Social Security Payments for People Caring for Children, 1912-2008: a chronology - tables 2-4

Updated 29 January 2009

Dale Daniels
Social Policy Section


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Child Endowment 1941 to 1976, Family Allowance 1976 to 1992, Basic Family Payment 1993 to 1995, Family Payment 1996 to 1998, Family Allowance 1998 to 2000 and Family Tax Benefit Part A from 2000

Commencement Date

Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation:

Child Endowment Act 1941 (No. 8 of 1941)

1941

From July Child Endowment (CE) was paid direct to the mother, at a flat rate of five shillings per week for each child after the first under the age of 16 years. Children living in Commonwealth or State government institutions were excluded from endowment. It was not subject to any means test, nor was it taxable. A child for endowment purposes had to be under 16 years of age. Both the claimant and child had to have been born in Australia or resident in Australia for twelve months immediately prior to the claim. Children of alien fathers were excluded from eligibility unless they were born in Australia or the mother was a British subject.

Menzies, UAP-CP

1942

From July eligibility for CE was extended to children in Government institutions and, retrospectively, to Aboriginal children who lived for six months per year on a mission station, and children who were maintained from a deceased estate.

Curtin, ALP

1947

From July amendments were made to the legislation to allow Australians temporarily absent from Australia and newly arrived migrants to receive child endowment.

Chifley, ALP

1950

From June CE of five shillings per week for a first child aged under 16 years was introduced. CE for the second and each additional child continued at 10 shillings per week. This change established the principle of differential rates of endowment contingent on the position of a child in a family.

Menzies, Lib-CP

1964

From January

  • CE for the third and each additional child under 16 years in families, and for a child in an institution, increased by five shillings to 15 shillings per week.
  • Provision was made for the payment of CE of 15 shillings per week for each student child aged from 16 years to 20 years receiving full-time education and not in employment.
 

1976

From June

  • Family Allowance (FA) replaced CE. Under the scheme the rates were $3.50 per week for the first child, $5.00 per week for the second, $6.00 per week for each of the third and fourth children, and $7.00 per week for each additional child. FA was not subject to any income or assets test, nor was it taxable.
  • The age at which FA ceased to be payable for dependent students was increased from 21 to 25 years.

Fraser, Lib-NCP

1978

From October

  • FA ceased to be payable in respect of student children receiving invalid pensions.
  • Payment of FA was no longer made outside Australia except where the child was temporarily abroad or living abroad pending migration to Australia (within four years). FA ceased to be payable for children living abroad with a person receiving an Australian pension or benefit.
 

1979

From January FA ceased to be payable for children receiving student allowances under the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme and other related scholarship schemes. Appropriate adjustments were made to these allowances to ensure that all families of tertiary students received broadly the same base payments.

From May FA was paid on a monthly basis. Adjusted equivalent rates per month were, first child $15.20; second child $21.70; each of the third and fourth children $26.00; fifth and each additional child $30.35; child in an institution $21.70.

 

1982

From August FA ceased to be payable to certain temporary residents of Australia (diplomats, consuls, defence personnel of other countries, and members of their families), or to prohibited immigrants.

From October FA was no longer payable in respect of a child who became a Supporting Parents Benefit recipient. A savings provision protected existing recipients.

From November FA could continue to be paid in cases where a child was leaving school and seeking employment, up to the time they received unemployment benefits, or found work or otherwise ceased to qualify for FA.

 

1983

From March a rehabilitation allowance was introduced. FA ceased to be payable for recipients of the rehabilitation allowance.

Hawke, ALP

1985

From November

  • FA ceased to be payable for dependants aged 18 and over. This did not apply where the FA claimant was receiving a pension, benefit or allowance which included a component paid for the dependant or which was paid entirely because of that dependant, and where the dependant was not otherwise receiving a tertiary education allowance; or the dependant was receiving a payment under the Secondary Allowance Scheme, the Aboriginal Secondary Grants Scheme or the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme.
  • An addition to FA for families with multiple births was introduced. An additional $150 per month for triplets and $200 per month for quadruplets or higher multiples became payable until the children reached six years of age.
  • FA could continue to be paid to the parent of a child in an institution where the institution chose not to receive FA for the child.
 

