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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 $540 (amount correct as of July 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 $1618.89 for your first child and $540.54 for subsequent children (amount correct as of July 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 $695 a week before tax for a maximum of 18 weeks (amount correct as of July 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 $695 a week before tax (correct as of July 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 $45,114. The cut-off amount is $156,914 (for one child), $162,633 (for two children), $183,655 plus $34,724 for each child after the third (amount correct as of July 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 $7613 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 was phased out in 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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179 comments so far -

  1. I am really confused by all these payment options. Could you please let me know your thoughts on what I may be entitled to. I am currently living overseas with my husband, we both are not working (long story ) and i am 15 weeks pregnant. I am coming back to Australia in a month when I’m almost 20 weeks. Will i go straight onto Newstart Allowance and be required to look for a job? When my baby is born next April will i then get Newstart and Family Tax Benefit A and B as my husband ( not an Australian Resident yet) will still he living overseas and not working..If i do get the FTB is that only for a certain number of weeks…sorry for long post!!

    • Hi KylieD, Congratulations on your pregnancy. I am not surprised that you’re confused … it is all very confusing!

      So my thoughts would be that you could apply for Newstart Allowance at first. I don’t know much about Newstart – I’m not sure what the waiting period are, if any etc. You should be able to apply for rent assistance too if needed. There are requirements to look for a job (or perhaps do volunteer work – this might be worth investigating … I’m not sure) but these requirements end when your 32 weeks. Check with Centrelink what is required here.

      When your baby is born you should apply for parenting payment – plus Family Tax A and B. Family Tax Benefit is an ongoing payment but it is paid per child – it is a little bit of money to help with the cost of raising a child. So it isn’t enough to live on, it isn’t an income support payment like Parenting Payment.

      If you’re eligible for Family Tax Benefit A you’ll also be eligible for the Newborn Upfront Payment and the Newborn supplement. One is a one-off payment and the other is a little extra added to your fortnightly payment for a little while after the baby is born.

      I hope all that makes it a little clearer. Please come back if you have more questions. Take care and all the best x

  2. Hi,
    I am due to have my second baby in January. My partner earns an estimated $46000pa, I am full time carer of our first child. I received paid maternity leave with baby #1 so didn’t get the newborn supplement, does that entitle me to the full amount for this child?

    Also will my other payments change having a second child?

    Thank you

    • Hi Siobhan!

      Thanks for your question and congrats on your pregnancy. I am not 100 per cent sure of this but I would say that you would not be entitled to the full amount as it is your second child. I think it is more for a first child because they reason that the ‘set-up’ costs of buying stuff is greater for a first child – no matter whether you received the supplement first time around. The Upfront Payment is the same for every child – that’s $540 at the moment but the supplement is less for 2nd and subsequent children (it also depends on your income etc).

      When you have a second child your Family Tax Benefits should increase as it is paid for each child. Here’s a bit more info: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/payment-rates-family-tax-benefit-part

      Hope this helps. All the best x

  3. I have one child who is 2 months old we want to try for another one ASAP.
    As I wont be back at work for the required 10 months before bub born I am not entitled to the paid parental leave and also not entitled to family tax benefit A as we earn too much does this also mean I wont be able to get the new born supplement one off payment. I plan to go back to work in January and if I fall pregnant now will only be back at work for 7 months. Obviously when I am off work with second bub wont have any income from my employer. Look forward to your reply.

    • Hi Sonya,
      Thanks for your question and congrats on your new baby.

      Unfortunately you’re right about the Newborn Supplement, it is only available to those eligible for Family Tax A.

      The only thing I can think of is this: the Government’s Parental Leave Pay DOES count in that 10 months. But depending on your dates it may not work for you. Without knowing exact dates of when you’ll stop receiving PPL from the government and when you go back to work in January it is hard for me to say.

