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Securing your finances and future - steps to take and where to go for help.

3a. Centrelink support payments and services

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This section provides information in relation to payments and other support provided by Centrelink.

Key support services and benefits/payments are listed below. Follow the links to find out more about eligibility and payment rates, how to make a claim and other information.

Support Payments when in a crisis

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Crisis Payments: a one off payment available if you are in severe financial hardship because you have experienced an extreme circumstance, including family and domestic violence. Important: you must apply for or register your intent to claim within 7 days of the event that led you to claim, for example the day you decided to leave home, or you decided not to have your partner home. You will also be referred to a social worker to provide short-term counselling and refer you to other services as needed. Find more information at the Crisis Payments section of the Department of Human Services website.

Special Benefits: A payment if you're in severe financial hardship and are not eligible for other income support from Centrelink. This payment is usually available for non-Australian citizens who are permanent residents or hold an approved visa. You can claim this payment for yourself OR for a child if you have custody and can't get any income or family support payments because you are not a permanent resident and your child is an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Find out more information at the Special Benefits section of the Department of Human Services website.

Support Payments if you care for a child

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Support payments are available if you are:

  1. a legal parent, which includes being a birth parent, adopted parent, married to the birth parent when the child was born, or a parent recognised under the Family Law Act 1975 (to do with surrogacy); or
  2. a non-parent carer of a child – someone who cares for the child at least 128 nights a year and is not in a relationship with either parent.

Family Tax Benefit: a tax subsidy to help with the cost of raising children, subject to an income test, and available for single parents, a non-parent carer, and grandparent carers. Find out more at the Family Tax Benefit section of the Department of Human Services website.

Child Support: An ongoing periodic payment made by a parent to another parent or non-parent carer for the benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship. The arrangement may include a parenting plan. Payment will cease if the parents have reconciled for 6 months or more. Find out more at the Child Support Services section of the Department of Human Services website.

If you are concerned that asking for child support puts you at risk, call the Centrelink Families Line and speak to a social worker. The Families Line numbers and other useful numbers can be found on the Centrelink phone numbers page.

Child Care Subsidy: If you are responsible for paying for child-care fees to an approved child care service for a child 13 or younger, this is a payment to help with the cost of daycare, out of school-hours care, vacation care, pre-school and kindergarten. Find out more at the Child Care Subsidy section of the Department of Human Services website.

Parenting Payments: If you care for a child under 8 years old (if single) or under 6 (if you're partnered) this payment acts as an income support payment while you're a young child's main carer. Find out more at the Parenting Payments section of the Department of Human Services website.

Income Support Payments

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Job Seekers: Income support and other help if you're looking for work or completing approved studies to help you get a job. Find out more at the Job Seekers section of the Department of Human Services website.

Low Income Health Card: A concession card to get cheaper health care and some discounts if you're on a low income. Find out more at the Low Income Health Card section of the Department of Human Services Website.

Rent Assistance: if you qualify for another Centrelink payment, and also pay rent, you may be eligible for a regular extra payment. Find out more at the Rent Assistance section of the Department of Human Services website

Other services offered by Centrelink

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Social Work Services: Centrelink also have social workers offering counselling, support and information. Social workers can also direct you to other support and services. You can contact a social worker by calling the Centrelink Employment Services Line on 132 850 and ask to speak to a social worker, or visit a service centre in person. Find out more at the Social Work Services section of the Department of Human Services website.

Job Search Services: A range of services provided to help you in your search for a job. Centrelink service centres provide access to computers and printers, and provide information on looking for a job. Find out more at the Job Search service section of the Department of Human Services website.

In order to receive certain payments, you may have mutual obligation requirements. Mutual obligation requirements mean you may need to apply for jobs, do training or study in order to qualify for a support payment. You may get exemptions from the mutual obligation requirements if you are homeless or facing domestic violence. Read more about mutual obligation requirements and exemptions.

A complete list of all the Centrelink payments and services can be found at the Centrelink website.

Information about Centrelink online and setting up a myGov account can be found at 1f. Centrelink online and setting upMyGov.

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