Faisal Bakhtiar

Lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid

Rochelle Francis

Lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid

Tim Noonan

Lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid

Julie Riva

Lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid

Oympia Sarrinikolaou

Lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid

Graham Wells

Lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid


Last updated

1 July 2022

Baby Bonus

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 a temporary increase to Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB(A)) for up to 13 weeks to help with the costs of:

  • a newborn child; or
  • a child under the age of one who becomes entrusted to the care of a non-parent carer; or
  • a child of any age who becomes entrusted to an individual’s care through the process of adoption (sch 1 s 35A Family Assistance Act).

The NBS 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). Families receiving FTB(A) are automatically assessed for eligibility for the NBS. The NBS is not payable to people who access Parental Leave Pay for the same child, except in cases of multiple births (e.g. twins or triplets).

An additional payment of a Newborn Upfront Payment (NBU) of $595 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 parent, non-parent carer, other); and
  • the type of birth (live or stillborn); and
  • whether there are multiple children (multiple births, multiple children aged under one year entrusted to care, multiple children adopted); and
  • the family’s income.

As at 1 July 2022, the higher NBS rate is $1785.42 and the lower NBS rate is $596.05. For example, for a first child eligible for NBS, the payment would be $1785.42. For a subsequent child of the same birth mother, the NBS payment would be $596.05.

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 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. 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 with no more than a 12-week gap between two working days. Exceptions to the work test may apply for pregnancy related illnesses or complications, premature births, dangerous jobs, severe medical conditions, natural disasters, and family and domestic violence affecting the claimant’s ability to work. 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 2020–2021 financial year is $151 350; the specified amount for the 2021–2022 financial year is $156 647. 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.

Dad and Partner Pay is payable to eligible parents or carers for children born or adopted from 1 January 2013. It is paid for a maximum period of two weeks. To receive the Dad and Partner Pay, a person must meet the eligibility, work, income and residency tests, and be 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. It is a taxable payment.

(See also A Guide to Australian Government Payments for more information about Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay).


Periods of COVID-19 Disaster Payments may be included in the work test for Parental Leave Pay, and Dad and Partner Pay.

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