1986

From January FA for dependants aged 16 years or more ceased to be payable if the dependant received a payment under the Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme, Adult Secondary Education Assistance Scheme, Aboriginal Study Grants Scheme, Postgraduate Awards Scheme, or Secondary Allowance Scheme.

From December FA for 16 and 17 year olds became subject to an income test. No FA was payable where parental income (as assessed for the previous financial year) exceeded $39 000 per year.

 

1987

From October FA became payable for children who were overseas only if the child was an Australian resident or had been an Australian resident and was living overseas with the person entitled to receive the FA payment.

From November the income test on payments for 16 and 17 year olds was replaced by a tapered income test applying to all FA payments. The full rate of FA was payable for joint annual taxable income of up to $50 000 per year for one child; the income test limit increased by $2500 for each additional child. Each $1.00 of annual income in excess of the applicable limit reduced the rate of FA payable by $0.25 per year.

 

1988

From December FA became payable on a fortnightly, rather than a monthly basis, in combination with payments of Family Allowance Supplement (FAS) (see below). The new fortnightly rates of FA to apply for the period to 30 June 1989 were: $9.80 for the first child, $13.95 for the second, $16.70 for each of the third and fourth and $19.55 for each of the fifth and any additional children.

 

1989

From January the FA income test limits became subject to yearly indexation moving in line with movements in the CPI over the previous financial year. The income test thresholds applying from that date became $53 550, plus $2 678 for the second and each additional child.

From July the rates of FA were increased. At the same time the rate structure was changed so that a flat rate of $9 per week was payable for each of the first three children in a family and a higher flat rate of $12 per week was payable for each of any additional children in a family or for each child in an institution.

From October selective income reviews were introduced.

 

1990

From January

  • Annual indexation was introduced. The first rise related to movements in the CPI over the period December 1988 to June 1989. Rises in later years related to movements in the CPI for the previous full financial year. (See Table 2 for payment levels.)
  • FA was no longer paid for children under 16 years who earned more than $100 a week.
  • FA ceased to be paid on the sixteenth birthday of children who qualified for a Commonwealth education allowance.
  • The rate of multiple birth payments became subject to yearly indexation in line with movements in the CPI for the preceding financial year.
 

1991

In January

  • FA became fully indexed in line with movements in the CPI for the 1989-90 financial year. (See Table 2 for payment levels.)
  • FA was once again paid for children aged 16 years or over receiving payments under the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme.
  • The taper in the income test was removed so that no FA was payable as soon as income exceeded the applicable threshold.
  • From August where a child died the parent could be eligible for special assistance in the form of continued payment of FA for four weeks.
 

1992

From January

  • An assets test was introduced for FA. Assets exceeding $600 000 (excluding the family home) removed entitlement to FA. The assets of all immediate family members were included. Hardship provisions applied so that families whose assets exceeded $600 000, but whose estimated income for the current year was below the married pension rate and whose available funds were less than $6 000 if single and $10 000 if married, retained entitlement.
  • FA was back-paid to the date of the childs birth if the claim was lodged within 13 weeks (previously four weeks) of the date of birth.
  • A Family Allowance Bonus was paid on pay day 2 April 1992. It consisted of $125 for one child, $175 for two, $200 for three, $225 for four, $225 for five and $250 for six or more.

Keating, ALP

1993

From January

  • FA was renamed Basic Family Payment (BFP).
  • BFP was payable to a child until the end of the year in which they turned 18 years of age or ceased secondary studies, whichever occurred first.
  • Half of the first child rate of BFP for up to a six month period could be paid in advance as a lump sum.
 

