One of the ways of establishing independence with Centrelink is to show that it is unreasonable for you to live in your family home. To apply for this payment, you will need to complete three forms in addition to the regular paperwork: One by you, one by a parent (I know… ridiculous right) and one by a third party. Centrelink will probably ask to contact your parent, but you can instruct them not to if you believe this would put you in danger.
The third party should be someone who is aware of your family situation and could include a counsellor, doctor, police office, teacher, religious leader, grandparent, adult relative or – as a last resort – friend.
What is “Unreasonable”?
It is considered unreasonable for you to live in a home where there is extreme family breakdown, where there is serious risk to your physical or mental wellbeing, due to violence, sexual abuse, or other similar unreasonable circumstances. It is also considered unreasonable to live in unstable accommodation. This might include a lack of electricity or running water, or illegally occupying the property. You also cannot be receiving continuous support, whether directly or indirectly, and whether financial or otherwise, from your parent.
What is extreme family breakdown?
Extreme family breakdown does not refer to the “normal” differences that young people have with their parent(s). Centrelink will look for documented evidence of violence, behavioural problems, or threats to your emotional or physical wellbeing. Centrelink does not deem extreme family breakdown to have occurred just because your parent(s) disapprove of your relationships or lifestyle, (e.g., religion, sexuality, (trans)gender), unless this is a threat to your physical or emotional wellbeing.
How can you get extra information?
SRC Caseworkers provide free, independent and confidential advice on Centrelink matters. If you would like to discuss what payments might be available to you, please call 9660 5222 to make an appointment.
Students' Representative Council, University of Sydney