Centrelink Parenting Payments – What’s On Offer and What Paperwork Do You Need?
There are a variety of Centrelink parenting payments and benefits on offer for Australian families. Please consider the following information to be a guide to assist you in the receipt of payments for your family. All information pertaining to these payments can be found at the Department of Human Services website.
Centrelink subsidies and payments are subject to change and all payments are carefully assessed and reviewed by staff. Your individual circumstances will play a large role in determining your eligibility. As such, there is no set amount that every family will receive for these payments as they are all calculated individually.
You must apply for Centrelink payments using the online system – MyGov. You may undertake this online application in a Centrelink branch where you will receive assistance from staff during your parenting payments process.
What Centrelink Parenting Payments are there?
Australian families can access a number of assistance payments from the Department of Human Services. These can be accessed if the child is your by birth, adoption or if they are your foster child. Some payments can also be accessed if the child is your grandchild.
Single Parent Pension
This is known as the parenting payment. To receive this payment, you must fulfil the following criteria:
- Be the main carer of the child (if you have equal, or shared care then one of you must be nominated as the principal carer)
- Fulfil income requirements (means tested)
- If you are single – the child must be younger than eight years old
- If you are in a relationship – the child must be younger than six years old
For more information on this payment, please read this information closely.
Family Tax Benefit
This is a two-part payment that assist families with the costs of raising children. To receive this payment, you must fulfil the following criteria:
- Fulfil income requirements (means tested)
- Have a dependent child OR full-time secondary student between the ages of 16-19 who is NOT receiving a Centrelink payment of their own
- Provide care for the child at least 35% of the time
Family Tax Benefit A recipients will:
- Have a family taxable income of $80,000 or less
- Ensure all children meet immunisation requirements
- Ensure all children have a mandatory health check
- Ensure that if the child is aged between 16 and 19 that they are either in approved fulltime study, on an acceptable study load OR they have been granted a study exemption BY Centrelink (must be Centrelink approved)
Family Tax Benefit B recipients will:
- Be either a) A member of a couple with one main income and care for at least one dependent child under the age of 13 OR b) A single parent or non-parent carer or grandparent carer for a dependent child under the age of 18 who meets study requirements
- Ensure they meet income and residence requirements
- Care for the child in question at least 35% of the time
Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement
This is a LUMP SUM (all at once) payment that is tied to Family Tax Benefit A. It’s used when you begin caring for a baby or child who you have recently had come into your care. You can receive it if you are eligible for Family Tax Benefit A (see above) and if you are NOT going to be receiving Parental Leave Pay for the child.
Parental Leave and Maternity Centrelink Parenting Payments
Parental Payments and Maternity Payments are payments that are on offer for families who have recently had a baby or had a baby or child come into their care.
These payments can benefit mothers and fathers. You can find more information about these particular parenting payments at this link. There is also information provided that discusses leave (paid and unpaid) that you may find helpful.
If your child was stillborn, you are still eligible for parental leave pay and dad and partner pay. You may also receive the Family Tax Benefit Bereavement Payment to assist you in your time of need.
In 2018, the childcare Centrelink parenting payments were overhauled. The old system saw a BENEFIT and a REBATE applied to families. Now there is one payment – the SUBSIDY.
This applies to you if you have a child in approved care. Most families decide to to have their subsidy paid directly to the care facility. This means that their fortnightly rates are calculated with the subsidy factored in and then families pay the remainder.
The childcare subsidy impacts families depending on their income and their ‘activity’ level. For more information on both of these elements, you can visit these articles:
Other Centrelink Payments That Could Help Your Family
There are other Centrelink parenting payments that can help your family. These payments are more specific to individual circumstances but are well worth investigating if you think they may help you.
There is no guarantee that you will receive these payments upon application. This is a case-by-case system that is determined by the Department of Human Services.
- Rent Assistance
- Telephone Allowance
- Additional Childcare Subsidy (if you are a grandparent, transitioning to the workforce or experiencing temporary financial hardship)
- Youth Allowance (16-24 year olds) (Please note that if your children receive Youth Allowance it will negate your eligibility for Family Tax Benefit A)
- Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme (For parents and carers of children who cannot attend a local government school due to distance, disability or special need)
- Carer Adjustment Payment (LUMP SUM) This is for families with a child under eight who has a severe illness, medical condition or major disability
- Carer Allowance (Income assistance for families who provide daily care for a child with a disability or medical condition)
- Child Disability Assistance Payment (LUMP SUM) To assist with the costs of caring for a child with a disability
- Child Dental Benefits Schedule (Basic dental service for children 2-17)