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Centrelink Payments While Separated Under One Roof

Published on February 16, 2024

    Leen Setrak Sydney Lawyer

    About the Author

    Leen Setrak

    Since transitioning into family law, Leen has gained experience preparing joint and sole divorce applications, preparing applications for consent orders for families who have already reached agreements and helping individuals come to an agreement without the need for court intervention.

    Since transitioning into family law, Leen has gained experience preparing joint and sole divorce app... Read More

    Leen Setrak Sydney Lawyer

    Leena Setrak Family & Litigation Lawyer

    Author
    Leen started her legal career in 2017 as a legal assistant at national law firm that specialised in commercial litigation, family law and debt recovery. In 2019, Leen worked at a Sydney Law Firm as a paralegal where she was exposed to a number of commercial litigation matters, insolvency, family law and building and construction matters. Leen then moved into a graduate position at a litigation firm in the Sydney CBD where she worked as a solicitor in general insurance claims where she managed a number of large clients recovering motor vehicle property damage from third party insurance companies.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Being “separated but living under one roof” is a legally acknowledged status for couples who end their relationship but continue sharing a home due to various constraints.
    • Informing Centrelink about a separation is essential as it influences payment rates, with separated individuals potentially qualifying for higher single rates and additional benefits.
    • Proving separation to Centrelink requires submitting specific forms and providing evidence of independent living arrangements, such as separate finances and social activities.

    If you are separated but still living together, understanding how your Centrelink payments are affected is crucial. Are you entitled to single rates, and how much should you expect? Our divorce lawyers Sydney have put together some information about being “separated under one roof payment amount Centrelink”, including detailing the process and what you need to prove your new living arrangement for Centrelink’s evaluation.

    Separated under one roof: what does it mean

    The term ‘separated but living under one roof’ might sound like an oxymoron, but it’s a genuine situation recognised by law. This arrangement signifies the end of a relationship between couples who, for various reasons, continue to live in the same house.

    As recognised by the Family Law Act 1975, this form of separation applies to both married and de facto couples. The couple leads separate lives under the same roof, usually marked by separate bedrooms and minimal joint social activities.

    While this may seem like a straightforward concept, the reality can be far more intricate, often requiring the intervention of a family court.

    How does separated but living under one roof work?

    Separation under one roof is a situation where a couple separates but continues to live in the same home for any duration from days to years following their separation. Although this may seem unconventional, it’s a reality for many couples due to various reasons like financial constraints, childcare and parenting responsibilities, or even property disputes.

    This particular living arrangement brings with it several challenges and understanding how to prepare for a separation under one roof is extremely important. Separated couples living under the same roof must navigate various emotional, legal, and financial hurdles. They have to provide additional information to various agencies, like Services Australia, to demonstrate a change in the marriage/relationship indicative of separation, including changes in sleeping arrangements, reduction in shared activities, division of finances, and notifying family and friends.

    Do you need to tell Centrelink about separation?

    Yes, you absolutely need to inform Centrelink about your separation if you are in receipt of payments from Centrelink, including the below payment types:

    • Age Pension
    • Austudy
    • Carer Payment
    • Disability Support Payment
    • JobSeeker Payment
    • Youth Allowance.

    This can be done through MyGov or by filling out a separation details form known as the ‘Relationship details – Separated under one roof form (SS293)’. Centrelink uses this form to assess your relationship status and establish correct payment entitlements. Both ex-partners must submit their completed forms, and one party can submit both if needed.

    Centrelink looks into several aspects such as financial interdependence, financial abuse, and separate finances when determining a separated couple’s relationship status. In situations where an individual is at risk, their ex-partner is not required to complete the SS293 form. Ensuring Centrelink has the correct details about your separation status is thus of utmost importance.

    How will Centrelink payments change if you’re separated but living under one roof?

    Being separated but living under the same roof can have significant implications on your Centrelink payments. For instance, the amount you are paid (as an individual) when you are part of a couple is often less than if it is as a single person. This is why Centrelink requires proof of your separation or relationship status – ensuring the appropriate rate is applied.

    In addition, separated individuals living under one roof may be entitled to additional payments such as the Energy Supplement and Rent Assistance on top of their payment without filing additional claims. It is important to grasp how your separation status might alter your Centrelink payments to efficiently navigate this intricate process.

    How do you prove you are separated to Centrelink?

    Establishing your separation status to Centrelink is a key step in the process. It begins with completing and submitting the ‘Relationship details – separated under one roof’ form (SS293). It helps in determining the appropriate payment category for the applicant.

    One of the primary requirements for proving separation to Centrelink is demonstrating that you are living independently, rather than as a couple. The absence of sexual relations is a relevant factor for completing the SS293 form and proving separation.

    Your task extends beyond merely filling out a form though; you may need to provide separation evidence, which could include actions like splitting bills, transferring assets, seeking a financial settlement, closing joint bank accounts, and separate living arrangements like split utilities and shopping.

    Social and emotional indicators of separation include living separate social lives, absence of a sexual relationship, withdrawal of emotional support, and informing others such as family, friends, and schools of the separation status.

    Centrelink conducts thorough checks to confirm the separation status, which may involve interviews and reviewing personal documentation.

     

    Need advice on your separation or family law matter?

    Separation, especially when living under the same roof, can be a complex process. It’s often wise to seek legal advice from family lawyers Australia – like us here at Unified Lawyers.

    There are many benefits of hiring a family lawyer for your case, including having their assistance with the separation process, ensuring a fair property settlement, and that all parties are aware of their options and obligations, and it may help avoid costly court disputes.

    Make an informed decision about your future with Unified Lawyers today. Call us on 1300 667 467 or book a free, no obligation consultation using the orange button below.

    FAQs about Centrelink payments while separated under one roof

    There’s no doubt that the topic of Centrelink payments while separated under one roof can raise several questions. Here are some common questions we’re asked about separation under one roof and Centrelink payments:

    Can you live under the same roof and be separated?

    Yes, it is possible to live under the same roof and be separated.  This arrangement involves more than just sleeping separately.

    How do you act when separated from your spouse?

    When separated from your spouse, it’s important to maintain your normal routines and avoid making major decisions or changes. Strive to refrain from using substances to cope and avoid power struggles or arguments with your spouse.

    How does Centrelink determine if someone is separated but living under one roof?

    Centrelink determines if someone is separated but living under one roof by examining factors such as financial arrangements, household nature, childcare responsibilities, social aspects, presence of a sexual relationship, and commitment. This evaluation helps Centrelink assess the true nature of the living arrangement.

    Can I appeal Centrelink’s decision if they don’t recognise my separation?

    Yes, you can appeal Centrelink’s decision on separation if you disagree with the outcome by providing additional evidence or seeking a review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

    Leen Setrak Sydney Lawyer

    Leena Setrak Family & Litigation Lawyer

    Author
    Leen started her legal career in 2017 as a legal assistant at national law firm that specialised in commercial litigation, family law and debt recovery. In 2019, Leen worked at a Sydney Law Firm as a paralegal where she was exposed to a number of commercial litigation matters, insolvency, family law and building and construction matters. Leen then moved into a graduate position at a litigation firm in the Sydney CBD where she worked as a solicitor in general insurance claims where she managed a number of large clients recovering motor vehicle property damage from third party insurance companies.

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