Information Booklet about your claim for Family Assistance making an annual lump sum claim for payment

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1 Information Booklet about your claim for Family Assistance making an annual lump sum claim for payment Use our online services You can claim these payments online. Claiming online is faster. You can access your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support Online Services through mygov. mygov is a fast, simple way to access a range of government services online with one username, one password, all from one secure location. To create a mygov account, go to my.gov.au To make a claim online log into my.gov.au and select Centrelink from the services tab, then select Make a claim. If you do not use our online services, processing this form will take longer. Purpose of these notes Use this booklet if you are claiming a lump sum payment for Family Tax Benefit and/or Child Care Benefit for the financial year. When you claim Child Care Benefit your eligibility for Child Care Rebate will also be assessed. For , claims for Family Tax Benefit and/or Child Care Benefit must be lodged by 30 June This Information Booklet tells you what you need to know to make an annual lump sum claim for family assistance, and also gives you the information needed to get your correct entitlement. The main family assistance payments and benefits are: Family Tax Benefit Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. You need to tell us if there are special circumstances that prevent you from lodging a claim for the financial year by 30 June 2016, please call us on to discuss. Please read this Information Booklet before completing the claim form. What to use this Information Booklet with This Information Booklet should be used with the following forms: Claim for an annual lump sum payment of Family Tax Benefit for the financial year form (FA048) Claim for Approved Child Care payments an annual lump sum payment for the financial year form (FA011) For more information Go online humanservices.gov.au/families or call us on or visit one of our service centres. If you need a translation of any documents for our business, we can arrange this for you free of charge. To speak to us in languages other than English, call Note: Call charges apply calls from mobile phones may be charged at a higher rate. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact the TTY service on Freecall A TTY phone is required to use this service. Ci of 31

2 Other languages Ci of 31

3 Contents Content Other languages 2 About this Information Booklet 5 Definition of a Partner 5 About Family Tax Benefit 6 What is Family Tax Benefit? 6 What is a Regular Care Child? 6 Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement 6 Who is eligible for Family Tax Benefit? 6 Changes to Family Tax Benefit 7 How to claim a lump sum payment 7 Shared care 8 Blended family 10 Children from a previous relationship and child support 10 Applying for a child support assessment 11 Exemptions from seeking child support 11 Child support you receive 11 Individuals privately collecting child support 11 Maintenance Income Credit 12 Discharged Child Support arrears 12 Capitalised maintenance 12 About Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate 13 What is Child Care Benefit? 13 Who should claim Child Care Benefit? 13 Who is eligible for Child Care Benefit? 14 Receiving Child Care Benefit for approved child care as a lump sum payment 14 Receiving Child Care Benefit for approved child care by reduced fees 15 Eligible Child Care Benefit hours 16 How much Child Care Benefit can you get? 16 Child Care Rebate 17 Child Care Rebate payment option 17 Work, Training, Study test activities for Child Care 18 Eligibility conditions for family assistance payments 19 Australian residence requirements 19 Eligible child 19 Definition of school 20 Immunisation details 20 Ci of 31 continued

4 Contents continued Providing an income estimate 22 Income estimates for family assistance 22 Estimating your actual annual family income 22 Taxable income 23 Reportable fringe benefits 24 Reportable superannuation contributions 24 Total net investment losses 24 How do I work out my total net investment loss? 24 Tax free pensions or benefits 25 Foreign income 25 Tax exempt foreign income 25 Child support you pay 25 Parents returning to work 27 Family Tax Benefit Part B and parents returning to work 27 Return to work definition for Family Tax Benefit Part B 27 Eligible child for Family Tax Benefit Part B and parents returning to work 28 Other employment related income 28 Lower income earner 28 Parental Leave Pay and Family Tax Benefit Part B 28 About Rent Assistance 29 What is Rent Assistance? 29 How can you receive Rent Assistance? 29 Other payments 30 Double Orphan Pension 30 Carer Allowance 30 Parenting Payment 30 Payments for an older child 30 Health Care Card 31 Other health assistance 31 Ci of 31

5 About this Information Booklet This Information Booklet tells you what you need to know to make a claim for family assistance, and also gives you the information needed to get your correct entitlement. The main family assistance payments and benefits are listed below: Family Tax Benefit Part A Family Tax Benefit Part B Child Care Benefit Child Care Rebate Child Care Rebate If you want to be assessed for the Child Care Rebate you must lodge a Child Care Benefit lump sum claim form. Other payments and services There are other payments and services including Large Family Supplement, Multiple Birth Allowance, Newborn Upfront Payment, Newborn Supplement, Health Care Card and Rent Assistance, which will be added to your Family Tax Benefit if you are eligible. You do not need to lodge a separate claim form however, you may be asked to provide verification of your details. Definition of a Partner For the Australian Government Department of Human Services purposes a person is considered to be your partner if you and the person are living together, or usually live together, and are married, or in a registered relationship (opposite-sex or same-sex), or in a de facto relationship (opposite-sex or same-sex). We consider a person to be in a de facto relationship from the time they commence living with another person as a member of a couple. Ci of 31

6 About Family Tax Benefit What is Family Tax Benefit? Family Tax Benefit is a payment to help you with the costs of raising your dependent child(ren). There are 2 parts to Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B. Family Tax Benefit Part A is worked out on your family s combined annual income and the ages and number of dependent child(ren) in your care. It is paid for eligible children up to the age of 16 years and for young persons aged 16 19* years who are full-time secondary students or have an exemption from this requirement. Family Tax Benefit Part B provides extra assistance to single parent families and families with one main income. Family Tax Benefit Part B is subject to an income test and can be paid until the youngest child in your care turns 16 years of age (or until the end of the calendar year in which they turn 18 years of age if they are a full-time secondary student). * A young person aged 19 years can be a Family Tax Benefit child up to the end of the calendar year in which they turn 19 years, as long as they are in full-time secondary study. What is a Regular Care Child? A regular care child is a child in your care for between 14 per cent and less than 35 per cent of the time. If you have a regular care child in your care, you will not be entitled to Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B (including the supplements), Multiple Birth Allowance, Newborn Upfront Payment, Newborn Supplement and Large Family Supplement. If you have a regular care child, you may be entitled to the following family assistance: Rent Assistance a Health Care Card the Lower Threshold of the Medicare Safety Net additional Remote Area Allowance with your social security payment (e.g. Newstart Allowance) Child Care Benefit Child Care Rebate. To be eligible for these benefits you will need to meet the other requirements for that benefit and complete a claim. Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement Who is eligible for Family Tax Benefit? Payment of Family Tax Benefit Part A will include the Newborn Supplement for up to 13 weeks, for newborn children or newly adopted children to eligible families where Parental Leave Pay has not been paid. Where Newborn Supplement is payable, the Newborn Upfront Payment will also be paid as a one off payment. The rate of Newborn Supplement that a family may be eligible for depends on the number of children in the family. You do not need to lodge a separate claim for this payment. To be eligible for Family Tax Benefit you must: be a parent, guardian, carer (including foster carer), grandparent or an approved care organisation provide care to an eligible child, see Page 19 have legal responsibility for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the child, and meet the Australian residence requirements for family assistance purposes, see Page 19. Ci of 31

7 About Family Tax Benefit continued Changes to Family Tax Benefit How to claim a lump sum payment If you are assessed as having no entitlement to Family Tax Benefit Part A and/or Part B for 2 consecutive years after balancing of your payments has occurred, you may no longer be able to receive Family Tax Benefit as fortnightly payments. Important information If you (and/or your partner) are no longer entitled to receive Family Tax Benefit Part A payments fortnightly, you (and/or your partner) may also lose access to the following family assistance: Multiple Birth Allowance Large Family Supplement Newborn Upfront Payment Newborn Supplement Energy Supplement Rent Assistance a Health Care Card Schoolkids Bonus the Child Dental Benefits Schedule the Lower Threshold of the Medicare Safety Net. If your (and/or your partner s) actual adjusted taxable income reflects that you are eligible for Family Tax Benefit, a lump sum claim can be lodged after the end of the financial year. You can claim through us by completing a claim for a lump sum payment of Family Tax Benefit for the relevant financial year. You have up to 12 months after the end of the financial year for which you are seeking payment to lodge a lump sum claim for Family Tax Benefit. Claiming a lump sum claim through Human Services The claim can be paid after you (and/or your partner) have lodged a tax return and had your income details confirmed with the Australian Taxation Office. To be paid Family Tax Benefit you must complete and lodge your Family Tax Benefit claim and lodge your tax return(s) (if you are required to lodge a tax return) by 30 June 2016, for the financial year. You need to tell us if there are special circumstances that prevent you from lodging tax return(s) or telling us you (and/or your partner) are not required to lodge for the financial year by 30 June 2016, please call us on to discuss. You should still lodge your tax returns (if you are required to lodge a tax return) by the date specified by the Australian Taxation Office. Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B supplement and Single Income Family Supplement payments are available at the end of the financial year once your payments have been balanced. Payment of the supplements is dependent on tax returns being lodged and having your income details confirmed by the Australian Taxation Office within the required timeframe, or advising us that you (and/or your partner) are not required to lodge a tax return. Note: To be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement, you will need to meet immunisation requirements for the financial years your child turns 1, 2 or 5 years. For more information, go online humanservices.gov.au/immunisation If you (and/or your partner) are receiving an income support payment and Family Tax Benefit Part A for a child turning 4 years old, you will only be paid the Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement for the financial year the child turns 4 years if a health check is completed. For more information go online humanservices.gov.au/families Ci of 31 continued

8 About Family Tax Benefit continued What happens if I do not lodge my tax return or notify Human Services that I am not required to lodge my tax return within the allowed timeframe? You (and/or your partner) must lodge a tax return and have your income details confirmed by the Australian Taxation Office, or tell us that you are not required to do so. The Australian Taxation Office can tell you whether you are required to lodge a tax return. If you do not do either of these things, any Family Tax Benefit you have received will become a debt and will have to be paid back. You need to tell us if there are special circumstances that prevent you from lodging a claim for the financial year by 30 June 2016, please call us on to discuss. You may no longer receive your Family Tax Benefit on a fortnightly basis if you (and/or your current partner) do not: lodge your income tax return(s), or tell us that you (and/or your current partner) are not required to lodge your income tax return(s) within the required timeframe, and as a result, a non-lodger debt is raised. This may also apply where you (and/or your current partner) have outstanding income tax returns that have resulted in debts where you have failed to lodge for past years when you were in receipt of Family Tax Benefit. Medicare Safety Net The Medicare Safety Net helps with high medical costs for out-of-hospital medical services. If you are an individual and are enrolled with Medicare, you do not need to register for the Medicare Safety Net. All families and couples need to register for the Medicare Safety Net. If you choose to receive your Family Tax Benefit Part A as an annual lump sum, you may not be eligible for the lower Medicare Safety Net threshold until the start of the next calendar year. If you receive Family Tax Benefit Part A fortnightly, you may be eligible for the lower Medicare Safety Net threshold from the day you receive your first Family Tax Benefit Part A payment in the calendar year. Note: It is your responsibility to understand that how you choose to receive your Family Tax Benefit Part A payment determines your eligibility for the Medicare Safety Net Family Tax Benefit Part A threshold. Shared care (for Family Tax Benefit only) For both family assistance and child support purposes, the same rules are used to work out your level of care. This means one determination for shared care is used. Shared care is when any of the child(ren) for whom you are claiming Family Tax Benefit spend some of the time, for example weekends or school holidays, in the care of someone other than you or your current partner (such as their other parent, if you are separated, grandparent or other carer). If you do not have a parenting plan, court order or written agreement, or your care arrangements differ from those specified in the plan, court order or written agreement, you will need to provide an agreed care arrangement for the care period. We will verify care arrangements with the other carer. A care period: begins on the day on which the care of a child starts to be shared between 2 or more people, or the day on which the pattern of care changes, and ends when there is a subsequent change in care. To be paid any Family Tax Benefit, you must have care of the child for at least 35 per cent of the time. Continued Ci of 31

9 About Family Tax Benefit continued If you have care of a child between 14 per cent and less than 35 per cent of the time, you are not entitled to receive Family Tax Benefit payments, but you may be entitled to receive the following: Rent Assistance a Health Care Card access to the Lower Threshold of the Medicare Safety Net additional Remote Area Allowance with your Centrelink payments (e.g. Newstart Allowance) Child Care Benefit Child Care Rebate. To be eligible for these benefits you will need to meet the other requirements for that benefit and complete a claim. If you have care of your child(ren) for more than 65 per cent of the time, you may be entitled to all of the Family Tax Benefit. Percentage of actual care the child Percentage of Family Tax Benefit you may for receive 0% to less than 14% 0% 14% to less than 35% 0% 35% to less than 48% 25% plus 2% for each percentage point over 35% 48% to 52% 50% More than 52% to 65% 51% plus 2% for each percentage point over 53% More than 65% to 100% 100% To calculate the percentage of care for the care period, add up the number of nights the child is with you, and convert this to a percentage of the number of nights in the period. For the purpose of Family Tax Benefit a person with overnight care of a child is generally regarded as having had care of the child for that day. For example: Danny and Maria share care of Lewis. They do not have a formal agreement but have an informal agreement where Lewis spends each alternate weekend (Friday and Saturday nights) and half the school holidays with Danny, and the rest of the time with Maria. Half the school holidays is 6 weeks (42 days) + Each alternate weekend (2 x 20 = 40 days) = Total days in Danny s care 82 As a percentage, 82 days divided by 365 days (the number of days in the care period, in this case the full financial year) = 22.4%. This is rounded down to 22%. Danny is assessed as having 22% care and Maria as having 78% care. If you think the number of nights the child is in your care does not accurately reflect the amount of time you have care, you can instead choose to tell us the total number of days and hours you have care in the care period. If you and the child s other carer have agreed percentages of care, or an agreed care arrangement, then the care percentage applied to your Family Tax Benefit is based on your care agreement. If you DO NOT have an agreed percentage of care, or an agreed care arrangement, then we will decide the care percentage to be applied to your Family Tax Benefit, based on the evidence of your care arrangements. Ci of 31

10 About Family Tax Benefit continued Blended family (for Family Tax Benefit only) A blended family is a family with 2 or more dependent children and: at least one of those children is a child of one member of the couple, from a previous relationship, or at least one of the other children is a child of this relationship or the child of the other member of the couple from a previous relationship. If you would like to be assessed as a blended family, you and your partner must have an eligible Family Tax Benefit child in your care for at least 35 per cent of the time. If your family is blended you can choose: for one parent to be paid all the Family Tax Benefit, or to split the payment between each parent at an agreed percentage. Note: If you choose to split the payment, you and your partner will need to complete separate claim forms. Both claims will be assessed before either of you are paid. For example: Mary and John have 2 children. Mary and John have a son together. John also has a daughter from a previous relationship living with them. Mary and John have decided to split their family s full Family Tax Benefit entitlement so they each receive half (50%) of it. Mary and John each completed a Family Tax Benefit claim form. Mary claimed for their son on her claim form and John claimed for his daughter on his claim form. Children from a previous relationship and child support (for Family Tax Benefit only) Situations where you may have a child from a previous relationship include when you are: a single parent, or partnered and your current partner is not the child s parent, or partnered where you are not the child s parent, but your partner is. If any dependent child, in your care, is from a previous relationship (including same-sex relationship) you must take reasonable action to obtain a child support assessment within 13 weeks (91 days) of the latest of the following dates: the date the child was born the date you separated from the child s other parent the date the child came into your care the date your percentage of care increased to 35 per cent or above such later date that you first became entitled to apply for child support. If you do not take reasonable action to obtain child support within the specified period, you cannot be paid more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A. The details of the child support action you (and/or your partner) have taken for your child(ren) will be obtained directly from Child Support services. It is important to remember that regardless of your personal income both parents of the child are responsible for providing support for the care of that child. The term parent refers to a natural or adoptive parent or a person who is legally responsible for a child born through an assisted conception procedure or where a surrogacy court order is in place. Ci of 31

11 About Family Tax Benefit continued Applying for a child support assessment To receive more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A you are required to apply for a child support assessment from the other parent of your child if you are not currently partnered to that person. The requirement to apply for a child support assessment also applies to your current partner if they have a child from a previous relationship in their care. For more information go online humanservices.gov.au/childsupport Note: If you have a child support assessment and your child is continuing in full-time secondary study after their 18th birthday, you must apply to have the assessment extended. If you do not apply for an extension to your child support assessment before your child turns 18 years, you will receive only the base rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A for the child. It is important that you call Child Support on before your child s 18th birthday. If granted, the child support assessment will remain in place until the last day of the school year in which your child turns 18 years, provided they remain in full-time secondary study. Exemptions from seeking child support If you (and/or your partner) found it difficult or were unable to apply for a child support assessment you should discuss your situation with us. If there is a reason that made it difficult for you to collect your full assessment you should discuss your situation with us. In most cases exemptions need to be assessed by a Social Worker. We have social workers who are able to assist with child support issues such as claiming full or partial exemptions. You can arrange to see a Social Worker by calling us on between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm (local time) Monday to Friday to make an appointment. Child support you receive Individuals privately collecting child support Child support includes money collected on your behalf by Child Support services in respect of the child and/or any money you collect yourself (for example, spousal maintenance or direct credit). Child support can include cash, spousal maintenance for yourself if it is from the other parent, capitalised maintenance/lump sum payment(s) and non-cash amounts. Non-cash child support may include payment(s) made to another person or organisation on your behalf, such as loan repayments (including mortgage), rates, insurance, household expenses, child care fees, school fees or other expenses/purchases. Non-cash amounts must be reported as a dollar value. If the amount of child support you receive unexpectedly changes (for example, you receive a back payment owing to you), this will affect the total amount of family assistance you will be entitled to receive in the current financial year. If your child support is registered to be collected by Child Support services and you collect any child support directly from the payer, you should contact Child Support services immediately to ensure that it is taken into account for your family assistance. If your child support assessment is registered for private collect your Family Tax Benefit Part A payment will be paid according to your child support assessment. If you privately collected less or more than your child support assessment, your Family Tax Benefit Part A rate will be calculated based upon the full child support assessment amount. Ci of 31

12 About Family Tax Benefit continued Maintenance Income Credit In calculating your Family Tax Benefit entitlement, you are able to receive a certain amount of child support before your Family Tax Benefit is affected. This is known as the Maintenance Income Free Area. The Maintenance Income Credit allows families to access any unused Maintenance Income Free Areas from previous financial years to offset any large or late child support payment(s). The Maintenance Income Credit reduces the possibility of a Family Tax Benefit overpayment caused by large or late child support payments. If you do not use all of your Maintenance Income Credit within a financial year you may be able to use it for another financial year. The Maintenance Income Credit is automatically calculated and is applied at the end of each financial year. The Maintenance Income Credit is available for Child Support services collection cases only. Discharged Child Support arrears Discharged Child Support arrears relate to any outstanding amounts that Child Support services have been unable to collect on your behalf. When you change from Child Support services collect to private collect, you may have an outstanding amount owed to you from the Child Support services collect period. You may choose to have Child Support services collect this outstanding amount for you, or you may elect to discharge some or all of the amount. By doing this, you are taking responsibility for collecting these amounts yourself. The discharged amount will need to be taken into account in addition to your ongoing child support assessment amount for your Family Tax Benefit Part A, from the date it was discharged until the end of the financial year. You must tell us if, at any time, you discharge any amounts owed to you from a previous Child Support services collect period. If you have been unsuccessful in collecting these amounts, it would be in your best interest to seek legal advice to obtain the arrears. Capitalised maintenance Capitalised maintenance is maintenance that is not a regular or periodic payment and is worth more than $1,500. It may be provided as a lump sum payment (i.e. a cash amount), and/or a property settlement (i.e. your home, a car, a business, etc). Only include amounts that you have not already included for yourself or your child(ren). Do not include amounts that have been received under a child support agreement, court registered agreement or any other form of written agreement for child support. Ci of 31

13 About Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate What is Child Care Benefit? Child Care Benefit is a payment to help families with the cost of child care. You can claim Child Care Benefit for approved child care or registered child care or a combination of both. If you are eligible for Child Care Benefit for approved care, you may also be eligible for Child Care Rebate to help reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Child Care Benefit approved child care is provided by child care services approved by the Department of Education. Most long day care, family day care, before and after school care, vacation care, in home care and occasional care services are Child Care Benefit approved child care services. Your child must attend an approved child care service for you to claim Child Care Benefit for approved child care and be assessed for Child Care Rebate. To find a Child Care Benefit approved child care service in your area search the mychild.gov.au website or call the Child Care Access Hotline on (TTY ). If you use Child Care Benefit approved child care you can choose to receive your Child Care Benefit as reduced fees or as a lump sum after the end of the financial year. If you claim Child Care Benefit as reduced fees and are eligible, you may also be eligible for the Child Care Rebate. The Child Care Rebate can be paid directly to your approved child care service(s) to reduce your fees or paid directly to your bank account fortnightly (in many cases weekly) or quarterly. Note: Child Care Rebate paid directly to your approved child care service(s) will help reduce the total amount of child care fees you pay up front. Registered child care is provided by nannies, grandparents, relatives or friends who are registered with us. In some circumstances it can also include care provided by individuals in private pre-schools, kindergartens and some outside school hours care service(s), including before and after school and vacation care. Your carer can visit our website for information on how to become registered. If you use registered care you must claim with us within 12 months of the care being provided and paid for. You will need to provide receipts for all periods you are claiming. If you are using registered care, please complete the Claim for Child Care Benefit for registered care form (FA018). Who should claim Child Care Benefit? The parent who is liable (i.e. responsible) to pay the child care fees should complete the child care enrolment form with the child care service. They will also need to claim Child Care Benefit from us. For example: If Jane is liable (i.e. responsible) to pay the child care fees and completes the enrolment form with the child care provider then Jane is the parent who needs to complete the Child Care Benefit claim form. Note: All individuals liable (i.e. responsible) for the Child Care fees (for example where more than one person shares the care of a child) will need to complete a child care enrolment form with the child care service and lodge a claim for Child Care Benefit. High Income Earners Families who believe their income is too high to receive payment of Child Care Benefit must still complete the claim for Child Care Benefit for approved child care in order to test their eligibility for Child Care Rebate, see Page 17. Ci of 31

14 About Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate continued Who is eligible for Child Care Benefit? To be eligible for Child Care Benefit: you (or your partner) must meet the Australian residence requirements (or have an exemption) your child must meet the immunisation requirements (or have an exemption), and your child must attend either Child Care Benefit approved care (and you are liable for the child care fees) or registered care (and you have paid your child care fees). If your employer contributes towards some or all of your child care costs, through salary sacrifice or salary packaging, you will need to determine who has the liability for the costs. The issue of liability depends on who is obligated to pay for the child care fees. If you salary sacrifice the cost of child care fees so that your employer has the legal liability to pay the fees (and not you), you are not eligible for Child Care Benefit for the child care costs paid under your agreement. Payment of child care fees by an employer is only exempt from fringe benefit tax if the employer is legally liable for the fees. If you are not sure who is legally obliged to pay the fees, you will need to clarify this with your employer. You may not be eligible for Child Care Benefit if your fees are paid for you by another agency, for example the Adult Migrant English Program. However you may be eligible for Child Care Benefit for care that is not related to your attendance at Adult Migrant English Program training. Note: If you (or your partner/ex-partner) are the grandparent or great grandparent of the child attending approved child care you are claiming Child Care Benefit for, you may be eligible for additional assistance and you should discuss your options with us. Receiving Child Care Benefit for approved child care as a lump sum payment A lump sum payment of Child Care Benefit is only available to families who paid full fees for Child Care Benefit approved child care they used at some time during the financial year (1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015). You have 12 months to make a lump sum claim. This means you have until 30 June 2016 to lodge a claim for You need to tell us if there are special circumstances that prevent you from lodging a claim by 30 June Please call us on to discuss. To be paid a lump sum payment of Child Care Benefit your approved child care service(s) must send attendance details in your name to us. To enable your Child Care Benefit approved child care service to do this, you will need to give them your and your child(ren) s Centrelink Reference Number (CRN) and date of birth. If you do not have your child s CRN you can get this from your online account at my.gov.au and selecting Centrelink from the services tab. If you intend to claim a lump sum payment of Child Care Benefit for the financial year and your actual annual family income is MORE than the income limits, your Child Care Benefit entitlement is zero due to income. In these circumstances you may still be eligible for Child Care Rebate and will not need to provide us with your family income or tax file number details. If you are not certain that your income will be over the limit you should still provide your actual annual family income and your tax file number details if you wish to test your eligibility for more than a zero rate of Child Care Benefit. You may still be entitled to Child Care Rebate if you are entitled to a zero rate of Child Care Benefit. If you choose to claim your Child Care Benefit as a lump sum payment, any Child Care Rebate will also be paid as a lump sum at the end of the financial year for which you have claimed. If you wish to receive your Child Care Rebate as a fortnightly payment (in many cases weekly) or a quarterly payment, you will need to claim Child Care Benefit as reduced fees, even if you are assessed at a zero rate of Child Care Benefit. Continued Ci of 31

15 About Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate continued If you prefer not to lodge a Child Care Benefit lump sum claim at the end of every financial year, you should consider claiming Child Care Benefit reduced fees. If you claim as reduced fees, you can choose to have your Child Care Benefit paid directly to your child care service(s) to reduce your fees, or if you are not sure of your income or prefer to receive a lump sum payment, you can defer the payment to the end of the year when we balance your payments. By choosing this option your Child Care Rebate entitlements will be paid fortnightly or quarterly, see Page 17. Who cannot claim a lump sum payment? You cannot claim a lump sum payment for: any period when all your child care fees were paid for you by a third party (for example, your employer) or other agency, or any type of child care other than Child Care Benefit approved care (for example, registered care). How do you claim a lump sum payment? Anyone can claim Child Care Benefit online my.gov.au and select Centrelink from the services tab alternatively you can complete a lump sum claim for the relevant financial year on a paper Claim for Approved Child Care payments an annual lump sum payment form (FA011). Copies of this form can be obtained by going online humanservices.gov.au/families Receiving Child Care Benefit for approved child care by reduced fees If you choose to claim as reduced child care fees, your Child Care Benefit will be paid directly to your Child Care Benefit approved child care service(s) or you can defer the payment to the end of the year when we balance your payments. Your Child Care Benefit is based on your estimate of your actual annual family income for the financial year. There are payment choices you can make to reduce your risk of overpayment if you are not sure of your income. By choosing this option you will not have to lodge a Child Care Benefit lump sum claim at the end of every financial year to be assessed for Child Care Benefit and your Child Care Rebate entitlements will be paid throughout the year. How do you claim reduced child care fees? If you wish to claim Child Care Benefit as reduced fees you can: claim online my.gov.au and selecting Centrelink from the services tab if you receive Family Tax Benefit as fortnightly payments, you can lodge a claim by using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app or calling , or complete the Claim for Approved Child Care payments throughout the financial year form (FA002) and return to one of our service centres. Once your claim has been approved, you will need to give your and your child(ren) s Centrelink Reference Number (CRN) and date of birth to your approved child care service. If you wish to claim Child Care Benefit as reduced fees, you will need to give details for each of your children in Child Care Benefit approved child care. We also need to know if each child attends school. For Child Care Benefit purposes, a school child is a child who attends primary or secondary school or is on a break from school (for example, school holidays) and will be returning to primary or secondary school after that break. For more information, see Page 20. A child will automatically be considered a school child when they turn 6 years old. You should tell us if your child is 6 years or over and not at school as this may affect your rate of Child Care Benefit. Ci of 31