1994

From January

  • The income test limits were lowered to $60 000 per annum and the additional amount allowed for each extra child was reduced to $3 000.
  • The asset limit under the assets test was reduced to $550 000.
  • Certain employer-provided fringe benefits were treated as income under the income test.
  • Income received from foreign sources was taken into account under the income test.
 

1996

From January

  • BFP and Additional Family Payment (AFP) were replaced by a single payment called Family Payment (FP). FP retained the three age-related rates of payment that applied to AFP as maximum rates. A minimum rate of $21.70 applied where recipients did not qualify under the AFP income and assets tests, but did qualify under the BFP income and assets tests. A Large Family Supplement was paid to families with four or more children at the rate of $7.20 for each fourth and subsequent child. The maintenance income test applied to FP when paid at more than the basic rate.
  • Families whose income fell were able to receive FP based on an estimate of their current year income regardless of how small the reduction in income was. Families whose income increased had their FP reassessed if their estimated income was 10 per cent higher than their base tax year income.
  • FP was paid to the primary carer of the child rather than automatically being paid to the female member of a couple.
 

1998

From January the above minimum rate of FP could be paid while a FP child and/or recipient were outside Australia for up to 8 weeks.

From April FP was renamed Family Allowance (FA).

From July the more than minimum rate of payment for secondary students aged 16 to 18 years was abolished as part of a reform package for youth education and unemployment payments, which saw the introduction of the Youth Allowance (YA).

Howard, Lib- NP

1999

From July payers of child support with second families had 50 per cent of any child support paid disregarded as income when their familys entitlement to FA was calculated under the income test.

From October eligibility for FA was extended to jobseekers who were aged 18 to 21 years and full-time students aged 18 to 24 years, where they qualified for little or no YA. They qualified for a new minimum rate of $50 per fortnight. Claimants could choose to apply for YA or FA in order to maximise their entitlement.

 

2000

From July FA was replaced by a new payment called Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTBA). FTBA also replaced both Family Tax Assistance Part A and Family Tax Payment Part A. Its introduction was part of a broader reform of family payments which coincided with the introduction of and compensated for the impact of the GST in July 2000.

FTBA provided a number of different rates of payment depending on the income of the family and the age of each child. Families with income below $28,200 pa were eligible for $3,029.50 pa ($116.20 pf) for each child aged under 13 years, $3,839.80 pa ($142.20 pf) for each child aged 13 to 15 years, $974.55 pa ($37.38 pf) for each 16 to 17 year old not receiving YA, and $1307.70 pa ($50.12 pf) for each 18 to 21 year old (24 if a student) not receiving YA.

Families with incomes up to $73,000 plus $3000 for each child after the first were eligible for $974.55 pa ($37.38 pf) for each child. Rates and eligibility conditions for Rent Assistance (RA), multiple birth allowance and large family supplement remained largely unchanged apart from some increases to compensate for the impact of the introduction of the GST in July 2000. Indexation of rates was undertaken in July each year rather than January.

FTBA was not subject to an assets test. The income test included a taper rate of 30 per cent rather than the 50 per cent taper that had applied to FA. The taper applied to both the lower and the higher income thresholds. Income continued to be assessed by using taxable income adjusted to take account of fringe benefits, foreign income and net rental property losses. However estimated current financial year income was used rather than actual income from an earlier financial year.

 

2001

From July payers of child support with second families had the full amount of any child support paid disregarded as income when their familys entitlement to FTBA was calculated under the income test.

 

2004

From June a one off lump sum payment of $600 per child was made to families entitled to FTBA during 2003-04.

From July a person who had been out of Australia for more than 13 weeks could only receive the base rate of FTBA. Also the base rate could only be claimed for a child who had been out of Australia for more than 13 weeks. Previously the time limit had been 26 weeks.

A $600 lump sum supplement to the maximum and base rates of FTBA was introduced, to be paid after the end of each income year when benefit paid was reconciled with entitlement based on the families actual adjusted taxable income. The supplement was applied from the 2003-04 income year and was indexed on 1 July each year. As the payment was made at the time of reconciliation it reduced or eliminated any debt accrued during the course of the previous year as a result of underestimation of family actual income.

The taper rate that applied to the withdrawal of the maximum rate under the income test for FTBA was reduced from 30% to 20%.

 

 
2006

From July the income test free area under the FTBA income test was increased to $40,000 pa.

Families with three children were made eligible for Large Family Supplement in addition to those with four or more children who already received it.

Under the maintenance income test, a maintenance income credit was introduced to allow parents to save up their unused maintenance income test free areas from previous years to offset against late child support payments received in subsequent years.

 
2008 From January the age limit for multiple birth allowance was increased from 5 years of age to 15 years of age or to the end of the year in which the child turned 18 if they were a full-time student. Rudd, ALP

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Table 2: Maximum Rates of Child Endowment 1941 to 1976, Family Allowance 1976 to 1992 and Basic Family Payment 1993 to 1995

Child in a family

Payable from

First child

Second child

Third child

Fourth child

Fifth
and each
extra child

Each
child in an
institution(a)

 

($ per week)

01.07.41

-

0.50

0.50

0.50

0.50

0.50

26.06.45

-

0.75

0.75

0.75

0.75

0.75

09.11.48

-

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

20.06.50

0.50

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

14.01.64

0.50

1.00

1.50

1.50

1.50

1.50

19.09.67

0.50

1.00

1.50

1.75

(b)2.00

1.50

12.10.71

0.50

1.00

2.00

2.25

(b)2.50

2.00

15.06.76

3.50

5.00

6.00

6.00

7.00

5.00

.

($ per month)

15.05.79

15.20

21.70

26.00

26.00

30.35

21.70

15.12.81

15.20

21.70

39.00

39.00

45.55

39.00

15.10.82

22.80

32.55

39.00

39.00

45.55

39.00

.

($ per fortnight)

29.12.88

9.80

13.95

16.70

16.70

19.55

16.70

13.07.89

18.00

18.00

18.00

24.00

24.00

24.00

11.01.90

18.60

18.60

18.60

24.80

24.80

24.80

10.01.91

20.00

20.00

20.00

26.70

26.70

26.70

09.01.92

20.70

20.70

20.70

27.60

27.60

27.60

07.01.93

20.90

20.90

20.90

27.90

27.90

27.90

06.01.94

21.30

21.30

21.30

28.40

28.40

28.40

01.01.95

21.70

21.70

21.70

28.90

28.90

28.90

Notes:
(a) Endowment was not extended to children in government institutions until 30 June 1942.
(b) With a 25 cent cumulative increase for each additional child.

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Table 3: Rates of Family Payment, 1996 to 1998, Family Allowance 1998 to 2000 and Family Tax Benefit Part A & Part B from 2000

Payable
From

Maximum Rates per Child

Minimum
Rate per Child

Large Family Supplement for Each Fourth and Extra Child

Child under 13

Child 13-15

Student 16-18(a)

($ per fortnight)

01.96

93.10

121.10

58.20

22.70

7.50

01.97

96.00

124.90

60.00

23.40

7.70

01.98

96.40

125.40

60.20

23.50

7.70

01.99

99.00

128.80

0.00

23.70

7.80

01.00

101.60

132.20

50.00

24.00

7.90

 

 

 

Payable
From

Family tax benefit part A Family tax benefit part B

Maximum Rates per Child

Base rate per child

Rate per student

Annual Supple ment  per child Large Family Supple ment Rate per family Annual Supplement  per family

Child
under 13

Child 13-15

Child 0-15

Under
18

18-24

Youngest aged    under 5
Youngest aged 5-18

($ per fortnight)

($ p.a.) ($ per fortnight) ($ p.a.)

