Choosing between Parental Leave Pay and Baby Bonus

Baby Bonus is available for children who were born, or entrusted to care as part of an adoption process, before 1 March 2014.

For children born or adopted on or after 1 March 2014, you may be eligible for Parental Leave Pay or the Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement paid with your Family Tax Benefit Part A payments.

You cannot receive both Parental Leave Pay and Baby Bonus for the same child.

If you meet the eligibility criteria for both payments for a child born or adopted before 1 March 2014, you should refer to the Comparison table below.

Comparison table

The following table shows the differences between Parental Leave Pay and Baby Bonus to help you choose.

DifferenceBaby BonusParental Leave Pay
Amount paid

$5,000 if your child is the first child you or your partner have given birth to, adopted, or had entrusted to your care within 26 weeks of birth.

Otherwise, $3,000.

Currently $641.05 per week before tax for up to 18 weeks.

If you plan on taking the full 18 weeks, the total is $11,538.90 before tax.

How you will be paid

We will pay your Baby Bonus directly to you in 13 fortnightly instalments.

If you are eligible for $5,000, you will receive $846.20 in the first fortnight and $346.15 in the next 12 fortnights.

If you are eligible for $3,000, you will receive $692.40 in the first fortnight and $192.30 in the next 12 fortnights.

Usually, your employer will provide Parental Leave Pay to you the same way they normally pay your wages. Your employer must do this if you:
  • have worked for them for 12 months or more before the expected date of birth or adoption
  • will be their employee until the end of your Paid Parental Leave period
  • are an Australian-based employee
  • expect to receive at least eight weeks of Parental Leave Pay

If these circumstances do not apply to you, or if you’re self-employed, we’ll pay you directly in fortnightly instalments.

Income testAdjusted taxable family income of $75,000 or less for the six months after your child is born or enters your care.Individual adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less in the financial year before the date of birth, adoption or claim (whichever is earlier).
Work statusNot applicable.

You must be on leave or not working from the time you become the child's primary carer until the end of your Paid Parental Leave period.

You also have to meet a work test.

If you have a stillbirth or infant death, you may return to work and still receive Parental Leave Pay.

Residence requirementsYou must meet residence requirements within 26 weeks of your child entering your care.You must meet residence requirements from the date your child enters your care until the end of your Paid Parental Leave period.
Multiple birth or adoption (for example, twins or triplets)

You can receive $5,000 for each child even if you already have other children.

If you are eligible for both payments, you can claim Parental Leave Pay for one child and Baby Bonus for other children. If you are only eligible for Baby Bonus, you can claim it for each child.

You can only claim Parental Leave Pay for one child. You can claim Baby Bonus for other children if you’re eligible.
When to make a claim

You need to make a claim no later than 52 weeks after your child’s birth or adoption.

If you lodged a claim for a child expected to be born before 1 March 2014 and the actual date of birth is on or after 1 March 2014, you will not be eligible for Baby Bonus.

You can start your claim three months before the expected date of birth or adoption of your child.

The latest you can claim is 52 weeks after the birth or adoption. To receive the full 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay, you must claim and choose a start date within 34 weeks from the child's birth or adoption and at least 18 weeks before you return to work.

When you get your first paymentYour payments start after your claim is finalised.

You can choose when you would like your Paid Parental Leave period to start when you lodge your claim.

Your Paid Parental Leave period start date is not the date your first payment is received; it is the start of your entitlement period. When your Parental Leave Pay is assessed, your first payment will be backdated to your Paid Parental Leave period start date.

Tax or Medicare levy on your paymentYou do not have to pay tax or the Medicare levy on your Baby Bonus.

Parental Leave Pay is taxable income and you need to include it in your tax return. You may need to pay a Medicare levy.

If your employer provides your Parental Leave Pay, they’ll apply the correct tax rate for your circumstances. If we provide your Parental Leave Pay, we’ll apply a tax rate of 15 per cent, which we can adjust at your request.

Effect on other paymentsNo effect. If eligible, you can still receive Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B.You cannot get Family Tax Benefit Part B while you are receiving Parental Leave Pay. You can still receive Family Tax Benefit Part A if you’re eligible. Unlike Baby Bonus, you need to include any payments you or your partner get under the Paid Parental Leave scheme in your family assistance income test. You don't need to include it in income tests for income support payments such as Parenting Payment.
Stillbirth or infant death

You can receive $5,000 if the mother has not given birth to any other children (including stillborn children). Otherwise, you will receive the $3,000 payment.

You can ask us to pay you in a lump sum instead of instalments.

Unlike Baby Bonus, Parental Leave Pay cannot be paid as a lump sum. You can receive the payment from us in fortnightly instalments or from your employer per your normal pay cycle. You may return to work if you wish without your pay stopping.

You can change your mind

You can change your claim choice when you fill out the Newborn Child Claim form you receive in the hospital or from your midwife. You can still change your claim choice even if you have submitted your paperwork, as long as it is before your first payment. You can do so using your Centrelink online account or by contacting us.