The provisions of section 5(18) of the Social Security Act 1991 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 of having a PP child, it follows that a child can ONLY be a PP child of one person at a time. In all shared care situations, to determine who has the PP child, it is necessary to determine which of the carer is the principal carer.
Explanation: If the child in question is the only potential PP child of a person who is otherwise qualified for PP, this determination will be crucial to the person establishing qualification for PP.
Example: A couple have separated and have joint legal responsibility (1.1.L.33) for, and share the care of, their natural child who is under 6. One of the parents previously received PPP. The child is a dependent child for both parents even if only one of them claimed PP. However, section 5(19) requires that a determination be made stating which person has the PP child.
Refer to 1.1.P.416 for advice on the determination of who is the principal carer, and therefore has the PP child, in shared care situations.
Act reference: SSAct section 5(15) Principal carer, see through to section 5(24), section 500D PP Child
Last reviewed: 7 May 2007