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Jason Bryce - Business & Finance Specialist



When will I get my Schoolkids Bonus?


  • Happy Christmas – This is your last Schoolkids Bonus
  • You might need to take action to ensure you get the right payment

By Jason Bryce | 24 December 2015




2016 School Kids Bonus

The Liberal government has abolished the Schoolkids Bonus – but not until next year!


After two years of political wrangling in the senate, the Liberal government has finally got its way and abolished the Schoolkids Bonus – but not until next year!

2016 is the absolute last year of the Schoolkids Bonus. In 2016, the Schoolkids Bonus is two payments of $215 for each primary school aged child ($430) or two payments of $428 for each secondary school aged child ($856).

The Schoolkids Bonus payments are delivered in January and July to help families with back-to-school expenses. July 2016 will be last Schoolkids Bonus payment, so make the most of it!

Centrelink doesn’t automatically know when your child moves from preschool to primary school or from primary to high school. You may need to notify Centrelink if your child is moving up to get paid Schoolkids Bonus at the correct rate. Primary and High School starts in different years in different states, so read on and get the full picture.

When will Schoolkids Bonus be paid?

The January payment of Schoolkids Bonus will be paid the day before your regular Family Tax Benefit Part A payment. Or the same day as your Parenting Payment, Newstart or Disability pension.

If you normally get paid Family Tax Benefit Part A every second Thursday, your Schoolkids Bonus will be paid on the Wednesday prior.

The first payments of Schoolkids Bonus will be made on Tuesday 5 January. The last scheduled day for payment of SKB is Tuesday 19 January.

Are you eligible? Check our info here!
Are you eligible? Check our info here!

Am I eligible for Schoolkids Bonus?

Parents and carers of primary and secondary school students who receive Family Tax Benefit Part A are generally eligible for Schoolkids Bonus. There is an income test and this year the top income threshold for Schoolkids Bonus is $100,000.

That means if your family has a household income of $100,000 or less, you can be paid the Schoolkids Bonus. The Schoolkids Bonus is paid per child in school. Some parents will receive thousands of extra dollars this January from Centrelink in Schoolkids Bonus.

Preschool, primary, secondary: Who gets what in Schoolkids Bonus?

Children in preschool are not eligible for Schoolkids Bonus, only primary and secondary school kids are eligible for SKB.

In NSW and the ACT, that includes kids in kindergarten, which is part of the primary school program. In Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland, kids in Preparatory are likewise eligible for SKB.

In South Australia, Reception kids can be paid SKB, as can Pre-Primary level kids in Western Australia. In the Northern Territory, the pre-grade one level is called Transition and those kids are also eligible for SKB.

Good news for parents in Queensland and Western Australia is that from this year high school starts in year 7. Prior to 2015, secondary education in Queensland and WA started from year 8. That means parents of year seven kids will enjoy the higher secondary rate of Schoolkids Bonus.

However that is not the case in South Australia where high school still begins in Year 8. In South Australia, parents will still need be paid the primary rate of Schoolkids Bonus for their year 7 kids.

The School Kids Bonus will be cancelled in 2017
The SKB won't be paid after 2016 -
parents will have to find their own school funds

Take action now to ensure you get paid

Centrelink doesn’t automatically know what stage of school your child is up to. It is up to you to notify Centrelink of what stage of schooling your child is at.

If your child is entering primary school for the first time, you will NOT get paid Schoolkids Bonus unless you have contacted Centrelink to inform them that your child is enrolled.

If your child is entering high school for the first time, you will NOT get paid Schoolkids Bonus at the high school rate unless you have contacted Centrelink to inform them that your kid has moved up.

Other people who can be paid Schoolkids Bonus

Children living independently on an income support payment can also be paid SKB.

People receiving Veteran’s education payments, blind disability pensioners, people on special benefit and carer’s payment can also be paid SKB. There are some minor other eligible groups.

And it all ends soon ....

The Liberal government came to power in 2013 promising to abolish the Schoolkids Bonus and in 2015, they finally got their way.

Families with two kids in high school will lose $1712 per year thanks to the cuts to SKB. Make the most of this SKB, it will be the last you ever see.

Jason Bryce
Business & Finance Journalist





Further Centrelink reading


Centrelink Eftpos Card trials in three areas voted in through Parliament

Single parent anger over Centrelink income management



Have your say on this story - will you miss the School Kids Bonus when it is removed in 2017? Comment below!



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Jason is a business and finance journalist with 20 years experience, and is also a member of the SingleMum.com.au Expert Opinion Panel. He has a regular weekly column in the Sunday Mail (Brisbane) and writes regularly for the Business Daily section of the Herald Sun in Melbourne and many other newspapers and magazines.

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What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the

kids

are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.

Centrelink

plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a

divorce

or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

Please remember the bigger font words,because we will use it often in our website.