Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

One-off payments for families

Most Australian families eligible for the Australian Government’s one-off payment of $600 per child will have now received the payments in their bank accounts or by a cheque in the mail, the Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, said today.

“About two million Australian families are receiving the tax-free bonus payment of an extra $600 per child. The families don’t need to do anything to claim their money. It will be paid automatically into their bank account,” she said.

“If a family was receiving Family Tax Benefit (A) on 11 May 2004, then that family will qualify for the one-off payment of $600 per child.

“If a family became eligible for Family Tax Benefit (A) after May 11 and before June 30, they will also get the $600 per child bonus. It will be paid in the second half of this year.

“About 1.5 million families have already received approximately $1.7 billion in payments last week.”

Senator Patterson said families can look for ‘AusGov FTB Bonus’ on their bank statement to identify the payment. They should wait until the end of the month before contacting the Family Assistance Office if the payment doesn’t immediately appear.

She said the same arrangements are in place for over 80,000 people across Australia receiving the Carer Payment, who will get the one-off carers’ bonus of $1000, and over 280,000 people receiving Carer Allowance, who will be paid $600 for each eligible person in their care.

About 285,000 eligible customers have already received approximately $145 million in payments last week, with the reference ‘AusGovCarerBonus’ appearing on their bank statements.

“The One-Off Family Payment and the One-Off Carer Bonus payment demonstrate the Australian Government’s commitment to families and carers,” Senator Patterson said.

While payments are being automatically paid into bank accounts, customers can contact Centrelink on 13 6150 from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and for the next few weeks from 9am to 1pm Saturday and Sunday, for specific enquiries.