What is the parenting payment?

The Australian Government offers parenting payments to help with the cost of raising children. Here we look at what is parenting payments and if you're eligible.

The Australian Government offers several different types of income support payments to help with the cost of raising children.

  1. Family Tax Benefit
  2. Parenting Payment

Parenting Payment is the primary income support payment for the main carer of a young child (including job seekers who are main carers of young children).

How much is the Parenting Payment?

The fortnightly payment rates are updated on 20 March and 20 September each year.

Current Parenting Payment rates

Your circumstance

Maximum fortnightly amount

Single parent

$790.10 (incl the Pension Supplement)
plus $550 Coronavirus Supplement


plus $550 Coronavirus Supplement

Couple separated due to
illness, respite care or prison

plus $550 Coronavirus Supplement

Parenting Payment eligibility

  • You must be the principal carer of a child, ie you have the most responsibility for their day to day care, welfare and development.
  • You must be an Australian resident.
  • The child must be younger than 8 (if you’re single) or younger than 6 (if you’re a couple).

What’s the income test?

The amount of Parenting Payment depends on the combined income and assets of you and your partner.

Single parents

You can get a part payment if you earn less than $2,209.35 gross income a fortnight. The cut-off point increases by $24.60 per child if you have more than 1 child.

The highest gross income you can earn before your payment is reduced depends on how many children you have.

Number of children

Most gross income you can earn a fortnight to get the full payment







More than 3

$237.80 plus $24.60 for each additional child

Your payment will reduce by 40 cents for every dollar you earn over this amount.

Two parent families

  • Your two incomes are assessed separately if your partner does not get a Centrelink pension.
  • You could get a part payment if you meet all these conditions.
  • You earn less than $993.50 each fortnight.
  • Your partner earns less than $1,858.50 each fortnight.
  • Your combined income is less than $1,987.50 each fortnight.

If your partner receives a Centrelink Pension, Austudy or Youth Allowance the income limit each fortnight is different.

What else should I know?

Are there any additional payments I should know about?

You may also be eligible for Rent Assistance. Your eligibility is assessed automatically when you claim Parenting Payment.

Has Coronavirus changed the Parenting Payment?

From late April 2020, the $550 Coronavirus Supplement is being added to the maximum payment rate each fortnight.

The asset test is currently suspended while the Coronavirus Supplement is being paid.

Can I get Family Tax Benefit and Parenting Payment?

It’s possible to get both payments, depending on your individual circumstances.

  • Family Tax Benefit is income tested, but it is not assets tested.
  • Parental Payment is income tested and assets tested.

So, if you have no income, no assets and dependent children you may be eligible to receive both. You should speak to Centrelink about your individual situation and entitlements.

For more information about Family Tax Benefit and Parenting Payment, please visit the Services Australia website:
Family Tax Benefit 
Parenting Payment




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Information current as at May 2020. The information does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation and needs having regard to these factors before acting on it. Any taxation consideration outlined in this presentation are general statements, based on an interpretation of the current tax law, and do not constitute tax advice. The tax implications of the relevant products mentioned in this presentation can impact individual situations differently and you should seek specific tax advice from a registered tax agent or registered tax (financial) adviser.