The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The 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.

1.1.P.120 Primary carer (FTB)


For the purposes of FTB, the primary carer is the member of a couple (1.1.M.50) identified as having greater responsibility for the children.

The primary carer is the person who generally:

  • has major daily responsibility for caring for the child/ren in the family
  • looks after the child/ren's needs
    • Example: Dressing, feeding, bathing, outings.
  • makes most arrangements for the daily needs of the child/ren
  • makes appointments for the child/ren
    • Example: Appointments at school or with doctors or dentists and accompanies them on those appointments.
  • is the first individual for the day care, school, or college to contact in emergencies, or
  • is the individual who is responsible for taking the child/ren to and from day care, pre-school, kindergarten or school.

The primary carer may be an individual in receipt of PP. Although receipt of PP generally indicates who stays home to care for the children, that individual may not always be the primary carer for FA purposes. PP for members of a couple is mainly a payment to provide parents with flexible choices about work and family responsibilities.

Paying FA to the primary carer arises from provisions that prevent FA from being paid to more than one individual for the same child.

Act reference: FAAct section 26 Only 1 member of a couple eligible for FTB

Last reviewed: