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Thursday, 31 October 1974
Page: 2184


Senator MELZER - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security. I draw the Minister's attention to the fact that there are, all over the country, grandparents battling to bring up grandchildren left in their care and that very often the only income is the age pension. Can the Minister inform the Senate whether such people are entitled to draw child endowment in respect of the children in their care? Are they eligible for any other assistance? Would any such payment or assistance endanger their pension rights?


Senator WHEELDON (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Repatriation and Compensation) -Grandparents who are taking care of children are entitled to receive child endowment under the same terms and conditions as are the parents of children. In addition to receiving child endowment, they are entitled to some other benefits as well. They can receive an additional pension of $5 a week, which is about to be increased to $5.50 a week, for each child. For means test purposes a deduction of up to $6 a week is available for each child within their care. In the case of children who are double orphans- that is, children who have lost both of their parents- there is a double orphan's pension of $ 10 a week which is shortly to be increased to $11 a week. Under the legislation which was dealt with by the Senate on Tuesday of this week, a handicapped child's allowance of $10 a week is to be paid in respect of eligible children for whom child endowment is received. The receipt of child endowment or any other form of benefit of this nature does not in any way preclude the payment of any social service pensions which the grandparents would be otherwise receiving.







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