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. Primary claimant for PLP - partner either of birth mother or initial primary carer adoptive parent


The PPL Rules prescribe the conditions whereby a person who is the partner of the birth mother or, in cases of adoption, the partner of the adoptive parent who initially was, or was intended to be, the primary carer (1.1.P.230) of the child, may also be the primary claimant for PLP.

They are subject also to the additional requirements specified under exceptional circumstances below.

Eligibility criteria

The partner of either the birth mother or adoptive parent initially intended to be the primary carer, who is the initial primary carer and primary claimant of PLP, must meet eligibility criteria relating to:

They must also:

  • be the primary carer of the child (other than where the child was stillborn or has died, they are temporarily unable to be the primary carer (1.1.T.50) or where they have lost care for the child (1.1.L.30)), and
  • for a PPL period, not have worked since becoming the primary carer, or for a flexible PPL day, not be working on the day (not applicable in cases of stillbirth, child death, if they have lost care of the child without their consent; if they are a defence force member or law enforcement officer and they have been compulsorily recalled to duty; if they had to comply with a summons or other compulsory process to appear; or if they are a health professional, emergency services worker or other essential worker (1.1.E.95) and they returned to work in response to a state, territory or national emergency).

Note: From 1 January 2019, a NARWP applies to PLP. There are a range of exemptions from the effect of the NARWP for PLP and situations where the NARWP does not apply (

Exceptional circumstances criteria

To claim PLP as a primary claimant under exceptional circumstances the person must have become the primary carer of the child before the child's first birthday or before the first anniversary of the day of placement of the child for adoption.

They must have care of the child and expect to continue to have care of the child for at least 26 weeks, and either:

  • the birth mother or initial adoptive parent must be incapable of caring for the child (1.1.I.05) and be expected to remain so for at least 26 weeks, or
  • Centrelink is satisfied on reasonable grounds that
    • the person became the primary carer in special circumstances
    • it would be unreasonable (1.1.U.10) for the birth mother or other adoptive parent to care for the child, and
    • it is in the interests of the child (1.1.I.90) for the person to care for the child.

Act reference: PPLAct section 31 When a person is eligible for PLP on a day other than a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31AA When a person is eligible for PLP on a flexible PPL day for a child, section 31A Newly arrived resident's waiting period, section 47 When a person is the primary carer of a child, section 54 Who can make a primary claim, secondary claim or tertiary claim, section 275 How this Act applies to an adopted child

PPL Rules Part 2 Eligibility for PLP, Part 3 Claims for PLP

Policy reference: PPL Guide PLP core eligibility requirements, 2.2.2 PPL scheme work test for PLP, 2.2.3 PPL scheme income test for PLP, 2.2.4 PPL scheme Australian residency test & absences from Australia for PLP, NARWP for PLP & DAPP, 2.2.13 Return to work & when paid work is for a permissible purpose for PLP

Last reviewed: