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. Parents unable to provide a home (YA, DSP & SpB)

When parents cannot provide a home

If parents are unable to provide a suitable home because they lack stable accommodation themselves, then a young person may be considered independent under the unreasonable to live at home provisions.

If the lack of stable accommodation is a temporary situation resulting from choices made by the parent, then this would NOT meet the unreasonable to live at home provisions. Parents are assumed to have some choice about their accommodation, and this includes taking responsibility for ensuring their children can live with them.

Example: Inadequate housing, unsuitable locations, moving to another town and travelling are all areas in which parents would have some choice about accommodation.

Situations not 'unreasonable to live at home'

The following situations in themselves, do not constitute 'unreasonable to live at home' for the purposes of this category:

  • the parents have divorced or separated
  • the young person chooses to live independently (see example), or
  • the family consider the young person to be independent, even when this is due to deeply held cultural or religious beliefs OR they claim they cannot afford to support the young person, or
  • a dependent full-time secondary school student's parents are not using payments, such as FTB, for the benefit of the young person. In this case, a social worker may assess the young person's situation and recommend that they can apply for YA as a dependant.

Example: For study, job search or general preference.

Parents move to a new location, including overseas

If the young person's parents move away, this does not in itself constitute 'unreasonable to live at home' for the purposes of this category. Young people aged under 18 years, and left without any form of support from their parents, MAY be eligible for state or territory government assistance. In the absence of other forms of support, those at risk of neglect MAY be eligible for independent status but continuous support from friends or relatives may prevent these young people being regarded as independent.

Act reference: SSAct section 1067A(9) Unreasonable to live at home

Policy reference: SS Guide Unreasonable to live at home (YA, DSP & SpB), Assessment of extreme family breakdown & other similar exceptional circumstances, Assessment of serious risk

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