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Home Educators Exempt from Centrelink Activity Test
by Beverley Paine
Many home educating families were affected by the changes to Centrelink (Social Security) benefits and payments made in July 2006.
The Activity Test requires parents whose youngest child has turned six (PPP) or eight (PPS) to meet the "participation requirements" of the particular benefit or payment they receive.
Under Commonwealth Law (Social Security Act 1991 - Sect 5C) a home educator is defined as:
The maximum rate of payment for families transitioned onto Newstart is higher for families registered as home educators (as above). The parent is eligible for supplementary payments in addition to the basic rate. This amount is equal to the maximum rate of PPS, including pension supplement. http://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law/5/1/8/20
It is advisable for home educating parents in receipt of social security benefits and payments to look into the home education registration process in their state. Click on your state or territory on the navigation bar of this website.
Families who have been through this process recommend that you be prepared as you will need to provide evidence of registration during your Centrelink interview. Take any letters or copies of emails to show that you are in the process of obtaining registration if you have not yet received your certificate or notification of home educator status.
Make a note of the name and phone extension number of the person interviewing you (either in person or over the phone).
Most Centrelink staff are unfamiliar with the concept of home education. You are welcome to print out our general What is home education flyer and use it to help give others a better idea about home educating.
It is normal Centrelink practice to inform you of any documents you need to provide and to allow you time to supply them if you don't have them by the time of the appointment. Ask for a list of what you need to provide, and a date by which you will need to provide it.
Know your rights and responsibilities: read the information on the Guide to Social Security Law as it may help you understand what you are required to comply and will enable you to talk confidently about your rights and responsibilities during any interviews. If you think it will help, print out relevant information from the Guide and take it with you.
Remember, if in doubt, please seek advice from an appropriately qualified legal professional.
The following links (obtained April 2014) provide further definitions and information.
Use this Centrelink page to find phone numbers to call whichever section you need to contact.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.
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