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Guide to government family benefit payments

Young Australian family sitting outside their homeIn Australia, the Federal Government offers a number of payments to parents and families – some are one-off payments following the birth of a child while others are ongoing payments to support families or help with the cost of child care.

It can be pretty confusing trying to get your head around the many payments available.

You then have to work out whether you are eligible for them and if so, how much you are likely to receive.

Here is our quick guide to Government family benefit payments in Australia. Hope it helps!

Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement

This payment was introduced after the Baby Bonus was scrapped in March 2014. It is paid following the birth or adoption of a child.

To be eligible for newborn payments you must:

  • have a baby or adopt a child on or after March 1, 2014
  • be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A
  • not be receiving Parental Leave Pay for the same child

The Newborn Upfront Payment is a lump sum of $532 (amount correct as of March 2017). It is not taxable and it is paid for each child that comes into your care.

The Newborn Supplement depends on your income and how many children you have. The maximum amount is $1595.23 for your first child and $532.35 for subsequent children (amount correct as of March 2017).

How you receive your Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement depends on how you choose to receive Family Tax Benefit Part A – eg. fortnightly or as a lump sum at the end of the financial year.

Parental Leave Pay

Eligible parents can receive up to 18 weeks of pay at the minimum wage – to help them take time off work following the birth or adoption of a baby.

To be eligible for Parental Leave Pay you must:

  • be the primary carer of a newborn or recently adopted child
  • have worked 10 of the 13 months before the birth or adoption of your child, and
    330 hours in that 10 month period (just more than one day a week) with no more than an 8-week gap between two consecutive working days
  • meet the Paid Parental Leave income test
  • be on leave or not working from the time you become your child’s primary carer until the end of your Paid Parental Leave period

Parental Leave Pay is currently $672.60 per week before tax for a maximum of 18 weeks (amount correct as of March 2017). It is a taxable payment – which means it may affect your existing family assistance entitlements, child support arrangements and tax obligations. Parental Leave Pay can be paid by your employer or directly from the government.

You do not need to be working full time to be eligible for Parental Leave Pay.

The scheme provides you with Parental Leave Pay but does not give you an entitlement to leave. You need to work out your maternity leave entitlements with your employer – try to give them at least 10 weeks’ notice.

READ: More information about Parental Leave Pay and the eligibility criteria

Dad and Partner Pay

Dads or partners may be eligible for two weeks of government-funded pay after the birth of a new baby or the adoption of a child.

To be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay you must:

  • provide care for a newborn or recently adopted child
  • meet an income test
  • have worked at least 10 of the 13 months before the date your Dad and Partner Pay period starts, and 330 hours in that 10 month period (just more than a day a week) with no more than an 8 week gap between two consecutive working days
  • be on unpaid leave or not working while getting the payment
  • make a claim within 52 weeks of the child’s birth or adoption

Dad and Partner Pay is $672.60 a week before tax (correct as of March 2017). The government pays the money into your bank account in one installment after your child is born and your claim is finalised.

There is an exception to the work test if a premature birth prevented you from meeting it.

Dad and Partner Pay does not change your leave entitlements. Check with your boss as to what leave you’re entitled to – if you’ve worked for them for at least 12 months, you should be entitled to unpaid parental leave under the Fair Work Act 2009.

Family Tax Benefit

This ongoing payment is to help with the cost of raising children. It has two parts – Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B.

To be eligible for Family Tax Benefit you must:

  • have a dependent child or secondary student aged under 20 not receiving a pension, payment, or benefit such as Youth Allowance
  • provide care for the child for at least 35 per cent of the time
  • meet an income test

Family Tax Benefit Part A is paid for each child. The amount you get is based on your family’s income, the number of children you have and how old they are.

You may be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A if you have a dependent child who is:

  • aged 0-15 years
  • aged 16–19 years, paid until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 19, and undertaking full-time education or training in an approved course leading towards a Year 12 or equivalent qualification with an acceptable study load, or has been granted an exemption from education or training requirements

You should contact the Family Assistance Office to find out exactly how much your family will receive in Family Tax Benefit Part A. You will need to estimate your income – if you’re close to the cut-off amount then it might be best to wait until the end of the financial year once your actual is known. You’ll then receive a lump sum payment.

Family Tax Benefit Part B is an extra payment for single parents, non-parent carers and couples with one main income – where one parent stays at home to care for a child full-time or only earns a small income. This payment is income tested.

You may be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part B if:

  • you are part of a couple and you care for a dependent child aged 12 years or younger at least 35 per cent of the time.
  • you are a single parent, grandparent carer or great-grand parent carer and you care for a child at least 35 per cent of the time and that child is either 1. younger than 16 years of age or 2. a dependent full-time secondary student up until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 18

You cannot receive Family Tax Benefit Part B while you’re receiving Parental Leave Pay.

Child Care Benefit

The Child Care Benefits helps parents with costs for approved and registered child care such as long day care, family day care, occasional day care, outside school hour care and vacation care.

To be eligible for Child Care Benefit you must:

  • use approved or registered child care
  • be responsible for paying the child care fees
  • have immunised your child

You will receive the maximum benefit if your actual annual family income is under $44,457. The cut-off amount is $154,697 (for one child), $160.308 (for two children), $181,024 plus $34,237 for each child after the third (amount correct as of March 2017).

The Child Care Benefit can be claimed as a reduction in fees or a lump sum payment.

Grandparents, relatives, friends, neighbours and nannies can apply to be registered carers. Parents can receive Child Care Benefit for Registered Care.

Child Care Rebate

The Child Care Rebate covers 50 per cent of your child care expenses for approved child care.

To be eligible for the Child Care Rebate you must:

  • you use a Child Care Benefit approved child care service
  • you are eligible for Child Care Benefit for approved care, even if you earn too much to receive payment, and
  • you and your partner meet the Work, Training, Study test or are exempt from it

The maximum amount of Child Care Rebate you can receive is $7500 for each child each year.

You can choose to receive the Child Care Rebate in one of four ways: directly to your approved child care service (fortnightly), directly to your bank account (fortnightly), directly to your bank account (quarterly) or annually to your bank account (if you receive your Child Care Benefit as a lump sum).

Schoolkids Bonus

The Schoolkids Bonus has been phased out and the final payments were in July 2016.

Parenting Payment

Parenting Payment is an income support payment for parents or guardians to help with the cost of raising children.

To be eligible for Parenting  Payment you must:

  • single and care for a child under 8, or
  • have a partner and care for a child under 6
  • meet an income and assets test

Only one parent or guardian can receive the payment and the amount of Parenting Payment you get depends on the income and assets of both you and your partner (if you have one).

If you qualify for Parenting Payment, you may also be entitled to other payments and services, such as:

  • Clean Energy Advance
  • Energy Supplement
  • Health Care Card
  • Helping Young Parents
  • Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance
  • Telephone Allowance


This article is intended as a general guide to Government family benefit payments in Australia. To check your eligibility based on your own circumstances contact the Department of Human Services.

Image credit: leaf/123RF Stock Photo

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120 comments so far -

  1. My Husband and I broke up 3 weeks ago. he started acting strange, he was ignoring all of my calls and won’t speak to me at all, i wanted us to be back together forever and work through things as a couple. I just could not picture my life without him. i felt so rejected when i discovered that he was cheating on me. it made me go crazy because i love him so much, he was my best friend, my soul mate, after making some research i found about Dr Mack, people says he can restore broken relationship, i contacted him via email: (((dr.mac@yahoo. com))) i gave it a try, after using his service, my Husband came back, he stopped cheating on me and since then I definitely believe Dr Mack is real, I must admit, the result was perfect, wonderful…

  2. Hi, I’m currently unpartnered and have recently given birth and currently receiving a Newstart payment from Centrelink.
    I’ve submitted claims online for both Parenting Payment and Family Tax Benefit and have also submitted the newborn proof of birth document that Centrelink ask for.
    I’m wondering how long it will take for Centrelink to process it for my payment to change?

    • Hi Sheree! Congratulations on your new baby!

      Sounds like everything is in order – so hopefully your claim will be processed quickly and easily. I am not really sure on how long things take though. I’ve got a feeling that six weeks isn’t unusual but I would hope it would be quicker than that.

      Why don’t you try asking your question on our forum (it is free and anonymous). We have loads of members who may be able to give you a better idea. Some of them would have just done the same thing themselves. Here’s a link to the Family Finances section:

      Take care xx

  3. hi,
    are new born babies still eligible for baby bouns? if so! what is the total allowance for each baby since i have twins?
    and would be there any difference if babies were born outside Australia?, they are Aus citizens of course.

    • Hi Zach! congratulations on your twins! There is no Baby Bonus anymore, I’m afraid. However, families who are eligible to receive Family Tax A may be eligible for the Newborn Supplement and Upfront Payment. The Newborn Supplement is an upfront payment of $532 (correct as of April 2017) and the Supplement is an amount paid out over 13 weeks. Depending on your families income this could be as much as $1595.23. With twins you would receive this for each child. More information is here:

      However, I am unsure of whether or not you would be eligible as your children were born overseas. That is something you will have to check with Centrelink. Please come back to let us know their response. It may help others in your circumstance. All the best xx

      • I appreciate your time and answer. I will definitely share my infos once i get in touch with Centrelink about my family pay. best regards

  4. Hi there, wondering if anyone can help me with what if any I could apply for. I’ve been in oz for 6 years, just recently got my permanent residency (jan 2017) I know I’m technically not meant to be able to claim anything. I have a child with my Australian partner of 4 years, but it looks like our relationship is coming to an end, I work part time 1-2 days a week and would have full time care

    • Hi Danielle – I’m sorry to hear that your relationship might not be working out. The question of eligiblity will depend on your residency and I think in this case, it might be best to speak directly to DHS to ascertain what you can claim. I don’t want to promise anything and then be wrong!

  5. Hi, I was just wondering if you could help me out with a few questions.

    I was wondering how many payments I can apply for and what actual payments I should claim for.
    I’m a single mother, unemployed and living at home with my parents.

    Also would my baby get a seperate payment from me or not? Sorry if I sound silly, first time mummy to be.

    Thanks 🙂

    • HI Sarah!

      Hope you had a good weekend. I am not sure myself exactly what you are able to able for. I would think definitely Parenting Payment but not sure what else.

      I have asked your question in our forum to see if any of our forum members might be able to help. Check out the link here to see if anyone has responded:

      The forum (this section is specifically for single parents) is a good way to get advice and to chat to others in your situation. I am sorry that I couldn’t be of more help.

      Take care xx

      • Hi Sarah!

        One of our lovely forum members has come to our rescue. Here’s her response:

        FTB A & B
        Newborn upfront payment/newborn supplement
        Parenting payment single
        Child Support
        Rent Assistance (if she is paying a share of the rent or board at her parents’ house)
        Pension/low income health care card.

        As long as she fills out relevant paperwork with Centrelink, Child Support Agency and registers her baby’s birth with Births, Deaths & Marriages, Centrelink and CSA will put her on the payments she is eligible for.

        ETA all payments will go directly to the mother

        Hope this helps!

  6. Schoolkids Bonus
    I didn`t even know the schoolkids bonus was finished in 2016. There was no letter through centrelink, or broadcast. Just if browsing internet by chance. Anotherblow to parents and single parents, twice a year. This was a very well timed bonus for families..Before school started of course. Now it’s gone. Really appalling actually. While m.p’s misuse their positions on selfish spending and trips not entitled too. its US that is targetted at the wallet.
    Hard workers with children.

    • Hi neat22. That is quite appalling and so is having to find out in that way – rather than being officially informed. That’s a lot of money to lose and a lot of families and children who will be a lot worse off. Take care xx

  7. HI There,
    Just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience? We recently adopted a baby boy and I submitted my claim two weeks (all the notice we had) before our legal adoption. Since then it has been a saga and a two month wait with no end in sight. Despite Centrelink telling me the claim would be processed:
    they have:
    * accused me of returning to work ( I will and cannot do this)
    * accused me of disconnecting my phone ?? no I haven’t done this
    * accused me of trying to double dip/// my employer doesn’t offer it’s own parenting pmt
    * put up six claims for parenting leave on my portal with incorrect information
    * told me they are experiencing technical errors a number times but my claim is being esculated then when I ring a week later there is no record of anything
    * haven’t sent me any correspondance regarding descisions.
    * unlinked my official documents from all the claims I have put up (and they have put up)
    A bit at my wits end of what to do. This has almost been two months now and I need this sorted. I have tried going into a service centre but noone would see me and they put the call centre through (waited over an hour on my phone with my baby) to be told nothing had happened … can I put you on hold. Over twelve hours of waiting whilst trying to parent. I have submitted complaints to centrelink and to the ombudsman but no response. Is there anything I can do?? 🙁

    • Hi Simi! Thanks for your question. I’m not 100 per cent sure on this so you’ll have to ask Centrelink to have a look and take all your personal circumstances into account.

      I have found some information on how lump sum payments affect your income (and therefore your Centrelink payments). From what I understand after reading this, a payout from a trust fund will be apportioned out over 52 months and considered income.
      Have a read of this and see if that’s how you understand it …

      Sorry I couldn’t be more definite in my answer. I’m not too sure and I would hate to give incorrect information.

      Please if you find out for sure come back to let us know. Thanks and all the best!

  8. Hi, We are expecting our first to arrive around 2nd January 2017.
    I am working full time, wife is not working (housewife). I noticed after login on centrelink website that either of us can start a claim for family benefits.
    I am not sure from whose account should we claim the benefits!
    Could you please advise if this matters anywhere (in future) if at all whether I claim or wife does?

    • Hi Shreyas! Not long to go now … very exciting!

      I do not know of any future advantages or disadvantages to claiming from one account or the other. In my experience though it is usually the primary carer who makes the claim, in this case, your wife. Depends of course on your personal situation and how you both manage your finances I suppose.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. You might find a range of answers to your question if you ask it in our forum. Here’s a link to our Family Finances forum section:

      All the best for the new baby. Take care!

  9. Hi I’m just wondering how long did it take to get my family tax benefits processed as I already receive this payment but have had a new born child

    • Hi Karlee! I’m not too sure about this one – sorry! I know that it is an automatic payment (you don’t have to apply all over again) but you do have to register your child’s birth etc before processing can begin. Usually centrelink say ‘three weeks’ for many of these things.

      Why not ask on our forum? We have a family finances section and there would be many mums online there who would have recently received this payment and can give you an idea on timing…

      Hope that helps. Congrats on your new baby! Take care …

  10. Hi

    Love the site.
    Just a quick question.
    Can Centrelink pay Paid Parental leave directly to me? or does it must go through my work place and then my employer pays me?
    What if my work place fail to give written acceptance notice to Centrelink within 14 days?

    Many Thanks

    • Hi Lou! Glad you love the site! Sorry for the slow reply.

      From what I understand employers have to pay it directly to you under the following circumstances:
      – you have worked for them for 12 months or more before the expected date of birth or adoption – for Australian Public Service (APS) employees, all APS employment is included in the employment period
      – you will be their employee until at least the end of your Paid Parental Leave period
      – you are an Australian-based employee, and
      – you expect to receive at least 8 weeks of Parental Leave Pay

      I’m not sure what happens if they fail to give written acceptance though – sorry! Are you worried that they won’t because they don’t want to pay it to you or because they’re a bit slack? If they don’t want to (but they meet the criteria above, and have to) they can ask for a review.

      I’m afraid though, you might have to call centrelink with this one and discuss all this specific circumstances. What a pain though – the last thing you need when You’re pregnant to have stress of other people not doing what is required.

      Hope it all works out. Come back to let us know how it goes too. It might help the next person in your situation.

      All the best. Take care xx

  11. Hello, I ccurently have a 9 month old baby boy, but I’m also pregnant and due to give birth any time between the 13th of January and the 13th of February, I have applied for my family tax benefit payments but when I tried to apply for parenting maybe for new bub it says I cant apply for it because I’m already being payed, I thought I had to make claims for both family tax benefit and parenting payment, so do I only do the claim for 1 and not the other and if I cant make a claim for parenting payment what happens with my parenting payment for my new bub when he is born ?

    • Hi Samantha! Congrats on your pregnancy. How wonderful to have two kids so close. They will be great friends I’m sure.

      I’m a bit confused by your question though. So are you already receiving Family Tax Benefits? And you want to apply for parenting payment? I would have thought you would be able to (provided you are eligible for parenting payment) but I have had no personal experience with this payment and I’m not sure of exactly how it works.

      Just rereading your question though – are you already receiving a parenting payment for your first child? Perhaps you cannot apply again because you don’t really apply per child. If you’re already getting it now then perhaps when your 2nd child is born you can inform them and the rate may change (although I’m not sure of this). But I don’t think this is a payment that you apply for again when another child is born.

      If you’re receiving Family Tax A you will probably be eligible for the Newborn Supplement and Upfront payment which is a bit extra in your FTA to help pay for costs involved in a new child.

      You might be best having a chat with some of the parents in our forum. They might be better able to answer your questions regarding Parenting Payment. Here’s a link to the family finances section:

      All the best xx

  12. Hi,

    I am an Australian Citizen and expecting my first baby in March 2017. I am working full time for 3 years & my wife is a housewife. I am not sure whether I can get parental leave pay if I take unpaid leave for 4 weeks by centrelink.

    I fulfill the criteria for the work test, but not sure whether I or my wife will be eligible for parental leave or not. My workplace mentioned that all parental leave is unpaid. According to them, upon the birth of your child, your leave can start from the date of birth of your child.

    If you will be taking leave to care for your wife and child, you can take this after the birth of your child, unpaid, and must be taken within 12 months following the birth of your child. You can take up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave from the date of birth of your child.

    You may be eligible for paid partner/dad pay from Centrelink. This is 2 weeks of payments directly to you (not through CADDS Group) and will be paid at the nominated Centrelink rate (which is often different to your employment rate of pay).

