This section sets out the definitions of PP child. There are 2 definitions:
Act reference: SSAct section 500D PP child, section 5(15) to (24) Principal carer
A child is a 'PP child' of the person if:
A child is also a PP child of the person if:
Example: Melody claims PP from 20 February 2012 when her first child, Mark, is born. As Melody is a single parent, she has a PP child under SSAct section 500D(2) and, if she remains eligible, can continue on PP until February 2020, when Mark turns 8. However, if over this period, Melody becomes a member of a couple, she can only continue on PP until February 2018, when Mark turns 6, as she now has a PP child under SSAct section 500D(1).
Act reference: SSAct section 500D(1) to 500D(2) A child is a PP child of a person if..., section 5(2) to 5(9) Dependent child-under 16, section 5(15) to 5(24) Principal carer
The provisions of SSAct section 5(18) mean that only one person at a time can be the principal carer (1.1.P.412) of a child. Since being the principal carer of a child is one of the criteria for having a PP child, it follows that a child can ONLY be a PP child of one person at a time. In all shared carer situations, to determine who has the PP child, it is necessary to determine which of the carers is the principal carer.
Explanation: Only one parent can receive PP in respect of a PP child. This means that the Secretary must make a determination specifying which of the carers is the principal carer of the child, even if the child would be the PP child of 2 or more adults, but for section 5(18). For further guidance on making this determination, refer to 1.1.P.412.
Act reference: SSAct section 5(18) Principal carer-a child can only have one principal carer
Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.P.412 Principal carer
Refer to 1.1.P.412 for situations where the child is taken to remain in the person's care during a temporary absence. Since being the principal carer of a child is one of the critieria for having a PP child, it follows that the process of determining who is the principal carer during a temporary absence will also determine which carer has the PP child.
Act reference: SSAct section 5(2) to 5(9) Dependent child-under 16, section 5(17) For the purpose of determining whether a person is the principal carer of the child
Last reviewed: 2 January 2013