Important update about the Schoolkids Bonus
Legislation has passed to phase out Schoolkids Bonus payments. The Schoolkids Bonus will continue until the end of 2016. This will allow families time to adjust to the change. The last instalment will be paid in July 2016.
The legislative change introduces an income test starting on 1 January 2015.
- 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
- satisfy an income test (applicable from 1 January 2015)
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.
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.
Beginning 1 January 2015, secondary education in Queensland and Western Australia will start from year 7. Currently, secondary education in these states start from year 8.
|State/Territory||Preschool (not eligible)||Primary school (eligible)||Secondary school (eligible)|
|NSW||Preschool||Kindergarten, Years 1-6||Years 7-12|
|VIC||Kindergarten||Preparatory, Years 1-6||Years 7-12|
|QLD||Kindergarten||Preparatory, Years 1-7||Years 8-12|
|SA||Kindergarten||Reception, Years 1-7||Years 8-12|
|WA||Kindergarten||Pre-primary, Years 1-7||Years 8-12|
|TAS||Kindergarten||Preparatory, Years 1-6||Years 7-12|
|NT||Preschool||Transition, Years 1-6||Years 7-12|
|ACT||Preschool||Kindergarten, Years 1-6||Years 7-12|
Payment rates for the Schoolkids Bonus
From 1 January 2015, eligible families will receive Schoolkids Bonus in:
- 2 instalments of $211 for each child in primary school - a total of $422 each year
- 2 instalments of $421 for each child in secondary school - a total of $842 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.
Other benefits while receiving Schoolkids Bonus
If you are eligible for Schoolkids Bonus, you may be receiving other payments and services, such as:
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 primary or secondary study.
If you need to update your child's details you can do this by using your Centrelink online account. 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.
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.
Schoolkids Bonus while travelling outside Australia
You can be paid the Schoolkids Bonus while outside Australia as long as you continue to be paid Family Tax Benefit Part A.
Advising us of your travel outside Australia
Check your main payment type to find out whether you should tell us if you are leaving Australia.