Maintenance Action Test Exemption
In order to receive the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit A, payees are required to take “Maintenance Action”. This means having a current child support assessment in place; or having an exemption from seeking child support. Where there is no exemption from seeking maintenance, the payee drops to the base rate of FTB A.
Maintenance Exemptions are used where:
- The payee fears that if they take action for child support the payer will react violently towards them or their family.
- Seeking child support may have a harmful or disruptive effect on them or the payer.
- The paternity is ‘unknown’ which may be a signal that the payee is afraid of violence if paternity is disclosed.
- Cultural Considerations.
When granted FTB for the first time an automatic 13 week applies. All Exemptions are all assessed by Social workers and during this process a 60 day exemption is granted.
Child Support Partial Exemptions
A partial exemption allows the payee to privately collect an amount of Child Support which is less than the payees full Child Support assessed entitlement without failing the maintenance action test. It is used where a payee has a fear of violence at the prospect of pursuing their full entitlement.
The exemption ensures that the payees rate of FTB Part A will be based on the amount of child support received, not the amount of the child support assessment.
NCSMC urges all women to seek advice before agreeing to a private collect and be informed that the payee can transfer to child support collect.
CSA cannot collect debt whilst in a Private Collect and they can only typically collect for three months when changed to a Child Support Collect.