Are you a New Zealand family in Australia? If so, several kinds of financial help may be available to you from the Australian government.
To qualify for these benefits you must be an Australian resident. You will most likely be a resident as a result of your New Zealand special-category visa, meaning you have a New Zealand passport allowing you to live and work in Australia permanently.
You can claim benefits immediately, provided you intend to live in Australia permanently.
Children you claim for must also be Australian residents or be living with you.
How To Apply
You can apply for any of the Australian government payments listed below by registering for Centrelink Online Services.
Family Tax Benefit
Family Tax Benefits are intended to help you with the costs of raising your children. There are two tax-free payments called: Family Tax Benefit Part A and Family Tax Benefit Part B.
If you meet the criteria, you can be paid Part A plus Part B benefits. Claiming one does not stop you claiming the other.
Family Tax Benefit Part A
This benefit is available if you have dependent children. It is income tested and tax-free.
If your family’s adjusted taxable income for the 2012-13 financial year is $47,815 or less, you will receive the full benefit.
If your adjusted taxable income is more than $47,815, your payment will be reduced by 20 cents for each dollar above $47,815 until it reaches the base rate. Your Family Tax Benefit Part A will stay at that base rate until your family’s adjusted taxable income reaches $94,316 a year (plus $3796 for each Family Tax Benefit child after the first). Family Tax Benefit Part A will reduce by 30 cents for every dollar over that amount until your payment reaches nil.
Maximum Payment Rates For Family Benefit Part A
|For Each Child Aged||Schooling Criteria||Amount Per Fortnight|
|0 – 12 years||$169.68|
|13 – 15 years||$220.64|
|16 – 19 years||Secondary school student||$220.64|
|16 – 17 years||Completed secondary study||$54.32|
|18 – 21 years||Completed secondary study||$72.80|
Base Payment Rates For Family Benefit Part A
|For Each Child Aged||Amount Per Fortnight|
|under 18 years||$54.32|
|18–19 years, secondary student||$54.32|
Family Tax Benefit Part A Supplement
|For Each Child||Maximum Extra Annual Payment|
* You may qualify for an additional payment for each child after the end of the financial year. This is done automatically by Centrelink once you have filed your return or advised Centrelink that you are not required to file one. The amount of supplement you get will depend on your family’s income or circumstances.
Family Tax Benefit Part B
Family Tax Benefit Part B gives extra help to single parents and families with one main income. An example of this is where one parent stays at home to care for a child full-time or balances some paid work with caring for a child.
Family Tax Benefit Part B is for families (single parent or couple) in which the primary earner has an adjusted taxable income of $150,000 or less per year. Secondary earners can earn up to $5,037 each year before benefit payments are affected; payments are then reduced by 20 cents for each dollar of income earned over $5,037.
Maximum Payment Rates For Family Benefit Part B
|Age of youngest child||Amount Per Fortnight||Annual Amount*|
|under 5 years||$144.34||$4117.20|
|5 – 18 years||$100.66||$2978.40|
Family Tax Benefit Part B supplement
You may qualify for a Family Tax Benefit Part B supplement of up to $354.05 per family after the end of the financial year. This is done automatically by Centrelink once you have filed your return or advised Centrelink that you are not required to file one. The amount of supplement you get will depend on your family’s income or circumstances.
If you share the care of your child, there are special rules about how much Family Tax Benefit (A and B) you can be paid.
The Baby Bonus is not taxable and is $5,000 per child paid in 13 fortnightly instalments. It is income tested and is paid to eligible families following the birth of a child. If your family does not qualify for the Baby Bonus, you may be eligible for Parental Leave pay. You cannot receive both Parental Leave Pay and the Baby Bonus.
To qualify for the Baby Bonus, in addition to the residency requirements mentioned above, your child must be an Australian resident AND must be living with you.
Parental Leave Pay
Parental Leave Pay is an income tested taxable benefit available for working parents with a newborn child. You could get Parental Leave Pay if you are in full-time, part-time, casual, seasonal, contract, or self-employed work. If eligible, you may receive up to 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay at the rate of the National Minimum Wage.
If you qualify for both the Baby Bonus and Parental Leave Pay, you can decide which one to take.
If you pay for childcare or even if grandparents, relatives or friends help to look after your children, you may qualify for Childcare benefit. Find out if you qualify and how much you may receive here.