Our service centres and Smart Centres may be closed over the holiday period. Read more about office closures and holiday reporting and payment arrangements.
Express Plus Families app
Express Plus Families offers you a simple, fast, mobile way to do your Centrelink business on the go using your mobile device.
Changes to Family Tax Benefit have been announced in the 2013-14 Federal Budget, subject to the passage of legislation. The changes include:
Important update about the Schoolkids Bonus
The Australian Government has committed to abolishing the Schoolkids Bonus. Legislation was introduced into Parliament on 13 November 2013. If the legislation is passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate on or before 12 December 2013, the last sitting day of Parliament for this year, the Schoolkids Bonus will not be paid from January 2014.
- have a dependent child or secondary student under 20 not receiving a pension, payment, or benefit such as Youth Allowance
- provide care for the child for at least 35 per cent of the time
- meet an income test
Eligibility & payment rates
Eligibility for Family Tax Benefit Part A
Family Tax Benefit Part A is paid for each child. The amount you get is based on your family’s individual circumstances.
You may be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A if you care for a dependent child who is either:
- under 16 years of age
- aged 16 or 17 years and has completed a Year 12 or equivalent qualification, or
- aged 16–19 years (up to the end of the calendar year they turn 19) and:
- is undertaking full-time education or training in an approved course leading to a Year 12 or equivalent qualification
- has an acceptable study load, or
- has been granted an exemption from this requirement
You also need to satisfy an income test, meet residence requirements and be caring for the child at least 35 per cent of the time.
If you are eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A for a child who is born or adopted on or after 1 March 2014, you may also be eligible for the Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement. Newborn Supplement is a component of Family Tax Benefit Part A, paid over a three month period with your regular fortnightly Family Tax Benefit Part A payment.
Immunisation requirements for Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement
Children need to be ‘fully immunised’, be on a recognised immunisation catch up schedule, or have an approved exemption to be eligible for the Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement for that period.
Read more about immunising your children.
Eligibility for Family Tax Benefit Part B
Family Tax Benefit Part B gives extra help to single parents and families with one main income. An example of this may be where one parent stays at home to care for a child full-time or balances some paid work with caring for a child. This payment is income tested.
You may be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part B if you have care of a child for at least 35 per cent of the time who is:
- a dependent child under 16 years of age, or
- a dependent full-time secondary student up until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 18
The rate of Family Tax Benefit Part B is based on an income test. You also need to meet residence requirements.
You and your partner cannot receive Family Tax Benefit Part B during a Parental Leave Pay period, but it may be paid after the Paid Parental Leave period ends.
If you are a parent, guardian, foster carer, grandparent, or other carer, you may be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part B.
You will not be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A or Part B if your child earns $14,078 or more during the financial year and is:
- aged 5–15 years and not studying full time
- aged 16–19 years and not in full-time secondary study, or exempt from this requirement
Payment rates for Family Tax Benefit Part A
The amount of Family Tax Benefit Part A you get paid depends on your actual family income, how many children you have, and how old they are.
Payment rates for Family Tax Benefit Part B
The amount of Family Tax Benefit Part B you get usually depends on the age of your youngest child.
Income test for Family Tax Benefit Part A
The income test for Family Tax Benefit Part A is a guide only, and is updated on 1 July each year.
Income test for Family Tax Benefit Part B
The income test for Family Tax Benefit Part B is updated on 1 July each year.
Adjusted taxable income
We will calculate your adjusted taxable income as part of the income test for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and family assistance (Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B, Child Care Benefit for Approved Care, Parental Leave Pay, Dad and Partner Pay and Baby Bonus).
Residence requirements for Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B
To be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B you must satisfy residence requirements. You must be living in Australia and:
- have Australian citizenship, or
- hold a permanent visa, or
- hold a special category visa, or
- hold a certain temporary visa type for example a partner provisional, interdependency or temporary protection visa
Your child must also meet the residence requirements or be living with you and you must continue to meet the residence requirements for as long as you get this payment.
You may be able to claim a payment during a temporary absence from Australia if you have been absent for less than three years.
Healthy Start for School
If you and/or your partner receive Family Tax Benefit Part A and an income support payment such as Parenting Payment, Newstart Allowance, or a payment from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, your child may need to have a health check for you to get the Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement.
Other benefits while receiving Family Tax Benefit
If you qualify for Family Tax Benefit Part A or Part B, you may be entitled to other payments and services such as:
If you share care of a child for at least 14 per cent of the time (two or more nights per fortnight), you may be able to receive Rent Assistance, a Health Care Card, Remote Area Allowance (with your Centrelink payments such as Newstart Allowance), Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate and access to the lower threshold of the Medicare Safety Net.
Once you have read about eligibility the next steps are:
- decide how you will receive your payment; fortnightly or annually
- decide how you will submit your claim; online or in person
- complete your claim forms
- provide supporting documentation
- submit your claim
- we will assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Managing your payment
Changes to the time period for lodging lump sum claims and confirming income
From 1 July 2013, the amount of time you have to lodge a lump sum claim or confirm your income changed.
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
Your family income estimate
You can update your family income estimate even if you have not registered for online services.
Change of circumstances while receiving Family Tax Benefit
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you are receiving a payment. For example, if:
- you change your address
- you become partnered
- you separate from your partner
- your or your partner’s income changes
- you do not have to lodge a tax return
- your child-care arrangements change
- your child’s work or study load changes
- your child leaves your care, or
- you leave Australia
- your care arrangements change
If you do not tell us about the changes within 14 days, your payment may be affected. You may be overpaid benefits and you will probably have to pay the money back.
If you deliberately do not tell us about changes, you could be charged with fraud, and a recovery fee may be imposed.
Balancing your family assistance payments
At the start of each financial year, we ask you to estimate your family income so we can work out how much Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Benefit to pay you.
Payment choices for Family Tax Benefit
There are several ways you can choose to receive Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B.
Advance payment options
You may be eligible to receive part of your Centrelink payment in advance. Accessing an advance payment depends on the type of payment you receive, how long you have been receiving it and the amount that you receive.
Payments paid while outside Australia
There are rules about getting your payment when you leave Australia.
Child support and your Family Tax Benefit Part A
Child support payments and Family Tax Benefit Part A are closely linked. The more child support you are entitled to receive, the less Family Tax Benefit you may be entitled to receive. Likewise, the less child support you are entitled to receive, the more Family Tax Benefit you may be entitled to receive. This is important to know, if you have chosen to transfer your child support privately, or through Child Support.