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  • What is a dependant

    A person is your dependant if that person is:

    • your spouse
    • your child
    • any other person you are in an interdependent relationship with
    • a person who is substantially financially dependent on you.

    We define a spouse as someone who is either:

    • legally married to you
    • not legally married to you but lives with you on a genuine domestic basis in a relationship as a couple.

    We define a child as someone who:

    • is less than 18 years old, or
    • is financially dependent on you and less than 25 years old, or
    • has a disability.

    Furthermore, the child must be either your:

    • biological child
    • adopted child
    • stepchild
    • child of your de facto spouse.


    If you apply to pay expenses for a dependant who is not defined as your spouse or child, you need to prove you are in an interdependent relationship.

    An interdependent relationship is a close personal relationship between two people which meets some of these conditions:

    • The people live together.
    • One or both provides substantial and continuous financial support to the other.
    • One or both provides domestic support and personal care to the other.

    Evidence of interdependency

    To prove you are in an interdependent relationship, you may provide documents showing you both live at the same address. This could be a joint bank statement or a phone, power or water bill.

    To demonstrate another person is financially dependent on you, you will need to show evidence that you provide ongoing financial support to them. This may include bank statements showing regular payments to another party on behalf of the person.

    You also need to provide a statutory declaration telling us about your interdependent relationship. Information we consider when determining whether an interdependent relationship exists includes:

    • the duration of your relationship
    • whether or not a sexual relationship existed
    • the ownership, use and acquisition of property
    • the degree of mutual commitment to a shared life
    • the care and support of children
    • the reputation and public aspects of your relationship
    • the degree of emotional support provided to each other
    • the extent to which your relationship is one of mere convenience
    • any evidence suggesting that the parties intend the relationship to be permanent.

    You may also be considered to have an interdependent relationship if you have a close personal relationship but live apart because one or both of you are temporarily:

    • working interstate or overseas or detained in prison
    • receiving care for a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability.

    Next steps:

      Last modified: 21 Jun 2021QC 60034