This topic provides information about the term 'member of a couple'. It discusses:
The term 'member of a couple' has the same meaning under the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 as under the Social Security Act 1991.
A person is a member of a couple with another person under the Social Security Act if they are:
Note: Prior to 1 July 2009 same sex couples were not recognised for FA purposes.
In determining if a person is in a member of a couple relationship, consideration must be given to the following 5 factors:
Multiple relationships are where a person has more than one partner at the same time. For example, the relationships could comprise a claimant/recipient with any combination of male or female partners.
Under the member of a couple provisions of the Social Security Act, it is possible for a person to be in more than one de facto relationship at the same time. A separate member of a couple assessment is undertaken for each relationship.
The process for determining FA claims which involve multiple relationships is different to the process for social security claims. FA claims should be determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the individual circumstances of the family.
Act reference: FAAct section 3(1)-'member of a couple'
SSAct section 4(2) Member of a couple-general, see also section 4(3), section 4(3A), section 4(6) and section 4(6A)
Last reviewed: 8 November 2011