4.4.2.10 Change in Non-Income Related Circumstances

Introduction

This topic explains the dates of effect to apply to non-income related changes in circumstances. These changes in circumstances may result in a rate increase, decrease or cancellation of FTB.

Examples of non-income related changes in circumstances include:

  • birth of a subsequent child,
  • child leaves care,
  • partnering,
  • separation,
  • permanently leaving Australia, and
  • child ceasing to be a senior secondary school child.

Treatment of changes

Where an individual receiving fortnightly instalments has a non-income related change in circumstances, a retrospective determination can be made and a top-up amount issued, as appropriate. Where an unfavourable result is produced from a retrospective determination, a debt may occur.

Policy reference: FA Guide 7.1.2 FA Debts - Individuals & ACOs

Date of effect of non-income related changes where retrospectivity involved

The following table outlines the date of effect of favourable and unfavourable non-income related changes.

If a non-income related change in circumstances resulting in a… is notified… the date of effect of the reassessment is…
favourable determination, before the end of the financial year after the financial year in which the change occurred, the date the change in circumstances occurred.

Example: On 1 July (financial year 2), Simone informs Centrelink of the birth of her third child). The child was born 10 August (financial year 1). As the effect of the change is favourable and the individual notified Centrelink of the change in circumstances before the end of financial year 2, which is before 30 June, the date of effect of the reassessment is 10 August, the date of the change.

favourable determination, after the end of the financial year after the financial year in which the change occurred, the beginning of the financial year before the financial year in which the individual notifies of a change in circumstances.

Example: Simone informs Centrelink of the birth of their third child on 1 July (financial year 3). The child was born 10 August (financial year 1). As the effect of the change is favourable and the individual did not inform Centrelink before the end of financial year 2 the date of effect of the reassessment is 1 July, the start of financial year 2.

unfavourable determination, at any time, the date of the change in circumstances.

Example: Mary advises she no longer provides care to her sole FTB child. The date of effect of the cancellation of FTB is the date her child left her care. A debt is raised for the period she received FTB after the child left her care.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 31 Variation of instalment entitlement determination to reflect changes in eligibility, section 71 Debts arising in respect of family assistance other than CCB, CCR and FTB advance

Partnering & separation

Where an individual advises of a change in their relationship status due to partnering or separation it is regarded as a non-income related change of circumstances. This is because it is a change of circumstances occurring at a particular time as opposed to revising an estimate of income. If an individual also revises their estimate of income at the same time as notifying the change in relationship status, 2 different dates of effect may apply in reassessing FTB entitlement.

Example: Mary advises on 20 April that she separated from her partner on 10 April. The reassessment of her FTB resulting from the removal of her partner's income applies from 10 April. At the same time she revises the estimate of her own income. The reassessment of her FTB to take into account her revised estimate applies from 20 April.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 31 Variation of instalment entitlement determination to reflect changes in eligibility

Policy reference: FA Guide 4.4.2.20 Change in Income Related Circumstances

Child no longer a senior secondary school child

Where an FTB child who is a senior secondary school child (1.1.S.27) completes full-time secondary study, they will cease to be a senior secondary school child. This change in status may result in a reduction, or in some cases an increase, in the rate of FTB Part A payable for the child. It may also result in cancellation of FTB Part B and MBA. The date from which the child ceases to be a senior secondary school child, and thus have their rate or eligibility affected, may vary, depending on the circumstances. Once the child completes full-time secondary study, the child will cease to be a senior secondary school child from:

  • 31 December of the year in which they completed their course where the course is completed in December,
  • at the end of the period of 28 days beginning on the day after the course end date if the course is completed prior to December.

An FTB child who is still undertaking full-time secondary study will cease to be a senior secondary school child from the end of the year in which the child turns 19. As a result, their rate may be affected from the start of the following year.

Note: A child ceases to be both an FTB child and a senior secondary school child when:

  • the exemption period for a child who is exempt from the FTB activity test comes to an end, where there is no extension to the exemption and the child does not go back to school, and
  • when the child is granted an income support payment, such as YA, in their own right.

In these situations, FTB is cancelled from the event date.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 31 Variation of instalment entitlement determination to reflect changes in eligibility

FAAct section 22B Meaning of senior secondary school child, section 22 When an individual is an FTB child of another individual

Policy reference: FA Guide 1.1.S.27 Senior secondary school child (FTB), 2.1.1.10 FTB Child, 1.1.F.60 Full-time secondary study (FTB), 4.4.8 Review of FTB Entitlements

Last reviewed: 20 September 2016