      But if you have less than 8 weeks of unpaid leave between finishing the PPL and starting work you may still be eligible for PPL. It is definitely worth investigating if this is possible. There’s a bit more information about this at the bottom of this page: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/work-test-parental-leave-pay

      Hope this helps. All the best x

      • Thanks for your response
        I plan to go back 2 weeks after paid parental stops being 22nd January and if pregnant will be working for 5 months until 22nd June. In this instance would i still be entitled to the PPL. Also If I am not entitled to paid parental leave I should be entitled to family tax benefit A and B when I am at home after second bub as I will be on unpaid leave and my husband earns less than 50k a year. Can you advise if the new born supplement is just a one off payment or payments every fortnight as they mention 13 weeks.
        Thanks

        • Hi Sonya! Thanks for coming back to clarify. So you have to count backwards from your estimated due date. So if you’re due in July next year you will have had to have worked for 10 out of the 13 months before that. I think you’d just make it, if you’re still getting your parental leave pay now. But you’d have to be quite careful and double check this with Centrelink. It is a lot of money to miss out on by a couple of weeks.

          Family Tax A and B are quite tricky as they rely on you estimating your annual income. And if you earn more than that estimated amount when your tax is reconciled at the end of the financial year you might end up paying them back. Certainly if your husband earns $50,000 you’d be eligible to receive something but if you will have to estimate your income for the whole year too – so if you intend to start working again you’ll have to take that amount into consideration. It isn’t just worked out on what you earn on a week-to-week basis.

          The Newborn Supplement is paid fortnightly – it is basically a little bit extra on top of your regular Family Tax A payment. The amount depends on how many children you have and what your income is. You can also choose to receive it as a lump sum payment at the end of the financial year, some families choose to receive their Family Tax Benefit this way (rather than estimate their income – handy if you’re close to the cut-off).

          There is also a Newborn Upfront Payment – this is a one-off payment of $532 paid after the baby is born to parents who receive Family Tax A.

          Phew. Hope this helps somewhat!

  4. Hi there,
    Do I need to apply for the family tax benefit or will it be paid automatically? My husband has just competed 2 years of tax returns and I can’t remember what we did previous years. I thought it was worked out and paid ‘automagically ‘ once we had both submitted our returns.
    Thank you

  5. Hi,

    We recently migrated from India ( 7 months) with permanent resident visa and my spouse is a 5th month pregnant. I am unable to know that the types of benefits will obtain from the center link such as Before baby born and after baby born.

    My income is $20K per annul. Would you please help me to know what kind of benefits we eligible from the government. My partner is a homemaker.

    Your views will be appreciated.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Kevin.

      Thanks for your question. Congrats on the baby-to-be and welcome to Australia. I hope the move has gone smoothly for you and your family.

      I don’t know a lot about Centrelink benefits for job seekers etc – but I have some information on payments for families. I do think that with your income what it is, you would possibly be eligible for a Health Care Card though. If you haven’t already asked about that, I’d recommend doing that soon.

      As far as family benefits, you should check if you’re eligible for Family Tax Benefit A and B. This is paid for each child, so you’re not eligible until after your baby is born (unless you have children already). It also means you’ll be eligible for the Newborn Upfront Payment and Supplement, which is a little extra money that you get when a new baby is born.

      I hope this has helped a little – although as I said, I don’t really know a lot about income support payments and what you might be eligible for right now. I’d suggest having a good chat to a person from Centrelink to make sure you’re getting what you’re eligible to receive.

      Thanks again and all the best with the new baby!

  6. I’m unable to provide human service with father of my unborn child when she is born as I’m unsure, can I still claim payment or will I not be eligible

    • HI Jessica.

      Thanks for your question. There are many factors that determine whether you will be eligible for family assistance. It might be best if you contact Centrelink directly to talk through it with them.

      There are two payments for after a baby is born. One is the Newborn Supplement and Upfront Payment which is a little extra money. If you’re eligible for Family Tax Benefit A you will be eligible for this. The income test for this is determined on your family income.

      The other payment is the Parental Leave Pay. To be eligible for this you must have worked for 10 months out of the 13 months before your due date. The income test for this is determined only on your income.

      There are other factors – including residency status – that will be considered also.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. All the best x

  7. Hi,
    Do you know about the changes to Childcare benefits from July 2018?
    I am trying to find out if we will have access to continued subsidised Childcare for our first child (1-2days of a break without a toddler for my plus to keep her in routine of her usual 2days a week!) when we have another baby next May. I cannot find any information for this, only that if you’re not working, you can’t get subsidised care. Is paid maternity leave/maternity leave classed as ‘work’?
    Any info will be appreciated.
    Thanks

    • Hi Kris! Thanks for reading and thanks for your question. I don’t actually know a lot about child care benefits or the changes. I did however plug some details into the site’s calculator to see what happened. When I tried it I put down that 0 hours of activity and it didn’t say that I wasn’t eligible for a subsidy. Have you tried it? Here’s the link: https://www.education.gov.au/sites/education/files/sch/est/index.html

      Hope this helps in some way. They do say there is a range of things that count as ‘activities’ and exemptions are available – so perhaps maternity leave is one of them? I’m really not sure though. Sorry!

      All the best!

  8. Hi,

    I am living overseas currently and am currently on unpaid leave from my job. I will be going back to Australia and working from January 2018. If I get pregnant and am due in June, will I be able to claim paid parental leave? Or will I need to prove that I have worked overseas in order to reach the 10 month limit.

    Thanks,

    GG

    • HI GG! Thanks for reading and thanks for your question. If you are due in June then you won’t be eligible until you meet the 10-month period. But work overseas can count towards that 10-month mark. You will have to have some proof, but I’m not exactly sure what you’ll need to provide so you will have to check with Centrelink. Period of unpaid leave don’t count as work though – and if you have more than eight weeks of unpaid leave in a row you will be ineligible.

      Hope this helps and hope it all works out for you. Take care!

  9. hi there, i found out yesterday that i should have applied for family tax benifit for 2015 before the end of June. i am not familiar with the system and thus didn’t know that I was entitled to it. do you know if therw is anyway i can apply after thw cut off point?, many thanks sally

    • Hi Sally,

      Thanks for reading and thanks for your comment.

      I’m sorry that you’ve missed out on something you were eligible for. I’m afraid there isn’t much you can do, unless there were very special circumstances that made it impossible for you to put in your claim at the time. If there was you can contact Centrelink to see if anything can be done. There’s more info here: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/time-period-submitting-lump-sum-claims-and-confirming-income

      The time limit to claim a lump sum payment is 12 months now (it used to be 24 months) so if you think you might have also been eligible in the 2016/2017 financial year you should put in your claim soon, once you have your tax done – as that will help you know exactly how much you earned etc. You have until June 30 2018 to apply.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. All the best.

  10. Hi I just want to ask
    I have parenter with temporary visa and not working at the moment
    And recently I have baby so am getting Centrelink family tax benefit A and B plus my youth allowance I’ve applied for parenting payment but hasn’t got approved yet my baby is two months now plus am I able to get newborn upfront payment now? Or parental leave

    • HI Bruk. Congratulations on your new baby. I’m not too sure about how to answer your question as I don’t know a lot about visas.

      I do know that if you’re eligible for Family Tax A then you should be eligible for the Newborn Supplement – it does depend on where your child was born, and perhaps your residency at the time (I’m not too sure about this).

      I would definitely go into Centrelink to double check this if I were you. Sorry I couldn’t be of more assistance. All the best!

  11. Hi, thank you for the very useful article. I have a question. My 3-year old child is a Permanent Resident, my wife (who was a Permanent Resident too) has recently passed away. I’m applying for a long-term visitor’s visa and planning to be in Sydney this September. I’ll not have a work permit of course as a visitor. In this situation, what support my child can expect to receive from government?

    After receiving permanent residency visa my wife and child have been to Australia once only for 3 weeks – in case this information is relevant here. I have been advised to move into Australia asap in order to fulfill the 2-year requirement of staying in Australia so that the child can have his resident return visa on expiry of the current one.

    Thank you.

    Kind regards. Rakib

  12. Hi,

    I am glad to receive the Permanent Residency of Australia (Visa Sub-Class 189) and therefore, I am Planning to move to Australia permanently by the end of October’17. I am really very to happy to acquire it finally.

    I have few concerns regarding relocating to Sydney, Australia.

