Schoolkids Bonus

Helps with education costs and is automatically paid in January and July to eligible families and students. There is no need to make a claim.

Eligibility basics

  • a parent or carer receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A for a dependent child in primary or secondary education
  • a primary or secondary student turning 19 years or younger in the calendar year, who receives certain government payments

Important update about the Schoolkids Bonus

As Parliament is yet to pass the legislation to end the Schoolkids Bonus, the January 2014 instalment has now been paid to eligible families and students. Payment of future instalments of the Schoolkids Bonus, including for July 2014, will depend on when the legislation is passed by Parliament. If you claim Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum at the end of the financial year, you will be paid the Schoolkids Bonus, if you’re eligible, after we assess your claim and after your income has been confirmed.

Eligibility and payment rates

Eligibility for the Schoolkids Bonus

To be eligible for the Schoolkids Bonus, you must either be a parent or carer who gets Family Tax Benefit Part A for a dependent child.

Read more about eligibility for the Schoolkids Bonus

Definitions of preschool, primary and secondary school for the Schoolkids Bonus

The names of primary and secondary school years are different depending on what state you live in. Check your child's eligibility based on your location.

State/TerritoryPreschool (not eligible)Primary school (eligible)Secondary school (eligible)
NSWPreschoolKindergarten (Years 1-6)Years 7-12
VICKindergartenPreparatory (Years 1-6)Years 7-12
QLDKindergartenPreparatory (Years 1-7)Years 8-12
SAKindergartenReception (Years 1-7)Years 8-12
WAKindergartenPre-primary (Years 1-7)Years 8-12
TASKindergartenPreparatory (Years 1-6)Years 7-12
NTPreschoolTransition (Years 1-6)Years 7-12
ACTPreschoolKindergarten (Years 1-6)Years 7-12

Payment rates for the Schoolkids Bonus

Unlike the previous Education Tax Refund, you do not need to claim the Schoolkids Bonus or keep receipts for education expenses.

Eligible families will receive Schoolkids Bonus in:

  • 2 instalments of $205 for each child in primary school - a total of $410 each year
  • 2 instalments of $410 for each child in secondary school - a total of $820 each year

If you share the care of your child with another person, you will receive a percentage of this payment. This will be based on the percentage of Family Tax Benefit you receive for the child.

How you will be paid the Schoolkids Bonus

Schoolkids bonus can be paid in different ways. If:

  • you receive fortnightly payments, your Schoolkids Bonus payments will be paid in January and July
  • you claim Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum, you will get your Schoolkids Bonus payment (if eligible) when your lump sum claim is assessed, and after you and your partner have lodged your tax returns
  • you are a student and your Centrelink payment normally goes into your bank account, you will get the Schoolkids Bonus the same way
  • your payments are income managed, your Schoolkids Bonus will be paid directly to your Income Management account
  • you receive an education allowance for a child from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, they will pay your Schoolkids Bonus for that child

If you prefer, you can change from receiving a lump sum to a fortnightly payment and receive the Schoolkids Bonus when the next payment is due in January or July. This can be done through Centrelink online accounts.

School Leaver payment

Families with children who complete the final year of secondary school (Year 12 or an equivalent level of education) may be entitled to a School Leaver instalment of Schoolkids Bonus. To receive this payment, families or individual students need to confirm with Centrelink that they have completed secondary studies. Family Tax Benefit, Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY customers can do this through their Centrelink online account. Disability Support Pension, Parenting Payment, Special Benefit and Carer Payment customers will need to give us this information by visiting your nearest service centre or calling 136 150.

Transition from the Education Tax Refund to the Schoolkids Bonus

As part of the transition to the Schoolkids Bonus, a one-off lump-sum payment was made from June 2012 to eligible families in place of the Education Tax Refund for the 2011-12 financial year.

Read more about the transition from the Education Tax Refund to the Schoolkids Bonus

Managing your payment

Check or update your child's education details for the Schoolkids Bonus

Some families may need to update their child's education details with us so we can pay them the right amount of Schoolkids Bonus.

You need to tell us if your child is starting primary school or secondary study, or completing secondary study.

If you need to update your child's details you can do this by using your Centrelink account online. You will need your Customer Reference Number to do this.

Provide your study details for the Schoolkids Bonus

If you are an eligible student, you may need to give us your study details so we can pay you the Schoolkids Bonus. You also need to let us know if you completed secondary study after June 2012, as you may be eligible for a School Leaver payment.

Automatic payment

If you are a student receiving Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY Living Allowance or Pensioner Education Supplement, you do not need to do anything. We will pay you automatically.

Give your study details

If you do not receive Pensioner Education Supplement and you are a student receiving Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment, Parenting Payment or Special Benefit, you need to give us your study details so we can pay you the Schoolkids Bonus. You can do this by visiting your nearest service centre or calling us.

Receiving an education allowance from the Department of Veterans' Affairs

Eligible students receiving an education allowance from the Department of Veterans' Affairs will be paid automatically and do not need to provide any extra information. To find out more visit the Department of Veterans' Affairs website, call 133 254 or, for non‑metropolitan callers, call 1800 555 254.

Payments paid while outside Australia

To get your payment while outside Australia you must continue to meet the qualification rules for that payment.

Read more about payments paid while outside Australia