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SOCIAL SECURITY ACT 1991 - SECT 197F

Qualification--exchanged care of children

Purpose of section

             (1)  The purpose of this section is to allow a person to qualify under section 197B, 197C, 197D, 197E, 197G or 197H, or a combination of them, for a carer payment for caring for persons who are or include 2 or more persons aged under 16 despite the fact that the person is not personally providing constant care for the same persons.

When section applies

             (2)  This section applies if:

                     (a)  the person is a parent of 2 or more persons aged under 16; and

                     (b)  the person (the carer ) is personally providing care for at least 2 of those persons (the care receivers ); and

                     (c)  the care receivers would qualify the carer for a carer payment under section 197B, 197C, 197D, 197E, 197G or 197H, apart from:

                              (i)  the fact that the carer is not personally providing constant care for the care receivers; and

                             (ii)  the fact that each care receiver has or may have more than one home; and

                     (d)  the circumstances in subsection (3) apply in relation to each of the care receivers.

Circumstances--family law arrangements

             (3)  The circumstances are:

                     (a)  under one or more registered parenting plans, parenting plans or parenting orders that are in force, the care receiver is to live with, or spend time with the carer and the care receiver's other parent (whether or not the care receiver is to live with, or spend time with, someone else); and

                     (b)  the length or percentage of time (however described) that the care receiver is to live with, or spend time with, the carer and the other parent is specified in, or worked out in accordance with, the plans or orders; and

                     (c)  the carer personally provides constant care for the care receiver when the care receiver is living with, or spending time with, the carer; and

                     (d)  the carer does not personally provide constant care for the care receiver only because the terms of the plans or orders require the care receiver to live with, or spend time with, the other parent or someone else; and

                     (e)  when the carer is not personally providing care for the care receiver, the carer is personally providing care for one or more other care receivers in relation to whom this subsection also applies.

Qualification for a carer payment

             (4)  If this section applies, the carer is taken to be qualified for a carer payment under section 197B, 197C, 197D, 197E, 197G or 197H, or a combination of them, for caring for the care receivers or for persons who include the care receivers, as the case requires.

Example:    The parents of 3 children each with a disability or medical condition are divorced. Under a registered parenting plan covering all 3 children, one parent (the first parent) personally provides care in week 1 to:

(a)    one of the children covered by the plan; and

(b)    another child who is similarly disabled but who is not covered by the plan.

                   The other parent personally provides care for the other 2 children covered by the plan. In week 2, the parents swap care arrangements for the children covered by the plan.

                   The first parent would not qualify for a carer payment under section 197C because he or she is not providing constant care for the same children. However, this section allows the first parent to qualify for a carer payment for providing care for different children.

Application of income and assets tests

             (5)  In applying the income and assets tests under section 198A or 198D in working out whether a parent qualifies under section 197B, 197C, 197D, 197E, 197G or 197H because of this section, disregard the other parent for the purposes of the following:

                     (a)  subsections 198B(1B) and 198D(1A), (1C) and (1DA);

                     (b)  subparagraph 198N(5)(aa)(ii);

                     (c)  paragraphs (b), (d) and (e) of the definition of FPC in subsection 198N(6).



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