Claiming Parental Leave Pay
Before you start
Check if you are eligible for this payment before you start your claim.
Talk to your employer about Parental Leave Pay
You should talk to your employer at least 10 weeks before your child’s due date, or date of adoption, to arrange your leave and discuss your intention to claim Parental Leave Pay. This will allow your employer time to prepare and register their business for the scheme. If they need more information about the scheme, they can visit the Paid Parental Leave scheme for employers page on our website.
When you claim, we will ask you to tell us your employer’s Australian Business Number and relevant contact details. Make sure you ask your employer about this first, because if we do not have the right information it could delay your claim.
You choose when you want your Paid Parental Leave period to start
Make sure you know about your leave entitlements when you talk to your employer. Your Paid Parental Leave period is the period you plan to take off work and get Parental Leave Pay for (up to 18 weeks in a continuous block). It can start from the day your child is born or adopted, or at a later date. It cannot start before the birth or adoption of a child.
It is important you know that the date you tell us to start your Paid Parental Leave period from will not be the date of your first payment. It is the date your first payment of Parental Leave Pay will be backdated to. If you give us proof of birth or adoption more than 28 days after your child is born or comes into your care, we cannot backdate your payment to the date of birth or adoption.
To receive the full 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay, your start date must be at least 18 weeks before your child’s first birthday or anniversary of adoption or surrogacy. See Time limits on claiming Parental Leave Pay for more information.
You do not choose the end date for your Parental Leave Pay. Parental Leave Pay is an 18 week payment from your start date but this will be reduced if you:
- return to work
- are no longer the primary carer of your child
- leave Australia and you no longer meet residence requirements
- claim or choose a start date 34 weeks after your child is born or enters your care
Information you need for your claim
It will help to have the following information handy before you fill out your claim for Parental Leave Pay:
- your income details—your own (not your partner’s) income for the financial year either before the date of your claim or the date the child entered your care (whichever is earlier)
- your passport number (if applicable)
- the date you first arrived in Australia, if you were not born in Australia
- details of periods you were outside Australia (since 1994)
- details of your work over the last 13 months, including hours worked and unpaid leave taken
- your employer’s Australian Business Number and contact details
- your child’s details (not needed for claims made before your child comes into your care)—name, date of birth, details of previous carer
- your bank account details—the account must be in your name. A joint account is acceptable. It cannot be in a child’s name unless you are the signatory or trustee
- your Tax File Number
- the date you would like your Paid Parental Leave period to start
You can start your claim from three months before your child is born or adopted. You should claim early so we can help your employer get ready to provide your payments. Claiming early starts the claim process, so you can focus on your pregnancy and preparing for the arrival of your child. You must submit your claim for Parental Leave Pay before returning to work because generally, Parental Leave Pay cannot be paid after you have returned to work. You can claim Parental Leave Pay online or by paper claim.
If you do not have a Centrelink online account
If you have a Customer Reference Number (CRN) then you can complete your registration now.
If you do not have a CRN you will receive a Customer Access Number (CAN) to get you started.
You can submit your claim by completing the Claim for Paid Parental Leave and Family Assistance form and lodging it, along with any requested supporting documents, via post or at a service centre.
If you do not have access to a printer, you can pick up the form from your nearest service centre or call us on 136 150 and we can send a claim form to you.
Provide proof of birth or adoption
When your baby is born or adopted, you need to give us proof of birth or adoption as soon as possible so we can finalise your claim. You have 28 days to give us proof of birth, but the sooner you do this the sooner we can organise your first payment. You have several options for giving us proof of birth or adoption.
You need to register, or apply to register, your baby’s birth with the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registry in your state or territory as well.
Backdating your first payment
If we finalise your claim after your Paid Parental Leave period start date, your payment will be backdated to your requested start date (if you provided proof of your child’s birth or adoption within 28 days). If you give us proof of birth or adoption more than 28 days after your child is born or comes into your care, we cannot backdate your payment to your requested start date.
Your claim for Parental Leave Pay will not be finalised until we receive proof of birth or entry into care for adoption. We will inform you whether your claim is successful. If you are eligible for Parental Leave Pay, we will tell you when your payment will start and how much you will get paid.
If your employer is delivering the payment, they will provide it in your regular pay cycle. If we are delivering the payment, it will be paid in fortnightly instalments.
You always have the right to appeal any decision we make. Read more about reviews and appeals.
You can start your claim for Parental Leave Pay from three months before your child’s expected date of birth or adoption. You should claim early so we can help your employer get ready to provide your payments.
You may lodge a claim up to 52 weeks after your child’s birth or adoption. When you lodge your claim, you will tell us when you would like your Paid Parental Leave period to start. Your Paid Parental Leave period can start from the day your child is born or adopted, or a later date. Your Parental Leave Pay must be fully paid within 52 weeks from the date of birth or adoption.
This means, to be eligible for the full 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay, your nominated Paid Parental Leave period start date needs to be within 34 weeks of the birth or adoption of your child. If you request it to start after 34 weeks or make the claim at or after this time, your maximum amount of Parental Leave Pay will reduce by one week for each week beyond the 34 weeks.
For example, if you apply for your Paid Parental Leave period to start at 35 weeks, you can receive the payment for a maximum of 17 weeks; if you apply for it to start at 40 weeks, you can receive the payment for a maximum of 12 weeks, and so on.