Family Tax Benefit

Healthy Start for School

If your child is turning 4, they may need to have a health check. If they don’t, your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A rate may reduce.

Who needs to have a health check

Your child may need to have a health check if both of these apply:

If your child needs a health check, we'll send you a letter through your myGov inbox or by mail.

What a health check is

A health check is an assessment of your child’s physical health. It includes their height, weight, hearing, sight and general wellbeing. It ensures your child is healthy, fit and ready to learn when they start school.

Your child can have a health check from when they turn 3.

Requirements vary in each state and territory.

State or territory Health checks that meet the FTB Part A requirements
ACT A health check on a child who’s 3 to 3 and a half. You can find details in the Personal Health Record, sometimes called the Blue Book. A general health check on your child after they turn 3 provided by your local General Practitioner (GP).
NSW A health check on a child who’s 3 to 4. You can find details in the Personal Health Record called My First Health Record. A general health check on your child after they turn 3 provided by your local GP.
NT A health check on a child who’s 3 to 4 under the Healthy Under 5 Kids Program. A general health check on your child after they turn 3, provided by your local GP. A compulsory health check done under the NT emergency response.
Qld A health check on a child who’s 3 to 3 and a half, or 4 to 5. You can find details in the Personal Health Record, sometimes called the Red Book. A general health check on your child after they turn 3, provided by your local GP.
SA A health check on a child who’s 3 or a pre-school check on a child who’s 4. You can find details in Child Health Record, sometimes called the Blue Book. A general health check on your child after they turn 3, provided by your local GP.
Tas A health check on a child who’s 3 and a half, completed by Tasmanian family and child health nurses. A general health check on your child after they turn 3, provided by your local GP.
Vic A health check on a child who’s 3 and a half, completed by Victorian maternal and child health nurses. A general health check on your child after they turn 3, provided by your local GP.
WA A general health check on your child after they turn 3, completed by either:
  • Western Australian Community Health Nurses
  • Aboriginal Health Workers.
A general health check on your child after they turn 3, provided by your local GP. A school entry health assessment on a child who’s 3 and a half.

What you need to do

Arrange a health check for your child

This is an age appropriate health check as outlined in the Health check table.

To arrange a health check, talk to your GP, health professional or staff at your health clinic.

Update Healthy Start for School Review

The easiest way to do the review is by using your Centrelink online account through myGov. We’ll send a notification to your online account that you need to complete an update.

If you don’t have a Centrelink online account, you’ll need to use a One Time Access Code (OTAC). We’ll give you this code in the letter we send you through your myGov Inbox or by mail.

We’ll only record the date your child had the health check. We don’t record the details of the check.

Tell us if you can’t complete a health check for your child

If you can’t complete a health check for your child, call us on the Families line as soon as possible.

How it affects your payments

If your child turned 4 before 1 July 2018

We’ll withhold part or all of the 2017-18 FTB Part A supplement if either:

  • your child hasn’t had a health check
  • you haven’t told us your child’s had a health check.

The amount we’ll withhold depends on how long you or your partner got both:

If we withhold your FTB Part A supplement, you have 1 year to tell us you’ve completed a health check. This year starts from the end of the financial year that your child turned 4. If your child turned 4 in the 2017-18 financial year, you have until 30 June 2019 to tell us.

Once you tell us you’ve completed the health check, we’ll pay you the FTB Part A supplement amount we withheld. If you don’t do this within 1 year, you won’t get the amount we withheld.

Example if your child turned 4 before 1 July 2018

Mark’s child turned 4 on 1 March 2018. He got both an income support payment and FTB Part A during the 2017-18 financial year.

Mark doesn’t let us know that his child has had a health check. When we balance his FTB payments for 2017-18, we withhold the FTB Part A supplement he was eligible for.

On 1 February 2019, Mark let us know his child had a health check. We then paid him the supplement amount he was eligible for.

If Mark didn’t tell us by 30 June 2019 we wouldn’t pay him the supplement amount he was eligible for.

If your child turned 4 on or after 1 July 2018

We may reduce your FTB Part A payments for your child if by the time they turn 5, either:

  • they haven’t had a health check
  • you haven’t told us they’ve had a health check.

If your child isn’t meeting the requirements, we’ll send you a letter through your myGov Inbox or by mail. We’ll let you know what you need to do before we reduce your payments.

Your FTB Part A payments may reduce by up to $28.28 for the 2018-19 financial year. This amount is subject to an annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase.

We base the reduction on how long you or your partner got FTB Part A and an income support payment.

Immunisation requirements also affect your FTB Part A payment rate. Keep in mind, we’ll only reduce your FTB Part A payments once if your child hasn’t met both the:

  • Healthy Start for School requirements
  • immunisation requirements.

Example if your child turned 4 on or after 1 July 2018

Nat’s child turned 4 on 1 November 2018. She got both an income support payment and FTB Part A for 3 months during the 2018-19 financial year.

Nat has until the day before her child’s 5th birthday to tell us that her child got a health check. In this case, Nat has until 31 October 2019 to do this.

If Nat doesn’t tell us, we may reduce her FTB Part A payments for that child. This reduction will start from 1 November 2019 and continue for 3 months. It lasts for 3 months because that’s how long Nat got an income support payment and FTB Part A.

This information was printed Wednesday 22 May 2019 from https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/family-tax-benefit/what-can-affect-your-payment/healthy-start-school It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/site-notices when using this material.

Page last updated: 13 April 2019