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Recognition of relationships and dependants

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When you serve in the ADF, you may have your relationship recognised by Defence. You may also have your spouse, partner or child recognised as a dependant for Defence benefit purposes. You must meet some conditions to receive these benefits.

You must tell your supervisor about any changes to your personal situation. This includes:

  • a new relationship;
  • the end of a relationship;
  • a new dependant; or
  • a change in relationship to a dependant (i.e. your child becomes a guardian to other children, or you no longer have a recognised dependant).

How do I have my relationship recognised?

Defence recognises marriages, registered relationships and de facto relationships. You must apply to have your partner or spouse recognised. (Web form AD 150 or the Application for recognition of a de facto relationship form).

You need to supply paperwork that confirms the relationship exists. This could be a:

  • marriage or registration certificate; or
  • a statement from you and your partner/spouse; or
  • any other document you think confirms the relationship.

You do not have to live with your partner or spouse to have your marriage or registered relationship recognised.

For members in a de facto relationship, Defence has adopted the definition of a de facto relationship from the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, Part 2, Section 2F, which stipulates that you need to live with you partner on a genuine domestic basis to qualify as being in a de facto relationship.

To help you understand this process, a flow chart can be found on the Pay and Conditions website.

Having your relationship recognised is not the same as having a dependency recognised. It is a separate process.

What does my supervisor or Commanding Officer need to do?

Your supervisor needs to see your application and your supporting paperwork.

Your supervisor must accept your application. They can only refuse or reject it if there is:

  • a need for more information, or
  • a reasonable basis to not recognise the relationship.

Can I have a dependant recognised?

When you serve with the ADF, you may get benefits and allowances associated with having a recognised dependant. Your personal and work situations affect these benefits.

Who can be my dependant?

The following people can be a dependant:

  • Your spouse or partner
  • Your child
  • Your spouse or partner's child
  • Children with permanent court orders placing them in your care
  • A housekeeper/guardian (conditions apply)
  • Other persons recognised by CDF

When is someone my dependant?

Your spouse/partner or child is a dependant if you live together in a shared household; this is usually in your posting location.

To have your spouse or partner recognised as a dependant, you must first have your relationship recognised (see above, 'How do I have my relationship recognised' section).

Children must normally live with you at least 90 nights per year. If your child will live with you for less than 90 nights per year, in certain circumstances they may still be recognised as a dependant by the CDF.

If you are a dual serving couple posted apart, or are separated for service reasons you may still have your dependant(s) recognised.

What do I need to do to get my dependants recognised?

You need to apply to have your dependants recognised. (Using web form AA157).

You need to attach supporting paperwork that shows that you and your dependants live together:

  • in a shared household, and
  • in your posting location.

If you are a dual serving couple posted apart or separated for service reasons, you will need to attach your posting order.

To help you understand this process, a flow chart can be found on the Pay and Conditions website.

Will this automatically change my categorisation?

Your categorisation status won't automatically change when you have a relationship or dependant recognised.

If your categorisation needs to change, you must tick the option in your application for dependency. (Using web form AA157). The change will be checked by your supervisor.

What does my supervisor or Commanding Officer need to do?

Your supervisor needs to see your application and your supporting paperwork.

Your supervisor must accept your application. They can only reject or refuse it if there is:

  • a need for more information, or
  • a reasonable basis to not recognise the dependency.

Your supervisor also needs to confirm your categorisation status.

Where can I go for more information?

If you would like further information, or have any questions please contact your relevant Personnel Office.

There are also some helpful scenarios for members and frequently asked questions available on the Pay and Conditions Website.

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Who do I contact

Contacts

Defence Service Centre

1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362)

YourCustomer.Service@defence.gov.au

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