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. Parenting payment (PP) - description

What is PP?

PP is an income support payment that provides financial assistance to principal carers with parenting responsibilities for a young child and provides them with incentives to increase workforce participation and reduce dependency on income support.

Single and partnered parents can receive PP, however, PP is only payable to one person at a time. If the other parent (or person with parenting responsibilities) is claiming income support an alternative payment such as JSP may be payable, depending upon their individual circumstances.

There are 2 categories within PP, which have different rules:

  • PPS for single parents with a youngest child aged less than 14 years old, and
  • PPP for partnered parents with a youngest child aged less than 6 years old.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'income support payment'

How PP is paid

PP is usually paid fortnightly.

Supplementary assistance

Recipients of PP MAY also receive one or more of the following as part of their rate:

  • FTB Part A and FTB Part B (FA Guide 1.2.1)
  • child care subsidy (FA Guide 1.2.6)
  • additional child care subsidy (FA Guide 1.2.7)
  • rent assistance (
  • energy supplement (
  • pharmaceutical allowance (
  • basic pension supplement for single recipients (3.12.1) under age pension age
  • pension supplement ( if over age pension age
  • remote area allowance (

Recipients of PP MAY also be entitled to the following:

Policy reference: SS Guide Supplementary benefits & employment assistance for PP recipients

FA Guide 1.1.P.120 Primary carer (FTB)

Bereavement payment provisions


  • Following the death of a PPS recipient, a bereavement payment may be payable to the person best entitled to it.
  • Following the death of a qualifying child, bereavement payments may be payable.


  • The surviving member of a couple may be eligible for bereavement payments following the death of a partner.
  • Following the death of a qualifying child, bereavement payments may be payable.

Policy reference: SS Guide Death of a PP recipient's partner, Death of PP child

Background information

PP was introduced on 20 March 1998, and combined the former sole parent pension, which was paid to single parents, and parenting allowance, which was paid to partnered parents. The Australian Government announced this change in the 1997-1998 Budget.

With the introduction of PP, some conditions between the 2 payments were aligned, such as the assets test. Other core conditions did not change, single recipients of PP continued to be subject to pension rates, income testing and concessions while partnered recipients were subject to benefit rates, income testing and concessions.

From 1 July 2006, the definition of PP child (1.1.P.340) was amended so that people claiming PP on or after that date would receive PP until their youngest child turned 8 (for single recipients) or 6 (for partnered recipients). The definition prior to 1 July 2006, was until the child turned 16.

People who had been receiving PP before 1 July 2006 could remain on payment, under PP transitional arrangements, until their youngest child turned 16, subject to continued eligibility and meeting participation requirements from when their youngest child turned 7.

From 20 September 2009, as a result of changes made in the Secure and Sustainable Pensions reforms, the rate and income test for PPS were no longer the same as the rates and income test for Age, DSP and CP.

Changes were made to the PP transitional arrangements from 1 July 2011. A person who was subject to the PP transitional arrangements and had a PP child enter their care on or after 1 July 2011 was not covered by the PP transitional arrangements in respect of that child. That is, the person would be eligible for PP for that child until the child turns 6 years (PPP), or 8 years (PPS).

From 1 January 2013, transitional arrangements were abolished and all parents can only receive PP until their youngest child turns 6 years (PPP), or 8 years (PPS).

From 20 September 2023, the age of the youngest child to qualify for PPS was changed from under 8 years to under 14 years.

Act reference: SSAct section 500(1) Qualification for PP

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.5.1 PP - qualification & payability, PP - current rates, 1.1.P.340 PP child (PP)

Last reviewed: