Schoolkids Bonus

Helps with education costs and is automatically paid in January and July. It is being phased out and the final instalment will be paid in July 2016.

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 younger than or turning 19 years of age in the calendar year receiving certain government payments
  • you must satisfy an income test

Eligibility and payment rates

Eligibility for Schoolkids Bonus

You must be a parent or carer of a primary or secondary school student or a young person receiving eligible income support payments. An income test also applies.

Read more about eligibility for Schoolkids Bonus

Definitions of preschool, primary and secondary school for Schoolkids Bonus

The definitions of primary and secondary school years are different depending on the state or territory in which you live.

Check your child's eligibility based on your location. Children in preschool are not eligible for Schoolkids Bonus.

Secondary education in Queensland and Western Australia starts from year 7. Prior to 1 January 2015, secondary education in these 2 states started from year 8.

To be paid 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.

Definition of school years 2015 onwards

State/territoryPreschool (not eligible)Primary school (eligible)Secondary school (eligible)
NSWPreschoolKindergarten, years 1-6years 7-12
VicKindergartenPreparatory, years 1-6years 7-12
QldKindergartenPreparatory, years 1-6years 7-12
SAKindergartenReception, years 1-7years 8-12
WAKindergartenPre-primary, years 1-6years 7-12
TasKindergartenPreparatory, years 1-6years 7-12
NTPreschoolTransition, years 1-6years 7-12
ACTPreschoolKindergarten, years 1-6years 7-12

Payment rates for Schoolkids Bonus

From 1 January 2016, eligible families will receive Schoolkids Bonus in:

  • 2 instalments of $215 for each child in primary school—a total of $430 each year
  • 2 instalments of $428 for each child in secondary school—a total of $856 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.

Schoolkids Bonus is being phased out, which includes the School Leaver payment. The final instalment of Schoolkids Bonus will be paid in July 2016.

How you will be paid Schoolkids Bonus

Schoolkids Bonus can be paid in different ways. If:

  • you receive fortnightly payments, your Schoolkids Bonus will be paid in January and July
  • you claim Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum, your Schoolkids Bonus will be paid when your lump sum claim is assessed, and after you and your partner have lodged your tax returns - you can change your payment choice at any time to receive Family Tax Benefit fortnightly and receive Schoolkids Bonus when the next payment is due in January or July, but your new payment option will only apply to the remaining part of the year
  • you are a student and your Centrelink payment normally goes into your bank account, your Schoolkids Bonus will be paid 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 claim Family Tax Benefit as a lump sum, you can change to receive Family Tax Benefit fortnightly and receive Schoolkids Bonus when the next payment is due in January or July. This can be done using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

If you receive Family Tax Benefit at a zero rate due to a payment choice, you will still be paid Schoolkids Bonus in January and July.

Schoolkids Bonus is being phased out, which includes the School Leaver payment. The final instalment of Schoolkids Bonus will be paid in July 2016.

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 payment 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 using their Centrelink online account through myGov. Disability Support Pension, Parenting Payment, Special Benefit and Carer Payment customers will need to give us this information by calling 136 150 or visiting their nearest service centre.

Schoolkids Bonus is being phased out, which includes the School Leaver payment. The final instalment of Schoolkids Bonus will be paid in July 2016.

Students who complete the final year of secondary school, year 12 or an equivalent level of education in the period 1 July 2015 to 31 December 2015 and meet all other eligibility requirements, will be eligible for the School Leaver payment paid in January 2016.

Students who complete the final year of secondary school, year 12 or an equivalent level of education, in the period 1 January 2016 to 30 June 2016 and meet all other eligibility requirements will be eligible for the final School Leaver payment paid in July 2016.

Other benefits while receiving Schoolkids Bonus

Managing your payment

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

You may need to update your child's education details with us so we can pay you 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 through myGov.

Automatic payment

If you receive Family Tax Benefit Part A and your child’s education details are up to date and you are eligible, you will be paid Schoolkids Bonus automatically.

Provide your study details for Schoolkids Bonus

If you are an eligible student, you may need to give us your study details so we can pay you Schoolkids Bonus. You also need to let us know if you completed secondary study 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.

Provide 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 Schoolkids Bonus. You can do this by calling us or visiting your nearest service centre.

Receiving an education allowance from the Department of Veterans' Affairs

Eligible students who receive 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, call 133 254 or, for non‑metropolitan callers, call 1800 555 254.

Schoolkids Bonus while travelling outside Australia

You can be paid Schoolkids Bonus while outside Australia as long as you continue to meet the eligibility conditions.

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.

Read more about payments while outside Australia

What to do if your account is overdrawn

There is support available to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.

Read more about what to do if your account is overdrawn

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