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I share the care of my children 50/50 with their father. I also pay child support to him. My oldest child recently turned 16. Her father asked for her birth certificate so he could apply for Youth Allowance for her, which I provided. I have asked, but not received a response, as to whether this was successful. Given past behaviour I am naturally suspicious. So am I missing something here? Does anyone know how Youth Allowance is assessed for students whose parents share their care? and does it affect Child Support Payments?

Thanks
I believe that Youth allowance is for the child and is not considered money obtained for either adult, however I think that FTB payments reduce. The actual amount, if I recall correctly, is below what a child can earn and it also meets the following "CSA must disregard an income-tested pension, allowance or benefit  received by the child (or by another person on behalf of the child) when considering that child's income, earning capacity, property and financial resources (section 117(7)).". This is an extract from the CSA Guide 2.6.10 - Reason 4 - Income of the child. (Note reasons 4, reflects the fact that consideration of the child's income is only possible via the change of assessment process or in rarer circumstances court orders).

As such the amount will not directly change the assessment.

I believe that I recall reading that FTB is reduced accordinly, in which case, assuming that FTB is received, there may be a change in the money available to the parents. However if the level of care is 50/50 any FTB would be distributed likewise.
Thanks Mike
Luthien, I would check out the Centrelink website, got to online services and find the Centrelink / Family Assistance / Child Support Estimator. You can use this estimator to calculate the Youth Allowance your child might be getting if you know the income of the other parent.

I have recently look into Youth Allowance because our CS child just turned 16 as well. From my understanding, if Youth Allowance is granted, there will be no more FTB payments. (In our case Youth Allowance payment is higher than FTB because of the amount of child support paid) Payment also depends on a parental income test and/or assets test, however, if one of the parents is on a pension, the situation changes. You can calculate/estimate the different scenarios via the Centrelink estimator.

Hope this helps..
Thanks Babushka, the estimator is very helpful, but I can't work out whether both parents incomes are taken into account, or just one of them, when there is 50/50 shared care.
And if only one parent's income is used, is the Youth Allowance payment then reduced by half (like FTB is, I think)?
Then if the payment is made to the parent, instead of the child, does it appear as taxable income next time the parent does a tax return?

Away from home

Does anyone know if child receives the away from home rate, does this mean child support ends? I would think if Centrelink pays the child to support themselves away from both parents then CS should cease. Seems stupid otherwise.
According to the CSA Guide:
http://www.csa.gov.au/guidev2/TheGuideMaster.aspx?content=2_10_3

The Guide said
A terminating event happens in relation to a child if they leave the care of all parties to the child support assessment. That is:

 
  • both parents of the child cease to be eligible carers, i.e. they no longer have at least 35% care; and
  • there is no nonparent entitled to be paid child support in relation to the child (i.e. no nonparent carer who is entitled to child support because of a child support assessment) (section 12(2AA)).
Where a child changes care and a parent or nonparent carer continues to provide at least 35% care, a terminating event has not occurred and the assessment continues. Note that the nonparent carer must have applied for child support if a child moves into the fulltime care of a nonparent carer who has not applied for child support, there is a terminating event.

Guest said
Does anyone know if child receives the away from home rate, does this mean child support ends? I would think if Centrelink pays the child to support themselves away from both parents then CS should cease. Seems stupid otherwise.

I don't think it's as clear cut as just getting the higher "away from home" youth allowance as there are different reasons why this allowance can be paid. For a child under 18 (a child turning 18 is a CS terminating event unless the receiving parent has applied for the extension until the end of secondary school) and thus likely not in tertiary education then it could be that the allowance but still actually lives at home:
Centrelink - Away from home (students and Australian Apprentices) (extract) said
Approval to live away from home for secondary school students

If you are a secondary school student who needs to live away from home to study, you may be eligible for the higher rate if:

    * it takes more than 90 minutes by public transport to travel from your parents home to your place of study
    * your parents home is located in an isolated area (for example, it is at least 56 km away from an appropriate Government school, or is isolated because of impassable roads for 20 school days in a year)
    * your parents home is a not an adequate place to study because your parents move frequently, or because of family conflict or illness
    * you have a disability and your parents home is isolated from special facilities you may require
    * your parents move out of the area (Year 11 and 12 students only)
    * an equivalent activity is not available locally.

Note: Secondary level students cannot bypass local schools out of choice. If your local area provides reasonable access to an appropriate Government school, you will not be eligible for the Away from Home Rate if you choose to attend another school outside your local area.

