View Full Version : Help - I don't Qualify for the Parenting Payment
Hi there, I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me... I am a New Zealand Citizen permanently living in Australia (been here for over 2 years now). I have a 5 month old baby and separated from my husband (Alex's father) when Alex was just 6 weeks old. Alex's father refuses to pay anymore that he is legally required to and I don't qualify for the parenting payment as I am not an Australian Citizen and don't qualify to become an Australian Permanent Resident.
Does anyone have any suggestions... I don't want to put Alex in Daycare because I want to be there when he first crawls, takes his first step, says his first word etc... I want to be an active mother.
I never signed up to be a single mother and it has all come as a bit of shock and taken a lot to get used to.
At the moment I am lucky enough to live with my parents in Brisbane because I have nowhere else to go... can't rent a house on just $200 a week.
Please, please please, if anyone has any suggestions that will get me more money please tell me... I am desparate... I moved out from home at the age of 17 and it is hard to be back (I am now 27...).
If you not being an Australian Citizen is the only reason you don't qualify for parenting payment, maybe you should just become a citizen. I was bron in New Zealand and hold both Australian and New Zealand Citizenship, my whole family has both, including my younger brother who was born in Brisbane and has never been to New Zealand.
I know this is a simple solution, but if that is all that is stopping you from getting parenting payment then maybe that is all you need to do.
Good luck, hopefully someone else is able to help you more than I have :)
You should qualify after your 2 years residence. It is 2 yrs consecutive yrs - did you leave and come back?
As far a I know you DO qualify after 2 years residence and if you intend to make Oz your permanent home. Check your dates, and check the dates Centrelink are using. ring them or look at your "rejection" paperwork (which is usually NOT full of information!).
If you think C'link are wrong, or using the wrong dates you can appeal. Have you applied and been rejected or did someone just tell you that you weren't qualified?
Let me know.
You are eligible to Centrelink payments as a New Zealander if you either become an Australian citizen or have a permanent residency visa. These changes came in in 2001 and may or may not apply to you. The best link is:
It states that certain NZ'ers are exempt from these changes, mainly those who were already in Aus on 29/2/01, came between 26/2/01-26/5/01, or those who were in Aus for at least 12 months (not continuously) between 26/2/99 and 26/2/01. so if any of these apply to you you should get Parenting Payment.
It could be that the person you spoke to at Centrelink didn't think to advise you of all these variables, and whether they applied to you.
You could be eligible for Family Tax Benefit B (depending upon your assets/income). You will definitely be eligible for Family Tax Benefit A. Neither of these are included in the Parenting Payment NZ'er exclusion.
If you do get a chance to work, you should get the maximum discount on childcare. When we were originally eligible for this we only eded up paying about $17 a day for one child for childcare, incredibly cheap. You will also be eligible, at minimum, for 30% of your childcare fees, rebated in your next tax return, for up to 20 hours of child care a week for your little one.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
The residency requirements can be a bit hairy, and it may well be true that the person you spoke to may not be all that sure either.
There is so much knowledge you need to keep inside your head, and constant changes and retraining. When I work in an particular office I am constantly working with visas and eligibility law and could spout off all residency requirements needed for anyone. when I am at my home office in the country I never need that knowledge, so lose it pretty quickly.
That's why it's always a good idea to appeal as it forces us to go right over the claim to find anything that may have been missed, and rectify it with no hardship to the customer if possible. Appeals are given priority too.
Good Luck, I'm sorry I didn't see your posts earlier.
Hi there, I used to work for DIMA and my work mainly related to these sort of matters.
From my experience, you should be elligible for any benefits being citizen from NZ...'Upon entering Australia, most New Zealand passport holders are automatically issued with a Special Category Visa. This visa previously allowed New Zealand citizens living in Australia to qualify for the full range of Social Security payments (subject to waiting periods). However, from 26 February 2001 New Zealand citizensí entitlement to Social Security changed.
People who arrived in Australia on a New Zealand passport after 26 February 2001 (or in some cases after 26 May 2001) generally will not be eligible for most Social Security payments unless they get a permanent visa or a temporary spouse visa, or they are covered by the International Social Security Agreement with New Zealand... extract from: http://www.welfarerights.org.au/factsheets/fsnarss.doc
So if you under the highlights categories, you should be able to get it (and lets hope this hasn't changed!)
Hope this help
Hi there, thanks for all your advice...
I have done all things suggested and still am unable to become an AUS resident / citizen. With me entering the country after the cut off date I don't automatically qualify and therefore have to apply like someone coming from say America...
I can however use my son to help me gain residency but this could take up to 10 years I have been told and will also cost me in the order of about $1200 - which I don't have.
Both the Immigration Dept and Centrelink have looked into this for me and I have also had a lawyer look into it. All avenues are with the same result.
The main problem is that I am not working. Seen as I am seen as a liability to Australia they just don't want me... fair enough too I suppose.
Anyhow, thanks again for all the advice, I am applying through the courts for Spouse Maintenance as this is the only option I really have (other than going back to work - which I don't want to do just yet... I want to see my son grow up a little first).
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