1.2.4.10 Parenting Payment (PP) - Description

What is PP?

PP is an income support payment that provides financial assistance to principal carers with parenting responsibilities for a young child and provides them with incentives to increase workforce participation and reduce dependency on income support.

It is a payment for both single and partnered parents and it is payable to one member of a couple 1.1.M.120. An alternative income support payment such as NSA may be payable to the other member of the couple, depending upon their individual circumstances.

The history of the payment has resulted in certain features that are not common to other income support payments. There are effectively 2 different categories within PP. These are:

  • PPS for single parents with a youngest child aged less than 8 years old, and
  • PPP for partnered parents with a youngest child aged less than 6 years old.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'income support payment'

How PP is paid

PP is usually paid fortnightly.

Supplementary assistance

Recipients of PP MAY also receive one or more of the following as part of their rate:

  • FTB Part A and FTB Part B (FA Guide 1.2.1),
  • child care subsidy (FA Guide 1.2.6),
  • additional child care subsidy (FA Guide 1.2.7),
  • rent assistance (1.2.7.10),
  • energy supplement (1.2.12.20),
  • pharmaceutical allowance (1.2.7.20),
  • pension supplement (1.2.10.10) if over age pension age,
  • remote area allowance (1.2.7.80).

Recipients of PP MAY also be entitled to the following:

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.5.1.130 Supplementary Benefits & Employment Assistance for PP Recipients

FA Guide 1.1.P.120 Primary carer (FTB)

Bereavement payment provisions

Parenting payment (single):

  • Following the death of a PPS recipient, a bereavement payment may be payable to the person best entitled to it.
  • Following the death of a qualifying child, bereavement payments may be payable.

Parenting payment (partnered):

  • The surviving member of a couple may be eligible for bereavement payments following the death of a partner.
  • Following the death of a qualifying child, bereavement payments may be payable.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.5.112 Death of a PP Recipient's Partner

Background information

PP was introduced on 20 March 1998, and amalgamated the former SPP, which was paid to single parents, and PgA, which was paid to partnered parents. This change was announced by the Australian Government in the 1997-1998 Budget.

While some conditions which differed between the former payments were aligned, such as the assets test, core conditions such as rates, the income test and concessions did not change with the introduction of PP. Single recipients of PP continued to be subject to pension rates, income testing and concessions while partnered recipients were subject to benefit rates, income testing and concessions.

From 1 July 2006, the definition of PP child (1.1.P.340) was amended so that people claiming PP on or after that date would receive PP until their youngest child turned 8 (for single recipients) or 6 (for partnered recipients).

People who had been receiving PP since before 1 July 2006 could remain on this payment until their youngest child turned 16, subject to continued eligibility and meeting participation requirements from when their youngest child turned 7.

From 20 September 2009, changes were made to pensions such as the Age, DSP and CP as part of the Secure and Sustainable Pensions reforms. As a result, the rate and income test for PPS are no longer the same as the rates and income test for these pensions.

Changes were made to the PP transitional arrangements from 1 July 2011. A person who was subject to the PP transitional arrangements and had a PP child enter their care on or after 1 July 2011 was not covered by the PP transitional arrangements in respect of that child. That is, the person can be eligible for PP for that child until the child turns 6 years, if the person is a member of a couple, or 8 years, if the person is single.

From 1 January 2013, transitional arrangements were abolished meaning, regardless of when they claimed payment, all parents could only receive PP until their youngest child turned 8 (for single recipients) or 6 (for partnered parents).

Act reference: SSAct section 500(1) Qualification for PP

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.5.1 PP - Qualification & Payability, 5.1.4.10 PP - Current Rates, 1.1.P.340 PP child (PP)

Last reviewed: 20 September 2018