07.00

116.20

147.28

37.38

37.38

50.12

-

7.98

99.82
69.58
-

07.01

122.92

155.82

39.48

39.48

53.06

-

8.40

105.56
73.64
-

07.02

126.70

160.72

40.74

40.74

54.74

-

8.68

108.78
75.88
-

07.03

130.48

165.48

42.00

42.00

56.42

-

8.96

112.00
78.12
-
07.04
133.56
169.40
42.98
42.98
57.82
613.20
9.24
114.66
79.94
150(from 1 Jan)
07.05
137.06
173.74
44.10
44.10
59.36
627.80
9.52
117.60
82.04
306.6
07.06
140.84
179.76
45.36
45.36
61.04
646.05
9.80
120.96
84.28

313.90

07.07
145.46
189.00
46.90
46.90
63.00
667.95
10.08
125.02
87.08
324.85
07.08
151.34
196.84
48.30
48.30
64.96
686.20
10.36
128.80
89.74
335.80

Note:
(a) This rate abolished from July 1998 as part of Youth Allowance reform. From October 1999 a new rate introduced for all aged 18 to 21 year and students aged 18 to 24 years who qualify for little or no Youth Allowance.

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Widow Pension Class A 1942 to 1989

Commencement Date

Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation:

Widows Pensions Act 1942 (No 19 of 1942)

1942

From June, as part of a broader scheme of Widow Pensions, Widow Pension Class A (WPa) was paid to widows with at least one dependent child aged under 16 years. The term 'widow' included de facto widows who had been living with the deceased spouse for at least three years prior to his death and had been mantaind by him. Eligibility was also given to deserted de jure wives who had been deserted for at least six months, divorced women who had not remarried and women whose husbands were in hospitals for the insane.

Claimants were required to be resident in Australia and to have resided in Australia continuously for a period of five years immediately prior to their application. Aliens and the indigenous people of Australia, Africa, the Pacific and New Zealand were excluded from eligibility. This exclusion did not apply to Aboriginal people who were exempt from state laws 'relating to the control of Aboriginal natives' or who lived in a state where such exemptions did not exist and who were eligible on the rounds of 'character, intelligence and develoment'.

A means test was applied to WPa. Property above the value of 1 000 pounds excluded a widow fro eligibility. Changes in the allowable roperty value since 1942 are set out in Table 7. Homes, furniture and personal effects were excluded from the calculation of this property value. The pension payable was also reduced by an amount equivalent to any income in excess of 32 pounds ten shillings per annum. Income included five per cent of the value of any property owned (excluding those categories mentioned above) or the actual income received, whichever was the greater. Changes in this permissible income level since 1942 are set out in Table 8. WPa was paid four-weekly in arrears and the rate was subject to quarterly adjustment according to movements in the retail price index.

Widows were eligible for additional payments for their children. See the chapter on Child Allowance and Additional Pension and Benefit for Children for details.

From July WPa was exempted from income tax.

Curtin, ALP

1944

From April quarterly adjustment of rates was abolished.

 

1946

From August various insurance products and deceased estates not yet received were disregarded when calculating the property value.

Five per cent of the value of property or any actual income from property was no longer assessed under the income test.

Chifley, ALP

1947

From July WPa was paid fortnightly.

Any child maintenance income over 15 shillings per week was made assessable as income.

New recipients of a War widow's Pension were no longer eligible for WPa. Those already receiving both pensions were subject to transitional arrangements.

Discretion t continue payment for up to two years after the youngest child turned 16 years of age, where that child was a full-time student dependent on the pensioner, was given to the Director-General of Social Services.

A component for children was added to the income allowed before pension was reduced under the income test. Five shillings per week was allowed for the first child aged under 16 years and ten shillings per week for each additional child aged under 16 years.

 

1950

From August a Pensioner Medical Service scheme providing free general practitioner services and medicines was introduced.

Menzies, Lib-CP

1951

From October the income disregard for second and subsequent children was reduced to five shillings per week.

 

1952

From September the residence requirement was reduced to one year where the couple were living permanently in Australia at the time of the death of the husband.

 

1955

From November participation in the Pensioner Medical Service was limited to those pensioners with weekly private income of two pounds or less.

 

1958

From October Supplementary Assistance of 10 shillings per week became available to widows paying rent.

 

1960

From February most restrictions on the eligibility of Aboriginal people were removed.

 

1961

From March the merged means test was introduced. It combined the separate income and property-based means tests. A deemed income amount equivalent to one pound for every ten pounds worth of property above 1000 pounds was added to other income in applying the new test. However no property income was deemed where property was valued at less than 2250 pounds. The rate of pension was calculated by deducting from the maximum annual rate income in excess of 182 pounds per annum.

 

1963

From September a Mother's Allowance was introduced and paid to WPa recipients. This payment is examined in a separate chronology in this paper.

WPa was made paable until the end of the year in which the youngest dependent student reached 18 years of age.

 

1964

From October telephone rental concessions, reducing annual rental costs by one third, were introduced for pensioners.

 

1965

From October WPa was made payable until the youngest dependent student reached 21 years of age.

 

1966

From January the separate means test applying to the Pensioner Medical Service was abolished. All pensioners were now eligible for benefits under the service.

 
 

From September any child maintenance income over three pounds per week for each child was assessable as income.

The remaining provisions preventing Aboriginal people living a nomadic lifestyle from receiving a pension were repealed.

Pensions became payable to aliens.

Holt, Lib-CP

1968

From September the residency requirement for eligibility for WPa was removed where the widow and her husband had been permanent residents at the time of death.

A vocational training scheme for WPa recipients was introduced.

Gorton, Lib-CP

1969

From September the means test was modified to include a tapered reduction of the maximum rate. The rate of pension was now reduced by only half the income assessed in excess of the income test free amount. Eligibility for fringe benefits including the Pensioner Medical Service benefits was still determined under the means test without a taper.

Women widowed outside of Australia became eligible for pension on returning to Australia if they had lived in Australia for 10 years continuously at any time.

 

1971

In April rates of pension were increased, but the full increase was restricted to full-rate pensioners. Those receiving a pension within 50 cents of the full rate were allowed only half of the increase and all others received no increase.

In October rates increased again on the same basis as in April, with the difference that the half increase went to those receiving pension within $1.00 of the full rate.

McMahon, Lib-CP

1972

From April rates of pension increased and those who had received less than the full increases in 1971 were given increases to bring them into line with those who had received increases.

 

1973

From March the age limit of 21 years for dependent full-time students was removed.

From July WPa paid to women of age pension age was made taxable.

From September the means test on the Pensioner Medical Service was modified. Where annual means as assessed exceeded $1716 (plus an amount for each child) eligibility ceased.

Whitlam, ALP

1974

From October the vocational training scheme for widows was incorporated into the National Employment and Training system (NEAT).

From November women who were widowed while overseas were given eligibility for WPa on their return to Australia provided they had continuously resided in Australia for at least 10 years at any time.

 

1975

From July the Pensioner Medical Service was superseded by eligibility for a range of medical services under Medibank.

From October WPa was not paid to a widow living with a man as his wife though not legally married to him.

 

1976

From July WPa was subject to income tax.

From October the means test was replaced by an income test which took no account of the value of property holdings. Income from property was still taken into account. Provisions were introduced to deem income where a pensioner had deprived themselves of income in order to increase the rate of pension payable or to qualify for a pension.

From November automatic six-monthly rate increases in May and November, in line with movements in the CPI, were introduced for the basic pension rate.

Fraser, Lib-NCP

1978

From October an upper age limit of 25 years was introduced for determining whether a full-time student could be a dependant for the purposes of WPa.

From November automatic rate increases were made annually in November.

 

1980

From May automatic rate increases were once again made six-monthly in May and November.

 

1983

From November fringe benefit income limits were made subject to automatic indexation in line with movements in the CPI.

Hawke, ALP

1985

From March an assets test was introduced which applied to all income-tested pensions. The assets or income test was applied, but not both. The test giving the lower pension level was applied. Certain assets were not considered under the test, principally the family home. The first $120 000 of a single pensioner's assets were exempt from consideration under the test. For those who owned their own home only $70 000 of assets were exempt. These exeption levels were subject to annual indexation in line with the CPI. Pension was reduced by $2.00 per week for every $1000 of assets in excess of the exemption levels.

