188.8.131.52 CCS - determination on effective claim
- an initial determination of eligibility, and
- notification of indicative entitlement (1.1.E.30) information (including nil entitlement).
Initial determination of eligibility
When an individual (1.1.I.90) makes an effective CCS claim in respect of a child, Centrelink must make an initial determination of the individual's eligibility in respect of that child.
The initial determination of eligibility will be based on whether the individual meets the CCS eligibility requirements, using:
- the information provided by the individual in the claim
- other relevant information held by Centrelink (where the individual is an existing Centrelink customer), and
- other relevant information held by third parties (e.g. Department of Home Affairs, ATO).
If Centrelink determines that the individual does meet the eligibility requirements in respect of the child, they will be notified that their claim for CCS by fee reduction has been granted. This means weekly entitlement determinations can be made for the individual following submission of session reports (1.1.S.35) for the child by an approved provider (1.1.A.90).
Date of effect - initial determination of eligibility
Where a determination of initial eligibility is made, the date of effect will be the first day on which the individual met the eligibility requirements (FAAct section 85BA(1)) that is also:
- the first Monday of a CCS fortnight (1.1.C.10), and
- not more than 28 days before the claim was made.
Example: A child commences at an approved child care service on Monday 1 October 2018 and attends for a 2-month period (until 1 December 2018). The child's mother submits an effective CCS claim on 20 November 2018 and is found to be eligible (and entitled) to receive CCS for the child. The family will receive CCS subsidy payments backdated to Monday 5 November 2018, as the earliest day the mother met the eligibility requirements that was also the first Monday of a CCS fortnight not more than 28 days before the claim was made.
Notification of indicative entitlement information
When making a claim for CCS, individuals are required to provide additional details, such as their estimated combined ATI (1.1.A.20) and details of activity the individual (and their partner (1.1.P.30), if applicable) are undertaking. Centrelink will use these additional details to provide the individual with initial information about their CCS entitlement including:
- their CCS percentage, and
- their activity test result (number of subsidised hours per fortnight).
Individuals must notify Centrelink as soon as practicable if there is a change in their circumstances that might affect their eligibility or entitlement.
Note: A CCS annual cap, which placed a limit on the amount of subsidy a child could receive per year, applied prior to the 2021-22 financial year. The annual cap was removed from the 2021-22 financial year onwards.
Eligible individuals with nil entitlement
Individuals can meet the CCS eligibility requirements but not be entitled to receive CCS based on their reported income or activity at CCS claim. This occurs when the individual's estimated combined ATI for the financial year is more than the high income threshold, or they or their partner do meet, and are not exempt from the activity test.
Where an individual is eligible for CCS but with a nil entitlement, and their child uses an approved child care service, CCS payments can commence if the individual provides new information to Centrelink about their circumstances (including at income review (1.1.R.10)) which may result in them being entitled to more than nil for the relevant financial year.
Example 1: Elsie makes a claim for CCS on behalf of her and her partner Clark. Elsie and Clark meet the CCS eligibility requirements but their combined estimated ATI exceeds $350,000. Therefore, Elsie will be eligible for CCS but will not be entitled to receive CCS payments. Determinations of no entitlement are made in respect of the session reports submitted by Elise and Clark's approved provider for their child. Following income review the family's actual ATI is determined to be $341,000, meaning the estimate of combined family income provided by Elsie at claim was incorrect, and the family was not above the high income threshold for the financial year. Elise's actual CCS entitlement will be calculated (for the eligible sessions of care (1.1.S.40) reported for her child throughout year) based on a CCS percentage of 20%, and paid to Elsie as a lump sum (pending the repayment of other debts etc.). This outcome will only occur if Elsie lodged her CCS claim a maximum of 28 days after her child commenced in child care (despite having nil entitlement at that time) as eligibility for CCS can only be backdated up to a maximum of 28 days.
Example 2: Jenny makes a claim for CCS on behalf of her and her partner Liam. Jenny and Liam meet the CCS eligibility requirements, and their combined family income estimate is $90,000. However, Liam stays home to care for their child and does not participate in a recognised activity for CCS purposes. This means that Jenny is eligible for CCS, but her entitlement will be zero hours per fortnight. Determinations of no entitlement are made in respect of the session reports submitted by Jenny and Liam's approved provider for their child. At some point during the financial year, Liam commences in 8 hours per fortnight of voluntary work, which involves reading to children at the children's school. As this is a recognised activity for the purposes of the CCS activity test, the family is now entitled to, and will receive up to 36 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight.