Less than 15 15 or more 30 or more 50 50
15 or more Less than 15 Less than 30 50 24
15 or more Less than 15 30 or more 50 50
15 or more 15 or more 30 or more 50 50

The work/training/study test - approved care prior to 3 July 2006

Before 3 July 2006 the same work/training/study test applied to both approved and registered care.

Approved care past-period claims should be assessed using the work/training/study test that applied at the time the care was provided.

For approved care past-period claims for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 income years, the work/training/study test that applies is the work/training/study test that applies to registered care.

The work/training/study test - registered care

The following table shows the commitments that satisfy the work/training/study test for individuals using registered care. Any specific conditions that apply to a commitment are listed in the second column of the table. All commitments must coincide with the week CCB is claimed (1.1.C.27). Both the claimant, and their partner (1.1.P.30) if they have one, must satisfy the test. The exceptions to the test are explained below.

Commitment Specific conditions
Paid work or self-employment
  • If the person is about to start work, this must occur within 14 days.
  • Hours of paid work need not coincide with child care hours.
  • No minimum number of hours of work is required.
Setting up a business No minimum number of hours is required.
Looking for work A person is considered as looking for work if they are able to provide evidence of actively looking for work.
Studying or training to improve work skills or employment prospects
  • Vacations during the course of study are included.
  • Lecture/tutorial times need not coincide with child care times.
  • No minimum number of contact hours is required.
Voluntary work Work must either:
  • improve work skills or employment prospects, or
  • total 15 or more hours in a week.

Work hours need not coincide with child care hours.

Example: Catherine and her husband Peter volunteer at the Smith Family and will be dropping letters in people's mailboxes for 10 hours per week. As their volunteer work will not improve their work skills or employment prospects and totals less than 15 hours in a week per person, their commitments do not satisfy the work/training/study test. If they were volunteering for at least 15 hours per week, however, this would satisfy the test.

Annual leave Leave without pay does not satisfy the work/training/study test.
Sick leave
  • Sick leave with pay for any period.
  • Maximum of 2 years leave for unpaid sick leave.
Long service leave Paid long service leave is counted.
Other paid leave Leave granted under a State/Territory law, Industrial Award or Enterprise Agreement would satisfy the work/training/study test.
Paid or unpaid parental leave Maximum of 12 months leave:
  • for a single parent (1.1.P.10), or
  • combined parental leave for both parents.

Example: Kelly takes 52 weeks maternity leave without pay. Kelly's husband, Mark, is in full-time employment. Their commitments satisfy the work/training/study test for this period.

Self-employment leave Leave must be equivalent to a paid employee's:
  • annual leave,
  • long service leave, or
  • parental leave.
Self-employment sick leave Person must:
  • not be able to work because of sickness or injury, and
  • provide a medical certificate.
Carer leave Leave must be equivalent to a paid employee's:
  • annual leave,
  • long service leave, or
  • parental leave.
Carer sick leave Person must:
  • not be able to perform caring commitments because of sickness or injury, and
  • provide a medical certificate.
Receiving CP The person receiving CP satisfies the work/training/study test.
Receiving CA for a disabled adult The person receiving CA satisfies the work/training/study test.
Receiving CA for a disabled child The family satisfies the work/training/study test if one member of a couple is receiving CA for a disabled child.
Caring for a disabled person Person must personally provide constant care and supervision for a disabled person, and because of this:
  • is unable to work, train or study, and
  • can provide evidence of the above.

The work/training/study test - for the purposes of CCR

The following table shows the commitments that satisfy the work/training/study test for individuals using approved care, for the purposes of CCR. Any specific conditions that apply to a commitment are listed in the second column of the table. All commitments must coincide with the week CCB is claimed (1.1.C.27). Both the claimant, and their partner (1.1.P.30) if they have one, must satisfy the test. The exceptions to the test are explained below.

Commitment - CCR Specific conditions
Paid work or self-employment
  • If the person is about to start work, this must occur within 14 days.
  • Hours of paid work need not coincide with child care hours.
  • No minimum number of hours of work is required.
Setting up a business No minimum number of hours is required.
Looking for work A person is considered as looking for work if they are able to provide evidence of actively looking for work.
Studying or training to improve work skills or employment prospects
  • Vacations during the course of study are included.
  • Lecture/tutorial times need not coincide with child care times.
  • No minimum number of contact hours is required.
Voluntary work Work must either:
  • improve work skills or employment prospects, or
  • total 15 or more hours in a week.

Work hours need not coincide with child care hours.

Example: Catherine and her husband Peter volunteer at the Smith Family and will be dropping letters in people's mailboxes for 10 hours per week. As their volunteer work will not improve their work skills or employment prospects and totals less than 15 hours in a week per person, their commitments do not satisfy the work/training/study test. If they were volunteering for at least 15 hours per week, however, this would satisfy the test.

Annual leave Leave without pay does not satisfy the work/training/study test.
Sick leave
  • Sick leave with pay for any period.
  • Maximum of 2 years leave for unpaid sick leave.
Long service leave Paid long service leave is counted.
Other paid leave Leave granted under a State/Territory law, Industrial Award or Enterprise Agreement would satisfy the work/training/study test.
Paid or unpaid parental leave Maximum of 12 months leave:
  • for a single parent (1.1.P.10), or
  • combined parental leave for both parents.

