11 December 2016 – clarification on ‘spousal benefits’

News Corp today reported on Centrelink ‘spousal benefits’ that included unverified quotes from an article published 2010.

The Department of Human Services does not administer ‘spousal benefits’.

The following information was provided to News Corp:

When granting income support, the department determines whether a payment is made at the single or partnered rate.

Being in more than one member-of-a-couple relationship has no bearing on that assessment – if you are in a member-of-a-couple relationship then you will be assessed at the partnered rate.

Eligibility is determined on an individual’s circumstances and there are no additional payments for having multiple partners.

Customers with multiple partners are assessed exactly the same as any other person, under Australian law.

The department does not hold data based on polygamous relationships or religion.