Having a baby is expensive. Read our guide below to available government family benefit payments to ensure you receive all the payments and financial assistance you are entitled to.
More detailed information is available on the Family Assistance website or in booklet form from your nearest Family Assistance Office or by calling 13 61 50.
Please note that in order to claim Family Tax Benefit Part A, Family Tax Benefit Part B, the Baby Bonus, Paid Parental Leave and Maternity Immunisation Allowance as outlined below, you must be an Australian resident or listed visa holder.
The government family benefit payment scheme provides three regular payments for families:
- Family Tax Benefit Part A - general benefit to help with the cost of raising children - more details on Family Tax Benefit A
- Family Tax Benefit Part B - extra help for single-income families - more details on Family Tax Benefit B
- Child Care Benefit - assistance with child care costs - more details on Child Care Benefit
Family Tax Benefit Parts A & B are income tested and can be received as regular fortnightly payments. Alternatively, you can claim benefits as a lump sum at the end of the financial year.
An application form for Family Tax Benefit Parts A & B will usually be provided in hospital at the time of birth. This copy will contain an official stamp from the hospital and should be used for any benefit claims.
Child Care Benefit is income tested and can only be claimed if you use an approved or registered care provider. Benefits are claimed through the Family Assistance Office, not the Tax system. Further details regarding approved care, registered care and payment systems are available online here or by calling 13 61 50.
In addition to the above payments, there are four one-off payments available to qualifying families:
The baby bonus is $5,000, paid in 13 fortnightly payments. This means approximately $384.61 each fortnight. The payments are made to eligible families to help with the extra costs of a new child (including adopted and stillborn children). Payments are made for each child in a multiple birth.
- Baby Bonus is payable if your family's estimated combined adjusted taxable income is $75,000 or less in the six months after your child is born or enters your care. You have up to 52 weeks from the birth of your baby or from the time your child enters your care to claim Baby Bonus and provide your income estimate.
*UPDATE* The Government is set to abolish the Baby Bonus as of March 1 2014 - read more in this blog - Federal government scraps baby bonus. Paid Parental Leave will not be affected.
Read more detailed info about the Baby Bonus on the FAO website.
Paid Parental Leave Scheme
On 1 January 2013, the Paid Parental Leave scheme was expanded to include a new two week payment for working dads or partners, called Dad and Partner Pay.
The Paid Parental Leave scheme is government funded, is for eligible working parents of children born or adopted on or after January 1, 2011, can be transferred to the other parent and is paid at the National Minimum Wage - currently $606.50 per week before tax, for up to 18 weeks.
Guide to the Paid Parental Leave Scheme
Paid Parental leave hypothetical case studies - see if you will be eligible
Paid Parental Leave worked examples - see if you will be better off under the new scheme
Paid Parental Leave on the FAO website.
Maternity Immunisation Allowance
This allowance is no longer offered. You may still be eligible if you met all the requirements to receive the allowance before July 1 2012.
Find out if you are eligible at the Maternity Immunisation Allowance website
The Child Care Tax Rebate
The Child Care Rebate is additional help available to eligible working families to help cover the cost of child care.
The Child Care Rebate covers 50% of out of pocket costs for approved child care. Out of pocket costs are calculated as total fees charged for approved child care LESS actual Child Care Benefit (CCB) entitlement received.
To be eligible for the rebate, families must be eligible to receive CCB and meet the CCB Work/Training/Study Test. Families who are eligible for Child Care Benefit, but who receive a zero rate entitlement due to high income are still eligible for the Child Care Rebate. You can elect to receive the Child Care Rebate weekly, fortnightly, quarterly, or annually. By receiving your rebate either fortnightly or weekly, you can elect to have your rebate paid directly to your Child Care Provider to reduce your child care bills immediately.
The Rebate is claimed through the tax system and administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Families will need to retain their child care receipts as a record of their total fee charged per child in child care.
Read more detailed info about the Child Care Rebate
The following additional payments may be available to eligible parents:
- Baby Bonus
- Centrelink Indigenous Phone Services
- Double Orphan Pension
- Family Tax Benefit
- Health Care Card
- Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance
- National Relay Service
- Remote Area Allowance
- Rent Assistance
- Widow Allowance