Your guide to the Australian government family benefits
Australia is a lucky country and we Australians are lucky to live here! One of the great things about our country is the help we get from the government to raise our children.
The federal government offers a range of benefits and payment to those who need it once they have a baby. But there are a few different payments and benefits, and it’s hard to know which one you are eligible for.
The Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement schemes are available for parents following both the birth or the adoption of a child. The Newborn Upfront Payment is a one-time payment per child of $532 dollars and this is not taxable. The Newborn Supplement works a little bit differently and can be paid to you fortnightly or in a lump sum. This amount depends on your current income and number of children with the maximum amount for your first child being $1595.23. You can read more about these schemes here.
Taking paid time off work to be with your baby is becoming more and more accessible to parents. The Paid Parental Leave scheme was introduced in 2011 with the goal to help working parents spend those vital and early months at home with their baby. If you fit a certain criteria, you can receive up to 18 weeks of time off with minimum wage pay. This amounts to $672.60 before tax per week and can be paid by your employer or the federal government. This information is correct as of May 2017 and no changes were made to this scheme in the 2017 budget. Find the criteria for Paid Parental Leave here.
To support the paid parental scheme, dads and partners may also be eligible for a two-week pay from the government. If you meet the requirements, you’re eligible for $672.60 before tax per (the two weeks will be paid into your account one lump sum). You can find the requirements for the Dad and Partner Pay here.
The Family Tax Benefit is a regular two-part payment to help with the cost of raising a family. The two parts consist of Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B. Family Tax Benefit Part A is designed for families with two incomes and for children who meet the immunisation requirement. The amount you get depends on your family’s income, how many children you have and how old they are.
Family Tax Benefit Part B is an extra payment designed for single parents, families with only one main income, or for grandparents and other non-parent carers. This scheme too is income tested and depend on the time you spend caring for the child. You can read more about the Family Tax Benefit Schemes here.
Then you also have the Parenting Payment scheme which is a regular payment designed for families with children up to eight years old depending on your situation. And when it’s time for your child to go to child care, there is financial aid for that as well. As long as your child is immunised, you are using an approved or registered child care provider, and you fall within the appropriate income brackets, you could be eligible for the Child Care Rebate.
Guide to government benefits
Now you know some of the most common government benefits! As you can see, there are so many ways in which we can get help from the government should we need it, and this was just some general information to get you on the right track. If you’re wondering what is applicable to you, you should contact Child Support at Department of Human Services and discuss your situation with a professional.