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Payments for families

6-minute read

The Australian Government provides several different payments to support families. If you are the parent or carer of a child, here are the payments you might be able to apply for.

If you and your family are affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for additional payments. Visit the Services Australia website for more information.

Family Tax Benefit

This 2-part payment, consisting of Family Tax Benefit Part A and Family Tax Benefit Part B, helps with the cost of raising children. To receive this payment you must:

  • have a dependent child or full-time secondary student aged 16 to 19 who isn’t getting a pension, payment or benefit like Youth Allowance
  • care for the child for at least 35% of the time
  • meet an income test

For more information about Family Tax Benefit, visit the Services Australia website.

Parenting Payment

This is the main payment you can claim while you’re caring for a young child. It’s also for job seekers who are the main carers of young children. To receive this payment you must:

  • be under the income and asset test limits
  • meet principal carer rules
  • care for a child under 8 if you’re single or under 6 if you’re partnered
  • meet residence rules
  • not have claimed before the birth of the child

If you have a child under 6, you may also be asked to take part in the Government’s ParentsNext program, which helps you plan and prepare for study or employment and links you to services and activities in your community. Services Australia will contact you if you need to make an appointment. You can also volunteer to join the program. ParentsNext is not available in remote areas or on Norfolk Island. For more information, visit the ParentsNext website.

For more information about the Parenting Payment, visit the Services Australia website.

Parental Leave Pay

This is a short-term payment for up to 18 weeks to help while you are not working so you can care for a new child. To receive this payment, you must:

  • be the primary carer of a newborn or newly adopted child
  • have individually earned less than $150,000 or less in the 2019-20 financial year or $151,350 or less in the 2020-21 financial year
  • not be working during your Paid Parental Leave period
  • have met the work test in the 13 months before the child’s birth or entry into care
  • have registered or applied to register your child’s birth with your state or territory birth registry, if they’re a newborn

Read more about paid parental leave here.

Dad and Partner Pay

This is a short-term payment of up to 2 weeks made if you are a father or partner on leave from work to help look after a new child. To receive this payment you must:

  • care for a newborn or newly adopted child
  • have individually earned $150,000 or less in the 2019-20 financial year or $151,350 or less in the 2020-21 financial year
  • not be working or taking paid leave during your Dad and Partner Pay period
  • have met the work test in the 13 months before your Dad and Partner Pay period starts

Read more about Dad and Partner Pay.

Child Care Subsidy

This payment helps families with the cost of childcare. It is for children 13 and under, but is also available to children 14 to 18 if they have a disability or can’t be left unsupervised. The payment is paid directly to the child care provider to reduce the fees you pay. To be eligible:

  • care for a child 13 or younger who's not attending secondary school, unless an exemption applies
  • use an approved child care service
  • be responsible for paying the child care fees
  • meet residency and immunisation requirements

The Child Care Subsidy replaced the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. The subsidy is available to parents doing recognised activities, such as paid and unpaid work, and training and studying.

For more information on Child Care Subsidy, visit the Services Australia website.

Other payments you may be entitled to

There are other payments available to help you with:

Special considerations

There are several different payments for people looking after children in special circumstances.

These payments all have different eligibility requirements, and time limits may apply. You can find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for by visiting Centrelink’s Payment and Service Finder.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: September 2021


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Need more information?

Medicare and other benefits

In addition to Medicare, there are a range of health care and financial benefits available to support families in Australia.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Family Tax Benefit Part A

Family Tax Benefit Part A is a payment to eligible families to help with the cost of raising children. Find out more about the Family Tax Benefit Part A for the 2021 financial year here.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Family Tax Benefit Part B

Family Tax Benefit is a payment to eligible families to help with the cost of raising children. Find out more about the Family Tax Benefit Part B for the 2021 financial year here.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Family Tax Benefit - Services Australia

A 2 part payment that helps with the cost of raising children.

Read more on Medicare website

Parental leave - things to consider

When deciding how much parental leave to take, it's important to think about what works best for you and your family. Here are a few things for you to consider.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Paid parental leave

Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to Parental Leave Pay, employer-funded paid parental leave, Dad and Partner Pay, or unpaid leave. Learn more.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Benefits & Payments | Department of Social Services, Australian Government

Improving the lifetime wellbeing of people and families in Australia.

Read more on Department of Social Services website

Parental Leave Pay - Services Australia

A payment for up to 18 weeks while you care for your new child.

Read more on Medicare website

Having a baby - Services Australia

Having a baby is an exciting time. There’s a lot of information about payments and services which can help with the cost of raising a child.

Read more on Medicare website

Parental rights and finances

Parents have rights in regards to workplace issues, parental leave, discrimination and breastfeeding. Financial assistance and benefits are also available.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

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