By Raising Children Network
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Many kinds of financial support are offered by the Australian Government. Depending on your situation, your family might be eligible for financial assistance.

Overview of payments

Coming to grips with the different benefits and options available for families can be a bit difficult. As your circumstances change, so do the benefits and taxes that apply – and every year the Government passes new laws on these payments.

Here is a basic guide to what’s available.

Income tested = the amount you can get (if any) is based on your family’s income or your individual income (what you or your family earn).

Assets tested = the amount you can get (if any) is based on your family’s assets (what you own). The family home isn’t included, but almost everything else is.

Changes in payment
can happen for all the payments below and occurs when:

  • your circumstances change
  • the payment rate changes (usually due to indexation).
Payment type Who is it for? Income tested? Assets tested?
Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme

Families of students under 16 who can’t go to an appropriate government school on a daily basis because of geographic isolation. Types of assistance are:

  • Boarding Allowance
  • Second Home Allowance
  • Distance Education Allowance
  • Pensioner Education Supplement.
No, with the exception of the additional component of Boarding Allowance No, with the exception of the additional component of Boarding Allowance
Baby Bonus Parents of newborn and recently adopted children Yes, family income No
Carer Allowance People who care for a child with disability at home No No 
Child Care Benefit   All parents and carers Yes No 
Child Care Rebate All parents and carers No No
Dad and Partner Pay Eligible working dads or partners, including same-sex partners Yes, individual income No 
Double Orphan Pension People whose child’s parents or adoptive parents have both died, or one of the child’s parents is dead and the other parent can’t parent at that time. See Centrelink website for other possible eligibilities.  No No
Family Tax Benefit (Part A) All parents and carers Yes No 
Family Tax Benefit (Part B) Single-parents and carers (single-income families) Yes No

Parental Leave Pay

Eligible working parents (usually birth mothers) of newborn or recently adopted children

Yes, individual income

Parenting Payment Low-income parents and carers Yes  Yes 
Schoolkids Bonus Families with children undertaking primary or secondary school studies and who are entitled to Family Tax Benefit Part A No No

Example of payments

In 2012, a single mother with:

  • no income
  • no assets
  • dependent children

... was eligible for:

  • Child Care Benefit, if using approved or registered care
  • Family Tax Benefit (A and B)
  • Baby Bonus
  • Parenting Payment.

Depending on other circumstances, she might have also been eligible for payments such as Rent Assistance.

Family Assistance Office

On 1 July 2011, the Family Assistance Office became part of the Australian Government Department of Human Services. All payments and services for families including Family Tax Benefit are now delivered by the Department of Human Services.

Other information and services for families

Where to learn more

For up-to-date information about your specific situation, contact the Department of Human Services or visit your nearest Centrelink office.

You can’t get Parental Leave Pay and Baby Bonus for the same child. To learn more about Parental Leave Pay and the Baby Bonus, and which one would be best for your family, use the Centrelink Rate Estimator. You can use this to estimate all Centrelink, Family Assistance and Child Care Benefit payments online.
  • Last updated or reviewed 20-11-2012