Payment choices

You can choose how you get Family Tax Benefit (FTB) if you claim it fortnightly.

Selecting the right payment choice for your situation will help reduce the risk of an overpayment.

We’ll recommend a payment choice when you claim. We’ll base it on your family’s circumstances.

What the FTB Part A payment choices are

There are 3 payment choices for FTB Part A.

If you or your partner care for a child from a past relationship, you must take reasonable steps to get child support. You must do this to get more than the base rate of FTB Part A. This is regardless of your payment choice for FTB Part A. We call this the Maintenance Action Test.

All your FTB Part A fortnightly

This is best if you can give us an accurate family income estimate.

The base rate of your FTB Part A fortnightly

This may be best if both of the following apply:

  • you find it difficult to give us an accurate family income estimate
  • your family’s income is likely to be under $98,988.

For example, this could be if your pay changes each week.

We’ll pay you the base rate of your FTB Part A fortnightly. Then we'll pay you any other FTB Part A you're entitled to when we balance your payments. We do this after the end of the financial year.

All of your FTB Part A after the end of the financial year

You can choose not to get any FTB Part A throughout the year. This is what we call a zero rate. Instead, we'll pay your FTB Part A after the end of the financial year when we balance your payments.

This may be best if both of the following apply:

What the FTB Part B payment choices are

There are 2 payment choices.

All of your FTB Part B fortnightly

This may be best if either:

  • you're a single parent
  • you or your partner don't expect to earn income this financial year.

All of your FTB Part B after the end of the financial year

You can choose not to get any FTB Part B throughout the year. This is what we call a zero rate. Instead, we’ll pay your FTB Part B when we balance your payments after the end of the financial year.

This may be best if you're a couple and either:

  • 1 of you is temporarily not working because you're caring for a child
  • the lower income earner isn't confident about estimating their income accurately.

How your payment choice affects other payments

Your payment choice may affect how you get the following payments:

It can also affect your Extended Medicare Safety Net threshold and your eligibility for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.

Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement

You can only get these payments if you get FTB Part A. The way you get your FTB Part A may affect how you get these payments.

Read more about payment options for Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement.

Rent Assistance

You must be getting more than the base rate of FTB Part A to get Rent Assistance paid with it. You may be able to choose how you get Rent Assistance. How you get it depends on how you get your FTB Part A.

If you get all your FTB Part A fortnightly, you’ll also get Rent Assistance fortnightly.

You can choose to get Rent Assistance either fortnightly or after the end of the financial year in some circumstances. These are if you’re eligible for more than the base rate of FTB Part A and either:

  • you’ve chosen to get only the base rate fortnightly with the rest paid after the end of the financial year
  • you’ve chosen to get all of your FTB Part A after the end of the financial year.

Energy Supplement

If you’re eligible for this supplement, we’ll pay it for both FTB Part A and FTB Part B. If you’re eligible, how you choose to get FTB may affect how you get Energy Supplement.

If you get your FTB fortnightly, we can pay Energy Supplement either:

  • fortnightly
  • quarterly in October, January, April and July.

If you choose to get either:

  • the base rate of FTB Part A fortnightly, we’ll pay your Energy Supplement fortnightly
  • FTB Part A or Part B after the end of the financial year, we’ll pay your Energy Supplement then.

If you get FTB as a lump sum, you'll get your Energy Supplement at the same time.

Read more about Energy Supplement payment options for Family Tax Benefit.

Economic Support Payment

If you’re eligible for the $750 Economic Support Payments (ESP), your FTB payment choice will affect when you get them.

If you get FTB fortnightly or at a zero rate, you got your:

  • first ESP between March 2020 and May 2020
  • second ESP in July 2020.

If you claim FTB as a lump sum after the financial year ends, you’ll get your ESP in your lump sum. You’ll get your:

  • first ESP after claiming for 2019-20 and confirming your income, you can do this until June 2021
  • second ESP after claiming for 2020-21 and confirming your income, you can do this from July 2021.

How we adjust your FTB Part A and Part B payments

If you choose to get your FTB fortnightly, we may adjust your ongoing payments. We do this to avoid or reduce the risk of an overpayment.

How to change your payment choice

You can change your payment choice at any time using either:

We’ll recommend a payment choice based on your family’s circumstances, but you can change it at any time. Your choice will stay in place until you change it again.

Page last updated: 3 August 2020