Back to school government bonus

Back To School Government Bonus

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:

StatePreschool (not eligible)Primary School (eligible)Secondary School (eligible)
NSWPreschoolKindergarten (1-6)Years 7-12
VICKindergartenPreparatory (1-6)Years 7-12
QLDKindergartenPreparatory (1-7)Years 8-12
SAKindergartenReception (1-7)Years 8-12
WAKindergartenPre-Primary (1-7)Years 8-12
TASKindergartenPreparatory (1-6)Years 7-12
NTPreschoolTransition (1-6)Years 7-12
ACTPreschoolKindergarten (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
  • ABSTUDY
  • 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.

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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.

Learn more about low interest credit cards

Where to now?


Jeremy Cabral

Jeremy is a publisher for finder.com.au, he is also a personal finance all-rounder specialising in: Credit Cards, Savings Accounts, Personal Loans, Home Loans & Online Shopping.

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16 Responses to Back To School Government Bonus

  1. Default Gravatar
    Morag | February 8, 2016

    Hello,
    As a disability pension recipient with five school aged children, am I eligible for the back to school government bonus. If so, will this payment continue beyond 2016 in my circumstances? Thanks

    • Default Gravatar
      anna | July 26, 2016

      I would like to ask if we will be getting the school bonus for 2017 as my husband is not working because i care for him and my youngest is still in high school. Let me know, please. Thank you.

    • Staff
      May | July 27, 2016

      Hi Anna,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Just to confirm that you’ve come through to finder.com.au we are an Australian financial comparison website and general information service.

      If you are receiving a Family Tax Benefit Part A, then you will be eligible to receive the Schoolkids Bonus payment allowance. I suggest that you contact Centrelink directly to inquire if the bonus payment for 2017 will be available for you.

      Cheers,
      May

    • Staff
      Stephanie | February 16, 2016

      Hi Morag,

      Thanks for your question.

      As stated above, if you are on the Disability Support Pension, you will need to contact your nearest Centrelink to confirm if you are eligible for the government bonus. You can find your closest Centrelink by searching here.

      Hope that helps,

      Stephanie

  2. Default Gravatar
    jen | July 7, 2015

    hi i would like to know how come i only got 400 for two children when one of my kids is in high school?

    • Staff
      Elizabeth | July 9, 2015

      Hi Jen,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please note that finder.com.au is a financial comparison service and is not in a position to advise you on the amount of money you are eligible to receive as a Government bonus. You’ll need to get in contact with Centrelink directly if you have any queries regarding your payments.

      Thanks,

      Elizabeth

  3. Default Gravatar
    kerry | January 19, 2015

    my daughter starts high school here in qld grade 7 now high school
    we have just been paid the school ids bonus of $211 that is for a child in primary school
    are we entitled for the payment for her now she is starting high school as the amount we have spent is over $1000 and she hasn’t walked in the gate yet thanks

    • Staff
      Shirley | January 19, 2015

      Hi Kerry,

      Thanks for your question.

      In Queensland, preparatory school or primary school is considered to be years 1-7 in which the primary school rate payment applies. Secondary school rates applies for years 8-12.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  4. Default Gravatar
    rosymclachlan | June 4, 2014

    Do we get paid schoolkid bonus in June 2014

    • Staff
      Shirley | June 6, 2014

      Hi Rosy,

      Thanks for your question.

      finder.com.au is an online comparison service, we are not affiliated with the Department of Human Services.

      Please speak to Centrelink to enquire about this.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  5. Default Gravatar
    lee-anne | June 2, 2014

    if my son is only sixteen years of age ,and is receiving the youth allowance payment, is he eligible for the school kids bonus

    • Staff
      Shirley | June 3, 2014

      Hi Lee-anne,

      Thanks for your question.

      I’ve sent you a link to the Schoolkids Bonus page where the eligibility requirements are listed.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  6. Default Gravatar
    Bron | May 2, 2014

    Jeremy, do we know yet if the second half of the back to school bonus for 2014 will still be paid in June?

    • Staff
      Marc | May 5, 2014

      Hi Bron,
      thanks for the question.

      Unfortunately there haven’t been any notable developments in regards to this matter yet. I’d recommend checking the Australian Families facebook page for the latest information about the Schoolkids Bonus. I’ve sent you a link to this.

      Cheers,
      Marc.

  7. Default Gravatar
    leticia | February 12, 2014

    if i was paid for a child being in primary,but was
    enrolled n high school this year what would happen?(this happened to me!)

    • Staff
      Marc | February 13, 2014

      Hi Leticia,
      thanks for the question!

      If you were paid for a primary school, when you in fact had a child in high school, you may wish to contact the Department of Human Services and bring the matter to their attention. They should be able to rectify the problem.

      Cheers,
      Marc.

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