Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

One-Off Family Bonus Payments

Around 2 million families have been paid their $600 per child one-off bonus according to the eligibility criteria set out in legislation.

There have been a limited number of cases where the person in a family claiming Family Tax Benefit has changed and, at the same time, the family has changed the way they receive their entitlement from a lump sum in respect of the 2002-03 financial year to a fortnightly payment in 2003-04.

Under the legislation, which was passed with the support of Labor, these families are entitled to the $600 per child bonus because they claimed their entitlement as lump sum in respect of the 2002-03 financial year and then chose to claim the benefit in fortnightly instalments as at Budget night, 11 May 2004.

While these families have been paid in accordance with the legislation, Centrelink will be contacting them and if families consider that they have received more than they are entitled to they will be encouraged to pay back that amount.

Media reports today that claim families are unable to return money to Centrelink to which they believe they are not entitled are untrue.