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. Child support collection

Child Support collection

Payees can apply for assessment and/or collection of child support (1.1.C.20) through the Child Support Program administered by Services Australia.

Private collection

Prior to 1 July 2012, unless the payee had been granted an exemption, they were required to privately collect 100% of the amount payable under the order/agreement or the formula assessment, otherwise Child Support collection was required. It was assumed that the payee was collecting 100% unless they advised Centrelink otherwise. Failure to collect the full amount resulted in FTB being reduced to the base rate for the child.

From 1 July 2012, the rate of FTB Part A for a child will not be restricted to the base child rate due to the payee privately collecting less than their full child support entitlement. If it is reasonable for the payee to take action to privately collect their full entitlement, they are deemed to have received the full child support entitlement for the purpose of the maintenance income test. The deemed amount applies both when the amount collected is less than the entitlement, and when the amount collected exceeds the entitlement (for example, if the payee subsequently begins to collect the full entitlement plus arrears).

Example: Samantha has a private collect child support case and is assessed to receive $4,000 per annum. Samantha advises Centrelink that she has only been able to collect $3,500. It is determined that it is reasonable for Samantha to take action to collect the full amount of child support. Samantha would be deemed to have received the full child support entitlement ($4,000) for the maintenance income test, and would continue to satisfy the MAT.

A deemed amount of child support will not apply in private collect cases if it is considered reasonable for the payee to collect less than their full entitlement (e.g. where there is a fear of violence). For further details on circumstances when an exemption would be appropriate see

Where a deemed amount of child support does not apply, child support payments made into a trust account but not paid to the payee or the child are not included when determining the amount of child support received.

Policy reference: FA Guide 3.1.7 Maintenance income test, Exemptions from the maintenance action test, Changing the method of collection, Reasonable maintenance action completed - private collect

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