The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. TheĀ information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

Using the Family Assistance Guide

Welcome to the Family Assistance Guide. The Guide has been designed as a web publication (HTML). It is not available in a single electronic file or in paper format.

What does the Guide cover?

The Guide is divided into 8 parts as explained in the following table:

Part name What is covered
1 Key terms & principles This part contains definitions of key terms used in this Guide and basic descriptions of the various payments and benefits provided for in the FA (1.1.F.02) legislation.
2 Eligibility This part covers eligibility for all the payments made under FA legislation.
3 Rate calculation This part covers calculation of rates of payment under the FA legislation.
4 Claims & payments This part contains information on claiming payments administered under the FA legislation. Common provisions for FA payments are contained in 4.1. Policy specific to particular payments is described separately.
5 Gathering information This part covers information on the legislative basis for gathering and sharing information about individuals and their FA entitlements.
6 Review & reconciliation This part covers the review process in place for decision on FA made by Centrelink agencies, as well as the reconciliation of some FA payments.
7 Debts This part covers information about FA and other debts (1.1.D.60). It also discusses the various methods by which FA and other debts may be recovered.
8 Transitional arrangements This part covers transitional arrangements for FA payments that have been altered or discontinued.

Use of abbreviations

For ease of reference the following abbreviations are used in the Guide:

  • FA Guide - Family Assistance Guide
  • FAAct - A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999
  • FA(Admin)Act - A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999
  • CCSMinRules - Child Care Subsidy Minister's Rules 2017
  • CCSSecRules - Child Care Subsidy Secretary's Rules 2017
  • SS Guide - Social Security Guide
  • SSAct - Social Security Act 1991
  • SS(Admin)Act - Social Security (Administration) Act 1999
  • SS(IntAgree)Act - Social Security (International Agreements) Act 1999
  • PPL Guide - Paid Parental Leave Guide
  • PPLAct - Paid Parental Leave Act 2010
  • CS Guide - Child Support Guide
  • CSA Act - Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989

Finding information

The following features are provided to assist in finding relevant information:

  • Search - type your search term (words or phrases) in the search box at the top of the page. The Advanced search on the results page allows a search to be limited to a specific Guide or Guides.
  • Site map - gives an overall picture of the structure of the FA Guide.
  • Keyword index - this provides an extensive list of words which can be used to search for specific topics.
  • Act reference index - this provides a list of sections in the family assistance legislation referenced in the Guide. This can be used to search for topics that relate to each listed section.


The Guide has a number of links incorporated at various levels, including the following:

  • Act references - links to relevant law on the Federal Register of Legislation website
  • Policy references - links to related information in other parts of the Guide, and sometimes to other policy documents.

Last reviewed: