Child Support Exemptions

To receive the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit A, payees are required to take "Maintenance Action". This means having a current child support assessment or an exemption from seeking child support. Without an exemption, family payments will drop to the base rate of FTB A.

Grounds for Exemptions
The payee fears that if they take action for child support, the payer will react violently towards them or their family.

Seeking child support may have a harmful or disruptive effect on them or the payer.
The paternity is 'unknown', which may signal that the payee is afraid of violence if paternity is disclosed.

Cultural Considerations
When granted FTB for the first time, an automatic 13 weeks applies before you need a child support agreement.

A partial exemption allows the payee to privately collect an amount of Child Support less than the payee's full Child Support payment (as assessed by Services Australia) without failing the maintenance action test. It is used where a payee fears violence at the prospect of pursuing their full entitlement.

The exemption ensures that the payee rate of FTB Part A will be based on the amount of child support received, not the amount of the child support assessment. SMFA urges all women to seek advice before agreeing to a private collection and be informed that the payee can transfer to child support collection. CSA cannot collect debt whilst in a Private Collect, and they can only typically collect for three months when changed to a Child Support Collect.

All Exemptions are assessed by Service Australia social workers.