Important Note Regarding Baby Bonus
In the 2013-14 Federal Budget the Government announced that the Baby Bonus will be axed as of 1 March 2014. The information below is relevant until then and you can scroll to the end of this article to learn what changes come into effect after 1 March next year.
What is the Baby Bonus?
Baby Bonus is a Government payment that helps eligible families manage the additional costs associated with the birth or adoption of a child.
Baby Bonus is paid in 13 fortnightly instalments, however, an income test based on your family’s income for the first six months after the birth or adoption applies.
If your family does not qualify for Baby Bonus you may still be eligible to receive Paid Parental Leave.
Your family may be eligible to receive Baby Bonus following the birth (including still birth) or adoption of a child if:
- you are eligible for Family Tax Benefit (FTB) for the child (disregarding the FTB income test) within six months of the child's birth or after an adopted child enters your care before turning 16 years old or
- you are claiming for a child other than your own and you started caring for the child within six months of the child's birth and are likely to continue caring for the child for at least six months and
- you or your partner are the primary carer of the child and
- you meet the residency requirements for FTB within six months of the child’s birth or entry into care and
- you meet the Baby Bonus income test and
- you have not received Parental Leave Pay for the child and
- you make your claim no later than one year after the birth of the child or after the adopted child enters your care.
Parents are required to formally register the birth of their child as a condition of receiving the Baby Bonus. But this requirement does not apply to parents whose child is stillborn, adopted or born outside Australia.
How much money will I receive?
Baby Bonus payment rates are updated on 1 July each year. Current payment rates are as follows:
- $5437 per eligible child in 13 fortnightly instalments, you will receive a higher first instalment of $879.77 and 12 fortnightly instalments of approximately $379.77. The higher first payment reflects the upfront costs of having a new child.
- If your baby has died or was stillborn, you may ask for your Baby Bonus to be paid in a lump sum instead of fortnightly instalments.
As of 1 July 2013 payments for second and subsequent chldren will be reduced to $3000.
Baby Bonus is an income-tested payment and is not subject to tax.
If you have twins, you could receive a Baby Bonus payment for each child. If you have twins and are eligible for Parental Leave Pay, you could receive Parental Leave Pay for one child and Baby Bonus for the other. However, you cannot receive Parental Leave Pay and a Baby Bonus payment for the same child. If you are eligible for both Parental Leave Pay and the Baby Bonus, you can use the Paid Parental Leave Comparison Estimator to help you make a decision about which payment to claim.
When can I claim the Baby Bonus?
You can claim the Baby Bonus up to three months before the birth of a child or an adopted child entering your care as part of the adoption process.
Your claim must be lodged no later than 52 weeks from the day after the child's birth or, in the case of adoption, no later than 52 weeks from the day after the adopted child comes into your care.
How do I claim the Baby Bonus?
You can make a claim for the Baby Bonus using the Department of Human Services Online Services or you can call 13 6150 to request a hardcopy of the form.
As of 1 March 2014
On 1 March 2014 the Baby Bonus will be replaced with an increase in the rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A for children who are born or taken into care for at least 13 weeks or placed for adoption.
The extra Family Tax Benefit Part A payments for families will total $2,000 for their first child and $1,000 for subsequent children. It will be paid as an initial instalment of $500, with the rest rolled into fortnightly payments over a three month period.
Who will be affected by this measure?
People who are caring for a child born or adopted after 1 March 2014.
Can I receive this payment?
People who are caring for a child born or adopted after 1 March 2014 will have access to the rate increase of Family Tax Benefit Part A for children aged under one who are born, placed for adoption, or taken into care for at least 13 weeks after 1 March 2014.
People will not be eligible to receive both Parental Leave Pay and the rate increase of Family Tax Benefit Part A.