3.5.1.20 Child-related Qualification for PP - Overview

Summary

This topic explains the following child-related qualification criteria for PP:

  • PP child (1.1.P.340), and
  • residence qualification - child absences from Australia (1.1.A.320).

It also covers Torres Strait Islander adoption practices (Kupai Omasker).

The child-related qualification provisions that apply in shared care and foster care situations are described in the following 2 topics:

  • 3.5.1.50 Child-related Qualification for PP - Shared Care, and
  • 3.5.1.65 Child-related Qualification for PP - Foster Care.

PP child

The primary child-related qualification criteria for PP, is for the person to have a PP child (1.1.D.70).

Act reference: SSAct section 500D PP child, section 5(2) and section 5(3) Dependent child-under 16

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.P.340 PP child (PP)

Child-related residence qualification - absences from Australia

The following table explains when a person is the principal carer of a child, and hence where the child can be regarded as a PP child.

If the child… Then the child…
  • leaves Australia temporarily, AND
  • continues to be absent for MORE THAN 6 weeks, AND
  • is NOT in the company of a person who is receiving PP with respect to that child,

CANNOT be a PP child at any time after the 6 weeks, while they remain outside Australia (section 5(21)).

Example: Jack is the only PP child of Jill. Jack goes overseas to visit family for 20 weeks, whilst Jill remains in Australia. Jill loses her eligibility for PP after 6 weeks elapses. When Jack returns to Australia, Jill is eligible for PP once more, subject to meeting the usual criteria.

  • leaves Australian temporarily, AND
  • continues to be absent for MORE than 6 weeks, AND
  • is IN the company of a person who is receiving payment with respect to that child,

IS the PP child of the recipient UNTIL the portability period of PP recipient ends (section 5(21)).

Example: Jack is the only PP child of Jill. Jack goes overseas to visit family for 20 weeks. Jill remains in Australia for the first 5 weeks and then joins Jack for the last 15 weeks of the trip. Jill's portability period begins when she leaves Australia. Jill loses her eligibility for PP after she has been absent from Australia for 6 weeks.

Explanation: PP generally attracts a 6 week portability period, which commences when the recipient leaves the country. If the PP child leaves Australia before the PP recipient, the portability period begins on the date the PP recipient leaves Australia (section 1217).

The portability period will end 6 weeks after this date, unless this is extended under the SSAct (section 1218C).

  • leaves Australia and it is determined that the absence is NOT temporary,
CANNOT be a PP child for any period of the absence (section 5(22)).
  • was born outside Australia, AND
  • continues to be absent from Australia for more than 6 weeks following birth, AND
  • is NOT in the company of a person who is receiving PP,

CANNOT be a PP child at any time after the 6 weeks, while they remain outside Australia (section 5(23)).

  • was born outside Australia, AND
  • continues to be absent from Australia for more than 6 weeks immediately following birth, AND
  • is IN the company of a person who is receiving PP with respect to that child,

IS the PP child of the recipient UNTIL the portability period of the PP recipient ends (section 5(23)).

is not a PP child because:
  • of a temporary absence of more than 6 weeks (section 5(21)), or
  • they were born outside of Australia (section 5(23)), or
  • this provision has been applied previously, AND
  • returns to Australia, but leaves again within 6 weeks of last arriving in Australia,

CANNOT be a PP child during the entire period of the subsequent overseas absence.

Example: Jack is the only PP child of Jill. Five weeks after returning from his 20 week overseas trip Jack goes on another 4 week overseas holiday. Jill is not eligible for PP during this period, because Jack has left Australia within 6 weeks of last arriving in Australia.

Act reference: SSAct section 5(21) to (24) Principal carer-child absent from Australia, section 1217 Meaning of maximum portability period…, section 1218C Extension of person's portability period-general

Policy reference: SS Guide 7.1 Conditions for payment outside Australia, 7.1.2.20 Application of portability rules (portability table), 7.2 Arrangements for payment outside Australia

Torres Strait Islander child rearing practices

Kupai Omasker is the project name, given by the Kupai Omasker Working Party. Kupai is the Torres Strait Western Island word for 'umbilical cord', and Omasker is the Torres Strait Eastern Island word for 'children'. The words used together can be interpreted as 'the caring of all our children'.

This Torres Strait Islander traditional child rearing practice is the giving of a child or children from one family to another, with the child/ren usually remaining within the extended family permanently. This is by mutual consent between the 2 parties concerned. The practice is widespread throughout Torres Strait Island society, both in the Torres Straits and on mainland Australia.

By custom, this traditional child rearing practice is not openly discussed and can be seen as a taboo topic. People may not be certain of, or reluctant to discuss, the status of children in the community. It is confidential and private between the parties involved. While this child rearing practice is not openly discussed, generally the family tells the child of their status when they believe the 'time is right'. Community protocols designed to protect the child and the families govern how and when various parties gain access to information regarding the child rearing arrangement.

Torres Strait Islanders are adamant regarding the preservation of the cultural issues in their lives. One particular concern is their traditional child rearing practice and the way in which contemporary Australian society impacts on these practices, e.g. issuing of birth certificates.

Torres Strait Islanders have now reached a point where they are undertaking formal processes required for the legal recognition of these cultural practices in all Australian jurisdictions. The Family Court of Australia already recognises this practice and Torres Strait Islanders are requesting that other state legislative bodies recognise their traditional child rearing practices when making decisions regarding children.

A carer, who is not the natural parent of a child, can be qualified to receive PP in relation to the child, as long as no person with legal responsibility for the child is also living in the same home or providing care for the child.

Act reference: SSAct section 5(1A) A person is a student child…, section 5(1B) A person is a young person at…, section 500D PP child

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.5.1.10 Qualification Summary for PP

Last reviewed: 13 August 2018