    1) This would be my first entry to Australia, hence, I will start searching for the job immediately after settling up there. So, I would like to know that whether moving to Sydney would be good or I should opt for any other state. I would like to tell that I am a Mechanical Engineer having 10 years of experience in Metro and Building Services. Considering the current scenario, how much time it may take to get a reasonable job there.

    2) I would be moving with my family which includes my wife and two daughters ( 6 months and 3.5 years). Therefore, I want to know that how much savings I should have before moving to Australia considering that it may take some time to get any job and at the same time, I will have to support my family as well. I would also like to know that, if possible, what benefits I could get from the government in order to support my kids. What would be the procedure to acquire this support from the government, if they do so.

    I would be highly thankful to you for attending my concerns.

    Thanking you in advance.

    Best Regards

    • Hi Abrar,
      Thanks for reading and thanks for your question. Congrats on having your visa approved. I hope you and your family will be very happy in Australia.

      I’m afraid though, that I don’t know a great deal about visas or living in Sydney to be of much help.

      However, your visa does allow for you to access many of the benefits given to Australian citizens, including access to Medicare and some Family Assistance payments. When you arrive in Australia you should get in contact with Centrelink to ask about a Medicare card and eligiblity for Family Tax Benefits. Find your nearest office here: http://findus.humanservices.gov.au/ or phone them on 136 150
      Here is information about Medicare: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/medicare/medicare-card

      In terms of job prospects and cost of living in Sydney I do not have much info. Sydney is a large and quite expensive place to live, but it is also a beautiful city. Perhaps you would be better asking this question on our forum. We have plenty of other parents who might have the right advice for you. Here’s the link: https://www.bubhub.com.au/community/forums/forumdisplay.php?157-Family-Finances

      Hope you find some answers. All the best!

      • Many thanks for the response.

        I will go through with the links to extract more. Regarding the central link, I have already created my account on it, however, I believe that it is more useful once I will move to Australia.

        Thanks again.

        Regards/Abrar

  13. Hi, I am on parenting payment and can draw on annual leave which will give me roughly $840 after tax a fortnight each time I draw on it. While I realise this will affect my fortnightly parenting payment when I declare this within 14 days, given that I won’t claim annual leave every week, will they look at what I earned in leave over the year and payback any parenting payment? Similar to what they do with tax ie, tax you that fortnight as if you always earn that amount, then refund you at the end of the tax year. Hope this makes sense! Thank you.

  14. Hi,

    I am currently on parenting payment and my husband is on newstart – he has a back injury and can’t work and we are in the process of seeing a neurosurgeon regarding back surgery, hubby applied for disability support pension twice in the past 18mths but got knocked back.

    I am currently pregnant with baby #2 and am wondering, if we swap payments ( so he can go onto parenting so he doesn’t have to look for work etc due to his injuries) and I go onto newstart allowance, will I be exempt from looking for work just before baby is born and the first few weeks after the birth? Or will I still have to look for work and attend appointments all the way through?

    • Hi Yonana!

      Thanks for your question and congrats on your pregnancy.

      This is a tricky one and I am really not sure of the answer.

      I imagine that there is a cut-off point where expectant mothers are not expected to look for work when they are on Newstart. This is probably something like 36 weeks and then after the birth of the child the mother would have to switch to parenting payments.

      I also know that there are exceptions for some people, so they do not need to meet the mutual obligation requirements and one of them is: your own temporary illness, disability or medical condition.

      It may be possible that this is relevant to your situation – or perhaps this is something that your husband could investigate, if you haven’t already. Perhaps with a doctor’s letter he could be exempt?

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Perhaps it would be better to ask your question on our forum. Try our family finances section for advice from other parents who may have been in your situation: https://www.bubhub.com.au/community/forums/forumdisplay.php?157-Family-Finances

      All the best!

  15. Hi, I have a question that I can’t find an answer to anywhere.

    I’m currently on a bridging visa 020, my partner is a citizen. Our baby is due Dec 2017, is very likely I won’t have been approved for my 820 visa by that date, but I would hope sometime between then and say June 2018 I should be approved as that would be around 18months since our lodgement date. I you are on the 820 visa I would be eligible for parental pay. If I got approved in June 2018 as an example, but our baby had been born 6months earlier in Dec 2017, could I still lodge a claim in June 2018 to claim parental pay even though that would be 6 months after the birth?

