Having a baby

Having a baby is an exciting time. There’s a lot of information about payments and services which can help with the cost of raising a child.

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    1. Check if you're eligible for payments

    Check if you can get payments. You can submit your pre-birth claim up to 3 months before your baby is due.

    • Parental Leave Pay – helps eligible working parents (usually birth mothers) to take time off work to care for a newborn or recently adopted child for up to 18 weeks.
    • Dad and Partner Pay – helps eligible working dads or partners to take time off work to care for a newborn or recently adopted child for up to 2 weeks.
    • Family Tax Benefit (FTB) – is a two part payment to help with the cost of raising children. FTB may include a one-off lump sum of Newborn Upfront Payment. FTB may also include Newborn Supplement which is an increase to your FTB for 13 weeks.

    Use our Payment and Service Finder to find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be able to get.

    If you’re not eligible for Parental Leave Pay, you may still get both Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement instead.

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    2. Register for self service

    If you’re a new Centrelink customer, you’ll need a Customer Reference Number (CRN) before you can claim online.

    You can prove your identity online and get a CRN with myGov. From there you can link it to Centrelink and make a claim through your Centrelink online account. You can save time and manage your business through our self service options:

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    3. Submit your pre-birth claim for payments

    You can submit a claim for some payments as early as 3 months before your baby's due date.

    Sign in to your Centrelink online account through myGov to start your claim.

    Select Make a claim on your homepage, then Make a claim.

    Select Get started from the Families category. Select Apply for Family Assistance (including Paid Parental Leave) to claim for:

    Make sure you include any supporting documents we ask you for at the end of the claim. You can submit your documents online. We can't process your claim until we have all the required documents.

    You may be eligible for Parenting Payment if you’re the main carer for your child. Remember, you can only submit a claim for Parenting Payment after the birth of your baby.

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    4. Get organised with Medicare

    There are some things to think about before your baby is born.

    Medicare Safety Nets can help to lower your out of pocket costs. If you have a partner, think about registering as a Medicare Safety Net family. You may also want to copy or transfer to another card, such as your partner or spouse’s card. You can then ask us to copy your child onto that card after their enrolment.

    You don’t have to be on the same card as your partner.

    To register as a Medicare Safety Net family either:

    When your baby is born, you can also add them to your Medicare Safety Net family. You can do this when you enrol your baby in Medicare. You do this after your baby is born.

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    5. Talk to your employer about leave

    You should discuss your plans for taking leave with your employer before your baby is born. You should give them written notice at least 10 weeks before you plan to start your leave.

    If you plan to get Parental Leave Pay, you should tell your employer. They may need to provide the Parental Leave Pay funds to you.

    Read about your rights and how to take leave from work on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

    Use the Supporting Working Parents website to find out about your rights in the workplace:

    • while pregnant
    • during parental leave
    • on returning to the workplace.
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    6. Find out about child care options

    If you’ll return to work or study after the birth of your baby, you should look at your child care options. There may be a waiting list for child care services.

    Remember to tell us if you’re returning to work. You can do this using your Centrelink online account through myGov.

    We offer help with the cost of child care through Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy. You can only submit a claim for these after the birth of your baby.

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    7. Learn more about other support available

    Before your baby is due, read about finding a health service. This will help you work out what hospital is closest to you.

    Having a baby involves many changes. Read more about pregnancy and birth to help you know what to expect.

    Read more about how to budget for the cost of having a baby.

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Page last updated: 28 June 2021