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.

2.6.3 CCS eligibility - attending secondary school


For an individual (1.1.I.90) to be eligible for CCS, the child must be aged 13 and under and not be attending secondary school (unless the child is a member of the prescribed class who an individual can be eligible for despite the child not meeting this eligibility criteria). As per the Australian Education Regulation 2013 made under the Australian Education Act 2013, for the purpose of CCS, secondary school is:

  • for schools other than special schools, in all states and territories except for South Australia, secondary education constitutes years 7 to 12. In South Australia, secondary education constitutes years 8 to 12,
  • for special schools, secondary education constitutes education provided to students aged 12 to 21 at the school.

For the purposes of CCS, a child will be taken to be attending secondary school when they are enrolled and scheduled to attend their first day of secondary school. This means children who are aged 13 and under will be eligible for CCS up to and including the day before they are scheduled to attend their first day of secondary school (1.1.C.18). By way of example, the child could be taken to be attending secondary school if they are enrolled at secondary school and classes have started, even if they do not attend a particular day of secondary school (i.e. if unwell on their first day, or if they never physically attend school because they are doing distance education).

Individuals are obliged to notify Centrelink of any change of circumstances that affects their eligibility or entitlement (1.1.E.30), including that their child has started attending secondary school. Individuals with children of secondary school age will receive a reminder in January to notify the date their child is enrolled to start secondary school, if they have not already provided this information.

Notwithstanding these requirements, the CCSMinRules prescribe certain classes of children for whom an individual can be eligible for CCS and/or ACCS despite the child not meeting age and school status eligibility criteria.

Act reference: FAAct section 85BA Eligibility for CCS, section 85CA Eligibility for ACCS (child wellbeing)

CCSMinRules Part 2 Division 1A Prescribed classes of children for eligibility for CCS or ACCS

Policy reference: FA Guide 5.2.1 Change of circumstances, 2.6.1 CCS eligibility, CCS - eligibility for children aged 13 & under & attending secondary school or aged 14 or above

Last reviewed: