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 social security payments. 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.

1.1.T.47 Temporarily separated couple (RA, TAL, UA)

Summary

A member of a temporarily separated couple may be eligible to receive RA, TAL and/or UA at a higher rate. This does not apply to the person's income support payment.

For a member of a couple to receive a payment at the temporarily separated couple rate they must also be individually qualified for the applicable payment.

Example: A member of a couple travelling to care for a sick relative would not be eligible for RA if they are not paying rent at their temporary address.

Definition

Two people are members of a temporarily separated couple if they:

  • are members of a couple for the purposes of the SSAct
  • are living separately and apart from each other but not on a permanent or indefinite basis, and
  • are neither an illness separated nor a respite care couple.

The circumstances that resulted in them living apart, that is, in different residences, must either be largely out of their control or where the delegate considers that it is reasonable given their particular situation.

Such situations may include:

  • A member of a couple temporarily moves interstate to care for a sick relative, this may include accompanying a dependent child who is undergoing medical treatment.
  • A member of a couple temporarily moves interstate to attend a court hearing.

Situations that are not included:

  • A member of a couple is on holiday.
  • A member of a couple is a fly in fly out worker.
  • A member of a couple is in a trial separation. Where this is the case a member of a couple assessment should be conducted (1.1.M.120).

Other situations that are considered on a case by case basis include:

  • A member of a couple is required to assist family members in another state or region who have experienced a severe weather/disaster event.
  • A member of a couple is required to study/train away from the home as part of a compulsory component of the course.

Act reference: SSAct section 4(9A) Temporarily separated couple

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.8.1.106 Special RA rules for couples & families with children, 3.8.7 TAL - qualification & payability, 3.8.13 UA - qualification & payability

Last reviewed: