Action urged to prevent payments being cut
Parents are running out of time to vaccinate their children if they want to avoid having their family support payments cut under the Turnbull Government’s tough No Jab, No Pay rules.
The Department of Human Services has written to about 130,000 families whose immunisation records were not up to date as of 1 July, advising them they have until September 3 to take action.
Those who fail to respond by the deadline will have their Family Tax Benefit Part A payments reduced by $28.28 each fortnight for every child not vaccinated, providing a constant reminder for parents to keep their children’s immunisation up to date.
Previously the money was deducted at the end of the year from the withheld portion of the benefit.
Minister for Human Services Michael Keenan said the change gave parents an immediate incentive to act quickly.
“About 1.4 million families receive Part A of the benefit each year and the overwhelming majority do the right thing by immunising their children against preventable diseases,” Minister Keenan said.
“For those who haven’t yet vaccinated their kids, you now have less than three weeks to take action if you want to avoid having your payments cut.”
Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan said the No Jab, No Pay policy had encouraged almost 250,000 families to take action since it was introduced by the Turnbull Government in 2016.
“Immunisation is the safest way to protect children from vaccine-preventable diseases,” Minister Tehan said.
“Parents who don’t immunise their children are putting their own kids at risk as well as the children of other people.”
Parents do not need to notify the department once their child is immunised, as their vaccination provider will update the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).
To find out more about immunisation requirements for family payments and the AIR, visit humanservices.gov.au/immunisation