Single Home Educators & Centrelink

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Single Home Educators & Centrelink

You may be eligible for:

  • Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B.
  • Once your child reaches the minimum school starting age for your state, if you are geographically isolated, your child has specific learning needs or medical issues (including anxiety, depression, bullying, family trauma, ill parent), you may be eligible for Assistance for Isolated Children a substantial payment which not income or assets tested and does not affect your Family Tax Benefit.
  • Parenting Payment or Jobseeker as below:

With Children Aged Under Eight

  • If you are a single parent and not working, or have limited income, you may be eligible for Parenting Payment Single, up until the time your youngest turns eight years old.
  • ParentsNext is a compulsory program for some parents on Parenting Payment which involves activities to plan for education and employment after children reach age six. It involves participation requirements planning towards education or employment after children reach age six. Registered home education is a valid exemption from the ParentsNext program. In most states, if your child is under six, you can’t register. However, if you are home educating an older child and asked to do ParentsNext for a younger one, you are exempt. The exemption is for 12 months and requires a copy of your registration certificate/letter. See page 8 of the Parents Next Exemption Guidelines.  If the exemption is declined, complain to the Department of Jobs and Small Business.
  • When your youngest child turns six years old you will be required to meet Mutual Obligation Requirements.  For the average parent this means looking for work, working, volunteering or studying for a specific number of hours and reporting these activities each fortnight.
  • Home education is a valid exemption from the Mutual Obligation Requirements.  To have the exemption approved, parents must upload the registration confirmation to their My Gov account. They should call Centrelink to notify them this has occurred and request the Homeschooling Exemption be applied. Centrelink will then assess the evidence to determine eligibility for the exemption.
  • Some Centrelink staff are unaware this exemption category exists. We advise home educators who are having any difficulties to print off the exemptions information from DHS.
  • Despite the exemption you will still need to “report” each fortnight.
  • Payments are calculated for 12 months from the date of application. You then need to supply updated registration evidence each year using the same process.

With Children Aged Over Eight

  • When your youngest child turns eight, you will need to apply for Jobseeker.  For single home educators this will not present much change. While mainstream single parents moving onto Newstart have their payment rates drop significantly, home educating parents stay on a higher rate of payment – this is the same amount as Parenting Payment Single.
  • Home education is a valid exemption from the Mutual Obligation Requirements.  To have the exemption approved, parents must upload the registration confirmation to their My Gov account. They should call Centrelink to notify them this has occurred and request the Homeschooling Exemption be applied. Centrelink will then assess the evidence to determine eligibility for the exemption.
  • Some Centrelink staff are unaware this exemption category exists. We advise home educators who are having any difficulties to print off the exemptions information from DHS.
  • Despite the exemption you will still need to “report” each fortnight.
  • Payments are calculated for 12 months from the date of application. You then need to supply updated registration evidence each year.

When your youngest child turns 16 you may lose your payment/s and your teenager may not be eligible for Youth Allowance.
See Home Ed, Centrelink and Kids Aged 16+

 

18 Comments

  1. James stanton says:

    I am schooling my 14 year old son and also trying to work (a low income) but my son is lacking behind in his work as I am not there. He was bullied at school and suffers from anxiety and does not trust people, is there a way that I can stay with him at home to help with his education so that I can get him back on track as he has just over 2 years left

    • wphen says:

      It sounds like your son needs you at home. If you quit work, you could apply for new start. Home education registration is a valid exemption from the looking for work requirements. See details above.

  2. Teena says:

    What are children with autism and mental health issues supposed to do when they turn 16? What are their single parents supposed to do? Education does not end at 16.

  3. Sam says:

    I have a question I can’t seem to get a straight answer to and hope you can help. If my youngest turns 8 in December and we are on the homeschool exemption will I have to repay 6 months worth of benefits if I don’t go onto Newstart?

    • wphen says:

      You are eligible for your current payment up to their birthday. On your child’s eighth birthday, Centrelink will cut off your previous payment. The week before that, apply for the new benefit.

      • Sam says:

        Thank you for your reply. I understand that, but what if I’m not eligible
        for the new payment because I choose to work part time after that date? Will I have to repay what I received up to her 8th birthday in that financial year? I can’t find an answer to that anywhere and the centrelink person I spoke to was also clueless. ?

        • wphen says:

          Sam, it is difficult to get a straight answer from Centrelink and much depends on your individual circumstances so we’re not able to give you a definitive answer. Yes, they do sometimes ask people to repay payments. If you have given them all the relevant information to determine your payment, hopefully they’ll get the decision right in the first place.

  4. Anna says:

    The above info about “children 8 or over”, does those same rules apply for a family that registers for part time homeschooling? Will they still be eligible to recieve these payments mentioned if they are a single parent? Thanks

    • wphen says:

      Partial enrolment is not available in all states and the rules vary by state – see the partial enrolment tab on our legal page.

      In Victoria, you retain overall responsibility for the child’s education and therefore partial enrolment does not affect your home educator status in Centrelink terms.

      If you’re not in Victoria, let us know which state you are in and we’ll check the details for you.

      • Anna says:

        Wphen I am still waiting on your reply please. I live in tasmania. Part time homeschooling is an option here and we are in the process of finalising the paperwork to get my child enrolled. Can you confirm that because I am still overseeing her education and will be her primary educator, that my centrelink support payments for homeschooling wont be effected? Thank you

    • Anna says:

      Thanks for your reply. I live in tasmania, I believe part time homeschooling is allowed, and hopefully that means it wont effect my centrelink support payments. Do you know? Thank you

  5. Melissa says:

    In Victoria you need to register home schooling to get exemption? I would like to try home schooling for a term and see how it goes. But seems a lot to do to register.

  6. Jay says:

    Am I eligible for Isolated children fund? My 12 year olds have ASD and ADHD which so far has them diagnosed with severe learning disabilities and are incapable of keeping up in a normal class routine.

    • HEN rep says:

      Yes. There are many home ed kids with similar diagnoses who receive the Assistance for Isolated Children (AIC) payment. A medical professional (preferably a supportive one who knows your family) must fill out a portion of the application form. You will need one form per child. Most medical professionals are unfamiliar with AIC and may have questions about it, in which case they are welcome to call our helpline on 03 9517 7107 to leave a message and a volunteer will call them back. The forms demonstrate why a child is unable to attend school,.

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