A number of changes from July 2018 may affect you if you get family payments.
Family assistance changes
If you get Family Tax Benefit (FTB), each child you get FTB for needs to meet the immunisation requirements.
If they don’t, we may reduce your FTB Part A payments by up to $28.28 per fortnight, per child.
We’ll contact you if your child doesn’t meet immunisation requirements. We’ll let you know what you need to do before it affects your payments.
Read more about immunisation requirements.
Pauses to indexation
We won’t increase the following until 1 July 2020:
Income test exemptions
You won’t be exempt from the FTB Part A income test if both of these apply to you or your partner:
- get an income support payment
- your income reduces your income support to zero
We’ll use your family income estimate to work out your FTB Part A payment rate.
If we ask you to give us a family income estimate, you need to do this within 21 days. If you don’t, we may cancel your FTB.
Your dependent child’s payment may change if we use your income to work out their rate of:
- Youth Allowance
- ABSTUDY Living Allowance
- ABSTUDY School Fees Allowance (Group 2)
- Assistance for Isolated Children Additional Boarding Allowance
Health check requirements
Your child may need to have a health check if both of these apply:
- they turn 4 on or after 1 July 2018
- you or your partner get FTB Part A and an income support payment
You need to tell us once your child’s had the health check. You need to tell us before they turn 5. If you don’t, we may reduce your FTB Part A payments.
We’ll send you a letter if your child needs a health check. We’ll let you know what you need to do before it affects your payment.
Read more about the health check requirements.
If you withdraw superannuation for your first home
We won’t count superannuation withdrawals made under the Australian Taxation Office First Home Super Saver Scheme as taxable income. This means it won’t affect your:
- family assistance payments
- dependant student payments
- child care fee assistance
- child support assessments in most cases
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
If you get Parental Leave Pay or Dad and Partner Pay
Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy
From 2 July 2018, Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy started. They replaced the previous child care payments which were available before 2 July:
- Child Care Benefit
- Child Care Rebate
- JET Child Care Fee Assistance
Child support changes
Child support agreements
We won’t pay child support to a parent under a child support agreement if they have less than 35% care. We may end or suspend the child support agreement for the child if your care arrangement changes and this occurs.
Binding child support agreements made before 1 July 2008
A court can now set aside an agreement in a broader range of circumstances. This may happen if one of the parents didn’t get legal advice at the time.
Read about binding child support agreements.
Child support overpayments
In most cases, if you’re receiving child support and you’ve been paid too much, this money must be paid back. If you don’t repay the money, we can take action to recover it. We may:
- recover amounts from your ongoing child support
- ask your employer to deduct amounts from your pay
- deduct part of your Centrelink payments
- use all or part of your tax refund to repay the overpayment
Read more about child support overpayments.
Change in care arrangements
You must tell us if your circumstances change. This includes changes to care arrangements.
If you don’t tell us about a care change within 28 days and your care has:
- decreased, we’ll use the details in your assessment from the date of the change
- increased, we’ll use the details in your assessment from the date we found out about the change
We’ll only update income for periods before July 2008 in limited cases.
Read more about how your percentage of care affects your payments.