Teen Mums May Lose Welfare Payments

Jodi - posted on 05/04/2011 ( 21 moms have responded )

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"Teenage parents will face losing their welfare payments six months after their child is born unless they meet new study and work requirements, under the federal government's "tough love" budget.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is expected to announce the trial scheme on Thursday, under which teenage parents could lose payments of up to $625.90 a fortnight if they fail to meet the new requirements.

The scheme will be trialled in 10 centres around Australia from January 1, News Ltd newspapers report.

Teenage parents will have to front up to Centrelink and plan education and work activities once their baby reaches six months.

Once the child turns one, they must return to school to finish year 12, the report said.

About 11,000 teenagers receive the parenting payment.

They are currently not required to look for work until their youngest child turns six.

The Gillard government has flagged tighter controls in the May 10 budget on unemployment benefits, the youth allowance and disability support pensions to get more people into work."

http://au.news.yahoo.com/latest/a/-/late...

If I can elaborate on this article, in Australia, ALL single mothers CAN qualify for parenting payments, teen or not, until their youngest child is 6 (and by this time is in school). At that point they are required to get a job for AT LEAST 16 hours per week or risk losing their payments.

As the budget has not yet been released, I am uncertain as to what they mean by "teen" (whether under 18, or any age with the term "teen" in it), I am unable to find the clarification. However, this new measure will not apply to ALL single mothers, only teens.

So I am just curious on some of your thoughts.

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Erin - posted on 05/04/2011

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The reason it is targeting teens is so they are forced to complete their education. The majority of 'older' single mothers will have already done that, meaning they are much more able to re-enter the work force.

Jodi - posted on 05/05/2011

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Loureen, if you read that second article I posted, they have actually also promised to cover the gap payments on childcare for these girls (I'm assuming in approved childcare centres). I think that's fantastic.



I think my ONLY concern is that in some areas, there are huge waiting lists for childcare. You pretty much have to put your child's name down at birth in order to be able to get a place by the time your 12 month maternity leave is up. It took me almost 12 months to get a place in my area for Taylah.....and she was in the 3 year old room where there are more places (because there are fewer carers for number of children). And to me, there is no point to it unless they can actually GET daycare within that 12 months. So hopefully that will be taken into consideration too....



Although, from what I gather, the legislation is about to be changed, also, to make sure that SAHM's are lowest on the priority list to get those childcare places (not saying they don't deserve them, just that it shouldn't take preference over someone who NEEDS the place for work/study/medical reasons), so perhaps that will relieve that concern.

Charlie - posted on 05/05/2011

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Jen Australia has some pretty good childcare rebates set up for all family's which are means tested ...a single mother would most likely get the full rebate .

Jodi - posted on 05/05/2011

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Here is an article with a little more detail.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/na...

A couple of excerpts:
"Treasurer Wayne Swan today defended the move and said it was about giving teen parents opportunities, not punishment.

Mr Swan said people who had been out of the workforce needed opportunities and had an obligation to work."

"Ms Gillard is concerned that teenage parents, who typically have poor education and drop out of school, spend their whole life on welfare and, in many cases, their children follow the same path.

About 11,000 teenagers receive the parenting payment and Centrelink figures show 80 per cent do not have a year 12 or equivalent education and just 8 per cent have a job."

Erin - posted on 05/05/2011

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Because they don't have the education, qualification or experience to fall back on in 6 years. If a girl has a baby at 15, when she finally is forced to find work at 21 she will only be suitable to minimum wage shit-kicking jobs. Unlike an older single mother, who will be able to go back to her field of choice.

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[deleted account]

I think unwed mothers are an easy target. The minority that cheat the system are the majority of recipients in the public mind. It's easy to simply dismiss them as little tramps who want the state to support them and will continue to "pop out babies" because they know they'll get more money. I'm not sure exactly what the point of this legislation is or how it works. Does it help them find appropriate child care? Probably not as that would be in the "Not our business or fault she had a baby with no support" category.



ETA: Read the rest of the posts and the link. I get now why they're doing it.

Erin - posted on 05/05/2011

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That's how I read it Cathy. They won't be forced into full-time employment, just back to school and/or some other skills training. There is also a mention in the article of the government covering their childcare costs (which is already subsidised for everyone).

[deleted account]

So is it that teenagers aren't being forced to work till after their child reaches 6yo just required to return to school and finish their education plus get a little work experience once their baby reaches 1yo? Because I think that is pretty reasonable.

