Your percentage of care affects your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) payments

As part of a care assessment, we consider how often each parent or non-parent carer, cares for a child. This is the percentage of care.

Working out your care percentage

We usually work out your care percentage based on the amount of care you provide.

You and the other carer, or carers, may agree on the level of care you each provide. But, if you can’t agree, we’ll work it out for you.

To work it out we may ask for evidence, such as:

  • a diary or calendar showing when you care for the child
  • a court order or parenting plan, with evidence that you’re doing what it says
  • proof of foster care placement
  • details of your child's care arrangements form signed by both carers
  • documents that show the child is in day care, school or other regular activities
  • records of visits to health care or other services
  • proof of travel arrangements such as, airline bookings or passports showing travel dates.

Other evidence may also include social worker reports and records from other government departments which may confirm patterns of care.

We may also ask for statements from professional members of the community. This could be someone who has regular contact with your family, such as:

  • teachers
  • police
  • ministers of religion
  • accountants
  • lawyers
  • pharmacists
  • doctors.

Evidence of statements made by other people can include voice recordings, text messages and social media posts. You can’t give us any verbal or written statements from anyone under 18.

If you have a written care arrangement and it’s not followed, we may work out your care percentage differently. If we do this, we base your care percentage on your written care arrangement. We do this for an interim period. Read more about disputed care.

Understanding how much FTB you can get when sharing care

You can share the payment of FTB between you and the other carer or carers. We assess how much you get based on both:

  • the percentage of time the child spends in your care
  • whether the child is an FTB child.

For example, if you have:

  • more than 65% care of a child, you can get 100% of the FTB payment for the child
  • 35-65% care of a child, you can get some FTB based on your actual care of the child.

You need to care for a child for at least 35% of the time to get FTB for the child. If you have 14-34% care of a child, you won’t get FTB for the child. You may get other benefits such as Rent Assistance and a Health Care Card.

If you have less than 14% care of a child, you won’t get FTB for a child. You also won’t get other benefits such as Rent Assistance or a Health Care Card.

Telling us of changes

If your percentage of care for a child changes, call the families line as soon as you can. We may need to change how much FTB you get. If you don’t tell us about a change of circumstances, you may get the wrong amount. If you’re overpaid, you may have to pay it back.

If you have a child support assessment, changes to your care may affect the child support you get or pay. Read more about how your percentage of care affects your child support payments.

Page last updated: 29 June 2023.
QC 51466