Bonuses

 

Bonus payments are available to families welcoming new biological or adopted children into their family. These bonuses provide financial relief at a time when working schedules are disturbed providing support to the family structure.

Baby Bonus

The Baby Bonus has been phased out and is only payable for births prior to 1 March 2014. Claims must be made within 52 weeks starting from the day of child’s birth or the day the adopted child comes into the person’s primary care. People who previously may have been eligible for Baby Bonus may now be eligible for Newborn Supplement and Newborn Upfront Payment.

Newborn Supplement and Newborn Upfront Payment

The Newborn Supplement (NBS) is paid as an increase to FTB(A) for a period of up to 13 weeks. It effectively replaces the Baby Bonus. Applicants must be eligible for FTB(A). It is not payable to people who access Parental Leave Pay, except in the cases of multiple births. An additional payment of a Newborn Upfront Payment (NBU) of $532 may also be payable. There are two rates of payment for NBS: a higher and lower rate. This is determined by who the claimant is (birth mother, adoptive mother, other) and the type of birth (live or stillborn). The higher rate as of July 2016 is $1,595.23 and the lower rate is $532.35. For example, a first child eligible for NBS would be entitled to a payment of $1,595.23 and a subsequent child of the same birth mother would be eligible for a NBS payment of $532.35. The NBU payment is in addition.

Entitlement is assessed as part of a claim for FTB(A). NBS is not payable to an individual who receives Paid Parental Leave for the same child.

A Stillborn Baby Payment is also payable for families that lost their baby in a still birth and do not meet the Paid Parental Leave criteria, and meet the other eligibility requirements.

Income Support Bonus

Introduced on 5 March 2013, the Income Support Bonus is a twice-annual payment made to eligible recipients to assist with unexpected costs. It is tax-free and not subject to means-tests.

To be eligible, a person must be receiving a qualifying payment, including Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Youth Allowance, Special Benefit, Parenting Payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Farm Household Allowance and Austudy.

An Income Support Bonus payment of $111.50 is payable to single people, and $92.80 to people who are members of a couple.

Paid Parental Leave

At the time of writing (30 June 2016), it is unclear whether the Australian Government will change this payment. For current information, visit www.humanservices.gov.au.

Under the Paid Parental Leave (PPL) Scheme, eligible parents/carers who have or adopt a child after 1 January 2011 are paid a maximum of 18 weeks parental leave pay, at a weekly before-tax rate of $672.60. It is a taxable amount. It is usually the birth mother or primary carer of an adopted child who must apply. Applicants must meet work, income and residency tests, and not be working.

The work test requires that the applicant have undertaken qualifying work (at least one hour per day) for at least 10 of the 13 months prior to the birth or adoption, and for at least 330 hours in that 10-month period. No more than eight weeks may elapse between two consecutive qualifying work days. Exceptions may apply for premature births or where pregnancy complications prevent work. Periods of Paid Parental Leave and Dad and Partner Pay for a previous child may be able to count as work for the purposes of a new claim.

PPL and the Baby Bonus/Newborn Supplement and Newborn Upfront Payment. cannot both be paid for the same child. A person must have an individual adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less in the financial year prior to the date of claim, birth or adoption (whichever is earlier). There is no assets test.

Employers must provide PPL to eligible employees. If an employer is not required to provide PPL, they can still choose to provide it in agreement with the employee. Eligible parents who do not receive Parental Leave pay from their employer will receive it from Centrelink.

Dad and Partner Pay

Since 1 July 2013, a person may be eligible for a maximum period of two weeks Dad and Partner Pay if they meet the eligibility, work, income and residency tests, and are on unpaid leave or not working during the pay period. They must care for the child on each day of the pay period; however, what percentage of care they must undertake or their legal responsibility are not specified. The rate is $672.60 a week before tax. It is a taxable payment.

School Kids Bonus

This payment is ending. The last instalment was automatically paid to eligible families and students between 1–18 July 2016. For current information, visit www.humanservices.gov.au.

Recipients of FTB(A) are eligible for a yearly payment of $856 for an eligible child in secondary study, and $428 for an eligible child in primary school. Eligibility is assessed, and payment made, in January and July each year, with half the yearly payment made on each occasion. You must report your income before you can be paid. For students aged 16–18, eligibility depends on whether the student is receiving an income support payment or pension, such as Youth Allowance.