2.3.1 When an ACO is eligible for FTB for a child
- general eligibility criteria,
- ACO eligibility and other types of payment,
- ACOs and other FTB eligible individuals,
- an individual providing care for a child in an ACO, and
- ACO co-ordinates residential services.
An ACO is paid a flat rate of FTB.
Policy reference: FA Guide 3.1.2 FTB rate for ACOs
General eligibility criteria
An ACO is eligible for FTB for a child if:
- the child is:
- aged under 16 years, or
- aged 16 to 19 years (up to the end of the calendar year in which they turn 19) and a senior secondary school child (1.1.S.27), and
- the child is a client of the organisation, and
- the child is an Australian resident (1.1.A.130), and
- an individual is not eligible for FTB for that child.
ACO eligibility & other types of payment
The ACO is not eligible for FTB if the child of any age, or someone else on their behalf, is receiving one of the following payments:
- a social security pension (1.1.S.90) or benefit (1.1.S.60), or
- a labour market program (1.1.L.10) payment, or
- a prescribed educational scheme payment (1.1.P.100).
Act reference: FAAct section 35(1) When an approved care organisation is not eligible for FTB
ACOs & other FTB eligible individuals
An ACO is not eligible for FTB for a child if anyone else is eligible for FTB for the child. If an individual becomes eligible for FTB for a child who was cared for by an ACO, the ACO loses eligibility. FTB cannot be shared between an individual and an ACO.
Example: An ACO arranges long-term foster care with carer families. In these circumstances the foster carer is eligible for FTB, not the ACO, as the foster carer has legal responsibility for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the child.
Individual providing care for a child in an ACO
If an individual is providing care for a child who is living in an ACO, it is possible for the individual to retain eligibility for FTB. In this case, the ACO cannot be eligible for FTB for the child.
Factors that should be considered when deciding whether the child is an FTB child of an individual even though the child is a client of an ACO include:
- Is the individual still responsible for the welfare and development of the child?
Example: The child receives their education in a boarding school.
- Does the individual provide financial support for the child?
Example: The individual pays fees to the ACO.
- Does the individual have regular contact with the child?
Example: The individual visits regularly on weekends, takes the child on day trips, or has the child overnight at home.
- Does the individual provide for the health and physical well-being of the child?
Example: The individual is consulted when the child needs medical attention and pays for any medical costs.
- Is the individual the first contact in case of an emergency?
- Is there a definite date or intention for the child to return to live with the individual?
All factors should be considered when deciding if the child is a dependant of the individual or the ACO.
Example: Tony advises Centrelink that his child Susan has started to live in an ACO on a long-term basis. He provides financial and emotional support for Susan and is involved in making the day-to-day decisions about her care. Susan is still an FTB child of Tony's. The private financial arrangement he has made with the ACO for their costs may or may not be equivalent to the amount of FTB he receives.
ACO co-ordinates residential services
An ACO which co-ordinates but does not provide residential services to young people is still eligible for FTB. The young people in these circumstances are treated as clients of the ACO.
Act reference: FAAct section 34(3) Expanded meaning of client of an organisation