Changes to Family Assistance Payments!

If there’s one thing that families across Australia can agree on, it’s this… raising a family is expensive! Fortunately, the government provides a helping hand for many families through its Family Assistance Payments.

Here’s a quick rundown of all the changes introduced on 1st July 2018…

Changes to Family Tax Benefits (FTB) Part A.

If you currently receive Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A and an income support payment, Centrelink will use an income test to work out your payment rate, if your employment income reduces your income payment rate to zero.

To do so, you’ll need to provide an estimate of your family income so they can work out your payment.  They may also reduce or stop your FTB Part A payment for the period your income support payment reduces to zero. If your child is a dependant who receives a payment, remember that their rate may change too.

Does your child meet the immunisation requirements?

From 1st July, your payments will also be dependent on your child’s immunisations being up to date. If your child has not had the immunisations listed in the Department of Health’s National Immunisation Program Schedule, your FTB Part A supplement could be reduced by up to $28.28 per fortnight, per child. And yes, the Department of Human Services is entitled to check your child’s Medicare records (just in case you were wondering!)

Child care payments are also changing.

If you receive child care fee assistance, you’ll also notice some changes from 2nd July. The Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy are being introduced, replacing the previous payments. Just keep in mind that you won’t automatically be moved across to these new payments. You must complete an assessment to see if you are eligible.

If you are receiving a child care payment for approved care, you need to complete a Child Care Subsidy assessment as soon as possible. If you don’t need assistance with child care fees until after 2 July 2018, you can claim Child Care Subsidy online.

To find out more about all these changes, contact Centrelink or visit the Department of Human Services website. Family payments are an important financial lifeline for many families. It’s important to stay on top of any changes that might affect them.