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  • Family and dependants for Medicare levy surcharge purposes

    For Medicare levy surcharge (MLS) purposes, you are considered to be a member of a family if, during any period of the year, you had a spouse or a child who was an Australian resident, regardless of their income.

    You must have contributed to their maintenance.

    If any member of the family did not have an appropriate level of private patient hospital cover and your income is above a certain amount, you may be required to pay the MLS.

    See also:

    Spouse – married or de facto

    Your spouse includes another person (of any sex) who either:

    • you were in a relationship with that was registered under a prescribed state or territory law
    • although not legally married to you, lived with you on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple

    An ex-spouse you pay maintenance or child support to is not your dependant.


    Your child is only your dependant if they are:

    • under 21 years old
    • 21 to 24 years old and studying full-time at school, college or university.

    Your child is still your dependant if you are paying child support even if they don't live with you.

    Your child includes:

    • your child, whether born in marriage or not
    • your adopted child
    • a newborn or newly adopted child
    • a child of your spouse (your stepchild)
    • someone who is your child within the meaning of the Family Law Act 1975 (for example, a child who is considered to be a child of a person under a state or territory court order giving effect to a surrogacy agreement).

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    Last modified: 17 Nov 2020QC 27044