What happens if we update your child support assessment

If circumstances change for you or the other parent, we’ll update your child support assessment. This means your FTB payments may change too.

Backdated changes to your assessment could impact your past rate of FTB. This may result in us updating your FTB payments using the new information.

Private Collect and backdated changes to your child support assessment

Decrease in child support assessment

If you collect privately and your assessment decreases, meaning you now owe child support, we may have underpaid you FTB.

If the decrease is in the current financial year, we’ll adjust your ongoing rate of FTB. We’ll assess any FTB arrears when we balance your payments.

If the decrease is in a past financial year, we’ll automatically update your FTB payment for those years. If you were underpaid FTB, you may get arrears.

Increase in child support assessment

If you collect privately and your assessment increases, meaning you’re now owed child support, we may have overpaid you FTB.

If the increase is in the current financial year, we’ll adjust your ongoing rate of FTB.

If there‘s an increase you may also have a projected FTB overpayment for the current financial year. In this case we may reduce your FTB further to offset the overpayment.

If the increase is in a past financial year, we’ll automatically update your FTB payment for those years. If we paid you too much FTB, this may result in an overpayment of FTB, or a debt. We’ll start collecting this overpayment straight away. We can also use tax refunds to recover debts.

Child Support Collect and backdated changes in your child support assessment

Decrease in child support assessment

If you use Child Support Collect and your assessment decreases, meaning you now owe child support, we may have underpaid you FTB.

If the decrease is in the current financial year, we’ll adjust your ongoing rate of FTB. We’ll assess any FTB arrears when we balance your payments.

If you’re required to repay a child support overpayment, you can request a review of your FTB. You must request a review within 13 weeks from the date of your overpayment letter. To request a review, call us on the Child support enquiry line.

Increase in child support assessment

If you use Child Support Collect and your assessment increases, meaning you’re now owed child support, we may have overpaid you FTB.

If the change is in the current financial year, we’ll adjust your ongoing rate of FTB.

If there’s an increase you may also have a projected FTB overpayment for the current financial year. In this case, we may reduce your FTB further to offset the overpayment.

If your FTB changes due to your child support assessment changing, we’ll tell you in writing. If you have any questions, call us on the Child support enquiry line.

Example of FTB Part A changing when we update a child support assessment

Yvette collects her child support through Private Collect. We based her past child support assessment on the provisional income of the paying parent, Xavier. This is because he hadn’t lodged a tax return in 3 years.

We got Xavier’s actual income details from the Australian Taxation Office, and his income was higher than the provisional income. The child support assessment for that period changes and Xavier now owes Yvette child support.

Since the amount of child support Yvette was entitled to increased, we reassess her FTB Part A for that period. We do this because we assume she received the child support Xavier owes her. Yvette gets an FTB overpayment of $500. This happens because Yvette’s child support case is Private Collect. We’ll base her FTB on the amount of child support she’s assessed to receive, not the amount she actually collects.

We raise an FTB debt of $500 which Yvette has to start repaying immediately. She can appeal, and ask us to collect child support on her behalf. This can include up to 3 months of unpaid child support.

Page last updated: 3 March 2022