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.Q.10 Qualifying period (FTB)


For the purposes of FTB, the maximum qualifying period is 14 weeks from the date that the individual loses care (1.1.C.90) of the child. The actual period that applies to an individual depends on the circumstances of the case.

The qualifying period is the period of time that begins on the date the child ceases to be in the individual's care, during which FTB continues to be paid to that individual, and ends at the earliest of the following:

  • the date the individual regains care of the child
  • the end of the 14-week period
  • the date the child comes into the care of the other parent (1.1.P.10), if there is no family law order or registered parenting plan (1.1.P.21) in place in relation to the child, or
  • the date a change of care is considered to have taken place when the individual fails to take reasonable steps to regain care of the child.

Special circumstances where the qualifying period does not apply

If a child ceases to be in an individual's care without their consent, the child may immediately cease to be an FTB child or regular care child of the individual in special circumstances. The change would result in the individual's eligibility for FTB or CCS for the child ceasing. It would also enable the individual who has actual care of the child to become eligible for FA payments for the child if they meet normal eligibility criteria.

Act reference: FAAct section 23(5)-'qualifying period'

Policy reference: FA Guide Disputed care arrangements

Last reviewed: