Family Tax Benefit is a payment to help with the cost of raising your children.
The amount you get for each child is based on your family’s individual circumstances.
Your Family Tax Benefit Part A may be affected by the amount of child support you get – the more child support you get, the less Family Tax Benefit Part A you may receive.
The law says that parents have the primary responsibility to support their children financially, whether they are biological (birth) or adoptive parents or otherwise.
This is why Centrelink requires parents who receive Family Tax Benefit Part A at more than the base rate to apply for child support.
You have 13 weeks to apply for child support from the time you separate, or if you are not in a relationship, from the date of birth of the child. If you do not apply, your Family Tax Benefit can be reduced or stopped. Speak to your Centrelink social worker if it is difficult for you to apply.
What affects your Family Tax Benefit Part A
Read more about what can affect your Family Tax Benefit Part A .
Your percentage of care
Services Australia (Child Support) and Centrelink now apply the same percentage of care for each parent.
The amount of child support you get
The more child support you get, the less Family Tax Benefit Part A you may receive.
Your family income
For more information, read Services Australia's income test for Family Tax Benefit Part .
The age of the child and if they are still studying
For a child turning 18 in their final year of secondary school, apply to extend the assessment to the end of the school year. You should do this at least six weeks before your child turns 18 or the Family Tax Benefit Part A you receive for that child may be reduced.
For more information, refer to Services .
Child support and how your Family Tax Benefit Part A is calculated
There are two ways for Services Australia to calculate your Family Tax Benefit Part A.
The entitlement method is based on the full amount of child support stated in the child support assessment. Your Family Tax Benefit Part A will usually be calculated at the same amount each fortnight, because it is based on the set amount of assessed child support each fortnight. This is the method used by Services Australia. Note: if you privately collect child support, Centrelink will pay you under the entitlement method.
The disbursement method is based on the child support you actually receive. This can mean that your Family Tax Benefit payments go up and down depending on how much child support you receive, and how often. Contact to ask for the disbursement method if you are in financial hardship because your child support payments are:
- not regular
- less than what they should be.
Read more about child support and Family Tax Benefits at the Services Australia .
- Child support agreements
- Child support assessment
- Child support payments
- Disagreeing with a child support decision
- Adult child maintenance for over-18s
- Proving who the other parent is
- Childbirth expenses
Find out how you can get other support with parenting arrangements, child contact and child support.
Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.
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Reviewed 10 May 2022