The Brisbane Kids guide to Government Payments for Families
NOTE: This information is current as at October 2014.
It’s daunting, but unavoidable. Almost all Brisbane parents have to wrap their heads around the many government payments for families and the other subsidies that are available. The paperwork starts before you’ve even left the maternity ward, or before if you’re really organised!
Brisbane Kids has outlined some of the main payments, but families should contact the Department of Human Services for an exhaustive list of available support.
Government Payments for Families with New babies
Paid parental leave:
The Federal Government introduced a national paid parental leave scheme in 2011. Eligible working parents can apply for up to 18 weeks of leave paid at the national minimum wage. Dads and partners can also apply for up to two weeks pay.
An explanation of the payments, links to the eligibility requirements and application details can be found here.
This payment of 13 fortnightly installments is only available for children born or adopted before the first of March 2014. For children born or adopted after this date, families might be eligible for the Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement.
Family tax benefit:
This core benefit encompasses Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B. Everyone who has a dependent child or secondary student aged under 20, provides care for the child for at least 35% of the time and meets an income test should explore what they might be eligible for. Visit the Department of Human Services website.
Government Payments for Parents Returning to work
Child Care Benefit:
This payment helps with the cost of various different types of child care. It’s means tested, so applicants have to meet an income test to receive more than a zero rate of payment. Details can be found here.
Child Care Rebate:
The rebate covers 50% of child care costs up to a maximum amount per child per year. It is also available for parents who earn too much to receive the Child Care Benefit. Eligibility and application details here.
Government Payments for Families with School aged children
This benefit for eligible families is automatically paid twice yearly, in January and July. Watch out for updates though, as the Federal Government plans to scrap the payment.
Find out more about government payments for families
Details for all of the above are available on the Department of Human Services website. You can also phone the Families section on 136 150 between 8am and 8pm on weekdays. But sometimes it really is best to speak with an expert.
Centrelink offices are located throughout Brisbane. Customers are often greeted at the door by someone who’s responsible for ‘triaging’ enquiries. Some questions can be answered on the spot. If matters are more complicated, there’s an orderly process for waiting until the relevant representative is available to help. We recommend taking identification and a list of queries.
Good luck! It’ll all be worth it in the end.
You may also find the our Helpful Phone Numbers comes in handy.