Stifler's - posted on 05/05/2011

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While I think it's a great idea to encourage them to complete their education, if it's important according to Centrelink that everyone else gets their payments for 6 years without working how come the children of teenage parents don't get the same courtesy of having a stay at home mum?

Sneaky - posted on 05/05/2011

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I LOVE it, as plans go to make having babies in the teenage years unattractive it could work - or completely backfire like Jodi's husband suggested.

Jodi - posted on 05/04/2011

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Oh, I agree Erin, my husband is a cynical bastard, LOL. But in reality, I think more people will benefit from it than will try to scam it. I think it is actually a ver good measure to force young girls to go back and finish school, or to at least gain work experience while they are still young.

Erin - posted on 05/04/2011

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Jodi, I guess so. But that already happens with the 6 year cut off anyway. Some people are always going to be morons (having a baby to GET money is about as moronic as it gets - we all know how much kids cost).

I'm assuming these new regulations refer to high school-aged mothers. Making it necessary for them to return to school can only be a good thing IMO.

Mel - posted on 05/04/2011

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I had no idea people lost thier payments when their kids are in school. Thats great hopefully that encourages people to get a job. Im so so sick of those teen mums who have babies so they dont have to work its getting beyond rediculous. I dont think they should say all teenage ones, what about ones like myself who worked thier arse off before having the baby before even falling pregnant? I was 18 when I gave birth I guess that classifies as a teen mum. Shouldnt it just apply to those teen mums who havent worked before or something. Just trying to collect all my thoughts. I do think something needs to be inplace to stop people having babies and using that as an excuse not to work or study, and they do nothing weill thier kid. Some of the ones I know, are ones who put thier kids in daycare all week 5 days a week then complain they are bored all the time and dont have any money because centrelink took thier money blah blah blah or ones who have never worked not finished shcool, get thier baby taken by DCP then get knocked up again, and even after my lectures on working towards a career or finising school, nope its all too hard. Its easier to see thee and wallow in self pity because youve had a hard life apparently, and talk about suicide when your pregnant and have a young daughter *sigh*

Jodi - posted on 05/04/2011

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I am just going to add what my husband said into the debate - if the teen doesn't wish to return to school or get a job......is it likely she MAY go and get pregnant again to avoid this (and of course, will then get more payments). Is it possible it could backfire in some ways?

Charlie - posted on 05/04/2011

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I think it is a great Idea , like Erin said a lot of single older women already have job experience or a career they dont really need to finish high school or establish a career .



A little off topic but all parents receive money from the government (welfare ) at some stage, all working mothers or fathers recieve maternity leave payments , it is paid at the National Minimum Wage - currently $570 a week before tax for 18 weeks .

Parents who do not work recieve maternity leave get the baby bonus of fortnightly installments to the total of just over $5000 .

Then there is family tax benefit on top of that which is means tested and is based on number and age of children , almost all parents get some sort of family tax benefit A and B which can be between $4,905.60 a year per child under 13 , $6,161.20 for children aged between 13-15 and there is family tax B - B which pays an extra $2000 on top of that .

Single parents can earn between $500 a fortnight as a single with one child on a parenting payment .

Then we get subsidised childcare and rebates that is also means tested .



Families do get a lot of support in Australia which is probably why it was voted second best place in the world to be a mum !

Mrs. - posted on 05/04/2011

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Wow. I'm just shocked at the amount of support mothers receive for welfare in Aus. Does this compare to the North American equivalent?

Well, I don't think it would suck to put in measures that require them to finish secondary school.

April - posted on 05/04/2011

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I think thats a very good idea. All they have to do is continue year 12 after a year. I think the Australian government just wants to make sure that teens are given a better chance at finding a job once they start finding one.

Jayce - posted on 05/04/2011

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Sounds good to me but it should apply to all single moms not just the teens.

[deleted account]

I don't think it's right to make that requirement of only teens. Other than that.... sounds fine.

Rosie - posted on 05/04/2011

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that seems kinda unfair that they're doing it for just teens and not all people on welfare. what difference does it make if they're teens or not, they're still on welfare right?
overall i think the idea is good, i think 6 years is too long, i think one year is just about right to start thinking about going back to school.

Jodi - posted on 05/04/2011

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Oh, and if I could clarify for those of you who don't speak Australian.....a fortnight is every two weeks :P

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