Claiming timeframes

It’s best to claim Parental Leave Pay before your child's birth or adoption. You need to claim within 1 year of their birth or adoption.

To get the full 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay, you need to claim and nominate a start date.

You need to do this no more than:

  • 34 weeks after the birth or adoption of a child, if it’s before 1 July 2020
  • 40 weeks after the birth or adoption of a child, if it’s on or after 1 July 2020.

You can nominate your child's date of birth or adoption as the start date. To do this, you need to do both of the following within 4 weeks of the birth or adoption:

  • submit your claim
  • provide proof of birth or adoption.

If you don’t, the start date can only be from the date you submit your claim. You can also nominate a later start date. You may still be able to nominate your child’s date of birth or adoption if coronavirus (COVID-19) affected your work.

Claiming before your child's birth or adoption

You can claim up to 3 months before your child’s due date.

It’s best to claim before your child’s birth or adoption.

By claiming early you’ll:

  • be able to choose when your Paid Parental Leave period starts after your child’s birth or adoption
  • have your claim assessed faster.

Claiming after your child's birth or adoption

If you wait to claim until after your child’s birth or adoption:

  • it might take us longer to assess your claim
  • you might have less choice about when your Paid Parental Leave Period can start
  • we might not be able to pay you the full Paid Parental Leave period if you claim too late.

If your child’s birth or adoption is before 1 July 2020

To get the full 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay, you need to submit your claim within either:

  • 34 weeks of your child’s birth
  • 34 weeks of your child’s adoption.

If you claim within 4 weeks of your child’s birth or adoption you’ll still:

  • be able to choose when your Paid Parental Leave period will start
  • get paid from your nominated Paid Parental Leave period start date
  • get paid from your child’s date of birth or adoption, if you choose.

If you claim between 4 weeks and 34 weeks after your child’s birth or adoption, you:

  • will be able to choose to start your Paid Parental Leave period on or after the date you claim
  • will get paid from your nominated Paid Parental Leave period start date
  • can't nominate the date of birth or adoption as your start date.

If you submit a claim after 34 weeks, you:

  • will be able to choose to start your Paid Parental Leave period on or after the date you claim
  • will get paid from your nominated Paid Parental Leave period start date
  • can't nominate the date of birth or adoption as your start date
  • won't get the full 18 weeks of pay.

For example, you can claim 35 weeks after your child's birth. However, the most you can get is 17 weeks of pay. If you claim at 40 weeks, the most you can get is 12 weeks of pay.

If your child’s birth or adoption is on or after 1 July 2020

To get the full 18 weeks of payment you must claim within 40 weeks of your child’s birth or adoption.

If you claim within 4 weeks of your child’s birth or adoption you’ll:

  • be able to choose when your Paid Parental Leave period will start
  • get paid from your nominated Paid Parental Leave period start date
  • get paid from your child’s date of birth or adoption, if you choose
  • get 30 Flexible Paid Parental Leave days you can access up to 2 years after your child’s birth or adoption.

If you claim between 4 weeks and 40 weeks after your child’s birth or adoption, you:

  • must choose a start date for your Paid Parental Leave period on or after the date you claim
  • will get paid from your nominated Paid Parental Leave period start date
  • can’t nominate the date of birth or adoption as your start date
  • will get 30 Flexible Paid Parental Leave days to access up to 2 years after your child’s birth or adoption.

If you submit a claim after 40 weeks, you:

  • must choose a start date for your Paid Parental Leave period on or after the date you claim
  • will get paid from your nominated Paid Parental Leave period start date
  • can’t nominate the date of birth or adoption as your start date
  • won’t get the full 12 week Paid Parental Leave period
  • will get 30 Flexible Paid Parental Leave days to access up to 2 years after your child’s birth or adoption.

For example, you can claim 41 weeks after your child’s birth. However, the most Paid Parental Leave period you can get is 11 weeks. If you claim at 45 weeks, the most Paid Parental Leave period you can get is 7 weeks. You'll still get 30 Flexible Paid Parental Leave days. You can access them up to 2 years after your child’s birth or adoption.

If coronavirus (COVID-19) affected your work

You may be able to use an extended work test when you claim. If you claim using the extended work test, you can nominate a start date that’s in the past. It can be as early as your child’s date of birth or adoption.

However if you nominate a start date in the past, we may have paid you too much. This can happen if, in the same period, you or your partner got either:

  • Family Tax Benefit
  • an income support payment, such as Parenting Payment.

If this happens you may owe us money which you’ll have to pay back.

Claiming if you’re the child’s second carer

The birth mother or adoptive parent can transfer some or all of their Paid Parental Leave period to you. If they do you’ll need to claim within 52 weeks of your child’s date of birth or adoption. You’ll also need to meet all eligibility criteria.

If they’re transferring all of their Paid Parental Leave period to you, you both need to make claims. You should do this around the same time as each other.

If you’re only claiming Flexible Paid Parental Leave days it’s best to do so as early as possible. This gives you the most choice about when you can access them. You must claim them within 2 years of your child’s birth or adoption.

Getting Parental Leave Pay and employer funded leave

You can take Parental Leave Pay before, during or after any paid or unpaid employer funded leave. This includes all of the following:

  • maternity or parental leave
  • annual leave
  • long service leave.

Page last updated: 7 December 2020