    Please advise.


    • Hi Mike!

      Congrats on your upcoming arrival! Hope everything is going well for you and your wife.

      Your workplace is correct. You are entitled to take Parental Leave – this is an entitlement under Fair Work Australia. Some companies DO offer some payment to help fund this time off but sounds like yours isn’t one of them unfortunately.

      The government offers Parental Leave Pay but only for the main carer of the child. In your case this is your wife. And as she hasn’t been working then she would not be eligible to receive this payment. Parental Leave Pay can be transferred to another person but only in the case where the first primary carer was eligible and the second person was to take over as primary carer of the baby. So again, not in your situation.

      You can however apply for Dad and Partner Pay which is two weeks at the minimum wage. Currently $672.60 per week before tax. Perhaps you could take some annual leave days as well to help pay for the rest of your time off?

      Also, check your wife’s eligibility for Family Tax Benefits. Depending on the family income she could be eligible for both Family Tax A and Family Tax B. There is a newborn upfront payment (once-off amount of $532) if you are eligible and a supplement which is dependent on your income and paid over 13 weeks. The maximum amount is just less than $1600 over the 13 weeks (but it decreases according to how much you earn).

      Hope this all helps a bit. Come back if you have further questions,

      Take care xx

  13. hello, i would like to ask . i am a new mum now. we had our first baby last september 2,2016. i am not yet an australian citizen, i am still waiting for the decision of my application…
    what benefits can we have from the government where my husband who is an australian citizen is the only one who earns a living for us? thanks for replying…

    • Hi Jean,

      Thanks for your question and congrats on your new baby!

      Firstly you don’t have to be an Australian citizen to access benefits but you DO have to be an Australian resident, living in Australia. You may be eligible for Family Tax Benefits if you fall under any of the below criteria:

      – have Australian citizenship
      – hold a permanent visa
      – hold a Special Category Visa, or
      – hold a certain temporary visa type, for example a Partner Provisional or Temporary Protection visa

      But it also depends a lot on what your husband’s income is. There are quite a few criteria so you would really need to chat to someone at Centrelink to know for sure.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

      All the best xx

  14. Hi I’m 15 and pregnant, stopped going to school till after I have my child next year in January. I’m not with my child’s father. I’m still living at home & I’ve been looking for a job but no one wants to hire me, my parents don’t earn enough money to support my child also, I was wondering what kind of payments I’d be able to get for me to support my child.

  15. Hey 🙂 im just wondering how my payments will be affected when my baby arrives later this year.
    I already have a 3 year old, and currently receive single parenting payment, and family tax benefits A and B.
    Will the parenting payment change? Or just the family tax benefit?
    Also, in the news today they said that Turnbull will cut the baby bonus, does that mean i wont receive it, or is there a cut off date?
    Thanks for your time and for helping with this info, its a bummer i feel ashamed to ask on Facebook forums.

    • Hi Bliss! Congrats on your pregnancy.

      I am afraid I don’t know much about Parenting Payment. If you are already receiving the maximum amount (which is $738.50 – including the Pension Supplement – a fortnight) then that amount won’t increase when you have another child. What will increase however is the amount of money you’re allowed to earn per fortnight before your payment is reduced.

      Your income must be no more than $188.60, plus $24.60 for each additional child, per fortnight to get the maximum payment. Income over this amount reduces your payment by 40 cents in the dollar.

      To answer your other question about the ‘baby bonus’ – that was a payment that the Government was planning to bring in. But now they won’t be bringing it in. So really, nothing has changed. If you’re eligible for Family Tax A then you should be eligible for the Newborn Upfront Payment and Supplement.

      It is a bummer that you feel ashamed to ask on FB but I get that it isn’t very private, so I totally understand. I wouldn’t be comfortable talking about my finances on FB either.

      However, we do have a forum here and you can ask questions anonymously. It might be a good idea to ask your parenting payment question there too as there are probably many members who would know more about it than I would.

      Hope I’ve been of some help though. All the best xx

  16. Hi everyone,
    My wife and I are expecting twin boys in November this year. My wife is eligible for paid parental leave for only 1 baby and has already put that claim in with Centrelink so that it’s ready to go. Can we claim anything for our other baby? Can we claim the PPL for one and the newborn upfront payment & newborn supplement for the other? Will this be the full amount or the red end amount for a ‘second’ baby. If so how do I go about this? Any help, advice and a point in the right direction would be great. Thanks!

    • Hi Wally! How exciting! Hope things are all going well.

      The good news is that you can claim the Newborn Upfront Payment and the Newborn Supplement as well as the Parental Leave Pay when you have twins. And from what I have read it is at the full amount. Here’s what I saw on their site:
      If you have a multiple birth, including twins, you may receive the following for each child:

      Newborn Upfront Payment, as a lump sum of $532, and
      Newborn Supplement, at a maximum rate of $1,595.23 if you are eligible for the whole 13 weeks, even if you already have other children

      This also applies if you are adopting more than 1 child as part of the same adoption process, or if 2 or more children younger than 1 year of age come into your or your partner’s care as part of the same process.

      If you are also eligible for Parental Leave Pay, you may receive Parental Leave Pay for 1 child and Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement for other children.

      There are other criteria you need to meet (including an income test) and if you’re eligible for the Newborn Supplement etc you will also be eligible for Family Tax Benefit A (and perhaps B too). All worth checking out.

      I’m not exactly sure of the process at the moment. When your babies are born you’ll complete your application for the Parental Leave Pay and add your babies to Medicare etc. You may also be assessed for Family Tax Benefits then. But you might have to ask them to make sure.

      Also if you take unpaid leave yourself after your boys are born you may also be eligible for two weeks of Dad and Partner Pay to help fund this time off.

      Hope this helps! All the best xx

  17. The paid parental scheme was a huge help with my first child. I stayed home from work for four months and went back part time at first, working my way back up to full time and got an amazing promotion. I’m about to give birth to my second and found out I’ve just edged over the personal income cap. My husband hardly makes a thing and we have enormous bills. I can’t believe I’m being punished for being successful. If the income cap were family based, it would be so much more fair. As far as I can see, I get absolutely nothing to stay home with my baby while my family spirals into debt, but my husband can stay home no problems. How can this be right? Is there something I’m missing?

