Baby Bonus

The Baby Bonus is no longer available. It was paid to parents of newborn and children under the age of 16 who are being adopted before 1 March 2014.  The following information relates to the Baby Bonus scheme as it operated before cessation.

Baby Bonus boyWhen originally introduced the Baby Bonus – or maternity payment  – was paid through the tax system as a first child tax offset.

Subsequently the Baby Bonus scheme was delivered by the Family Assistance Office  – now the Department of Human Affairs.

From 1 October 2010, claims could be lodged up to 97 days before the expected day of entitlement.

How Much Is the Baby Bonus?

The amount you get depends on the date your child was born, or the date your child entered your care as part of an adoption process.

From 1 July 2011 to 31 August 2012, the Baby Bonus is $5,437 per child, paid as an initial payment of $879.77 plus 12 monthly instalments of $379.77.

From 1 September 2012 the Baby Bonus was reset to $5,000 per child, paid as an initial payment of $846.20 followed by 12 monthly instalments of $346.15.

From 1 July 2013 the Baby Bonus is modified by reducing the payments for second and subsequent children to $3,000. The bonus of $5,000 continues to apply for the first child.

Lump Sum payment

The Baby Bonus can alternatively be paid in a lump sum in respect of a baby who has died or was still born.

Not taxable

The Baby Bonus does not form part of your taxable income, but is means tested according to a family income formula (see “Income Test” below).

The current Baby Bonus should not be confused with the School Kids Bonus which started 1 January 2013.

Baby Bonus and Parental Leave Pay

– if eligible, parents can claim either the Parental Leave pay scheme or the Baby Bonus, but not both.

The Baby Bonus and choice of Parental Leave claim applies in respect of each eligible child – for example including twins or triplets. However, only one Parental Leave claim can be made at any one time.

Baby Bonus Time limit

To be paid the Baby Bonus your claim must be made within 1 year of the child’s birth, or from the date of the child entering your care as part of an adoption process.


– to be able to claim:

  • You have a child who is born or being adopted (under the age of 16) before 1 March 2014.
  • You or your partner must be the primary care giver of the child
  • You must meet the residence requirements (see below)
  • You meet eligibility for Family Tax Benefit within 6 months- ignoring the income test (note that you still have 12 months to make the claim)
  • A child entering your care as part of an adoption process must be under 16

Note that if you are not eligible for the baby Bonus, other benefits may be claimable – contact Human Services.

Baby Bonus Residence Test

To meet the Australian residence test, both you and the child must be living together permanently in Australia as “Australian residents”.

“Australian residents” means that you are an Australian citizen, or hold a PR visa, temporary protection visa, specific categories of partner (temporary) visas or the special category NZ visa.

If you have just arrived you may need to show the Department evidence of your permanent residence intentions.

Baby Bonus Income Test

To meet the income requirements, your estimated family adjusted taxable income must be less than $75,000 within the first 6 months of the child’s birth, or the date of the child entering your care.

If your circumstances change, such that the income estimate is incorrect, you have obligation to inform the Department so that they can adjust payment of your entitlements.

Adjusted taxable income (“ATI”) has a special definition

ATI is the sum of:

+ taxable income
+ the value of any adjusted fringe benefits
+ target foreign income
+ total net investment losses
+ the amount of certain tax free pensions or benefits
+ reportable superannuation contributions (not super guarantee amounts)

Less: Deductible child maintenance


Further information and related benefits

Department of Human Services – Baby Bonus


This page was last modified on 5 August 2015