Leaving a relationship is an incredibly difficult thing to do, particularly when babies and young children are involved. What are your entitlements as a parent if you separate from your partner? Every situation is different although there are Centrelink Services and other resources available to help you.
It’s important to make sure you’re safe, and if possible put a plan in place before making any major changes. Understanding what Centrelink Services and other resources available to assist you is not only helpful, but crucial.
Move to a safe place and seek support
If you are leaving a relationship due to domestic violence, understandably this is a terrifying ordeal. Before you access Centrelink Services, you need to find a safe place for yourself and your child/ren. If your extended family or friends are not immediately available to help, call 000 if you are in danger, otherwise one or more of the following services:
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- 1800Respect: 1800 737 732
- Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
- Aboriginal Family Domestic Violence Hotline: 1800 019 123
- White Ribbon Australia: 1300 967 298
- Centrelink Services: call the Employment Services line on 132 850 and ask to speak with one of our social workers – 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
- Victims of Crime Government Helpline: 1800 819 817
Claims for government financial assistance for victims of domestic violence
Most victims of violent crimes, of which domestic violence and abusive relationships are part of, should be able to access financial assistance.
Centrelink Services can help with:
- legal services
- emergency accommodation
- long term housing support
- medical expenses.
Your safety is paramount when leaving an abusive or violent relationship, so it is important to find a safe place as your priority. Once your situation is stable for the interim, you should contact your Centrelink office on 132 850 or visit in person.
Visit the Victims of Crime website to learn more about the compensation and financial assistance available to you if you are fleeing domestic violence.
Claims for single parent assistance
For other relationship break-ups, government parenting payment assistance will vary depending on your circumstance and state government. Centrelink Services such as the single parent pension may be available to you but it is best to speak to a Centrelink advisor to discuss your own situation. For crisis payments and special benefits call Centrelink on 132 850.
Accessing Centrelink Services
To access Centrelink Services you may be required to undergo interviews and complete paperwork, which at the time might seem arduous but is necessary to determine your individual situation.
Keep Centrelink up to date with your circumstances
It is important to remember that regardless of your situation now, in a week, month or year down the track, you must keep Centrelink up to date with your circumstances. Although not your immediate priority when you leave a relationship, it is important to make Centrelink aware of your situation as soon as possible.
DISCLAIMER: Talk to a Centrelink representative on 132 850 and discuss your situation with a lawyer or your local women’s free legal service. This article was published 2018 and updated in 2020 for links and accuracy.