Single Parenting Payment; Everything you need to know

Single Parenting Payment is a means-tested payment for families with children, and only one parent can receive it. Eligible parents may also receive other government payments. So how much is it and who is eligible?


Raising children can be expensive! You can check out my full article on Family Financial Planning HERE. Budgeting and managing expenses can be made easier by using the Barefoot Buckets method, but also with government assistance, such as the Parenting Payment.

The Parenting Payment is a government income support payment to families with children, which is means-tested and varies in amount, depending on your income and how many children you have. Only one parent can receive the Parenting Payment and for single parents, it used to end when the child turned 8, but from May 2023, it was announced that this will be extended until the youngest child turns 14 years old.

If you are eligible for Parenting Payments, you may also receive other payments. You can easily apply for Parenting Payments through your MyGov account, but you will have to provide documents with your claim. There are mutual obligations that come with the payment, but you do not have to do full-time work.

CaptainFI is not a Financial Advisor and the information below is factual review information, not financial advice. This website is reader-supported, which means we may be paid by advertising on the site, or when you visit links to partner or featured sites. For more information please read my Privacy PolicyTerms of Use, and Financial Disclaimer.

single parent, raising children, parenting payments
An income and assets test will determine how much parenting payment you can receive

How much is the single parenting payment?

Financial Support from the Australian government by way of the Parenting Payment is paid to the primary carer of young children and will vary according to how much other income you earn. The partnered rate for Parenting payment was increased by $40 from 20 Sep 2023 too. You will need to report all of your income to the government including any gifts and this may result in the amount that you receive being reduced.

If you receive any NDIS payments, they do not count toward your income. On the other hand, there are other income support payments that you could be eligible for, such as rent assistance and child support payments. You can use the Services Australia Online Estimators to find out how much money you can get depending on your particular situation.

“How much Parenting Payment you can get depends on your and your partner’s circumstances. It also depends on your and your partner’s income and assets. We update rates on 20 March and 20 September each year.”

For a single parent, the maximum you can get is $970.20 per fortnight with a pension supplement of $27.80. It may also be possible for you to get an Energy Supplement and Rent Assistance. If you have a partner, the maximum you can receive is $686.00 per fortnight. See the amounts in the table below, applicable from Sep 20, 2023.

single parenting payment amounts

Who is eligible for Single Parenting Payment?

You can get a Parenting Payment if you are the main carer for a young child. If you are single then the payment stops when the child turns 14 (increased recently from 8 years old). If there are two parents, then one of them will have to be nominated as the principal carer. Only one parent is eligible for Parenting Payments.

How much do you receive per child?

You don’t actually receive Parenting Payment per child. There is a maximum amount that you can receive. To get the full Parenting Payment, your income will need to be less than a certain amount. However, that number will increase depending on the number of children that you are caring for.

That means that the more children you have, the more additional income you are allowed to earn before your payment is reduced. If you have one child, you will be able to earn up to $214.60 a fortnight before your payment is reduced. For two children, the amount is $239.20. If you have three children, then you can earn $263.80 per fortnight with an additional $24.60 for each extra child. Once you reach those limits your payment will be reduced by 40 cents for every dollar over the income amount.

There is also an assets test, so if you own your home, you will probably not be eligible for the Parenting Payment, no matter how much income you earn.

parenting payment rates per child

How long does it take to process payment?

You might not be able to get the Parenting Payment immediately. When you make your claim, you will usually have to wait for about a week for it to start. There are some circumstances where you will not have to wait. For example, you might not have to wait if you have some kind of financial crisis. On the other hand, there may be times when you would have to wait longer. For example, if you have enough money to live on or you have recently left a job. If you do seasonal work or intermittent work, there are different rules that apply and you will have to fill out the Seasonal, Contract, and Intermittent Work Details form before you make a claim.

How does the Single Parenting payment work?

Services Australia organises the payments. If your income and assets test shows you are below the threshold of $2,686.60 (income) a fortnight, then you are eligible for the Parenting Payment. It is not just available to single parents, but only one parent can claim it.

How long does the single Parenting Payment last?

For single parents, you will be eligible to receive payments until your child reaches the age of 14, which is a recent change, welcomed by many families, along with the payment increase.

“Fourteen is the period in which a student starts to gain more independence, doesn’t need the same level of support at home that a younger child does. Eight was far too low. An eight-year-old needs mum or dad or their carer to cook them dinner, to look after them. A 14-year-old starts to enter today’s world, starts to move into that change into adulthood.”

Anthony Albanese –

How many hours can you work when receiving a single parent payment?

The government expects you to meet certain mutual obligation requirements in order to continue to receive your Parenting Payment. The government expects you to do what you can to find a job, but you do not have to accept an offer of work that is more than 15 hours a week.

Is the payment taxable?

Parenting Payments are taxable, so you will have to include it on your tax return. If you are worried, you can ask to have the tax deducted from your payment. For more details, see Government payments and allowances | Australian Taxation Office.

cash, parenting payments
You can make a claim for Parenting Payments through your MyGov account. You will need to prove your identity and you will have to show that you are eligible for the payment.

How do you apply for single parenting payment?

You can make a claim for Parenting Payments through your MyGov account. You will need to prove your identity and you will have to show that you are eligible for the payment. You may need to upload some documents. You will see what documents you will need as you fill out the online form. Of course, you will have to give your tax file number and your financial details, but there may be other documents as well.

FAQs about Single Parenting Payment:

What benefits can a single parent claim?

As well as the Parenting Payment, you will also get an Energy Supplement, and you might also be eligible for Rent Assistance. You don’t need to apply for these as they are organised when you make your claim for Parenting Payment. Other allowances that you may be eligible for are:

  • Family Tax Benefit Part A and/or B
  • Child Care Subsidy
  • Pharmaceutical Allowance
  • Telephone Allowance
  • Education Entry Payment
  • Pensioner Education Supplement
  • Mobility Allowance
  • Remote Area Allowance

For more information about the help that you can receive from the government, read Government parenting payments | Raising Children Network

Can both parents get single parenting payment?

Only one parent can get a Parenting Payment. Even if you are sharing the care of the child, you will need to nominate one of you as the principal carer and that person will receive the payment.

single mum, single parent
You can now get single parenting payment up until your youngest child turns 14, increased from 8 years old.

Can I get Single Parenting Payment and Family Tax Benefit?

You can definitely get both Parenting Payment and Family Tax Benefit. They are separate payments.


Single parents can get Parenting Payments for up to 14 years. It is means-tested and will be reduced depending on how much income you receive. You will receive the payment once a fortnight and you will have to report any other income you receive, including any income from side hustles etc. The Parenting Payment is taxable and you can ask to have the tax deducted from it. The government has mutual obligation requirements, but does not expect you to work more than 15 hours a week. 

As well as Parenting Payments, you will get an Energy Supplement and you may be eligible for Rent Assistance as well as other Centrelink payments and allowances. You can apply for Parenting Payment through the MyGov website.

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