 

1986

From December rate increases took place in December and June rather than November and May as had previously been the case.

 

1987

From January dual eligibility for pensions and for Commonwealth education payments was ended. Pensioners studying full-time were eligible for an educational supplement of $15 per week.

From July the separate income test for Rent Assistance (RA) was abolished.

From September the maximum age of a qualifying child was limited to 15 years of age.

From November an earnings credit system was introduced. Pensioners could save up unused portions of the income test free area to a limit of $1000. When income exceeded the free area the credit was reduced until totally depleted. The normal income test then applied again.

 

1988

From January fringe benefit entitlement could be retained for three months after income exceeded the income test limit by no more than 25 per cent.

From June a separate maintenance income test was introduced. Where maintenance in excess of $15 per week was received benefit was reduced by 50 cents for each dollar in excess of $15. The free area of $15 per week was increased by $5 for each child after the first. This new income test was part of a broader reform package that also introduced the Child Support Scheme.

From July portability of WPa overseas was limited to 12 months, except for de jure widows who were Australian residents.

 

1989

From March WPa and Supporting Parent's Benefit (SPB) were combined and renamed Sole Parent Pension (SPP). Basic entitlements and conditions did not change significantly. Eliibility was however extended to people with substantial control and care of a qualifying child, although not having legal custody, where that care and control had existed for at least 12 months before grant of pension.

 

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Child's Allowance/Additional Pension or Benefit for Children 1943 to 1993

Commencement Date

Details

Government at Commencement

Original Enabling Legislation:

Invalid and Old Age Pensions Act 1943 (No. 14 of 1943) for Child's Allowance

Unemployment and Sickness Benefits Act 1944 (No. 10 of 1944) for Additional Benefit

Social Services Act 1956 (No. 67 of 196) for Additional Pension

1943

From July Child's Allowance (CA) was introduced, payable at the rate of five shillings per week for a first or an unendowed child under 16 years dependet on an invalid or permanently-incapacitated old-age pensioner. (Strictly speaking, Class A Widow Pensioners were not eligible for CA; however, the rate of pension paid to a Class A widow had included an amount equivalent to CA since its introduction in 1942.) CA was not subject to the means test.

Curtin, ALP

1945

From July Additional Benefit for Children (AB) of five shillings per week became payable in respect of the first child to any person qualified to receive unemployment or sickness benefit having the custody, care and control of one or more children under the age of 16 years. (Other children were to be covered by the child endowment scheme.)

 

1947

From July

  • Eligibility for CA was extended to a wife whose husband was in a benevolent asylum and to single invalid pensioners of either sex who had the custody, care and control of a child aged under 16 years.
  • AB of five shillings per week for the first child became available to a beneficiary making regular contributions of not less than five shillings towards the maintenance of such a child (in addition to the person having the custody, care and control of the child).

Chifley, ALP

1953

From October eligibility for CA was extended to blind persons with a child under 16 who were receiving only the means-test free component of the pension.

Menzies, Lib-CP

1956

From October a supplement to the pension, known as Additional Pension for Children (AP), of 10 shillings per week was introduced for each child under 16 years of age, after the first, of an invalid, a permanently-incapacitated age or a Class A Widow Pensioner. AP was subject to the means test; it was not taxable.

 

1962

From March AB became payable for the second and each additional child at the rate of 15 shillings per week.

 

1963

From October a specific allowance was introduced for the first child of a widow pensioner. The rate was 15 shillings per week and was not subject to the means test. This was an extension of CA which was already payable in respect of the first child of an invalid or permanently-incapacitated age pensioner.

From November eligibility for CA and AP was extended to include a child over 16 years until the end of the calendar year in which she/he reached 18 years, if dependent on the pensioner and receiving full-time education.

