The baby bonus is an income tested payment made to new parents to help with the costs of looking after a new child. This payment is made in 13 fortnightly installments during the first few months of the child's life. The baby bonus is available to anyone who has delivered a baby, become the primary carer for a baby within 26 weeks of the birth, or adopted a child aged under sixteen years.
Am I Eligible For The Baby Bonus?
To be eligible for the baby bonus, you must:
- Have an estimated family income of $75,000 or less in the six months after the birth, adoption or taking care of the child
- Be the child's primary carer
- Not have received Parental Leave Pay for the child
- Meet the residence requirements
- Have become the primary carer of the child within 26 weeks of the birth
- Have adopted the child before his or her sixteenth birthday
- Make your claim within 52 weeks of the birth, adoption or taking care of the child
If your family doesn't meet the requirements listed above, you may be eligible for Parental Leave Pay instead. The baby bonus is payable to parents of stillborn babies.
How Much Is The Baby Bonus?
If your child was born or adopted before 1 July 2013, the baby bonus is $5,000.
If your child was born or adopted on or after 1 July 2013, or you became eligible for the baby bonus during this timeframe, the payment is either $5,000 or $3,000 depending on your situation. For a first child (excluding stillbirth), you will be eligible for the $5,000 payment. For any subsequent children, you will receive the $3,000 baby bonus.
If you have twins or more, you will be able to claim $5,000 for each child even if you have other children. This also applies if you are adopting two or more children as part of the same arrangement. Some families choose to claim the $5,000 baby bonus for one twin, and claim Parental Leave Pay for the other.
How Is The Baby Bonus Paid?
The baby bonus is not taxable. You will be paid in 13 fortnightly installments. The first installment is a larger chunk, $846.20 and $692.40, for the $5,000 and $3,000 bonuses, respectively. The following 12 installments will be a consistent amount of $346.15 and $192.30, for the first and subsequent child payments, respectively.
Changes To The Baby Bonus
As part of the 2013-14 budget, it was announced that the baby bonus will no longer be available from 1 March 2014. If you are expecting a baby on or after this date, you will instead receive a one-off increase to the Family Tax Benefit Part A payment. This increase will be a payment of $2,000 for a first child, and $1,000 for any subsequent children. An initial payment of $500 will be made, and the rest will follow in fortnightly payments spread over three months. This new payment will not be available for parents who choose to take Parental Leave Pay. It is estimated that 28,000 families will lose out on upfront payment under the new system, however some are expected to choose Parental Leave Pay instead.
Want More Information On The Baby Bonus?
Check out the human services website here.