    • Hi there! Sorry to hear about your situation. I am afraid that you may not have missed something. The Parental Leave Pay is based on your individual income and it needs to be less than $150,000 in the previous financial year. It is also ‘adjusted taxable income’ (there’s more info on what that is here:
      You might want to investigate eligibility for the other payments – if you’re not working you might be eligible for Family Tax Benefits. You husband could be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay or even the Parental Leave Pay if you decide you need to return to work.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Take care and all the best with your pregnancy.

  18. Hello, i am 20 weeks pregnant at the momwnt and i am alone living by my self,my moother is suppose to come on the 3rd week of nov.which is near my due date on dec.i just wanted to know since im just getting benefit with centerlink coz, i am not able to qork due to my high risk pregnancy, and i just find out that my mother might not able to come on nov.for a certain reason and if ever i will get a stayout nanny just for couple of hours to help me 2 to 3 times a week will centerlink help me to pay the amount coz as of now its not really enough for what i am getting, and i dont even know where will i look for a nanny that i can trust with and my baby i am 31 and this is my first child.pls help thanks

    • Hi Grace, Sorry I took so long to reply to your message. Sounds like you are really stressing about how you will cope once your baby is born. I hope that you’re talking to your health care provider about your concerns as they may be able to offer suggestions as to where you might be able to access support. Usually midwives do home visits after a baby is born and there are also child health clinics in most areas where you can go for advice, information and support.

      But in answer to your question if you are receiving government benefits now then you will most likely be eligible for Family Tax A and B when your baby arrives as well as the Newborn Supplement – which is a little extra to help pay for the initial costs of having a baby. If you choose you could use this money to pay for a few hours of help.

      Have a look through our directory to find services that can help you before and after your baby is born (including nannies and home help). Here’s the link:

      All the best xx

  19. Hi, I am a permanent resident and am claiming Family Tax A and B. I know there is a waiting period of 2 years being a permanent resident to claim Parenting Payment, but if I get my citizenship before then will I be able to claim it before the 2 years is up? TIA

    • Hi BennettBoy. Thanks for your question. It is really one that only Centrelink can answer. However by looking at their site I am thinking that you’d still have to wait the 104 weeks. It says that to meet the resident requirement you need to be a resident (whether citizen, permanent resident or SCV holder) for that period of time. My understanding of that is that whatever ‘type’ of resident you are doesn’t change things – you still need to be a resident for that long.
      Please double check with Centrelink of course though. We aren’t familiar with all the circumstances and specifics. All the best xx

  20. Hi we recently got our permanent residency in dec 2015. we have a school going son and a 2 year old daughter. when are we going to be eligible for parenting payments?

    • Hi Remi! I’m just having a look for info on this and I’ve seen the following:

      To be eligible for Parenting Payment you must satisfy residence requirements. You must be an Australian resident and you must:

      have been an Australian resident for a period, or periods, that total 104 weeks, or
      be exempt from this requirement, for example, if you are a refugee or have become a lone parent during your most recent period of Australian residence

      That’s two years, unless you are exempt.

      But that is for the Parenting Payment. I couldn’t see any information regarding a waiting time for Family Tax Benefits. If you don’t already claim these perhaps it is worth investigating.

      To be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B, you must satisfy residence requirements. You must be living in Australia and either:

      have Australian citizenship
      hold a permanent visa
      hold a Special Category Visa, or
      hold a certain temporary visa type, for example a Partner Provisional or Temporary Protection visa

      Your child must also meet the residence requirements or be living with you and you must continue to meet the residence requirements for as long as you get this payment.

      Hope this helps xx

  21. Hello,
    I am a full time uni student and married, my husband is the only worker, apparently his low wages have to be enough to cover us ! i was rejected at centrelink for any payment, i am worried once we fall pregnant we have no entitlements ? we are both 26, and he earns under $60,000 pa, is my husband entitled to parental pay, since i have no income?.. this is all so confusing to me 🙁

    • Hi! Sorry to hear this is stressing you out at the moment! Stress isn’t what you need if you’re trying to fall pregnant.

      Now, without knowing the full circumstances but based on your partner’s income I am sure you’d be entitled to Family Tax Benefits once you have children. You will have to check with Centrelink of course because they need to know more about your individual circumstances.

      If you’re eligible for Family Tax Benefit A, then you are eligible to receive a newborn supplement as well when you have a new baby.

      If you aren’t working then I’m afraid you won’t be eligible for Parental Leave Pay. And your husband would only be eligible for the Parental Leave Pay if he took leave to be the primary carer of your child. He should be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay though – if he takes time off work to spend with you and baby after the birth (this is two weeks of pay at minimum wage).

      So rest assured. There is assistance for people in your situation. Once you fall pregnant you can start to investigate this further – chat to centrelink about your particular circumstances and begin the application process.

      Hope this helps.

      Take care xx

  22. I’ve heard that the paid parental scheme ends at 30 June 2016, is this true?
    My baby is due later in the year, will there still be a paid maternity leave scheme then?

  23. Hi there.
    I have a question.
    So my brother (13yo) has just come in to my care from nz. I was wondering if there is any benefits (family tax ect) I may be able to claim for him well in my care?
    Thank you

    • Hi Mish. Thanks for your question. You may be able to claim for your brother – definitely worth your while investigating further. To claim Family Tax Benefits you don’t have to be a biological parent – you just have to be the carer of a dependent child. Of course there are other criteria – such as income tests etc. Contact centrelink so they can check your individual circumstances. All the best xx

  24. Hi All,
    I hope you can help me with my question.
    I am in the middle of the process to complete my parental leave payment Claim online.
    my partner and I are saving to buy a property. If we show on the claim our savings money. would I still be eligible for my parental leave payment and leave?
    Thank you very much!

    • Hi Rafa, Thanks for your question. I am not sure of the answer myself. It has been a while since I filled out that form. Do they ask the question of how much money you have in the bank? My understanding is that the only financial criteria is the taxable income of the person claiming parental leave. If that is the case then it shouldn’t matter if you have savings in the bank.