16 About Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate continued Eligible Child Care Benefit hours How much Child Care Benefit can you get? Depending on your circumstances you may be entitled to: Up to 24 hours of Child Care Benefit per child per week You can get up to 24 hours of Child Care Benefit per child per week if you are eligible for Child Care Benefit and are using a Child Care Benefit approved child care service. Up to 50 hours of Child Care Benefit per child per week You can get up to 50 hours per child per week if you are eligible for Child Care Benefit using a Child Care Benefit approved child care service and one of the following apply to both you AND your partner: meet the Work, Training, Study test, see Page 18, for at least 15 hours per week (or 30 hours per fortnight), or meet one of the exemption criteria. The time you spend in work related activities can be combined with other work related activities to meet the 15 hours per week or 30 hours per fortnight requirements. Voluntary work that does not improve your work skills: cannot be combined with other activities, and must be performed for at least 15 hours per week (or 30 hours per fortnight). The rate of Child Care Benefit you will be entitled to is based on your actual annual family income. Your income will affect the amount of Child Care Benefit you can receive. You will not be entitled to more than a zero rate of Child Care Benefit if your income is more than the limits in the following tables. The rates in this table are for the financial year only. To be eligible for more than zero rate of Child Care Benefit your actual annual family income should be less than: 1 child using child care $149,597 2 children using child care $155,013 3 children using child care $175,041 add $33,106 for each additional child using child care. If your income is too high you will still need to claim Child Care Benefit to be assessed for Child Care Rebate. For more information on rates for Child Care Benefit, go online humanservices.gov.au/childcare Ci of 31

17 About Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate continued Child Care Rebate Child Care Rebate payment option The Child Care Rebate is 50 per cent of your out-of-pocket child care expenses up to an annual limit of $7,500 per child per year. Out-of-pocket expenses are total child care fees less your Child Care Benefit and Jobs, Education and Training Child Care fee assistance (if applicable). You must also meet the Work, Training, Study test at some time during a week. There is no minimum hour requirement, however voluntary work must be to improve work skills or employment prospects. For more information, see Page 18. You do not need to claim Child Care Rebate. The rebate is paid to you automatically if you are eligible for Child Care Benefit for approved child care. Child Care Rebate is not income tested. To receive Child Care Rebate, you need to be assessed as eligible for Child Care Benefit for approved care. If your actual annual family income is more than the income limits in relation to the number of children in Child Care Benefit approved child care, you will be assessed at the zero rate of Child Care Benefit. This means you may still be able to receive Child Care Rebate if you (and/or your partner): satisfy the work, training, study test at some time during the week, or meet one of the exemption criteria. No minimum number of hours is required. Voluntary work must: be to improve your work skills or employment prospects, or be for at least 15 hours per week (or 30 hours per fortnight). For more information, see Page 18. You can only claim Child Care Rebate as a lump sum payment if you receive your Child Care Benefit for approved child care as a lump sum payment. If you choose to be assessed for more than a zero rate of Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate will be paid directly to your nominated bank account as a lump sum, once: you have claimed Child Care Benefit as a lump sum your and your partner s tax return(s) have been lodged, and income details are confirmed by the Australian Taxation Office, and your child care attendance has been received. If you choose not to be assessed for more than a zero rate of Child Care Benefit, we do not need your taxable income information. If you claim Child Care Benefit as reduced fees and you are eligible for Child Care Rebate, you can choose to receive the rebate directly to your service to reduce your fees, or fortnightly or quarterly to your bank account. For more information about your options go online humanservices.gov.au/childcarerebate Ci of 31

18 About Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate continued Work, Training, Study test activities for Child Care You may satisfy the work, training, study test if you are undertaking any of the following: paid work or self employment setting up a business training or studying looking for work voluntary work. Satisfying the work, training, study test in other ways You will also satisfy the work, training, study test if you are any of the following: on annual leave or long service leave, or on sick or other paid leave, or on paid or unpaid parental leave, for up to a maximum of 12 months, or on self employment leave (including sick leave), or receiving Carer Payment, or receiving Carer Allowance, or caring for a person with a disability, or on carer leave or carer sick leave. Exemption from the work, training, study test You or your partner may be exempt if any of the following apply: you or your partner have a disability (the other partner must still meet the work, training, study test ), which includes receiving Disability Support Pension, or you or your partner is overseas or in prison, or you or your partner are a grandparent with primary care for your grandchild and your grandchild is attending approved child care, or you are facing exceptional circumstances. Note: For more information on Child Care Benefit, Eligible hours for Child Care Benefit, see Page 16, or Child Care Rebate, see Page 17. Ci of 31

