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Centrelink Benefits for Families: Busting the Myths
March 2, 2017● 4 minute read●
Are you struggling to understand Centrelink benefits and what you’re entitled to? You’re not alone!
It can be a very confusing topic, and unless you speak the language, it can be pretty hard to follow.
So we thought we would do the research for you to save the headache and confusion and debunk some of those myths!
So what Centrelink benefits and support are available to you?
Family Tax payment: What is the family tax payment?
According to their website, the Family Tax Payment is a “Two-part payment that helps with the cost of raising children.”
This is probably the most common form of support for families. Your combined annual income will determine how much your family will receive.
As many mums and dads will tell you, there is no way to be fully prepared to become a parent. There are levels of sleep deprivation you have never known, as well as the cost of everything the baby needs.
So in an effort to support families, the government has set up Centrelink benefits. This is in the form of parenting payments, baby bonuses and family tax benefits to help with what we like to call “baby shock”.
As new parents with your first child, you can be eligible to receive payments of up to $2,000, depending on your eligibility.
The Newborn Upfront Payment is a lump sum of $532. This payment is paid for each child that comes into your care.
How do you know if you are eligible for the newborn upfront payment?
To be eligible for a newborn upfront payment, you must be eligible for the Family Tax Benefit A. You must not be receiving parental leave pay for the same child.
In layman’s terms, this means you cannot receive both the Parental Leave and the Newborn Upfront Payment: it needs to be one or the other.
“If you are eligible for the whole 13 weeks, you may receive a maximum of $1,595.23 for your first child or a maximum of $532.35 for other children” according to Human Services.
Another option is the Parental Leave Payment.
If you choose to go with the parental leave payment instead of the newborn upfront payment, you may be eligible to receive $657 per week for 18 weeks to help working parents care for their newborn.
The Dad or Partner Pay helps support dads or partners caring for newborn or recently adopted children. It is, of course, subject to a work and income test. If you are eligible then you may receive $657 per week for dads or partners caring for a newborn.
If you are under the age of 19 and meet the requirements, you may be eligible for Centrelink’s Parents Next support. This targets and support those who are most vulnerable and in need to give them a hand up.
What Centrelink benefits are available to those who aren’t new parents or families?
Are you unemployed or studying?
There are also benefits for those who are struggling to find work or studying to improve their chances of employment.
Centrelink is offering (to those who are eligible) a job commitment bonus.
This is a bonus, given to successful applicants, after completing 12 months of continuous work. After this, the second payment of $4,000 is paid for completing 24 months of work.
Parents who are unemployed also receive extra help with child care costs. This can include access to health care cards, rent assistance and telephone allowance.
The available benefits don’t miss the pensioners either. There are plenty of work bonuses for pensioners over 60 to remain in the workforce.
Head to the Centrelink website to check out if you are eligible for the work bonus.
The work bonus increases the amount of employable income you can earn before your pension is affected.
The first $250 of fortnightly income is not counted under the pension income test.
You can earn up to $6,500 a year without affecting your pension. If your weekly earnings are inconsistent then the balance is saved and added to your balance of available earnings for the year.
What if none of these payments applies to your situation?
If none of these payments applies to your situation, then you should head to the Department of Human Services payment finder page to get an individual assessment of your situation and the benefits available to you.
Alternatively, if you are in a position where you need a short-term cash injection, Jacaranda Finance may be able to help. Jacaranda Finance offer Australians loans of up to $10,000 online. We could even have an outcome on your application in as little as 60 minutes if you apply during AEST business hours.
Scroll up to check your eligibility, and see what your repayments could look like. Our handy online calculator can give you an estimate of weekly, fortnightly or monthly repayments.
Make sure to check out our other centrelink tips!
Written by Jacaranda Team