2.2.12.10 Tertiary claimant for PLP in exceptional circumstances

Introduction

PLP is payable to a tertiary claimant in exceptional circumstances in the following situations:

  • For PLP in relation to the maximum PPL period (1.1.M.20) for the child - a determination that PLP is payable to a secondary claimant for the maximum PPL period for the child is in force on the day before the start of the tertiary claimant's PPL period (1.1.P.200); and the tertiary claimant was or will be eligible on each day in their PPL period.
  • For PLP in relation to a flexible PPL day (1.1.F.70) for the child - a determination that PLP is payable to a secondary claimant for the maximum PPL period for the child, or for a flexible PPL day for the child, is in force; and the tertiary claimant was or will be eligible on that flexible PPL day.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for PLP, a person who is a tertiary claimant must:

  • meet the Australian residency test (1.1.A.110)
  • be the primary carer of the child or meet requirements relating either to temporary inability to care (1.1.T.50) or loss of care for the child (1.1.L.30), and
  • for a PPL period, not have returned to work since becoming the primary carer, or for a flexible PPL day, not be working on the day, other than
    • where recalled to duty (1.1.R.05), if the person is a defence force member or law enforcement officer
    • where the person returned to work in response to a state, territory or national emergency and they are a health professional, emergency services worker or other essential worker (1.1.E.95), or
    • if working while care arrangements are being settled (1.1.T.100).

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 (2.2.4.30).

Tertiary claimant

To make a tertiary claim:

  • the person must have, and be likely to continue to have, care of the child for at least 26 weeks, and
  • the person and their partner must not have been entrusted with care of the child resulting from a decision by a state or territory child protection agency under its relevant legislation.

Exceptional circumstances - where the tertiary claimant was the primary claimant

Where the tertiary claimant has previously been the primary claimant for the child they must be resuming, or have resumed, primary care of the child because the secondary claimant:

  • was the primary carer of the child in exceptional circumstances (1.1.E.100) which have ceased to exist, or
  • is incapable of caring for the child and is likely to continue to be incapable of caring for the child for at least 26 weeks.

Example: The child's mother had received 2 weeks of her PPL period when she was involved in an accident. The mother was hospitalised and in a coma with her future life expectations very uncertain. The child's father became the child's primary carer and took leave from work. The child's father did not meet the PPL work test so could not claim PLP as a secondary claimant in normal circumstances. The father successfully claimed the remaining PLP for the child as a secondary claimant in exceptional circumstances. Ten weeks after the father became the child's primary carer the mother had recovered enough to resume primary care of the child. She received the remaining PLP entitlement (30 flexible PPL days) as a tertiary claimant.

Exceptional circumstances - where the tertiary claimant was not the primary claimant

Where the tertiary claimant was not the primary claimant, they may be eligible where any of the following apply:

  • They have or will become the primary carer because the primary and secondary claimants are incapable of caring for the child and are expected to remain incapable for at least 26 weeks.
  • Centrelink is satisfied on reasonable grounds that
    • the person became the primary carer in special circumstances, and
    • it would be unreasonable (1.1.U.10) for the primary and secondary claimants to care for the child, and
    • it is in the interests of the child (1.1.I.90) for the tertiary claimant to care for the child.

Example: The child's mother was the primary claimant for PLP. She chose to transfer the full 18 weeks of PLP to her husband because she wished to return to work early. 2 weeks after the start of the secondary claimant's PPL period, both parents were killed in a car accident. The child's aunt took on care of the baby. She had not been working for long enough to meet the PPL work test and claim PLP in her own right as a primary claimant, but she was able to successfully claim the balance of 16 weeks PLP (10 week PPL period and 30 flexible PPL days) as a tertiary claimant.

Only one transfer of a PPL period to a tertiary claimant

Only one transfer of PLP to a tertiary claimant can be made during the 12-week PPL period, as the tertiary claimant's PPL period must immediately follow that of a secondary claimant.

PPL period start day for tertiary claims

For PLP in relation to the maximum PPL period for a child, transfer of PLP occurs on a particular day, as the result of a change in primary carer for that child on and from that day. In order to establish entitlement to PLP for a PPL period, the tertiary claimant must have become the primary carer of the child on the day after the secondary claimant ceased to provide such care, i.e. this must be a continuous block of care transitioning from one carer to another without any breaks. This also means that the tertiary claimant must claim for and, if eligible, receive PLP for their PPL period in respect of the first day that they were the child's primary carer. The provisions relating to working while the new care arrangements for the child are being settled enable this to occur in some situations.

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 54 Who can make a primary claim, secondary claim or tertiary claim, section 276 How this Act applies to claims made in exceptional circumstances

PPL Rules section 12 Prescribed conditions for tertiary claimants, section 29 Exceptional circumstances for tertiary claimants

Policy reference: PPL Guide 2.2.1 PLP eligibility overview, 2.2.4.30 NARWP for PLP & DAPP

Last reviewed: 10 May 2021