      If you’d like to ask this question of someone who’s filled out the form more recently – it might be best to ask on our forum. Here’s a link specifically for questions to do with Maternity leave and paid parental leave:

      Hope you get some answers. All the best xx

  25. Hi there.
    Thank you fot your article.
    I have a question to ask. Is there any chance I could still get Parental leave pay when I don’t meet the 10 months working criteria? I was made redundant and went for recruitment agency help, but was not lucky for 3 months. Now, I found a job and after working for 2 weeks I realized I am pregnat. I am very happy about that but woud be even happier to know I’ll get some support once the magic will happen.
    Thank you very much for your answer.

    • Hi guys
      I was just wondering if i could still take paid parental leave even though i havnt worked at the same company for more than 10 months i have worked as a casual with 3 different agencies during the last 10 months and i have worked more than 330 hours but will i still be aligable to recieve the 18 week payment or not ? I am currently 34 weeks pregnant and not working right now

      • Hi!

        Congrats on your pregnancy. Fortunately for you the work test does not stipulate that you must work in the same job. Here is a rundown of the criteria:
        You do not need to be working full time to be eligible for Parental Leave Pay. You may meet the work test even if you:

        are a part time, casual, or a seasonal worker
        are a contractor or self employed
        work in a family business
        have multiple employers
        have recently changed jobs, or
        have worked overseas

        So I’d be apply if I were you. All the best xx

    • Hi Eve, Thanks for your question and congrats on your pregnancy. I am not 100 per cent sure of the answer and of your personal circumstances so you do need to check this info with centrelink. I would say that it would be worth your while to still apply. The 10 months criteria is actually “10 out of the past 13 months” so it is possible that you’ve done 10 months in the past 13. I’m not sure how much it matters that there was a three-month gap though. As the criteria does actually say this:

      To meet the work test for Parental Leave Pay you must have worked for at least:

      10 of the 13 months before the birth or adoption of your child, and
      330 hours in that 10 month period, which is just over 1 day a week, and had no more than an 8 week gap between 2 consecutive working days

      So that 8-week gap might be the issue. Still worth checking of course though. All the best xx

  26. Hey there,
    I am now permanently here in Australia with my Australian partner, i am on my bridging defacto visa at the moment waiting for approval which should be very soon.
    I am 3 months pregnant, work fulltime, and i am curious what benefits i could get for maternity leave from the government, because i am working for an agency which is considered casual, so no maternity at my job unfortunately.
    i just don’t want to struggle the first few months of giving birth because of money.

    • Hi June! Thanks for your question and congrats on your pregnancy. There are a number of criteria you’d have to meet before knowing exactly if you’d be eligible for Paid Parental Leave – like you need to have worked 10 out of the 13 months prior to the baby’s birth for example. But the good news is that you don’t have to be an Australian Citizen. The residency requirements are listed as this:

      To be eligible for Parental Leave Pay you must satisfy residence requirements. When your child is born or comes into your primary care you must be living in Australia and:

      – have Australian citizenship
      – hold a permanent visa
      – hold a special category visa, or
      – hold a certain temporary visa type for example a Partner Provisional or Temporary Protection visa – if you hold a certain temporary visa, please read about payments paid while outside Australia

      You can read more about all the criteria here:

      You might want to also investigate whether your partner is eligible for Dad and Partner Pay and if you can receive Family Tax A and/B.

      All the best xx

  27. Hi guys, So I have 2 kids ages 1 and 3. I just found out I should have been recieving parenting payment but I never have. I didnt realise this. I have been recieving family tax part a and b but not parenting. is there anything I can do about this to get back dated at all?

  28. Hello everyone,
    Our family income is around $70000 per year and have a 4 year old kid. And receiving benefit from centreline of about $44 a fortnight. Is this all we are eligible to receive, is there any other benefit we may be eligible for??

    • Hi ratz. Thanks for your comment. I would say that at this stage, if you’re receiving a payment then centrelink has most likely assessed you for all you’re eligible for. If you use child care you’d could check your eligibility for the Child Care payments. If you have a newborn baby you would need to be assessed again – you’d be eligible for a newborn payment or paid parental leave (depending on your work situation) as well as Dad and partner pay. You’d then be eligible for a higher amount of Family Tax Benefit as well. If you’re still wondering it can’t hurt to ask Centrelink. They also have a Payment Finder on their site you might find helpful

      Hope this helps!

  29. Hi everyone
    I was just wondering if anyone else has been through this.
    I work 3 days a week and I’m on single parents pension which I get around $462 or something a fortnight for one child, I’m about to have my second baby start of July I was just wondering once you go on leave at work does your payments go up and stay up because I’m taking 12 months off and I’m not just talking about the 18 weeks leave
    Cheers girls

  30. hi, my friend has just arrived to australia in afebruary 2016 and she is holding a PR and is a single mother. she doesnot have a job right now and its difficult for her to raise her child at this moment. is she eligible for family tax benefit-B? If yes, then how should she claim it? is it necesscary that she should be residing here for atleast 2 years? what are the other benefits available to her? kindly help

    • How has your friend been granted Permanent Residency without a job or a partner to support her?

      That doesn’t make sense to me, as someone who just recently sponsored his wife to get her PR, i’m intimately acquainted with the visa process.

      Your friend should not have been eligible for PR without providing a means to support herself or the sponsorship of someone willing to support her.
      Because for obvious reasons we have enough welfare recipients here that we don’t need to be importing more.

      She needs to wait 2 years before she is eligible to receive benefits from the government. But fortunately with a PR there are no restrictions on working so she is able seek any kind of work to support herself – there’s a lot of low paying jobs available with flexible hours.

  31. Hi,

    Hopefully someone here can help……. I’m from the UK (and live there) while my girlfriend is in Australia (she’s Australian) with my new born son. I was lucky enough to spend 2 days with my little boy before coming back to the UK to return to work. However my income doesn’t stretch to far and now we are having trouble getting any sort of help or payments currently as all the forms and applications don’t apply to our situation. I don’t and have never worked or resided in Australia so can not provide (citizen papers, tax file number, lease agreement etc).

