ACCS temporary financial hardship

This subsidy gives families experiencing significant financial stress extra help with the cost of child care. It is a short-term payment.

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Who can get ACCS (temporary financial hardship)?

ACCS (temporary financial hardship) is available to families who are:

  • eligible for Child Care Subsidy (CCS) (they can apply for both at the same time), and
  • are experiencing temporary financial hardship due to an event in the last six months, and
  • have a substantially reduced ability to pay child care fees.

Temporary financial hardship events

The following events are considered temporary financial hardship events:

  • death of a partner or child
  • unexpected loss of employment (not including resignation or retirement)
  • loss of income or business failure due to circumstances outside of the individual’s control
  • loss of child support due to the death of a paying parent
  • the individual, or their partner, has been adversely affected by a major disaster
  • destruction of, or severe damage to, the individual, or their partner’s, home
  • having to leave home because of an extreme circumstance, and
  • being affected by domestic or family violence, and the family member responsible leaves, or is removed from the home.

What do families get?

Eligible families don’t have to meet activity test requirements. This means they can access up to 100 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight.

They’ll receive the lower of either:

  • 100% of the fee charged where it’s equal to or below the hourly rate cap, or
  • up to 120% of the hourly rate cap where the fee charged is above the hourly rate cap.

Usually, the full cost of child care will be covered.

The subsidy is paid directly to approved providers.

The subsidy is paid for a maximum of 13 weeks per event.

How do families apply?

Families apply for ACCS (temporary financial hardship) using their Centrelink online account through myGov or through the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app or by visiting a Centrelink office and apply in person.

Families need supporting documents when applying.

If the claimant or their partner has lost their job or they have a reduction of income due to COVID-19, acceptable evidence includes:

  • an Employment Separation Certificate
  • an email or letter (on letter head) from your employer
  • a letter from an accountant or financial advisor with whom you have a pre-existing relationship
  • a statutory declaration which states you’ve lost your job or income due to circumstances outside your control, or
  • bank statements (as supplementary evidence, not sufficient on their own).

More information

More information for families is available on the Services Australia website.