    • Hi Lou! Congrats on your pregnancy and thanks for your question.

      I am afraid that I don’t know too much about visas and I’m from what I’ve read it looks like a bridging visa 020 doesn’t allow you to apply for Paid Parental Leave. You have to be a resident with a permanent visa from what I see, but please double check if you’re not sure.

      Otherwise I’m not sure you’ll be able to apply six months after birth. Only because your were not eligible at the time of the baby’s birth. If you were eligible at the time you can delay payment but not if you weren’t eligible at the time.

      I’m sorry that I couldn’t have helped more, or delivered more promising news. What a shame it takes so long for visas to be processed! If you have any more questions please ask.

      All the best x

  16. Hi Bub Hub Crew ,
    Some really great info there thankyou.
    I am a single mum on a low income eligible for the secondary assistance scheme in WA for my 2 sons. I paid 50% of their fees for 2017 at the end of last year with their enrolment.
    I have recently received an account from their high school (public) for the remaining unpaid amount. Unfortunately I forgot to apply for the government assistance in term 1 this year. Do you know if I would still be able to apply for the secondary assistance or is it strictly a first term application only?
    If you can help answer my question it would be greatly appreciated.
    Kindest regards
    Helen

    • Hi Helen!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Before today however I had not heard of this scheme. What a great initiative from WA!

      So unfortunately I can not offer much more insight than what I have read online just now about this scheme. And from their website it does look like something you have to apply for in term 1.

      If I were you I’d definitely check to see if there is a chance of a late application. You might want to ask others from WA to see if anyone has ever applied later in the year. Might be a question worth asking on our forum. Here is the link: https://www.bubhub.com.au/community/forums/forumdisplay.php?157-Family-Finances

      Hope you find some answers. Sorry I couldn’t be of more assistance. All the best x

  17. Hi,
    Just been looking through what an awesome site full of wonderful information.
    I’m hoping you can help with my question

    Regarding single parenting payments
    Does centerlink look at income from the previous financial year ( July 15-june16 no centerlink payments were applied for or received in this year )
    Will it affect my payment that were received from sept 16 after my baby was born ?
    Any information would be greatly appreciated

    • Hi there! Thanks for the feedback. Glad to hear that we are helpful!

      I don’t know a lot about Single Parenting Payments but their income test is worked out on a fortnightly basis so I don’t think they’ll look back to last financial year with regard to this.

      They do look at yearly income when working out Family Tax Benefits though. If you’re receiving this payment it will be calculated and assessed against your 2016/17 income at the end of this financial year to make sure that you haven’t received too much or too little.

      Hope that makes sense.

      All the best!

  18. Hi BHC,

    I’d love some clarification around what we’re expected to be entitled to once our baby arrives (due tomorrow!)

    My partner is now on Unpaid Parental Leave from her work for 12 months (commenced 3 weeks ago). Her salary is $46500 however will be unpaid for 12 months so I’m not sure how that affects our entitlements, and I earn $54000pa.

    She’ll be receiving Parental Leave Pay from Centrelink for the 18 weeks, but are we also entitled to BOTH Family Tax Benefit A and B? Would we also be entitled to Rental Assistance (if you know the answer)? I completed the Family Assistance Estimator on Centrelinks website and I put down my salary however left out my partner’s as she’s technically unpaid from her work for the majority of July 2017 – June 2018 and it did say we’d receive FTB A/B and Rental Assistance but is only a guideline and not guaranteed eligibility. Thanks for your time!

    • Hi Nate! Congrats on your pregnancy (or maybe I should be saying congrats on your new baby by now!!)

      Firstly, have you checked your eligibility for Dad and Partner Pay. If your employer doesn’t have a paid leave scheme themselves and will approve two weeks of unpaid leave for you, you can apply for Dad and Partner Pay, which is two weeks of pay at minimum wage.

      You will probably also be able to apply for Family Tax Benefits -but they don’t pay Part B while your partner is receiving Parental Leave Pay, only Part A. Part B will start afterwards if your family is eligible.

