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. Social Worker Involvement - Specific Payments


This topic covers social worker involvement for PP, CP and SpB.

Social worker involvement for PP

The case should be referred to a social worker if the claimant/recipient has:

  • indicated that the child they are claiming in respect of is not a relative, AND
  • not supplied documentation to support the fact that the child is legally in their care, OR
  • previously lost care of children.

Children in this situation are considered to be at risk of harm and the situation requires social worker assessment.

Policy reference: SS Guide Child-related qualification for PP - foster care, 1.1.D.70 Dependent child

Social worker involvement for CP

A social worker can contribute information to assist a delegate in making a decision about qualification for CP. Information that a social worker may be asked to provide includes:

  • details of the care receiver's (1.1.C.20) personal care or supervision needs,
  • information about the level of care or supervision actually being provided by the carer,
  • whether any other person assists with the care of the care receiver and if so, whether the CP claimant/recipient is providing constant care,
  • whether the care receiver has any care needs that are not being met by the carer,
  • if the carer and care receiver do not live in the same home, whether the care requirements for qualification are met,
  • if the carer is aged under 18 years or aged 80 years or over, whether they have the physical and/or emotional capacity to manage the care receiver's care needs.

Social worker involvement for CP (child) - Carers Specialised Assessment Team (CSAT)

At the discretion of the delegate, borderline claims in respect of care load for CP (child) will be referred to a CSAT for investigation of additional evidence of the claimant's qualification for CP. A specific group of Centrelink social workers with appropriate skills will undertake this function.

Policy reference: SS Guide Referrals to the carer specialised assessment team (CSAT)

Social worker involvement for CP (child) - child who has a terminal condition

CP (child) for a care receiver with a terminal condition will be reviewed 24 months from the date the payment was granted, and every 12 months thereafter. Social workers will review each case sensitively and provide information to assist a delegate in making a decision about continuing qualification for CP, including whether the CP recipient is continuing to provide care and whether the care receiver's condition has changed.

Social worker involvement for SpB

Social worker assessment is often essential in determining whether or not a person meets the qualification criteria for SpB and whether other assistance is required.

  • A social worker can prepare background reports and make recommendations to assist a delegate in making decisions about qualification for payment of SpB.
  • Information that a social worker can provide includes:
    • details of a caring situation such as a carer's personal care or supervision needs or information about the level of care or supervision and who is providing it,
    • information to assist in establishing whether a young person can be classed as homeless under the SSAct,
    • assistance in dealing with assessments relating to personal disaster or crisis,
    • detail about the level of support being provided or able to be provided to assist with qualification and determination of the rate of SpB,
    • information about possible state support for children 'at risk' or under 15.

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