2.2.8 Person no longer primary carer - PLP remains payable
Child stillborn or dies
An exception to the requirement for a primary carer to provide ongoing care exists in cases where the child is stillborn (1.1.S.90), or subsequently dies. In such a case, provided the individual establishes to the satisfaction of Centrelink that they would have been the primary carer for the child but for the stillbirth or the child's death, they may claim, establish eligibility for, be paid PLP as if the child had not died or been stillborn. In this situation, the primary claimant, whether this is the birth mother or another person, may return to work during the PPL period (1.1.P.200) or on a flexible PPL day (1.1.F.70) and remain eligible for PLP.
Birth mother ceases to be the primary carer
The PPL Rules provide further exceptions to the requirement for an eligible birth mother to provide ongoing care of the child to remain eligible for PLP for 18 weeks after the child's birth.
Where the eligible birth mother, on a day within 18 weeks of the child's birth, is not caring for the child because she relinquished the child:
- as part of the process for adoption of the child, or
- because the child was born of a surrogacy arrangement, or
- because the child was removed from her care by a state or territory child protection agency
she remains eligible for PLP provided she does not return to work during the 18 weeks.
Where the eligible birth mother intended to relinquish the child in any of the above circumstances, but the child was stillborn or has died, she remains eligible for PLP and may return to work during the 18 weeks.
Temporary inability to care
A primary, secondary or tertiary claimant for PLP may remain eligible to receive PLP if they are temporarily unable to be the primary carer of the child due to circumstances beyond their control, such as serious illness or where the person has to travel overseas for medical treatment.
Centrelink must be satisfied the person was or will be the primary carer of the child. The period of temporary inability to care must be likely to be less than 26 weeks, and Centrelink must be satisfied the person would be the child's primary carer except for the temporary inability to care. In addition, there must not be a determination in place that PLP is payable to another person for the child on the same day.
Loss of care for a child
A primary, secondary or tertiary claimant for PLP may remain eligible to receive PLP even though they are temporarily unable to care for the child because an event occurs without the person's consent that prevents the child being in their care. For example, a child may not be returned after spending time with their other parent.
The person must have previously been the primary carer of the child, and they or their partner must be the child's legal parent or must otherwise be legally responsible for the child.
The person must take steps to have the child returned to their care.
If the child is temporarily in the care of another legal parent, to remain eligible for PLP the person or their partner must have a court order or parenting plan to the effect that child is to live with the person or the person's partner.
In addition, PLP must not be payable to another person for the child for the same day.
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 277 Primary carers when a child is stillborn or dies
PPL Rules Part 2-3 Eligibility for PLP
Policy reference: PPL Guide 126.96.36.199 PLP core eligibility requirements