- have a dependent child or secondary student aged younger than 20 years who is not receiving a pension, payment, or benefit such as Youth Allowance
- provide care for the child for at least 35% of the time
- meet an income test
Eligibility & payment rates
Changes to Family Tax Benefit from 1 July 2015
There are a number of changes to Family Tax Benefit starting from 1 July 2015.
Eligibility for Family Tax Benefit Part A
Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A is paid for each child. The amount you get is based on your family’s individual circumstances.
You may be eligible for FTB Part A if you care for a dependent child who is aged:
- 0–15 years, or
- 16–19 years, and:
- undertaking full time education or training in an approved course leading towards a Year 12 or equivalent qualification
- with an acceptable study load, or
- has been granted an exemption from education or training requirements
If you are eligible for FTB Part A for a dependent child aged 16–19 years, it can be paid until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 19 if they continue in full time secondary study.
Home schooling for children aged 16–19 years does not satisfy study requirements for FTB.
You also need to satisfy an income test, meet residency requirements and care for the child at least 35% of the time.
If you are separated from the child’s other parent, you will need to take reasonable steps to obtain child support. Otherwise you may only be eligible for the base rate of FTB Part A.
If you are eligible for FTB Part A for a child who was recently born or adopted, you may also be eligible for the Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement. Newborn Supplement is a component of FTB Part A and is paid over a 3 month period with your regular fortnightly FTB Part A payment.
Immunisation requirements for FTB 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 FTB Part A supplement for that period.
Read more about immunising your children.
Eligibility for Family Tax Benefit Part B
Family Tax Benefit (FTB) 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 FTB Part B if you have care for a child at least 35% of the time who is:
- a dependent child aged younger than 16 years, or
- a dependent full time secondary student up until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 18
Home schooling for children aged 16–19 years does not satisfy study requirements for FTB.
The rate of FTB Part B is based on an income test. You also need to meet residence requirements.
You and your partner cannot receive FTB Part B during the Paid Parental Leave period, but it may be paid after the Paid Parental Leave period ends.
You may be eligible for FTB Part B if you are a:
- foster carer
- grandparent, or
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 does not apply if you or your partner receive an income support payment such as a pension, benefit, allowance or a Department of Veterans’ Affairs service pension.
Income test for Family Tax Benefit Part B
Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part B is for single parents or couples where the primary earner has an adjusted taxable income of $100,000 or less per year.
Family Tax Benefit when your child completes Year 12
Your payments will stop when your child reaches a certain age and study level. If your child is aged 16-19 years, payments will stop:
- from the date they stopped studying without completing Year 12 or an equivalent qualification
- 28 days after completing their Year 12 or an equivalent qualification if completed before November
- on 31 December if they complete Year 12 or an equivalent qualification in November or December, or
- on 31 December if they are 19 years old and still in full time secondary study
Adjusted taxable income
Your adjusted taxable income will be used to assess entitlement for some payments, support and benefits.
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 either:
- have Australian citizenship
- hold a permanent visa
- 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.
Healthy Start for School
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 (FTB) 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% of the time, that is 2 or more nights per fortnight, you may be able to receive Rent Assistance, a Health Care Card or Remote Area Allowance with 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
- submit your claim
- provide supporting documentation
- submit your claim
- we will assess your claim and advise you of the outcome
Managing your payment
Time period for submitting lump sum claims and confirming income
You have 1 year to submit a lump sum claim and confirm your income for that financial year.
You can do most of your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service. Options include Express Plus mobile apps, online services or phone self service.
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
- you or your partner’s income changes
- you do not have to lodge a tax return
- your child care arrangements change
- your child starts or stops full time primary or secondary study
- your child leaves your care
- you or your child leave Australia, even for a short time
- your care arrangements change
- your child passes away
If you do not advise of changes as soon as you know, you may be overpaid and you may 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. This is 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 (FTB) 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.
Family Tax Benefit while travelling outside Australia
If you or your children permanently leave Australia to live in another country, your payments will stop on departure.
Your payment rate will not change for the first 6 weeks if you or your children leave Australia temporarily. This includes if your child is studying outside Australia.
After 6 weeks, your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A will reduce to the base rate and FTB Part B will stop.
After 56 weeks, your FTB Part A base rate will stop.
If you or your children leave Australia for more than 6 weeks, return and then leave again within 6 weeks, your FTB Part A will reduce to the base rate and your FTB Part B will stop from your next departure.
Australian Defence Force members deployed overseas or Australian Federal Police engaged in peacekeeping or capacity building activities overseas may be able to apply for an extension of their FTB, Child Care Benefit, Parental Leave Pay, Dad and Partner Pay and Double Orphan Pension for up to 3 years.
If you have a Partner Provisional Visa subclass 309 or 820, or Interdependency Visa subclass 310 or 826, you will only be paid outside Australia for a negotiated period of up to 6 weeks, for the following approved reasons:
- an acute family crisis, for example to visit an immediate family member who is critically ill
- humanitarian reasons, for example to adopt a child or attend custody proceedings, or
- eligible medical treatment that is not available in Australia
If you have a Temporary Protection Visa, you will not be paid FTB Part A or Part B if you leave Australia for any reason.
Travelling outside Australia? Tell us online
When travelling outside Australia, you should check to see how your travels may affect your payment. You can do this quickly and easily using myGov.
To tell us about your overseas travel, log on to myGov and select your Centrelink account, select Personal Details from the side menu and then select Travelling Outside of Australia. You can then input your travel plans.
After answering a few simple questions, you will see information tailored to your circumstances about how your payment will be affected, and recommended action you should take before you depart.
Once you have advised us of your travel details, you will be provided with a receipt number to confirm your details have been updated.
If your circumstances are more complex, you will be advised to phone or visit us so we can discuss your plans in more detail.
Otherwise, you do not need to tell us you are leaving Australia. We will be advised automatically by the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection when you leave Australia and when you return.
Child support and your Family Tax Benefit Part A
Child support payments and Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A are closely linked. Child support you receive may affect the amount of FTB you receive.
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