Changes to Baby Bonus from 1 July 2013
The government has announced changes to the rate of Baby Bonus. This may affect you if the child you are claiming Baby Bonus for is born or adopted after 1 July 2013 and is not your first child.
- have a newborn baby (including stillborn) or adopted a child under 16 years
- meet an income test
Eligibility & payment rates
Eligibility for Baby Bonus
Baby Bonus may be paid to your family following the birth or adoption of a child if:
- you are eligible for Family Tax Benefit for the child (disregarding the Family Tax Benefit income test) within six months of the child's birth or after an adopted child enters your care before turning 16 years old, or
- you are claiming for a child other than your own and you started caring for the child within six months of the child's birth and are likely to continue caring for the child for at least six months, and
- you or your partner are the primary carer of the child, and
- you meet the Baby Bonus income test, and
- you meet the residency requirements, and
- you have not received Parental Leave Pay for the child, and
- you make your claim no later than 52 weeks (364 days) after the birth of the child or after the adopted child enters your care
If your family does not qualify for Baby Bonus, you may be eligible for Parental Leave Pay.
You may still be eligible for Baby Bonus in the case of a stillbirth or infant death. Read the Bereavement Payment information.
Payment rates for Baby Bonus
Baby Bonus is a non-taxable, income tested payment of $5,000 per eligible child paid in 13 fortnightly instalments. If your baby has died or was stillborn, you may ask for your Baby Bonus to be paid in a lump sum.
If you have twins, you can be paid Baby Bonus for each child. If you are also eligible for Parental Leave Pay, you may choose to get Baby Bonus for one child and Parental Leave Pay for the other.
Income test for Baby Bonus
Baby Bonus is payable if your family's estimated combined adjusted taxable income is $75,000 or less in the six months after your child is born or enters your care.
You have up to 52 weeks from the birth of your baby or from the time your child enters your care to claim Baby Bonus and provide your income estimate. If your income is initially too high or your circumstances change, you should tell us immediately and we can reassess your claim.
Residency requirements for Baby Bonus
To be eligible for Baby Bonus, you must satisfy residence requirements.
This means that you are living in Australia and are either:
- an Australian citizen
- the holder of a permanent resident visa
- the holder of either a partner provisional, interdependency or temporary protection visa, or
- the holder of a special category visa—for example, someone with a New Zealand passport living in Australia
Your child must also meet the above requirements and must be living with you.
You will also need to meet the residency requirements for Family Tax Benefit within 26 weeks of your child’s birth or adoption.
If you have recently arrived in Australia or are temporarily outside Australia, you may need to provide evidence to support your intention to live in Australia.
Other benefits while receiving Baby Bonus
If you qualify for Baby Bonus, you may be entitled to other payments and services, such as:
Once you have read about eligibility the next steps are:
- read the conditions for claiming
- decide how you will submit your claim - online, via post or in person at your nearest service centre
- complete your forms
- provide proof of birth or adoption
- submit your claim
- we will assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
Self service options
Our self service options are a quick and effective way to deal with us. You can use self service where it's convenient to you and manage things yourself:
- online - you need to register to use some of the services, then you can do many things where and when it suits you
- on your mobile device - our Express Plus mobile apps are simple, fast and convenient, giving you more choices for dealing with Centrelink
- on the phone - you can self-register for Centrelink Phone Self Service
- using a self service terminal at one of our Service Centres
Change of circumstances while receiving Baby Bonus
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you are receiving a payment. For example, if:
- your child stops living with you
- you change your address
- you no longer meet residency requirements
- your income changes
- your care arrangements change
- you leave Australia, even for a short time, or return to Australia
You must tell us as soon as possible about changes to your circumstances that may affect your Baby Bonus entitlement.
Payments paid while outside Australia
There are rules about getting your payment when you leave Australia.
Choosing between Parental Leave Pay and Baby Bonus
You cannot receive both Parental Leave Pay and Baby Bonus for the same child.
Paid Parental Leave Comparison Estimator
If you think you may be eligible for Parental Leave Pay and Baby Bonus, you can use the Paid Parental Leave Comparison Estimator to help you decide which payment is the better financial decision for your family. Most eligible families will be better off receiving Parental Leave Pay rather than Baby Bonus.
The estimator does not provide a rate of payment or assess your eligibility, but will ask you to answer questions about your circumstances and will provide you with a comparison between Parental Leave Pay and Baby Bonus. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for both of these payments, you should not use the estimator.
The result may depend on the date you wish to start your Paid Parental Leave period, so we recommend that you try different dates in order to work out the best financial decision for your family. From 34 weeks after the birth or adoption, the number of weeks you can receive Parental Leave Pay will reduce.
When you have decided which payment is better for your family, you can lodge your claim from three months before the expected date of birth or adoption.
The estimator uses the following details in its calculations:
- Baby Bonus
- Family Tax Benefit Part A
- Family Tax Benefit Part B
- Income Tax
- Large Family Supplement (if applicable)
- Low Income Tax Offset
- Medicare Levy
- Parental Leave Pay
The estimator will provide an indicative result based on the circumstances you provide. Start the Paid Parental Leave Comparison Estimator.