From 1 September 2012 the baby bonus rate is $5,000 for each eligible child and is paid in 13 fortnightly instalments. A higher amount is paid in the first instalment for parents and carers who become eligible for the payment on or after 1 July 2011. The first payment is $846.20 followed by 12 instalments of $346.15. Families who become eligible for baby bonus prior to 1 September 2012 will continue to receive 13 fortnightly instalments based on the 2011-12 rate of $5,437.
The baby bonus is indexed in line with changes to the CPI. The effective date of indexation is 1 July each year. The indexation is based on the CPI increase in the 12 months to the previous December. If CPI decreased in the 12 months to the previous December, the baby bonus rate does not change.
Indexation of the baby bonus payment rate has been paused until 1 July 2015.
The rate of baby bonus to be paid is determined according to the rate that applies on the day the individual becomes eligible for baby bonus for the child. This means that for an individual who is the parent of the child, the rate of baby bonus paid is the applicable rate at the time of the child's DOB, or such later date that the parent first becomes eligible for baby bonus for the child.
Example 1: Jane lodges a claim for baby bonus on 1 September 2012 for her newborn child who was born to her on 20 August 2012, and has been in her primary care since this date. The rate of baby bonus that Jane will receive will be the rate that is applicable on 20 August 2012, which is the DOB of her newborn child and the date from which she became eligible for baby bonus, and not the rate as of 1 September 2012.
Example 2: Talia has recently arrived in Australia on a temporary visa, and gives birth to her child soon afterwards on 16 August 2012 and she is the primary carer of the child. Talia becomes a permanent resident of Australia on 20 September 2012. Talia lodges a claim for baby bonus on 25 September 2012. The rate that Talia receives will be the applicable rate on 20 September 2012, as this is the date that Talia became eligible for baby bonus.
Example 3: Sarah gives birth to her child on 1 August 2012, but is only able to look after her child for 35% of the time between 1 August and 31 October 2012. On 1 November 2012 Sarah takes on 100% care of her child and therefore becomes the primary carer from that date. Sarah lodges a claim for baby bonus on 10 November 2012 and will receive the rate that is applicable on 1 November 2012, which is the date she became the primary carer of her child and became eligible for baby bonus.
For individuals taking on the care of a child, such as foster parents or other non-parent carers, the baby bonus rate paid is the applicable rate on the date the individual first becomes the primary carer of the child or such later date that the person first becomes eligible for baby bonus for the child.
Example: Michael's sister Joanne gives birth to her child on 5 August 2012 but is unable to look after her child. After a period of short-term foster care with another carer, Michael becomes the child's long-term primary carer on 15 September 2012. Michael lodges a claim for baby bonus on 30 September 2012 and will receive the rate that is applicable on 15 September 2012, which is the date he became the primary carer of the child.
For families adopting a child the baby bonus paid is the rate in force on the date the child is entrusted into their care by an authorised party as part of the adoption process, or a later date that the person first becomes eligible for baby bonus for the child.
Example: Megan has a child entrusted into her care as part of an adoption process on 30 July 2012 and is eligible for baby bonus from that date, as she is the primary carer. Megan claims baby bonus on 5 September 2012. Megan will receive baby bonus at the rate that was applicable on 30 July 2012.
In situations where baby bonus is apportioned between 2 or more individuals, there may be different rates of baby bonus paid to each eligible individual where eligibility for each individual occurs at different times of the year. Where this occurs the rate of baby bonus for each individual is determined according to the date each individual became eligible for baby bonus, and each individual receives the appropriate percentage of their baby bonus rate, according to time in care (see 2.4.2). The total of the percentages, taking into account each eligible individual's percentage of baby bonus for a child, cannot exceed 100%.
Example: Mary gives birth to her child on 1 August 2012 and is the primary carer of her child for 8 weeks until the end of September 2012, when she loses care of her child. On 1 October 2012 the child's grandmother, Martha, becomes the long-term carer of the child. Both Mary and Martha are eligible for baby bonus and both lodge claims for payment of baby bonus in on 20 October 2012. Mary is entitled to receive baby bonus at the rate that was applicable on 1 August 2012, and Martha is entitled to receive baby bonus at the rate that was applicable on 1 October 2012. Mary will receive an apportioned amount of baby bonus for 61 days (8 weeks) of care at the rate applicable on 1 August 2012 and Martha will receive an apportioned amount of baby bonus for 121 days (18 weeks) of care at the rate applicable on 1 October 2012.
If parental leave pay has been, or is being paid in relation to a child, and another individual who is a parent or non-parent carer becomes eligible for baby bonus for that child within 26 weeks from the child's birth, the eligible individual's baby bonus rate is reduced. The rate of baby bonus received by the eligible individual in such circumstances will take account of the fact that parental leave pay has been paid in relation to the child.
Example: Margaret is a single mother who gives birth to her child on 15 June 2011 and has primary care of her child from that date. On 15 July 2011 there is a change of care and the child's father, Graeme, becomes the primary carer. Margaret has been receiving parental leave pay up until the date at which the care changes and Graeme subsequently claims baby bonus. As Margaret has received parental leave pay for 31 days, Graeme will receive baby bonus for 151 days of the 26 week period since the birth of the child. As Graeme has become the primary carer of the child on 15 July 2011, he will receive the rate of baby bonus for the 151 day period that was in force on 15 July 2011.
Act reference: FAAct section 66 Amount of baby bonus, section 66A Amount of baby bonus to take into account parental leave pay to others
Policy reference: FA Guide 1.2.2 Baby Bonus - Description, 2.4.1 Eligibility for Baby Bonus, 2.4.2 Apportioning of Baby Bonus, 2.4.3 Baby Bonus Instalments & Specialist Referrals, 4.5.1 Claims for Baby Bonus & MIA
Last reviewed: 13 May 2013