What happens when your child turns 16

When your child turns 16, your Family Tax Benefit (FTB) may change. Your child may be eligible for a payment. They can also register as an organ donor.

At 16, your child can:

Your child may also be eligible for Child Dental Benefits Schedule.

If you have a child with disability, you may continue to qualify for Child Care Subsidy until they’re 18. Read more about Child Care Subsidy.

FTB and study requirements

When your child turns 16, you may continue to get FTB for them. However, they need to be in full time secondary study or exempt from the study requirements. If they’re not, then your FTB for them may stop. Read more about changes to FTB if your child is 16 to 19.

Secondary study

When your child finishes secondary education or stops studying, your FTB stops.

The date they stop studying will impact the date your payment stops. Read more about changes to FTB if your child is 16 to 19.

 If your child repeats Year 12 or an equivalent qualification, you should contact the families line.

Employment and FTB

Your child can start work at any age. If your child starts work while you’re getting FTB for them, you don’t need to let us know. Your child’s income won’t impact your FTB payments.

If your child is 16 or older and starts work, they’ll need to meet study and other eligibility requirements. As long as they continue to meet study and other eligibility requirements, there’s nothing you need to do.

Own payments

Your child may be eligible for a payment in their own right once they turn 16 or 18. This depends on their circumstances.

They may be able to get Youth Allowance if they’re either:

  • looking for full time work
  • an Australian Apprentice
  • independent.

They may also be able to get Youth Allowance if one of the following apply:

  • they need to live away from home to study
  • they’ve finished year 12 and will continue their studies, for example at TAFE or university.

They may be eligible for ABSTUDY if they’re Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, 16 or older and are either:

  • studying full time
  • doing an Australian Apprenticeship full time.

Your income will continue to impact your child’s eligibility for payments until they’re 22. Read more about dependent or independent for Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY.

Your child may be eligible for Disability Support Pension. This applies if you have a child with disability or a medical condition that stops them from working. It must be a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition. They can submit a claim up to 3 months before they turn 16. If they’re eligible, they can get Disability Support Pension before they turn 16.

If your child’s a carer they may be eligible for Carer Payment. They must give constant care to either:

  • someone who has a severe disability or illness
  • an adult who is frail and old.

Remember, you can use Payment and Service Finder. This tool helps you to find, estimate and compare payments and services your child may be eligible for.

Australian Organ Donor Register

Once your child turns 16, they’re old enough to be on the register. This is the national register for decisions about donating organs and tissue for transplant.

Your child can register either:

Find out more about the Australian Organ Donor Register.

Page last updated: 15 January 2021