    Am I right to assume in this situation that my girlfriend would be classed as single in this instance? Or is there no government help for this kind of situation? Is there any way to solve the problems?

    Any advice would be very helpful.

    Thank you

  32. Hi thanks i found this article but i have a question am i eligible for parenting payment when im 3 years already here in australia and my permanent residence just got approve. In d website i must be australian residence if i apply and must be of 104 weeks. Im confused when does d counting starts d day i arrive in australia with my visa or d day i got my PR. Centrelink is totally confusing i talk to d lady in there and says im eligible coz counting starts when i arrived. But other lady as well from centrelink says no bec i just got my PR.. which is which?

    • Hi Emteey! Thanks for your question but I’m not exactly sure of the answer to this – it is very confusing. All I can see is that to be eligible you must be an Australian resident and they define that as An Australian resident is a person who is living in Australia and is either:

      an Australian citizen
      a permanent visa holder, or
      a protected Special Category visa (SCV) holder

      If you came with a permanent visa then you should count from when you arrived I would guess.

      But I’m afraid that I can only guess – you will have to apply and see what happens with regard to your individual circumstances. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

  33. Hi just wondering if you can put your child into daycare (1 day a week) while receiving paid parental leave and get the Childcare rebate for that child

  34. Hi there

    Thank you responding to people’s comments, they have been helpful.

    I’m currently receiving Paid Parental Leave payments from Centrelink via my employer. I have another 4 weeks of payments to go.
    When I received the confirmation letter from Centrelink for the Paid Parental Leave it said that I can’t receive Family Tax Benefit Part B payments, while getting Parental Leave payments, which I was aware of.
    My question is: Do I need to apply for the Family Tax Benefit B? Or will the Family Tax Benefit B payments automatically start after the 18 weeks of Paid Parental Leave is finished?

    Thank you for the straight forward help!

    • Hi! I’m so happy that I’ve been able to be helpful but I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to your question! I scoured the Family Assistance site but can’t figure this one out. So sorry! On one hand I think it would be automatic – as Family Tax A and B are usually assessed together but on the other hand I wouldn’t wait to find out for sure. So, I’m afraid the only thing to do is to ask them – but please come back to tell us the answer! We’d love to have useful comments too! Thanks and good luck xx

  35. What about if you have a baby, take the Gov pay @ 18 weeks and the full year of unpaid maternity leave, return to work and fall pregnant with 2nd and leave within 8 month. Still employed by the company. Would you still receive the government pay a 2nd time. It says you have to be working 10 month to be allegeable. Doesn’t seem fair.

    • Hi Taneeeya. Thanks for your question.

      It’s a tough one but I think you’re right in thinking you wouldn’t be eligible a second time around under those circumstances.

      If you are eligible for Family Tax A you would be eligible for the Newborn Upfront Payment and Supplement though. Of course, please check with Centrelink against your own circumstances though!

      All the best xx

  36. hi,
    im a foster carer to an almost 1 year old baby, i have had him in my care since he was 3 days old and he will be with me until he is 18 years old. am i eligible for the newborn payment? i haven’t been recieving anything from centrelink this whole time as they werent aware that he was in my care.
    i also have another baby that is 7 months old and has been with me for 4 months, he will be with me for at least another 6 months, should the newborn payment be paid for him aswell?

    • Hi Shona,

      Thanks for your question but this is a bit beyond my scope of knowledge I’m afraid. I think, reading the criteria for eligibility that only babies born or adopted qualify you for the payment.

      If I was you though I would talk to Centrelink about your circumstances – as you may be eligible for another type of payment.

      Hope you get some answers. xx

  37. Thanks so much for this article! It was great to have this information written in plain English! I find it difficult to interpret the info on the Dept Human Services site and it’s not always possible to wait on hold to Centrelink for ages when you have a Newborn. It would be awesome if they introduced a call back system, amongst other customer service improvements (the things you think about while waiting in queue)!
    I had to go to the Centrelink office to change some of my personal details so that I could apply for payments. When I asked about the different payments, the advice I was given is to just apply for all payments you think you are eligible for. Centrelink will then fully assess and advise what you qualify for.

  38. Does anyone know if I don’t want to receive Newstart allowance, duo to the government not understanding my children’s sickness and don’t see what I see with them, I can’t find a job to fit in with my hours or my children’s sickness which can last weeks at a time,, do I still get family tax a&b and a health card. Thanks

  39. Hello if i earn roughly 140k a year including overtime and my wife earns 50k a year are we eligible for aby payments?
    About 60k of that 140k is overtime money so im trying to find out where we stand

    • Hi Mick! Thanks for your questions. There are so many variables so you really do need to check with Centrelink for specific advice. But I can offer you some general guidance. Are you preparing for the birth of a child?

      There are 2 payments following the birth of a child – 1. Parental Leave Pay and 2. Newborn Supplement. If your wife has been working then she is probably eligible for Parental Leave Pay (18 weeks at minimum wage) as that is based on her individual income.

      To be eligible for the Newborn Supplement your family would have to be eligible for the Family Tax Benefit. The Family Tax Benefit is calculated based on your combined income for the financial year. For families with one child the cut off is just over $101,000 a year. So I would say that you wouldn’t be eligible for that based on your current income. There’s more info here:

      Anyway – hope that helps a little bit. Please contact Centrelink for advice specific to your situation. All the best xx


  40. Hi,

    we had baby boy born last year February I came back to Australia last week. I am wondering what form i need to fill to apply for new born supplement/family tax benefit A, can you please help me?


  41. Hi, if i’m currently 22weeks pregnant.. i work in the education department and have been told we now get 20 weeks paid maternity leave. Is it correct in my thinking that i will NOT receive any Government Paid Maternity Pay? Does the government only pay up to 18 weeks leave? So if i’m already getting 20 through my employer, i won’t get anything else?
    thanks for your help.