Additionally there are some reasons, still assuming an under 18 child, that the child could be getting the youth allowance as an independent student:

Centrelink - Away from home (students and Australian Apprentices) (extract) said
Approval to live away from home for independent students

If you are a full-time independent[3] student living away from your parents home to study or train, you will be eligible for the higher rate regardless of your reason.

If you are a full-time independent[3] student living in your parents home while you study or train, you may be eligible for the lower 'at home' rate, unless:

    * you are or have been a member of a couple, or
    * you have had a dependent child.

An independent student can be :

Centrelink - Independence test said
Independence test

If you apply for Youth Allowance, you will be assessed as either being dependent or independent.

You may be considered independent if:

    * you are aged 24 or over and a full-time student or Australian Apprentice, or
    * you are or have been legally married, in a registered relationship or living in a de facto relationship with another person as a member of a couple, or
    * you have, or have had a dependent child, or
    * you have supported yourself through workforce participation, or
    * you have a partial capacity to work as determined by a Job Capacity Assessment[1], or
    * you have parents who cannot exercise their responsibilities, or
    * you are unable to live at home due to extreme family breakdown, violence in the home, or serious threats to your health or well-being, or
    * you are a refugee without parents living in Australia or
    * you are an orphan and have not been legally adopted, or
    * you are in State care, or only stopped being in State care because of your age.

Member of a couple

You may be considered independent if you are now, or have previously been, a member of a de facto couple for at least 12 months. Relationships of at least six months are accepted in special circumstances (for example, if your partner has died or the relationship ended due to domestic violence). To qualify as independent as a member of a couple, you must be over the age of consent in the State or Territory you live in for that time.

Self-supporting through workforce participation


You may be considered independent if you have supported yourself through full-time paid employment for at least 18 months within a period of two years. Full-time employment means that you have worked an average of 30 hours per week throughout the 18 months.

The hours that you work each week can be averaged over periods of no more than 13 weeks (for example, you will meet the independence criterion if you have worked at least 390 hours in each of six periods of 13 weeks).

You must be working full-time for a total of at least 18 months. You cannot meet this requirement within a period of 12 months.

2009 gap year students


Changes to the independence criteria from 1 July 2010 mean that some restrictions apply to whom can be considered independent for the following reasons:

    * you have worked part-time (at least 15 hours a week) for at least 2 years since leaving school, or
    * you have been out of school for at least 18 months and have earned at least 75% of the maximum rate of pay under Wage Level A of the Australian Pay and Classification Scale[2] in an 18-month period.

For information about these restrictions see Changes to the independence criteria for Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY[3].

If the reason for the allowance is that the child is not living at home then in theory the reason is a terminating event:


The CSA Guide - 2.10.3: Terminating Events said
Terminating event in relation to a child

A terminating event happens in relation to a child if they leave the care of all parties to the child support assessment. That is:

    * both parents of the child cease to be eligible carers, i.e. they no longer have at least 35% care; and
    * there is no nonparent entitled to be paid child support in relation to the child (i.e. no nonparent carer who is entitled to child support because of a child support assessment) (section 12(2AA)).

Some independent student reasons do, I believe (not that I'm very knowledgeable in Centrrelink payments), qualify as the child could still be living at home (e.g. if the child has a dependent child but is not in a relationship).

However, I would suspect that the CSA would find reason, irrespective of the reasons for the higher youth allowance, due to the CSA then being able to collect or transfer more, to consider that the child is still under the care of a parent.

Terminating event

Okay, thanks.

The child is under 18 and has not lived with either parent for over 6 mths.  So I guess this would be a teminating event.  Does anyone know if child support can be restarted after terminating?

The child does not live with either parent due to being a teenager who knows it all and therefore must be an adult etc, etc, etc.

Also does anyone know how many days they can skip school before they lose their allowance and what about the Wednesdays they skip in 11 and 12?  I thought they were supposed to do something reasonably constructive and not bludge it.
Guest said
Does anyone know if child support can be restarted after terminating?

Yes, a parent would have to re-apply.

Guest said
Also does anyone know how many days they can skip school before they lose their allowance and what about the Wednesdays they skip in 11 and 12?  I thought they were supposed to do something reasonably constructive and not bludge it.

I'm not sure about how many days although I do believe that it is state specific. I'd suggest looking at your state's education act or perhaps simply contact a school and ask.
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