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A Complete Guide to the Family Tax Benefit and Centrelink

A Complete Guide to the Family Tax Benefit and Centrelink

Confused about the Family Tax Benefit & Centrelink? 

With the digital world continuing to rapidly evolve, it’s no surprise that government services like Centrelink have moved their services online. Problem is – navigating Centrelink’s online services can be a complete nightmare for some, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. To add insult to injury, knowing what benefits you’re entitled to is not only complicated and confusing but downright overwhelming.

At Jacaranda Finance, we thought something needs to be done about this! So, we’ve created a complete guide to Centrelink’s payments and services. This will cover getting a family tax benefit, claiming benefits, creating a myGov account, accessing advance payments, letting you know which benefits you qualify for and plenty more. Sound good? Let’s get started!

What is Centrelink? 

For those who don’t know, Centrelink is a government service that delivers social security payments and services to Australians in need. These payments are not just limited to low income groups, however. People who receive Centrelink benefits come from various different backgrounds and there are over a hundred different benefits to reflect this.

There are payments and services for retirees, unemployed people, people with disabilities, Indigenous Australians, students, those affected by natural disasters (e.g bush fires, cyclones)- just to name a few.

Common types of Centrelink benefits

There is a wide range of Centrelink benefits. Too many to remember. We don’t expect anyone to have knowledge on all of them but fortunately for you, we’ve done the research and have all the info you need to know. Each benefit has a set of elaborate and unique criteria that you’ll need to meet in order to be eligible. Below we’ve listed a few common types of benefits, a short description and their individual requirements:

Family Tax Benefit

The Family Tax Benefit is a payment to assist families with the cost of raising children. This payment is particularly useful for families with a single source of income.

Family Tax Benefit (FTB) is made up of two parts:

  • FTB Part A: Receive payments per child and amount depends on family circumstances.
  • FTB Part B: Receive payments per family. Single parents and families with one source of income tend to get extra help.

Am I eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A?

FTB Part A supplements are payments per child. You can access this supplement after the end of each financial year (in July). You may be eligible for a Part A supplement if your child is:

  • 0 to 15 years old;
  • 16 to 19 years old and meets certain study requirements.

You must also have an adjustable taxable income of $80,000 or less, care for the child at least 35% of the time.

For reference, adjustable taxable income includes taxable income, foreign income, total net investment losses, reportable fringe losses, reportable superannuation contributions, certain tax free pensions, or benefits.

Am I eligible for Family Tax benefit Part B?

Single parent: If you’re a single parent and your adjustable taxable income is less than $100,000 you are eligible for this supplement. If this is you, you can earn the maximum rate of this particular benefit.

Two parents/couples: You’ll be eligible for this supplement if the primary income earner of the two earns less than $100,000. The parent with the lower income is referred to as the secondary earner. Centrelink uses the secondary earner’s income to determine that rate of the supplement. If this earner earns over $5694 every year, the rate of supplement will be affected.

JobSeeker 

This Centrelink benefit is provided for those who are unemployed but are actively looking for work. Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, the Australian Government has increased the amount that JobSeeker recipients receive. If your hours have been reduced or you’ve been stood down from your job because of COVID-19, you could be eligible for JobSeeker.

Am I eligible for JobSeeker? 

To be eligible for JobSeeker you need to be:

  • Between 22 years old and Age Pension age 
  • Unemployed and looking for work or
  • Sick or injured and therefore unable work or study 

The Disability Support Pension (DSP)

This pension supports people who have physical and intellectual disabilities and people with mental health conditions that prevent them from earning money or keeping a job. It also supports people who are permanently blind.

Am I eligible for the Disability Support Pension? 

To qualify for the DSP, you must:

  • Be 16 years or older;
  • Be assessed by a doctor as having either a physical, intellectual, mental health condition or be permanently blind (Centrelink will require documentation from a doctor or specialist)
  • Meet residency rules
  • Unable to work for 15 hours or more per week for the next 2 years due to your disability
  • Having been assessed as having a severe disability or being part of a support group

Youth Allowance 

Youth allowance refers to financial support for students or apprentices under the age of 24, or people looking for work under the age of 21.

Am I eligible for Youth Allowance? 

To be eligible for Youth allowance you need to be at least one of the following requirements:

  • 18 to 24 years old studying full-time;
  • 16 to 21 years old looking for work;
  • Aged 16 to 24 years old doing a full-time apprenticeship;
  • 16 to 17 years old and independent or need to live away from home to study;
  • 16 to 17 years old studying full-time and have completed year 12 or equivalent. 

Austudy

This benefit is for both students and apprentices over the age of 25 who need some financial aid to see them through their studies.

Am I eligible for Austudy

To qualify for this benefit you need to be:

  • 25 years or older;
  • Studying full time or doing a full time apprenticeship; 

Age Pension 

This is a support payment for people who have reached a certain age (Age Pension age). Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be retired to receive a pension. The amount you receive will always depend on your assets and income.

Am I Eligible for the Age Pension?

To be eligible for this pension you need to:

  • Be aged 66 or over;
  • Meet the income requirements
  • Be an Australian resident that has lived in the country for at least 10 years

What is Age Pension age?

