For other definitions, see Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 1.
Warning – different definition overseas conditions of service
The term dependant is defined differently for overseas conditions of service. That definition is in Chapter 12.
i. A child of the member.
ii. A child of the member's spouse or partner.
iii. An adopted child.
1.3.81A Close relative
Example: The member is posted and moves away from the losing location. The child moves in with their grandparents to continue with employment. The child has ceased to be part of the member's household.
1.3.84 Dependant with special needs
Example for table item 6: A speech therapist.
The approved form is AC832 - Application for Recognition of Member with Dependant with Special needs.
1.3.85 Dependants recognised by CDF
Example: A non-dependent child who is orphaned may be recognised as a dependant under this section while the member applies to adopt the child. Once the adoption is finalised, the child will fall under the ordinary definitions of 'child' and 'dependant' in this Division.
Example: A statutory declaration that the relationship is one of interdependency.
Non-example: A member's parent has lived independently, not living with the member as a dependant and then moves into an aged care facility. The parent is not eligible to be recognised as the member's dependant, although the member may have power of attorney for the parent.
Example: A member's aged mother is recognised as a dependant. The member looks after his mother in the member's home. The mother moves permanently to an aged care facility. The mother remains the member's dependant.
Non-example: A member's parent who receives the aged pension, is in average health and is renting their own home is not a dependant.
1. A member's parent is of pensionable age and suffering from a disabling illness. They are dependant on the member to provide a home and care.
2. A person has medical conditions for which the member provides care. The person is able to show evidence from their doctor to support this.
Example 1: If a couple is not able to live together because of Service reasons, such as a requirement to live-in.
Example 2: Two members form a couple and ask their career managers for a posting in the same location so that they can live together. Their Service cannot post them together for operational reasons.
Non-example: Two members consider themselves a couple but have never lived together for reasons that are not Service related.
1. Providing care for a terminally ill parent may be considered a compelling reason.
2. Maintaining employment or education would not ordinarily be considered a compelling reason.
1. A member's 22-year-old child who is unemployed lives with the member for reasons of convenience, not interdependency.
2. A person who acts as a housekeeper or guardian to a dependent child, when the member and spouse live together and are both working.
3. A member's parent is of pensionable age and looks after the member's children at the member's home but is otherwise able to live independently.
Example: A member looks after their grandchild while the child's mother is on holiday overseas. The child's father is working but does not want to pay for child care. The CDF determines that the child is not a dependant of the member since the child's parents remain responsible for the child's care and support.
1. A member's grandchild has been orphaned. The member has assumed primary care of the child. The child has no other source of care or support. The CDF determines that the grandchild is a dependant of the member.
2. A member's son has become permanently incapacitated after a car accident. The member's son was the primary carer of his child. The member has assumed care of their grandchild because they are the child's closest relative and have applied for legal guardianship. The CDF determines that the child has no other source of care or support, and is a dependant of the member.
1.3.86 Non-Service spouse and non-Service partner
1.3.87 Normally lives with
When a child who is a dependant lives with the member on a permanent basis the member is not required to demonstrate that the child lives with them for the 90 nights a year under this section.
Exception examples: Service partners who can't live together for Service reasons or a person who is unable to live with the member because they require institutional care.
Example: A civil partnership.
1.3.89 Partner – de facto
The approved form is Application for Recognition of a De Facto Relationship
Example: The member's rank or employment category, personal choices, religion.
Example 1: A newly recruited member completes their initial paperwork incorrectly, so they are categorised as a member without dependants. Although not living with their partner during the initial training period, prior to joining the Service the member had been living with their partner on a genuine domestic basis for a number of years, having children together and shared bank accounts. The new recruit may not be able to provide recent evidence of the necessary factors to have dependency recognised. However, in keeping with administrative law principles and having regard to all the relevant factors, the CDF can use their discretion to recognise the couple as de facto partners for Defence benefit purposes.
Example 2: A member is unconscious. The member has made no application for recognition of a dependant. However, the member's partner approaches Defence for assistance. The partner is able to show that they have lived with the member for some years and family and friends recognise the member and their partner as a de facto couple.
Example: The partner is caring for their parent in the parent's home for a few weeks while the parent recovers from surgery.
1.3.90 Partner – registered de facto
1.3.91 Primary emergency contact
1.3.93 Applying for Defence-provided benefits
Example: The member moves in with a new partner and forms a de facto relationship, but does not apply for recognition. The CDF recognises that the member's previous relationship has ceased and a new de facto relationship has begun. The member's eligibility for housing benefits is reassessed based on the member's new living arrangements.
1.3.94 Member without dependants
1. The member has no ADF-recognised dependants.
2. The member does not intend to ever live in the same house as their family and so the family is not recognised as dependants for Defence benefit purposes.
1.3.95 Member with dependants
Example: A member couple live together in Darwin. One of the members is posted to Melbourne. That member becomes a member with dependants (unaccompanied). The member in Darwin lives alone until the other member returns from the post, but is still eligible to be a member with dependants.
Example: A member is married but separated from their spouse. The member's spouse ceases to be a recognised dependant for Defence benefit purposes when the member no longer normally lives with them. The member currently lives with another person. The member must take steps to amend their details to cease benefits for their former spouse and have their new partner recognised for benefit purposes.