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. SpB reviews - non-permanent resident & temporary absence overseas


This topic explains SpB reviews covering a non-resident parent with custody of an Australian citizen child and temporary absences overseas, including a partner (1.1.P.85) going overseas.

Act reference: SSAct section 5(1)-'parent'

Non-permanent resident - custody of Australian citizen child

Reviews are undertaken to re-assess the parent's residence status.

Example: The Department of Home Affairs advises the parent if there are residence status changes.

If permanent residence:

  • has been granted with

    • a waiting period the parent may be eligible for SpB if they suffered a significant change in circumstance, beyond their control, after arriving in Australia (1.1.A.320), OR
    • NO waiting period, the parent can claim JSP OR PP, OR
  • has NOT been granted, verify the status of the visa with the Department of Home Affairs, and
    • what action the parent is taking (see example), AND
    • whether the child is remaining in Australia, and in whose custody (see explanation), AND
    • whether the parent is now eligible for a payment (if applicable).
    • Example: Lodging of an appeal, which could require a further review.

    • Explanation: SpB should be cancelled if the child has another means of support, leaves Australia, or if the parent is eligible for a payment.

These cases are reviewed every 3 months, re-examining the non-custodial parent's capacity to provide child support and the requirements for SpB.

If the child is school age and attending school, the payment may no longer be appropriate.

Policy reference: SS Guide SpB for Australian citizen children & Australian permanent resident children in the custody of a non-permanent resident

Payment of SpB during temporary absence overseas

SpB is ONLY paid outside Australia for a maximum of 6 weeks in special circumstances and the person MUST remain qualified throughout the absence.

Any other means of support while the person is overseas MUST be checked. Particular attention is given to the source of funds used to pay for overseas travel and any free board and lodgings (1.1.B.70) provided overseas. The full extent of any third party support, including further support if needed should be established.

A person is asked to provide details of their overseas accommodation. Free board and/or lodgings may reduce the rate of SpB.

Partner going overseas

When the partner of an SpB recipient goes overseas the recipient's rate of SpB is still limited to the partnered rate and, any income received by the partner still affects the rate payable to the SpB recipient.

Policy reference: SS Guide Application of portability rules (portability table)

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