      I’m not sure about rent assistance. When calculating your income you do need to include your partner’s Parental Leave Pay as that is a taxable income. It is important to estimate as closely as possible to avoid overpayment – which you’ll have to pay back.

      Hope this makes sense. Let me know if you have further questions! All the best x

  19. Hello

    I’m just wondering. How does centrelink know if you’ve had more than an 8 week gap.
    I’m trying to work mine out but it’s really confusing the way I structured my leave last time.
    I would have thought if I was still employed with the same employer the whole time that would still be considered as work

    • Hi Haley105! Congrats on your pregnancy. The eight-week gap is only if you’re on unpaid leave. So if you took annual leave and were still with the same employee then you don’t have t worry about working anything out.

      If you did take unpaid leave then they will probably just ask you for your end date and start date. If you did any days of work (or took days of paid leave) in between those dates (even for a different employer) then that will count. It is only unpaid leave and has to be 8 weeks in a row.

      Hope that helps. Let me know if you have more questions! Thanks!

  20. Hi! Thanks for the very useful article. My family’s situation is slightly unusual so hoping you can help us out 🙂
    My partner (perm resident) and I (citizen) are expecting two babies via surrogacy – not twins, two separate surrogates with due dates about 8 weeks apart.
    I work full time (taxable income over $200k) and my partner works casually as a nurse (taxable income around $35k).
    I plan to be the main carer for one of our babies as my employment contract allows 16 weeks on full pay. I’m not sure what my partner is entitled to given he’s casual but am I right in thinking that he can apply for the Parental Leave Pay of $672.20 per week for 18 weeks as the main carer of our second baby?
    Are we also each entitled to Dad and Partner Pay for the baby we aren’t the main carer of?
    I understand that we aren’t entitlement to any other payments (FTB A & B, Newborn Payments) because our income exceeds the limits.
    Many thanks for your help!

    • Hi BX! Wow – Two babies, eight weeks apart! That is quite incredible. Congratulations and thanks for your question… a nice challenging one for me 🙂

      I’ve had a look at what you might be entitled to and this is what I’m thinking (although obviously check this all with Centrelink!). If you take your 16 weeks paid parental leave from work then your partner should be eligible to take Dad and Partner Pay during this time. There are income requirements for Dad and Partner Pay but looks like he’d be eligible from what you’ve told me. He has to be on unpaid leave to take this pay, so if he is eligible for paid leave of any sort from his work, it could be worth investigating which the better option (as it could be more than minimum wage offered by Dad and Partner Pay). He couldn’t take this leave while on his own leave of course, so you’d have to take your leave when you first baby is born and he would have to put in his claim before the second baby born is born, I would think.

      I imagine then that when the second baby is born he will be the primary carer and eligible for the Government’s Parental Leave Pay. I don’t think you’d be eligible for Dad and Partner Pay as your taxable income is too high. Also you’d probably be on paid leave at the time, which would also make you ineligible.

      But, this is quite complex so I’d recommend going and having a good long chat to someone (or more than one someone) at Centrelink. And taking great care in documenting what you are told, who told you and when.

      Hope this helps somewhat!

      All the best x

  21. Hi,
    I have 5 children 16,14,12,9, and 6.
    My eldest is in yr 11 and intends to finish school. Does anything happen (money wise) when my youngest turns 7? Do benefits get reduced or stopped?
    We are a married couple, my husband works, I don’t (home duties) and our annual income is around 115,000 after tax.
    Thanks!

  22. Hi I’m just wondering what claims I’m entitled for any help receive from the government!
    I’m on my full time parental leave with work for 4 months and my partner works full time(pays tax ect)
    I was also wondering if my partner can claim any dad pay in top of my parental leave?
    Thanks

    • Hi RP. Congrats on your new baby! Very exciting time!

      It is hard to say without knowing more about your circumstances and income etc. Are you receiving parental leave pay from your work at the moment? If so, you might also be eligible for the government parental leave pay. If you want to stay home with your baby for longer this will give you another 18 weeks (and you should be entitled to 12 months maternity leave from your work – if you’ve been working there full time for at least 12 months).

