Family payments Centrelink gives when you are having a baby
Starting a family can be a very magical and exciting time. However, it can also be a very expensive time. Luckily, the government knows this and is there to help! Some of the family payments Centrelink has on offer are single payments while others are continuous payments. The point of all these family assistance payment schemes is to support families and help with the cost of childcare.
However, it can be quite confusing trying to understand the different benefits and eligibility requirements of each one. Therefore, we’ve collated a list of the Centrelink family payments available for Australians in this handy guide!
BEFORE YOUR BABY IS BORN
Preparing for the arrival of your baby can be a stressful period. Between planning your maternity or parental leave, mentally preparing yourself and peeing constantly, financial stress is an unwelcome guest. Here are some family payments Centrelink has that new parents can apply for up to 3 months before their baby is born!
Parental Leave Pay
This form of family payments Centrelink has is available for families who have earned less than $150,000 in the previous financial year. They also need to be employed for at least 330 hours over 10 months out of the previous 13 months. Although the pay lasts 18 weeks, mothers who don’t use it fully can transfer their leave to the father or another primary carer. Parental leave pay is paid at the national minimum wage and one of the conditions is that the eligible recipient must be on leave. Otherwise, they just can’t have been working from when they become the child’s primary carer until the end of their Paid Parental Leave period. This pay is also considered taxable!
Newborn upfront payment and Newborn supplement
This used to be the Baby Bonus but has since been replaced with the Newborn Upfront Payment, which is a $532 lump sum. If you are eligible for the Family Tax Benefit Part A and have registered your child’s birth, you could get the Newborn upfront payment and Newborn supplement.
Under the family assistance payment, eligible parents could receive a maximum of $1,618.89 for your first child and a maximum of $540.54 for other children. It is important to note that you must not be getting Parental Leave Pay for the same child. However, you may also be receiving the Family Tax Benefit Part A at the same time.
Dad and Partner Pay
The Dad and Partner pay is for biological fathers, legal partners of the birth mother, adoptive parents and their partners, or legal guardians. This form of family assistance payment provides up to 2 weeks’ pay based on the current minimum wage. It can be claimed in a continuous block for up to 1 year after the birth of the child. However, it has to be concurrent with unpaid leave or they must not be working. The recipient must also meet work and income tests.
FAMILY TAX BENEFITS PAYMENT RATES
The Family Tax Benefit (FTB) is a 2-part tax rebate paid to families:
- Who have at least one dependent child,
- That provide care for the child at least 35% of the time, or
- Who meet an income test.
The two parts to the Family Tax Benefit are Part A and Part B.
Family Tax Benefit Part A
Part A of this family payments Centrelink offers is paid out per dependent child up to 19 years old. The amount received is dependent on the family’s individual circumstances and calculated based on annual income, the number of dependent children and their ages.
Families with an annual income less than $51,027, are eligible for the maximum rate of FTB Part A per child:
- $182.84 for each child aged newborn to 12 years old,
- $237.86 for each child aged 13 to 19 years old (children between 16-19 years, must be full-time students or exempt from education and training requirements)
- $58.66 fortnightly for children living in approved care organisations and who are homeless, refugees, or who have a disability.
Families with an annual income less than $80,000, may receive a supplement of up to $737.30 per child. However, children must be fully immunised in order to receive these family payments Centrelink has available.
Family Tax Benefit Part B
Under family payments Centrelink offers, the Family Tax Benefit Part B is meant for families who require extra financial aid. Families are eligible when they have one main source of income and dependent children up to 12 years of age. The age cut off for dependent children is 18 years of age for single parents. Grandparents and Great-Grandparents who are caring for children are also eligible. Single income families with an annual income less than $100,000 are eligible (depending on the age of the child) to receive:
- A maximum of $155.54 per fortnight, if the youngest child is under the age of 5, or
- A maximum of $108.64 per fortnight, if the youngest child is between the ages of 5 and 18.
Two-income families may be eligible if the second income is less than $27,613. Especially when the youngest child is under 5 years of age. An exception to this is if the second income is less than $21,499. This is mainly applicable if the youngest child is between the ages of 5 and 18.
The FTB Part B supplement increases up to $357.70 and is paid after the end of the financial year. This is also after families have submitted their tax returns.
CHILD CARE BENEFIT AND CHILD CARE REBATE
The Child Care Benefit is available if your child attends:
- An approved childcare centre and your annual family income is less than $156,914 (this threshold increases with the number of children you have), or
- A registered childcare provided by registered carers such as relatives, friends or nannies.
However, like the Family Tax Benefit, children must be fully immunised to receive these benefits.
If you use approved childcare and your annual income is under $45,114, you may be able to receive the Child Care Benefit for up to:
- 24 hours of care per child, per week, or
- 50 hours of care per child, per week, if you meet the work test.
This Centrelink family payment is flexible in that families can choose to have the benefit paid either as a reduction of the childcare fees during the year or as a lump sum after submitting their tax returns.
Families who use registered childcare and meet the work test may also receive a lump sum of Child Care Benefit. This is generally distributed at a standard hourly rate for up to 50 hours per child per week.
Child Care Rebate
Families that are eligible for the Child Care Benefit may also be eligible for the Child Care Rebate. The rebate covers 50% of out-of-pocket childcare expenses for approved childcare, with a rebate of up to $7,613 per child, per year. Although there is no income test, to receive this benefit, parents must be working, studying or training while their child is in care. Like the Child Care Benefit, family payments Centrelink offers are flexible in that families can choose to have the benefit paid either as a reduction of the childcare fees during the year or as a lump sum after submitting their tax returns.
OTHER FAMILY PAYMENTS
Some of the other family payments Centrelink has available to Australians include:
- Parenting Payment for low-income families and single parents caring for young children.
- Large Family Supplement for families with four children or more.
- Multiple Birth Allowance for families with triplets or more children born at the same time.
- Rent Assistance for families on the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A and renting privately.
- Jobs, Education and Training Child Care fee assistance for parents who are currently working, job searching, training, studying or in rehabilitation to help them enter the workforce.
With all these financial schemes, expecting parents can rest easy and focus on the more important aspects of pregnancy.
12 THINGS NEW PARENTS NEED
With all the stress leading up to the day that your baby is born, it can be easy to forget to buy a few crucial things. That’s why we’ve come up with a simple checklist! That way, you can enjoy your first few days with your new baby in peace.
Witch Hazel Pads
New mothers swear by these because of the cooling relief they give your sore spots. Just put them on top of your maxi pads, which you will need to wear postpartum.
Poop explosions are commonplace with babies, no matter how well you’ve diapered your them! Get ahead of those pesky stains with a good stain remover. Otherwise, you might have to bid goodbye to some of the cutest baby outfits.
It can be quite nerve-wracking to bathe your new baby, especially when they constantly develop those eye crusties! Use a warm, wet cotton ball (one for each eye, swept from inside to outside of the eye) to clean your baby’s eyes in an easy and hygienic way.
Nappy rash can occur anytime, so it’s always a good idea to have some extra ointment on hand to prevent it. If you’re planning to circumcise your baby, it’s a good way to keep their sore parts clean until it heals.
Stretchy cotton underpants
It’s possible that you’ll bleed a lot after giving birth. Even with your maxi pads, you might ruin a few pairs of underpants. If you want to avoid ruining your favourite pair, buy some cheap and stretchy pairs that you can just throw out.
Extra maxi pads
The hospital might give you a few but they are not likely to last you as long as you’ll need them. Get some extra ones for yourself because it’ll be easier to wear them than to constantly have to wash your sheets, cushions, etc.
Breastfeeding is a natural act bonding mother to child, but it also hurts like nothing you’ve imagined. That’s where gel pads come in! Stick them in the fridge so that they’re cool against your sore chest. Some hospitals might give you a pair, but they can only be reused for 72 hours, so you might need a couple of pairs.
It becomes better once you get used to breastfeeding, but in the meantime, protect your nipples from drying out with nipple cream. Applying this after each feeding can keep you moisturised and ease the soreness.
Even if you aren’t planning on breastfeeding, can’t or are trying to wean your baby off, you’ll need breast pads. They help with the pesky leaking as you dry out.
It might seem like a waste, but some babies are born with tiny claws. If you don’t want your tiny angel to have scratched up their face before your newborn photo shoot, you’ll need mittens. It’ll protect you too!
Baby nail file
The alternative to baby mittens is to get a baby nail file. It’s a little expensive but will help you all in the long term! Many baby hygiene kits have these important inclusions.
You’ve just squeezed out at least one tiny human. Give your muscles a break for a couple of weeks! Make sure you’ve got some stool softener at home before you give birth so that you’re more comfortable.
AFTER YOUR CHILD IS BORN
Once a child is born, parents will receive a Parent Pack from the hospital. Make sure that you register your child’s birth with Births, Deaths and Marriages so that you can apply for the appropriate financial schemes. Check the National Immunisation Program Schedule to determine when you need to immunise your baby. Many of the government financial schemes require that your child is immunised first. The schedule can be found at www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/national-immunisation-program-schedule.
Good people can get bad credit. Once you’ve completed looking at family payments Centrelink offers, and taken the necessary steps, all you have left to do is celebrate your new baby!