The Baby Bonus has been replaced with the Newborn Supplement and Newborn Upfront Payment.
Newborn Supplement and Newborn Upfront Payment
The Newborn Supplement (NBS) is paid as an increase to Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB(A)) for up to 13 weeks. It effectively replaces the Baby Bonus.
Applicants must be eligible for FTB(A). Entitlement to the NBS is assessed as part of a claim for FTB(A). The NBS is not payable to people who access Parental Leave Pay, except in cases of multiple births.
An additional payment of a Newborn Upfront Payment (NBU) of $575 per child may also be payable.
There are two rates of payment for NBS: a higher and lower rate. This is determined by:
- who the claimant is (birth mother, adoptive mother, other); and
- the type of birth (live or stillborn); and
- how many children the mother already has; and
- the family’s income.
As at 1 July 2021, the higher NBS rate is $2300.36 and the lower NBS rate is $1151.03. For example, for a first child eligible for NBS, the payment would be $2300.36. For a subsequent child of the same birth mother, the NBS payment would be $1151.03.
A Stillborn Baby Payment is also payable for families that experience the loss of their baby as a result of stillbirth. This payment is for families that do not meet the Parental Leave Pay criteria but earn under the income threshold or are eligible for FTB(A).
(See also A Guide to Australian Government Payments (p. 4) for more information about the Newborn Supplement and Payment.)
Parental Leave Pay, and Dad and Partner Pay
The Paid Parental Leave scheme provides two government-funded payments to enable parents to take time off work to care for their children during the first months after birth or adoption. These payments are Parental Leave Pay, and Dad and Partner Pay.
Parental Leave Pay is payable to eligible parents/carers who have a child or adopt a child after 1 January 2011. It is paid for a maximum of 18 weeks, at a weekly before-tax rate of $772.55. It is a taxable payment. Usually, the birth mother or primary carer of an adopted child should apply for this payment.
Applicants must meet work, income and residency tests, and not be working.
The work test requires the applicant to have undertaken qualifying work (at least one hour per day) for at least 10 of the 13 months before their child’s birth or adoption, and for at least 330 hours in that 10-month period. No more than eight weeks may elapse between two consecutive qualifying work days. Exceptions may apply for premature births or where pregnancy complications prevented the woman working. Periods of Parental Leave Pay, and Dad and Partner Pay for a previous child may be able to count as work for the purposes of a new claim.
Parental Leave Pay, the Newborn Supplement, and the Newborn Upfront Payment cannot be paid for the same child.
A person must have an individual adjusted taxable income of a specified amount or less in the financial year prior to the date of the claim, birth or adoption (whichever is earlier) to be eligible. The specified amount for the 2019–2020 financial year is $150 000; the amount for the 2020–2021 financial year is $151 350. There is no assets test.
Employers must provide Paid Parental Leave to eligible employees. If an employer is not required to provide Paid Parental Leave, they can still choose to provide it in agreement with the employee. Eligible parents who do not receive Parental Leave Pay from their employer will receive it from Centrelink.
Since 1 July 2013, a person may be eligible for a maximum period of two weeks Dad and Partner Pay if they meet the eligibility, work, income and residency tests, and are on unpaid leave or not working during the pay period. They must care for the child on each day of the pay period. However, the percentage of care they must undertake is not specified, nor is there a requirement that they be legally responsible for the child. The rate is $772.55 per week before tax. It is a taxable payment.
(See also A Guide to Australian Government Payments for more information about these payments: pp. 6–8 (Parental Leave Pay) and pp. 8–9 (Dad and Partner Pay).
COVID-19 DISASTER PAYMENTS
Periods of COVID-19 Disaster Payments may be included in the work test for Parental Leave Pay, and Dad and Partner Pay.