Child Dental Benefits Schedule
Child Dental Benefits Schedule
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Covers part or the full cost of some dental services for children if you get certain payments from us.
- children and teenagers 2 to 17 years old
- eligible for Medicare
- you get certain payments for at least 1 day of the calendar year
1. Who can get the Child Dental Benefits Schedule
We’ll tell you if your child is able to get the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS).
We’ll send you a letter online or by post. You can also check if your child is eligible by:
You can get the benefits for your child if:
- you're their parent or guardian, or
- you're an approved care organisation
Children who get payments in their own name can also get the benefits if they’re:
- 2 to 17 years old for at least 1 day of the calendar year
- eligible for Medicare
If you’re a teenager and have a partner, you may also be eligible to get the benefits. Your partner must get a payment from us.
To get CDBS, you or your child must get an eligible payment for at least 1 day of the calendar year.
|Who gets the payment||Payment|
|Child's parent, carer, or guardian|
Getting dental services
To get dental services under the schedule you’ll need to complete the following steps.
- Make an appointment with a private or public dentist of your choice. Let them know that you’ll be using the CDBS.
- Discuss costs and any restrictions on the dental items with the dentist. Do this before you consent and begin treatment.
- Pay the bill if the dentist doesn’t bulk bill. You can then claim your benefit from us.
If your dentist bulk bills, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll automatically pay the CDBS to your dentist. The amount will be deducted from your CDBS balance.
We'll check if you're able to get CDBS at the start of the calendar year. We'll also check throughout the year. If you become eligible later in the calendar year, we’ll pay your benefits from the beginning of the year.
A child or teenager’s eligibility depends on how we pay your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A.
There are 2 ways to get FTB Part A:
- as an instalment – this includes zero rate and deferred payment
- as a lump sum payment
Children and teenagers are eligible for the calendar year in which they get a fortnightly FTB Part A payment.
Lump sum claim
Children and teenagers are eligible for the calendar year immediately after the financial year of your claim.
If you change from fortnightly payments to a lump sum payment, your eligibility for CDBS will change.
Jan and Peter have a son named Jake. They gave us their family income estimate for the 2016–17 financial year. We used it to check their eligibility for fortnightly payments of FTB Part A in March 2017. They weren't eligible because their income was too high. Jake wasn’t eligible for CDBS in 2017.
In January 2018 they resubmitted their claim for FTB Part A. They submitted it as a lump sum claim for the 2016–17 financial year. We did another assessment based on their tax returns. Jan and Peter are now eligible for FTB Part A payment under a lump sum claim. This means Jake is eligible for CDBS in 2018.
Dental services you can get in the Child Dental Benefits Schedule
We cover some or all of the cost of a range of basic dental services for your child.
Dental services we cover
Dental services we cover include:
- fissure sealing
- root canals
There are some restrictions for basic dental services. You should check with your dentist if there’s any item or time restrictions before starting your service.
These services don't count towards the threshold of the:
Dental services we don’t cover
We don’t cover:
- orthodontic dental work
- cosmetic dental work
- any services you have in a hospital
For each child, you can claim up to $1,000 over 2 consecutive calendar years.
The 2 year period starts from the calendar year when your child gets their first eligible dental service. If you don’t use the $1,000 in the first year, you can use it in the second year. But only if your child remains eligible.
At the end of the 2 years, you won't be able to use any more of the benefits. This applies even if you haven’t used the full $1,000.
You can start a new 2 calendar year period if you remain eligible. This means you’ll get another $1,000 in benefits to claim over the next 2 years.
Mary and Tim have a daughter named Rachel. Rachel became eligible for CDBS in 2016 and continued to be eligible in 2017. Rachel received dental services in both calendar years and had a remaining balance of $160 at 31 December 2017. She won’t be able to access this balance in 2018 because the 2 year period is over.
In January 2018 Rachel met the eligibility criteria for CDBS again. This means she starts a new 2 year period. Her available balance is now $1,000 for the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. Rachel will need to meet the eligibility criteria in 2019 to continue to using services under CDBS.
Dental health services
There are public dental services available in Australia. Read more on the Department of Health website about:
- public dental services near you
- other dental services and initiatives
Your family income estimate for family assistance payments
We use your family income estimate to work out how much family assistance to pay you.
Why we need an income estimate
We base your family assistance payments on your family income estimate. Because of this, your family income estimate needs to be accurate and up to date.
We’ll ask you to update your income estimate before the start of each financial year. After the end of the financial year, we'll check your income with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
You need to lodge your tax return or tell us you don't need to lodge one by the deadline.
