The Family Assistance Office provides a number of different types of assistance to Australian families including Paid Parental Leave, Baby Bonus, Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate, Family Tax Benefits and the Maternity Immunisation Allowance.
The Paid Parental Leave scheme is an entitlement for working parents of children born or adopted from 1 January 2011. This scheme provides eligible working parents with a government-funded Parental Leave Pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage for a maximum period of 18 weeks.
You can view more information about the about the about Paid Parental Leave eligibility claims and payments here.
The Baby Bonus helps with the costs of a newborn baby or adopted child.
It is paid per eligible child, and in 13 fortnightly instalments. You cannot receive Baby Bonus and Parental Leave Pay for the same child. Where multiple children (newborn or adopted) enter care at the same time you may be eligible to receive Baby Bonus for each child, or you can choose to receive Parental Leave Pay for one child and Baby Bonus for the subsequent children.
You can view more information about the about the Baby Bonus payment rates, eligibility and the income test here.
Child Care Benefit helps with the cost of child care for approved and registered child care.
It is designed to help parents, foster parents and grandparents balance their work and/or family commitments.
If you meet the requirements for approved care or registered care, the Australian Government will pay a percentage of the standard fee and you have to pay any gap.
You can view more information about the Child Care Benefit payment rates, eligibility and the income test here.
You may be eligible to receive Child Care Rebate if:
- You use approved child care
- You are assessed as being eligible for a zero rate or more of Child Care Benefit, and;
- You and your partner meet the work, training, study test at some time during the week the approved care was provided.
The rebate covers a percentage of out-of-pocket child care expenses for approved child care, up to a maximum amount per child per financial year. Out-of-pocket expenses are total child care fees less the person's Child Care Benefit.
You can view more information about the Child Care Rebate payment rates, eligibility and owing money to Centrelink here.
Family Tax Benefit is an income-tested payment to help you with the cost of raising children.
It is made up of two parts:
Family Tax Benefit Part A and Family Tax Benefit Part B.
Claims for Family Tax Benefit can be lodged up to three months before the expected date of birth or the expected date the child will enter your care.
To be paid you must lodge a claim for Family Tax Benefit within two years of the end of the financial year you are claiming for. For example, if you are claiming for the 2010"11 financial year, you must lodge a claim for Family Tax Benefit on or before 30 June 2013.
You can view more information about FTB supplements, FTB advance payments and lodging a tax return here.
Maternity Immunisation Allowance is a non-income tested payment to encourage parents and guardians to immunise the children in their care.
Maternity Immunisation Allowance can be claimed up to three months prior to the expected birth of a child or the expected date a child will enter your care.
If you have made the decision not to vaccinate your child(ren), you can still claim this allowance. You'll need to provide a conscientious objection form signed by a doctor or other vaccination provider.
You can view more information about the Maternity Immunisation Allowance payment rates, eligibility and residence requirements here.
If you want to talk to someone about the many assistance payments Centrelink provides you can call us on 13 61 50.
Other publications that may help you include:
- Are you a parent or guardian?
- Claiming Paid Parental Leave or Baby Bonus? (comparison between the two payments)
- Family Assistance – the what, why and how?
- Family Assistance Office Guide to Payments (criteria and income/assets thresholds)
BellyBelly Forums – Centrelink Questions and Discussion
If you would like to share your experiences or ask a question to BellyBelly members about anything to do with family assistance or allowances, you can join in on the discussions here.