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Baby bonus is a payment that recognises the extra costs associated with a new born or adopted child. Baby bonus is also paid where a child is stillborn or dies shortly after birth.
An applicant may be eligible for baby bonus if they have:
For more details on the eligibility for baby bonus see 2.4.1.
The individual must claim baby bonus no later than 52 weeks from the day after the child's birth (or stillbirth) of the child or no later than 52 weeks from the day after the child is entrusted into the individual's care by an authorised party as part of the adoption process (if adopted, the child must have been entrusted into the applicant's care before the child's 16th birthday).
Act reference: FAAct section 36 When an individual is eligible for baby bonus in normal circumstances, section 37 Generally only one individual is eligible for baby bonus in respect of a child
The baby bonus is paid in 13 fortnightly instalments. For the current rate of baby bonus, see 3.3.
For individuals who became eligible before 1 July 2011, baby bonus was payable in 13 equal fortnightly instalments following the birth of a child or a child being entrusted to their care.
For individuals who are eligible from 1 July 2011 to 31 August 2012, baby bonus was payable in 13 fortnightly instalments, with the first instalment being the upfront part which consisted of 16.18% of the full rate. The remaining amount of baby bonus was equally divided among the remaining 12 instalments.
For individuals who become eligible on or after 1 September 2012, baby bonus is payable in 13 fortnightly instalments, with the first instalment being the upfront part which consists of 16.92% of the full rate. The remaining amount of baby bonus is equally divided among the remaining 12 instalments.
The instalments are paid from the date the claim is granted.
MAT and MIA were announced as part of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 that came into effect on 1 July 2000. At that time they were repealed from Social Security Law. In addition, from 1 July 2001 a baby bonus was available from the ATO.
From 1 July 2004, MPY replaced both the MAT and the baby bonus that was available through the ATO. Although the MAT was income-tested the MPY was not. Generally, the last claims for MAT were made by 29 December 2004, as this was 26 weeks after the birth of a child born on 30 June 2004. Claims for the baby bonus through the tax system can be made in tax returns until 2014.
On 1 July 2007, MPY was re-named baby bonus. Payments granted on or after 1 July 2007 are grants of baby bonus rather than MPY. The name change was introduced to avoid confusion as the payment was commonly known as the baby bonus in the community.
From 1 January 2009 an income test has been applied to baby bonus and the baby bonus has been paid in mandatory fortnightly instalments for most applicants, rather than as a lump sum. Also from 1 January 2009, the baby bonus became available for parents who adopt a child under the age of 16. Previously it was only available for parents who adopted a child under the age of 2 years.
From 1 January 2011, an individual or their partner must be the primary carer of a child in order to be eligible for baby bonus.
Also, from 1 January 2011, parental leave pay is available for working parents. Parental leave pay does not replace baby bonus, but parents are only able to receive baby bonus or parental leave pay for a child, not both.
From 1 July 2011, a greater proportion of the baby bonus is payable upfront in the first fortnightly instalment, to recognise the initial extra costs that parents and carers face when they take on the care of a newborn child, or when they are adopting a child.
From 1 July 2012, indexation of the baby bonus payment rate was paused until 1 July 2015.
From 1 September 2012, the rate of baby bonus was reset to $5,000.
Policy reference: FA Guide 2.4.1 Eligibility for Baby Bonus
PPL Guide 1.2 PPL Scheme - Description
Last reviewed: 20 September 2012