Official relationships and Centrelink

  • Married

    Marriage is a legally, religiously, and socially recognised union of two people who commit to one another and form an economic and family orientated bond. Married couples may or may not live together.

  • Registered relationships

    A registered relationship is one that is registered under Australian state or territory laws, including civil partnership schemes.

    These are currently recognised in the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

  • Defacto relationships

    A defacto relationship is where two people who are not married or in a registered relationship, live together as a couple.

    Centrelink will assess a couple on these aspects:

    • The nature of the household.
    • The financial aspect of the relationship.
    • The social aspect.
    • The nature of the people’s commitment to each other.
    • Any sexual relationship that exists between them.

    You are in a defacto relationship from the time you start living together as a couple and there is no minimum time period for a relationship to be seen as defacto.

    A long term partner in a defacto relationship may hold the same rights as a spouse (married partner) in the event of a defacto partner’s death.

  • If you claim Centrelink payments as a single person and your circumstances change to living as a couple you must notify Centrelink.

    Single payments are different to couple payments and Centrelink assesses income and assets differently for single people and couples. They also understand not all couples are the same.  To work out your situation go to > type relationships in search bar> relationship details form or drop into a Centrelink office and talk to someone.

  • For extensive information on this topic see