      You should also check your eligibility for Family Tax Benefits: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/family-tax-benefit

      Your partner can claim dad and partner pay on top of your parental leave. As long as he meets all the criteria – he has to take two weeks leave from work (unpaid) to be eligible. This is to help dads and partners who are not able to access any leave entitlements through their workplace. There’s more info here: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/eligibility-dad-and-partner-pay

      Hope this all helps. Feel free to come to ask further questions. All the best x

  23. Hi , I’m an Australian citizen and my wife is granted on permanent spouse visa and we have 2 children aged 4 and 8 also Australian citizens. Were moving to Australia soon . Do u know what payments are we allowed since we’ve never lived or worked in Australia ?
    Thanks ..

  24. Hi,

    Iam 26 weeks pregnant and plans of resigning with my job end of May. I have been with the company for 13 months as a full time staff. Will i still be able to claim paid parental leave? My baby is due first week of August.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Aimee! Congrats on your pregnancy. Sounds like you would meet the ‘work test’ so if you meet the other criteria (residency requirements, income test) I would say that you would be eligible.

      The only thing is that you are not supposed to have more than eight weeks of unpaid leave – be out of work for eight weeks – to meet the work test. It is a bit of a grey area for me as to whether this means that you can’t stop work more than eight weeks before your due date (unless there are pregnancy complications of course). Or perhaps that eight weeks is in the 10 months (rather than the whole 13). If it was me I would err on the side of caution and stop work no more than eight weeks before the due date. Or at least check and double check with Centrelink for clarification on the exact rule about the eight weeks. Make sure you write down the details and the name of who it was you were speaking too and when.

      If you do get some clarification please come back to let us know. You might be able to help someone else in your situation.

      Thanks. Take care x

  25. 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: https://www.bubhub.com.au/community/forums/forumdisplay.php?157-Family-Finances

      Take care xx

  26. 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: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/newborn-upfront-payment-and-newborn-supplement

      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

  27. 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!

  28. 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: http://www.bubhub.com.au/community/forums/showthread.php?559896-Wondering-how-many-payments-I-can-apply-for-and-what-actual-payments-I-should-claim&p=8644560#post8644560

      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!

  29. 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

  30. 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 …
      https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/lump-sums-while-receiving-income-support-payment

      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!

  31. 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?
    Thanks,
    Shreyas

    • 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: http://www.bubhub.com.au/community/forums/forumdisplay.php?157-Family-Finances

      All the best for the new baby. Take care!

  32. 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 …

  33. 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

  34. 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: http://www.bubhub.com.au/community/forums/forumdisplay.php?157-Family-Finances

      All the best xx

  35. 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.

    Regards,
    MK

    • 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

  36. 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

  37. 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.

  38. 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.
    Xx

    • 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

  39. 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

  40. 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: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/adjusted-taxable-income).
      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.

  41. 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: http://www.bubhub.com.au/servicesdirectory.php

      All the best xx

  42. 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

  43. 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

  44. 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

  45. 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?

  46. 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

  47. 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: http://www.bubhub.com.au/community/forums/forumdisplay.php?148-Maternity-Leave

      Hope you get some answers. All the best xx

  48. 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

  49. 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: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/parental-leave-pay

      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

  50. 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?

  51. 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 https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/payment-finder/?p=15000000000000000000000000

      Hope this helps!

  52. 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

  53. 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.

  54. 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

  55. 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.

  56. 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

  57. 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

  58. 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

  59. 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

  60. 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.

  61. 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

  62. 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
    Thanks

    • 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: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/centrelink/family-tax-benefit-part-a-part-b/ftb-a-income-test

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

      Please

  63. 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?

    Thanks

  64. 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

  65. 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?

  66. 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.

    Thanks

    • 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. http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/centrelink/family-tax-benefit-part-a-part-b/ftb-a-income-test#a4

      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).

      Thanks!

  67. 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: http://www.bubhub.com.au/hubbub-blog/6-maternity-leave-questions-to-ask-before-youre-pregnant/

      Hope this helps. All the best xx

  68. 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

  69. 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

  70. 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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