Example: Kelly takes 52 weeks maternity leave without pay. Kelly's husband, Mark, is in full-time employment. Their commitments satisfy the work/training/study test for this period.

Note: If Kelly was meeting the work/training/study test requirements for CCR prior to maternity leave, she will continue to meet the work/training/study test requirements for a maximum of 12 months whilst on leave.

Self-employment leave Leave must be equivalent to a paid employee's:
  • annual leave,
  • long service leave, or
  • parental leave.
Self-employment sick leave Person must:
  • not be able to work because of sickness or injury, and
  • provide a medical certificate.
Carer leave Leave must be equivalent to a paid employee's:
  • annual leave,
  • long service leave, or
  • parental leave.
Carer sick leave Person must:
  • not be able to perform caring commitments because of sickness or injury, and
  • provide a medical certificate.
Receiving CP The person receiving CP satisfies the work/training/study test.
Receiving CA for a disabled adult The person receiving CA satisfies the work/training/study test.
Receiving CA for a disabled child The family satisfies the work/training/study test if one member of a couple is receiving CA for a disabled child.
Caring for a disabled person Person must personally provide constant care and supervision for a disabled person, and because of this:
  • is unable to work, train or study, and
  • can provide evidence of the above.

Exceptions to the work/training/study test - approved care, registered care & the purposes of CCR

The following table shows the circumstances that are classed as exceptions to the work/training/study tests for both approved care, registered care and for the purposes of CCR. Any specific conditions that apply to a circumstance are listed in the second column of the table. All circumstances must coincide with the week CCB is claimed (1.1.C.27). The table also indicates whether:

  • the individual or their partner (1.1.P.30), if they have one, may be an exception, or
  • the family needs to be an exception, or
  • the exception is not related to the family.
Circumstance Specific Conditions
The individual or the individual's partner, if they have one, may be an exception
Individual or their partner is in prison or otherwise lawfully detained If both parents (1.1.P.10) are detained they are not exempt. The carer of the child can apply for CCB in their own right.
Individual or their partner is disabled Because of their disability the person is unable to:
  • satisfy the work/training/study test, nor
  • care for their children or their partner's children.
Individual or their partner is living overseas If both parents are living overseas, they are not exempt. The carer of the child can apply for CCB in their own right.

Example: John works full-time. His wife Jane stays home with their children. For family reasons, Jane goes overseas for 2 months. John satisfies the work/training/study test and Jane is an exception for the 2-month period. They would qualify for up to 50 hours CCB for each week that Jane is overseas.

The family may be an exception - approved care only
Individual or their partner is the grandparent (1.1.G.15) or great grandparent of the child The grandparent or great grandparent must be the principal carer (1.1.P.125) of the child. This does not apply to registered care (1.1.R.20).
Child is at risk of serious abuse or neglect
  • A service (1.1.A.90) must make a determination in writing, stating the reasons why they believe the child is at risk.
  • The time period must not exceed 13 weeks in any financial year, unless the service applies for, and receives, approval from Centrelink for an extension.
  • This does not apply to registered care (1.1.R.20).

Explanation: This is NOT SCCB.

Exceptional circumstances (1.1.E.50)
  • A client must complete an application giving details of their circumstances causing the need for additional hours, supported by documentary evidence.
  • Can only be approved for a specified period. The period of approval may be different in each case.
  • This does not apply to registered care (1.1.R.20).
The exception is NOT related to the family - approved care only
An approved service is the only provider of a particular type of care (1.1.T.70) in an area

Example: Areas must be a:

  • rural or remote area (1.1.R.30), or
  • township on the fringe of an urban area.
  • An exception for the service must be granted by the Secretary and will not exceed 2 years. Authority to determine such an exception has been delegated to DSS.
  • The service, however, can apply for another exception after this period.
  • All individuals using this service have an exception to the 24-hour limit.
  • This does not apply to registered care (1.1.R.20).

Act reference: FAAct section 14 Meaning of satisfies the work/training/study test, section 15 Work/training/study test - recognised work or work related commitments, section 16 Work/training/study test - recognised training commitments, section 17 Work/training/study test - recognised study commitments, section 41(2) Eligibility of individual for CCB, section 45 When an individual is eligible for CCB for a past period for care provided by a registered carer, section 52 Limit on eligibility for CCB relating to hours, section 53 Weekly limit of hours, section 54 Circumstances when a limit of 50 hours applies, section 57 Secretary's determination of sole provider

SSAct Part 2.5 Carer payment, section 952 Carer allowance definitions, section 953 Qualification for CA - caring for either 1 or 2 disabled children

Policy reference: FA Guide 2.6.1 CCB Eligibility Criteria for Individuals, 2.6.3 CCB Eligibility Requirements Relating to Hours, 2.6.7 Special Child Care Benefit (SCCB) - Eligibility Criteria

Last reviewed: 8 February 2016