Learn more about the government's Schoolkids Bonus payment allowance and find out if you or your children are eligible.
A parent or a carer who is receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A is eligible to receive the Schoolkids Bonus payment allowance. It is designed to help with the educational cost of school-age children.
Aside from parents and carers, primary and secondary students who are 19 years old and younger who receives certain government benefits can also get the Schoolkids Bonus.
If you're already getting the Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY Living Allowance or Pensioner Education Supplement there's no need to make a claim as the payment is automatically paid out to those eligible. If you think you're eligible for the bonus payment scheme you should get in contact with Centrelink to give them your details.
Read on to find out if your children are eligible for this payment.
How do you know if you're eligible for the bonus payment?
As the definitions of preschool, primary and secondary school differ by state, below is a list from the Department of Human Services that lets you check whether you are eligible for this payment:
|State||Preschool (not eligible)||Primary School (eligible)||Secondary School (eligible)|
|NSW||Preschool||Kindergarten (1-6)||Years 7-12|
|VIC||Kindergarten||Preparatory (1-6)||Years 7-12|
|QLD||Kindergarten||Preparatory (1-7)||Years 8-12|
|SA||Kindergarten||Reception (1-7)||Years 8-12|
|WA||Kindergarten||Pre-Primary (1-7)||Years 8-12|
|TAS||Kindergarten||Preparatory (1-6)||Years 7-12|
|NT||Preschool||Transition (1-6)||Years 7-12|
|ACT||Preschool||Kindergarten (1-6)||Years 7-12|
How much are you paid under this scheme?
The Bonus Payments scheme pays a total amount of $410 per year (in two installments) for primary school children or $820 per year (also in two installments) for secondary school children.
You will receive a percentage of this payment based on the percentage of the Family Tax Benefit you receive if you share the care of the child with another person.
If your child has completed the final year of secondary school, your family may be entitled to the School Leaver instalment. You need to confirm that your child has completed secondary studies with Centrelink. Families who receive Youth Allowance, Family Tax Benefit and ABSTUDY can do this using their Centrelink online account. Those who receive the Parenting Payment, Disability Support Pension, Special Benefit and Carer Payments need to confirm with the nearest service center or by calling Centrelink.
How are you paid under this scheme?
The Schoolkids Bonus is paid through your payments if your receive fortnightly payments. If you don't receive fortnightly payments, the following applies:
- If you get a lump sum payment under the Family Tax Benefit, it'll be paid out when the lump sum claim is assessed and after you have lodged tax returns
- If you are a student and receive your Centrelink payment to your bank account you'll also receive your bonus payment this way
- If you have an Income Management account, the Schoolkids Bonus will be paid into this account
- If you receive an educational allowance from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, they will provide you with the bonus payment
Should you wish to change your payment setup from receiving lump sum payments to fortnightly payments, you can do so through your Centrelink online account.
You'll still receive the bonus payment if you're overseas, provided you're still eligible for:
- Family Tax Benefit A
- Youth Allowance
- Disability Support Pension with Pensioner Education Supplement
Future payment information
There's a possibility that Parliament might end the Schoolkids Bonus was phased out in July 2016. You can head to the Australian Government's department of human services site for more information.
Do you need a low rate credit card to help you budget?
Budgeting for your back-to-school needs after the holiday season can be a challenge. If you want the flexibility and convenience of making purchases on your credit card, as well as lower interest repayments, you can compare low-interest rate credit cards.
- Ongoing low rate on purchases. One of the main benefits of these cards is often the low interest rates on offer for purchases, helping you
to keep ongoing costs low.
- Enjoy low annual fees. In keeping with the 'low-cost' benefits of these cards, many also offer no or low annual fees.
- Purchase rate offers. Some cards also come with 0% p.a. purchase rate offers, meaning you can enjoy no-interest spending for a certain amount of time and then a low ongoing purchase rate.
- Interest-free days. A standard feature with most cards, interest-free days are also on offer with low-interest credit cards. You can usually enjoy up to 44 or 55 days interest-free when you pay your balance back in full each statement period.
- Minimum credit limit. The minimum available credit limit is often quite low on these cards, letting you have peace of mind with your spending and also manage your budget. Some cards have a minimum credit limit for as low as $500, such as with the NAB Low Rate Credit Card.
Where to now?