    • Hi! Thanks for your question. As far as I can see the Government has not yet passed any law regarding changes to Paid Parental Leave. Abbott announced his ‘double dipping’ policy and it has been modified by Turnball but it has still not gotten through the senate. So for now, if you’re eligible for PPL then you should be able to access it as well as your paid leave. You will have to check your eligibility with Centrelink of course and you can apply now (just send in the rest of the paperwork once your baby is born). You’ll have to chat to someone at work too (payroll or HR etc) as PPL is paid to your workplace who then distribute it as part of your normal pay cycle. This is just general advice of course, we’re not experts on PPL and you’ll have to chat to centrelink with regard to your individual circumstances though. Hope it helps somewhat though! All the best xx

      • Hi. I have just read your reply to Charlie and was wondering if you could clarify for me is that what you wrote in response is – if you are a government employee you can still get the 18weeks paid government leave and the 12 weeks paid leave from from my government employee as well? Awesome if I can but I thought that if Bub is born after the 1st July you can’t claim both anymore? Thanks

  42. Hello. I have been searching for information all over the internet, but cannot find an answer to my question. I am hoping you can shed some light!! Please 🙂

    If I am going on 12 months Unpaid Maternity Leave from work, and the first 18 weeks I am receiving Government Paid Parental Leave, then would Centrelink expect me to return to my job after the 18 weeks are up to support myself? Or could I possibly be eligible for Parenting Payment for the remainder of the 12 months?

    Could also possibly shed some light on what would be expected after my 12 months unpaid maternity leave ends? If I went back to a permanent part-time position then would my parenting payments be ceased? Or does it just depend upon my partners and my combined income?

    I know I should contact Centrelink for more information, but I hate being placed on hold for so long. And this sort of information is soooooo hard to source.

    • Hi Ssarahh. Is all quite confusing isn’t it! If I were you I’d check your eligibility for Family Tax Benefit A and B. They will ask you to estimate your family’s income for the financial year and give you a fortnightly payment based on that. You may even continue receiving FTB when you return to work depending on how much you earn etc. It is all dependent on how much you earn each financial year.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help – but there’s so much to it and it really does depend on your individual circumstances and income. Hope this helps somewhat. Best of luck xx

    • Hi Amanda! I’m not really sure – so please check with Centrelink for advice on your individual circumstances – but my guess would be that anything that generates an income would be classed as ‘returning to work’ and would mean you would no longer be eligible for Parental Leave Pay. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Take care xx

    • Hi Amanda. I was wondering if you got any answers regarding hobby work. My sister does candle parties which is considered hobby and I’ve been looking at getting into it myself but don’t want to mess with my parental payments. Have you spoke. To Centrelink?

  43. Hi,
    I am 12 weeks pregnant, and i am just looking up the payments.
    I am wondering how do you find out how much you can earn before you are no long eligible for Family Benefit A.


    • Hi! Congrats on your pregnancy.

      I found this info on the Human Services website.

      “In most cases, we work out your FTB Part A payment using 2 income tests. We will apply the test that gives you the highest rate of payment.

      The first test reduces the maximum rate of FTB Part A by 20 cents for each dollar above $51,027 until your payment reaches the base rate of FTB Part A.

      The second test reduces the base rate of FTB Part A by 30 cents for each dollar above $94,316 until your payment is nil.”

      There’s a table on this site that shows the cut-offs for the last financial year.

      If you’re close to the cut-off you’re best to wait until the end of the financial and apply for it a lump sum. That way you won’t have to worry about estimating your income and perhaps being overpaid (then having to pay it back).


  44. Hi,
    I have recently found out I’m pregnant and am doing some research into government payments for when I stop working. I am a casual employee and have been working at my job for over a year already and never work less then 30 hours a week. I am wondering how early I can stop working and still be eligible for the parental leave payments. Is says that you cannot have more than 8 consecutive weeks without pay. Does this mean I can only finish 8 weeks before my due date? Thanks

    • Hi con91. Thanks for your comment and congratulations on your pregnancy. You will have to contact Centrelink directly to talk about your individual circumstances as we aren’t experts I’m afraid. The thing about Parental Leave Payments is that you can apply when pregnant but it you can’t submit your application until you have your proof of birth etc. They won’t pay you before your baby is born. You also must check with your employer as Parental Leave Pay is just money – it is not an entitlement to the actual time off.

      You can read more about maternity leave here:

      Hope this helps. All the best xx

  45. Hi, my permanent residency visa just got approved. I have a 4 month old baby, single parent. I have applied for single parent and family tax benefit, is there other more I should apply for? How about the newborn supplement?

    • Hi Mary! Congrats on your new baby and you residency visa! As to what benefits you can apply for it is best to contact Centrelink as they’ll need to consider all your individual circumstances. The newborn supplement is available if you’re eligible for Family Tax A but I’m not sure as to how it works with regard to your resident status etc. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help. All the best xx

  46. Hi I got a letter from centerlink couple of week ago saying they are have canceled my parenting payment partner because my youngest child has turn 6yrs old. so I rang them to see if I still get a payment of them and they said they could not give me a answer . but I look on the my gov page to see if I have a payment coming in and it say family assistance only shouldn’t be getting newstart payment to . PLEASE HELP

    • Hi Katrina, Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear that you’re in this situation. We aren’t the experts on this though, sorry! Centrelink really needs to look at your individual circumstances. We wrote this article to hopefully simplify what is generally quite a confusing thing for many people just starting out as parents but we aren’t experts when it comes to the specifics of each person’s case. Hope you understand and it gets sorted quickly for you. Take care xx

  47. Me and my wife are about to have a second child (first one will still only be 11 months old). I feel I will need to take more time off of work.
    My question is that if I take a long period of unpaid leave (6 months) can we claim support as we will have no income (other than the wife receiving 18 weeks minimum wage) for that period?

    • Hi Jason! I would imagine that you would have to approximate what your family’s earnings will be for that entire financial year and then apply for Family Tax Benefit based on those figures. The Paid Parental Leave that you wife receives will be counted in that amount too as it is a taxable payment. There are really so many variables though so it is something you’d have to contact Centrelink about. Good luck with the new baby! All the best xx

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