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 replaced with the 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 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 cases of multiple births. An additional payment of a Newborn Upfront Payment (NBU) of $540 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 2017 is $1,618.89 and the lower rate is $540.54. For example, a first child eligible for NBS would be entitled to a payment of $1,618.89 and a subsequent child of the same birth mother would be eligible for a NBS payment of $540.54.

The NBU payment is in addition. Entitlement is assessed as part of a claim for FTB(A).

A Stillborn Baby Payment is also payable for families that experience the loss of their baby as a result of stillbirth and do not meet the Parental Leave Pay criteria, but meet other eligibility requirements.

Income Support Bonus

The last instalment of the Income Support Bonus was paid in September 2016. It is no longer available.

Parental Leave Pay, and Dad and Partner Pay

The Paid Parental Leave scheme provides two government-funded payments to enable parents to take time off work to care for their children during the first months after birth or adoption. These payments are Parental Leave Pay, and Dad and Partner Pay.

Parental Leave Pay is payable to eligible parents/carers who have or adopt a child after 1 January 2011. It is paid for a maximum period of 18 weeks, at a weekly before-tax rate of $695. It is a taxable payment. 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 Parental Leave Pay, and Dad and Partner Pay for a previous child may be able to count as work for the purposes of a new claim.

Parental Leave Pay, the Newborn Supplement, and the Newborn Upfront Payment cannot 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) to be eligible. There is no assets test.

Employers must provide Paid Parental Leave to eligible employees. If an employer is not required to provide Paid Parental Leave, 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.

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, the percentage of care they must undertake is not specified, nor is there a requirement that they be legally responsible for the child. The rate is $695 a week before tax. It is a taxable payment.

Schoolkids Bonus

This payment ended in July 2016. It can no longer be claimed.