We’ll use your income estimate to work out your entitlement to:
If you don’t give us an income estimate
We’ll estimate your income for you to reduce your risk of being overpaid. There are different ways we can do this.
We may update your income estimate based on:
- your or your partner’s actual income information from the ATO, or
- the latest income estimate you’ve given us.
We may also increase your estimate in line with changes to the Australian Average Weekly Earnings.
For Child Care Subsidy purposes you must provide an income estimate for the 2018-19 financial year. We’ll use this information to assess you for Child Care Subsidy.
What to know before you estimate your income
There are some things you need to know about the income estimate you provide.
If the income estimate you give us is too low, you may get a debt which you'll have to pay back.
If it's too high, you may miss out on some payments during the year. If this is the case you may receive the amount you missed out on when we balance your payments.
You can reduce your risk of getting a debt by choosing a payment option that suits you. Read more about payment options for Family Tax Benefit.
Your income estimate must include your and your partner's estimated income for the whole financial year. This should include income you've already earned. Remember, if you're paid weekly or fortnightly the number of pay days in a financial year can vary.
You must update your income estimate as often as your circumstances change. This is to avoid an overpayment.
What to include in your income estimate
You need to tell us about your and your partner’s adjusted taxable income for the whole financial year.
If you and/or your partner pay child support, you will need to subtract the full amount paid from your income estimate.
A number of things could affect your and your partner’s income. When you update your income estimate, think about:
- overtime or extra hours
- any taxable payments you get from us
- Farm Household Allowance (FHA) Supplement (lump sums)
- casual work, shift work or contract work
- pay rises
- redundancy payouts
- paying child support
- changing jobs
- starting or returning to work
- work bonuses
- income from business or self-employment
- reportable fringe benefits – talk to your employer first, because how we assess these depends on the type of employer you work for
- foreign income
- taxable lump sum payments
- early released superannuation – this doesn’t include withdrawals made under the First Home Super Saver Scheme
- other income, such as capital gains or commissions
You don't need to include any child support or spousal maintenance, FTB, Child Care Benefit or Child Care Subsidy you or your partner receive. However, any child support or spousal maintenance you receive may affect your payment rate when Child Support notify us.
How to update your income estimate
The easiest way to update your income estimate is by using your Centrelink online account through myGov, or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. Make sure you've downloaded the latest version of the app first.
Read the guide to updating your family income estimate with your Centrelink online account.
When you need to report income for other payments
If you receive an income support payment
You’ll need to report your earned income separately. This is different to updating your income estimate for family assistance.
If you pay or receive child support
We need to know your financial year income. We won’t use your family income estimate for this. To make sure your income details are correct for child support, lodge your tax return on time every year. We need this to work out the amount of child support to be paid. Read more about income used in calculating child support payments.
Why tell us if your circumstances change
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you’re receiving FTB or child care fee assistance. This is to receive the right rate of payment.
Read more about telling us about change of circumstances.
2. How to claim the Child Dental Benefits Schedule
Check if you're eligible to get the Child Dental Benefits Schedule before you start your claim. You can claim on certain dental services for your child.
Before you start
- Confirm your child is eligible.
- Confirm your balance by using your Medicare online account through myGov. You can also call the Medicare general enquiries line.
- Speak to a private or public dentist. Let them know you or your child can get the benefits.
- Discuss the child’s treatment, costs and if there are any item restrictions with the dentist. Do this before you get the services.
- Sign a consent form agreeing to the services and the cost, your dentist will give it to you.
- Have your dentist perform the service.
When you need to claim
If your dentist:
- bulk bills, you don’t need to submit a claim
- doesn’t bulk bill, you must pay the bill and claim your benefits from us
Remember, you can’t claim from us and a private health insurer for the same dental service.
Ways to claim
You can claim your benefit:
- at the dental surgery, or
- by submitting a claim directly with us
If you need to submit a claim, you can do it:
- using the Express Plus Medicare mobile app
- using your Medicare online account through myGov
- by completing a Medicare claim form and posting it to us – the address is on the form
- at a service centre by placing your claim form in the drop box or giving it to a customer service officer
We’ll process your claim
When we’ve processed your claim, we’ll pay the benefits into your account.
3. What other services are available for Child Dental Benefits Schedule
We have a range of other services to help you manage your Child Dental Benefits Schedule, or get extra support.
Payment and Service Finder
Select the options that describe your circumstances, then explore a list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
Payment and Service Finder can help you work out amounts of:
- Centrelink payments, including pensions and allowances
- Family Tax Benefit
- Child care fee assistance.
To work out how much money you may get, answer the questions and choose a payment you want to estimate.
Start using Payment and Service Finder.
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