If your birth date isYou’ll qualify for age pension at age
1 July 1952 to 31 December 195365 years and 6 months
1 January 1954 to 30 June 195566 years
1 July 1955 to 31 December 195666 years and 6 months
From 1 January 195767 years

Other Centrelink benefits

Beyond the Family Tax Benefit and other popular Centrelink payments, there are several more benefits available to Australian residents. Other common schemes include:

An overview of myGov

To use your Centrelink online account you need to sign in through myGov. myGov is an online tool that can give you access to a range of government services within just a few clicks. That means that if you are looking to claim the Family Tax Benefit and other schemes you can do it easily through myGov.

In fact, with a myGov account you can manage your Centrelink payments, Medicare and more. You can also use the online portal to:

  • Update your personal information with Centrelink and Medicare
  • Access your online government benefits and accounts overseas
  • Link to other government services, such as the ATO

How can I create an account?

Setting up a myGov account is pretty simple, you just need to follow these three steps:

  1. Go to myGov and select create an account at the bottom of the screen
  2. Follow the prompts to sign up. You will need your email address or mobile number to sign in.
  3. Once your myGov account is all set up, you can start linking your Centrelink and government services.

The myGov sign in process

The myGov sign in process is fairly self-explanatory. Just head to the site and enter in your details! You can change how you sign in to your myGov account at any point. First, head to the myGov login Australia, enter your username and password and a code or answer to a secret question. Next select Account settings, then Sign in options.

If you ever forget your username or password, you can recover them by hitting the ‘Forgot username’ or ‘Forgot password’ links on the login page.

Accessing loans on Centrelink

Sometimes, life throws you a curveball and you’re left short on cash. In times like these, your Centrelink payments may not be enough to foot the bill. If you receive the Family Tax Benefit or other Centrelink schemes though, it can be tricky to qualify for additional financial assistance. Fortunately, there are a variety of online lenders that can provide loans to people receiving Centrelink. 

In Australia, loans on Centrelink can provide a simple way to get the urgent payment you need. Typically, they function as personal loans enabling you to pay for a variety of small expenses.

How Jacaranda can help

Jacaranda Finance endeavours to give all of our applicants a fair assessment on a personal loan. As a result, we will consider a range of factors when determining whether we can offer our customers loans on Centrelink.

Naturally, to take out a loan we’ll need to see that you have adequate income to make your repayments. In some cases, your regular Centrelink payments may qualify as suitable income but of course every situation is different!

If you’re unsure whether you would qualify for loans when on Centrelink, we encourage you to apply anyway. It’s free to do so and ultimately, we may be able to provide you with the urgent payment you’ve been looking for.

How can I apply?

Applying for a loan with Jacaranda couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is:

  1. Scroll up and use the slider to determine your desired loan amount then hit Apply.
  2. You’ll be directed to our full form which should take just a few minutes to complete.
  3. Once you’ve submitted your application, our assessment team will assess your situation and get you an outcome in 60 minutes.*
  4. If approved, we’ll send through a loan agreement for you to sign and then disburse you funds!

What could I use a personal loan for?

Jacaranda Finance can provide personal loans of up to $10,000. Our personal loans can be used to cover a wide range of urgent expenses. Some of the most popular purposes our customers use our loans for include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Dental bills
  • Car repairs
  • Bond payments

How can I improve my chances of approval?

One of the best ways to improve your chances of getting a loan with us is to check you’ve supplied us with the right information. Incorrect information is one of the most common errors we see. Also, make sure you’ve declared all your information correctly. We often see applicants not declaring their car properly on applications, failing to give the correct registration details and so on.

Should I even get a loan on Centrelink?

All credit comes with risk. At the end of the day, Jacaranda Finance is a responsible lender. We will assess your situation thoroughly to determine whether you could afford to make repayments before offering you a loan. However, we are not financial advisors. If you are unsure whether or not taking out a loan is the right choice for you, we encourage you to seek guidance from a qualified professional.

The government’s MoneySmart website is also a helpful resource for understanding credit.

4 Simple money saving tips for families

If you’re one of the many Centrelink families out there, here are some additional money saving tips you might consider to help you save.

  • Set financial goals: Setting some short term (and long term) financial goals can be a great way to hold yourself accountable. Start by looking at your current income and expenses, from there work out how much you can afford to squirrel away. 
  • Plan your meals: Food can be one of the biggest hits to your budget. The more prepared you are each week, the less likely you’ll be to waste money on expensive take out and other fast food options.
  • Shop smart: Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to find a good deal on a product. Consider going digital with your shopping to save some extra cash. You can even get your groceries online!
  • Watch your energy bill: You can reduce your energy bill by conserving energy around the home. Some simple ways to do this include turning off appliances at the powerpoint, taking shorter showers, and turning off lights when you’re not in the room! Installing LED lights could also save you a lot in electricity costs. 

Read more handy tips

We hope you’ve found this guide on the Family Tax Benefit and other Centrelink payments helpful! At Jacaranda, we cover a range of topics to help our customers. Check out our blog for some handy insights into everything from car gap insurance to easy home improvements. Alternatively, for more info on our personal loans or car loans, check out our FAQs.

*Subject to when you submit your application.

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Last updated: 19/08/2020, 10:00am

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