Are you in a relationship?

Whether people are single or a couple affects eligibility for benefits and the payment rate.

What we mean by being in a relationship

When we look at what benefits you can get, we consider you to be in a relationship if you are:

  • married
  • in a civil union, or
  • in a de facto relationship.

This means you and your partner have a degree of companionship that includes being:

  • emotionally committed to each other for the foreseeable future, and
  • financially interdependent.

To give you a better idea of what we mean by this, think about whether your relationship includes some of these things:

  • you live together at the same address most of the time
  • you share responsibilities, eg bringing up children (if any)
  • you socialise and holiday together
  • you share money, bank accounts or credit cards
  • you share household bills
  • you have a sexual relationship
  • people think of you as a couple
  • you give each other emotional support and companionship
  • your partner would be willing to financially support you if needed.

If you or your partner are 16 or 17, a Family Court Judge must consent to your relationship.

If you're unsure about whether we would consider you to be in a relationship, contact us.

  • Are you in a violent relationship?

    If you're in a violent relationship, or are thinking of leaving one, we may be able to give you extra financial help and advise you where you can go for other support. Please talk with us about it.

    The Police can also help you get protection, shelter and support.

  • Have you told us everything?

    When you receive income assistance, it's very important you tell us everything about your personal situation that might affect your entitlement, for instance if you're working or in a relationship. It's also important you honestly answer questions we may ask about your personal situation.

    If your situation changes in any way that may affect your entitlement, you must tell us straight away. If you don't tell us about these changes, you could be breaking the law. This could result in you and your partner getting a fine, having a debt you both have to pay back, being prosecuted or imprisoned.

    Call us if there's anything you're uncertain about we're happy to answer your questions.

  • What happens if you don't tell us

    It's against the law to not tell us if your relationship status has changed. This could result in you and your partner getting a fine, having a debt you both have to pay back, being prosecuted or imprisoned.