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 is not income or assets tested and does not affect your Family Tax Benefit.
Parenting Payment or Newstart (see below)
With Children Aged Under Six
You may be eligible to receive Parenting Payment Partnered up until the time your youngest child turns six 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 child turns six, your Parenting Payment will cease and you will be required to apply for Jobseeker Payment.
With Children Aged Six to 15
Jobseeker is the only payment available in normal circumstances, and involves Mutual Obligation Requirements, which are looking for work, working, studying or volunteering 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 their registration confirmation certificate/letter 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.
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.
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.