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.
From January 2013, the Schoolkids Bonus will help families with education costs. Visit our Schoolkids Bonus page to check if you're eligible.
- 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 residency requirements and be caring for the child at least 35 per cent of the time.
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 residency 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 $13,775 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.
Residency requirements for Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B
To meet residency requirements you and your children must be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day that you lodge your claim.
To be an Australian resident, you must be living in Australia as:
- an Australian citizen
- the holder of a permanent resident visa
- the holder of a special-category visa–that is, someone with a New Zealand passport living in Australia, or
- a New Zealand citizen who was in Australia on 26 February 2001 or for 12 months in the two years immediately before that date, or who was assessed before 26 February 2004 as 'protected'
You may be able to claim a payment during a temporary absence from Australia if you have been absent for less than three years.
Newly arrived residents generally have a two-year waiting period. Some exemptions apply for refugees, holders of certain other permanent visas, Australian citizens, and in some circumstances their partners and dependent children.
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
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 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
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 Tax Benefit payments
When you or your partner lodge your tax return or tell us you do not need to lodge, we will assess your family assistance and compare it with the amount you have already received during the financial year.
To be eligible for any top-up payment, including the end of year Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B supplements, you and your partner need to have lodged your tax returns (or told us you do not need to lodge) within two years of the end of the financial year you received your payments.
If you overestimate your actual annual family income during the year, you may get a top-up payment after the end of the financial year.
If you underestimate your annual family income during the financial year, you will have to repay any Family Tax Benefit you received incorrectly.
For more information about how to avoid an overpayment of Family Tax Benefit read our Avoid a debt brochure.
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.