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. DOP reviews - parent's discharge from an institution


This topic explains DOP reviews when a sole surviving parent (1.1.S.450) is discharged from a prison, psychiatric hospital or nursing home (1.1.N.140). This topic covers the following:

  • action when a parent is held on remand
  • action when a parent is confined in a prison, psychiatric hospital or nursing home
  • a parent's possible release or discharge
  • a parent's actual release or discharge, and
  • re-assessment if the released parent's whereabouts are unknown.

Action when parent is held on remand

Confirmation of the offence that the parent has been charged with must be obtained when Centrelink is advised of a parent being held on remand.

A review should be noted for the date the case is expected to be decided and, if applicable, the date of sentencing.

Action when parent is confined

Confirmation of the term of confinement must be obtained when Centrelink is advised of a parent's confinement in a:

  • prison
  • psychiatric hospital, or
  • nursing home.

A review should be noted for the earliest expected release date.

Parent's possible release or discharge

The date of release or discharge should again be confirmed with the relevant authorities when a review is conducted of a surviving parent's release or discharge.

The individual should be reminded of their obligation to notify within 14 days of becoming aware of the parent's release or discharge. If the release or discharge date is postponed for some time, the review should be set for the new expected release or discharge date.

Parent's actual release or discharge

If Centrelink becomes aware of the parent's release or discharge, a delegate should:

  • review the case immediately, and
  • cancel DOP, generally from the next available payday.

If DOP was granted because the surviving parent's whereabouts were unknown, the individual should not be informed of the release until a social worker can be consulted on:

  • whether to inform the individual of the release, and
  • the nature of the advice of cancellation to the individual if no future entitlement exists.

Reassessment if released parent's whereabouts unknown

The individual must be informed that Centrelink should be advised if the parent's whereabouts after release or discharge do not subsequently become known. Payment should recommence from:

  • the date last paid if the parent's whereabouts are unknown from the date of release or discharge, or
  • from the next available payday following the whereabouts becoming unknown, if they were temporarily known.

If the individual advises Centrelink within 3 months that the whereabouts of the parent are unknown:

  • it can be treated as a review of the original decision if payment was stopped, and
  • DOP can be paid from the date last paid.

If the individual re-applies for DOP later than 3 months after payment is cancelled, a new claim is needed.

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