19 Eligibility conditions for family assistance payments Australian residence requirements Eligible child To be eligible for family assistance payments you must satisfy residence requirements. You must be living in Australia and: be an Australian citizen, or hold a permanent visa, or have arrived on a New Zealand passport, or hold a partner provisional, interdependency or temporary protection visa. To be eligible for Child Care Benefit you (or your partner) must meet the above Australian residence requirements. Alternatively you may meet the residence requirements for Child Care Benefit if you (or your partner) are a student from outside Australia sponsored by the Australian Government to undertake a course of study in Australia, or you are suffering temporary hardship or special circumstances exist. In deciding whether you are living in Australia, we may need to look at the nature of your accommodation, the nature and extent of family relationships in Australia, the nature and extent of employment, business or financial ties with Australia, the frequency and duration of travel outside Australia and any other relevant matters. Absences from Australia may affect your family assistance payments. For example, temporary visa holders may not be eligible for family assistance during any absence from Australia. For more information about how your payment or concession card may be affected when travelling outside Australia and when you should contact us, go to humanservices.gov.au/paymentsoverseas An eligible child for the purposes of family assistance must: be aged 0 15 years, or be a young person aged 16 19* years who is in full-time secondary study leading towards a Year 12 or equivalent qualification or who is exempt from this requirement be in your care for at least 35 per cent** of the time and you must be responsible (whether alone or jointly with someone else) for their day-to-day care, welfare and development be an Australian resident or New Zealand citizen living in Australia or live with the person claiming family assistance not be your partner generally not be temporarily outside Australia for longer than 56 weeks not be receiving a Centrelink payment, such as Youth Allowance, or a Commonwealth Education Supplement. Exemptions may apply for Child Care Benefit. These eligible child requirements do not apply to claims for Parental Leave Pay. * Note: Family Tax Benefit can be paid for a young person up to the end of the calendar year in which they turn 19 years, as long as they are in full-time secondary study. ** Note: If you care for a child less than 35 per cent of the time you may be eligible to receive Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. Ci of 31

20 Eligibility conditions for family assistance payments continued Definition of school For family assistance purposes, a school child is a child who attends primary or secondary school or is on a break from school (for example, school holidays) and will be returning to primary or secondary school after that break. Refer to the table below for the recognised primary and secondary school levels for each State and Territory State/Territory Preschool Not recognised Primary Recognised Secondary Recognised New South Wales Preschool Kindergarten Years 1 6 Years 7 12 Victoria Kindergarten/Preschool Preparatory Years 1 6 Years 7 12 Queensland Kindergarten/Preschool Preparatory Years 1 6 Years 7 12 South Australia Kindergarten Reception Years 1 7 Years 8 12 Western Australia Kindergarten Pre-primary Years 1 6 Years 7 12 Tasmania Kindergarten Preparatory Years 1 6 Years 7 12 Northern Territory Preschool Transition Years 1 6 Years 7 12 Australian Capital Territory Preschool Kindergarten Years 1 6 Years 7 12 Immunisation details To claim Child Care Benefit for any child who is under 7 years old, you need to prove that your child s immunisation is up-to-date or that you have an approved exemption for your child. To be eligible for Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement, you will need to meet immunisation requirements for the financial years your child turns 1, 2 or 5 years of age. For more information, go online humanservices.gov.au/immunisation You need to provide the number on the current Medicare card the child is listed on. The card number will be used to obtain their immunisation status from the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. For more information about the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register, go to humanservices.gov.au/acir Medicare enrolment if you do not have a Medicare number you will need to complete a Medicare enrolment for the child. Once the enrolment is completed, they will be automatically registered with the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. Note: If you are not eligible for Child Care Benefit due to your child(ren) not being immunised you will not be entitled to receive the Child Care Rebate. Approved exemptions Your child is exempt from the immunisation requirement in the following circumstances: your child cannot be given a particular scheduled vaccine due to a temporary or permanent medical condition your child s doctor or a recognised immunisation provider will need to complete the Immunisation Exemption Medical Contraindication form (IMMU11) or provide a letter stating that your child cannot be immunised. your child has a natural immunity to a disease or a vaccine is temporarily unavailable you will need a letter from your child s doctor explaining the reasons. your child s family holds a personal, philosophical or religious belief that your child should not be immunised your child s doctor, or a recognised immunisation provider will need to complete the Immunisation exemption conscientious objection form (IMMU12) or provide a letter stating that the benefits and risks of immunisation have been explained to you and because of your beliefs you do not want your child immunised. You will need to sign the form or letter completed by the doctor or recognised immunisation provider. Continued Ci of 31

21 Eligibility conditions for family assistance payments continued your child is in a category specified by the Minister with portfolio responsibility as being exempt from the requirement to be immunised. Members of the Church of Christ, Scientist are included in this category and you will need a letter from an official of the church stating that you (and/ or your partner) are practising members of this church. Note: If you are not eligible for Child Care Benefit due to your child(ren) not being immunised you will not be entitled to receive the Child Care Rebate. To be eligible for the Child Care Rebate you need to be eligible for Child Care Benefit and meet the work, training, study test at some time during the week. Ci of 31

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