 

1965

From October eligibility for CA and AP was extended to children of all age pensioners. Eligibility was also extended to include a full-time student until the date she/he reached 21 years of age.

 

1968

From September CA was abolished and AP substituted, thus placing payments for a pensioner's eldest, elder or only child on the same basis as payments for other children. AP paid for the first child of an invalid or blind age pnsioner remained payable free of the means test.

Gorton, Lib-CP

1969

From September, where a beneficiary was claiming AB due to a regular contribution towards the maintenance of a child, the rate of the contribution was to be not less than $2.50 per week.

 

1971

From September/October AP/AB for a first child increased by $2.00 to $4.50; AP/AB for the second and each additional child increased by $1.00 to $4.50, thus making AP/AB payable at a uniform rate for each child.

McMahon, Lib-CP

1973

From March AP/AB for full-time dependent students of a pensioner or beneficiary became payable irrespective of the age of the student. The age limit of 21 years was removed.

From July eligibility for AP was extended to recipients of the newly-introduced Supporting Mother's Benefit (SMB).

Whitlam, ALP

1974

From November AP was extended to a Class B widow pensioner with a child, not being a child of her ow or a child who entered her care before she became a widow, thus placing her in the same position as a Class A widow pensioner.

 

1976

From July AB became taxable.

Fraser, Lib-NCP

1978

From October

  • AP and AB for dependent students aged 25 years or more ceased to be payable.
  • AP ceased to be payable unless a child was living in Australia or temporarily abroad, was living overseas with a pensioner or was living overseas and the pensioner was living in Australia and intending to bring the child to Australia as soon as it was practical to do so (usually within four years).
 

1982

From November

  • Where a pensioner or beneficiary had a child who was leaving school and seeking employment, AP and AB could continue to be paid until the child received unemployment benefit, obtained work or otherwise ceased to qualify.
  • AP and AB ceased to be payable if a child became a Supporting Parent's Benefit (SPB) recipient. A savings provision protected existing recipients of AP and AB.
 

1983

From March a rehabilitation allowance was introduced. Eligibility for AP was extended for children of rehabilitation allowees but AP and AB ceased to be payable for persons who were themselves receiving rehabilitation allowance.

Hawke, ALP

1984

From March AB was no longer taxable.

 

1986

From January the most recent $2 increase and all subsequent increases in AP and AB were withdrawn for students aged 16 years and over receiving Tertiary Education Allowance or Secondary Allowance.

 

1987

From January the lower rate of AP and AB became payable for a dependent student receiving payments under the Austudy Scheme, the Veterans' Children Education Scheme and the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme.

From October AP and AB became payable for children who wereoverseas only if the child was an Australian resident or had been an Australian resident and was living overseas with the person entitled to receive AP/AB.

 

1988

From January AP and AB ceased to be payable for student children receiving AUSTUDY, or payments under the Veterans' Children Education Scheme, the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme, the Aboriginal Secondary Assistance Scheme or the Aboriginal Stdy Assistance Scheme.

 

1990

From January

  • AP and AB rates were indexed in January of each year.
  • A lump-sum bereavement payment became payable on the death of a child for whom AP and AB was payable. The lump sum was equal to all payments that would otherwise have been paid for that child during the fourteen weeks after death.
  • Eligibility for AP and AB ceased on the sixteenth birthday of a student child, except where the child was not entitled to AUSTUDY or another prescribed education payment.
  • A child under 16 years of age earning $100 per week or more was not entitled to AP and AB.
 

1993

From January 1993 AP and AB were abolished. They were replaced by Family Allowance Supplement (FAS) paid to the principal carer.

Keating, ALP

Back to contents

Table 4: Maximum Rates of Child's Allowance 1943 to 1963, Additional Pension for Children 1956 to 1992, Additional Benefit for Children 1945 to 1992, Family Income Suppement 1983 to 1987, Family Allowance Supplement 1987 to 1992 and Additional Family Payment 1993 to 1995

Payable from

Child's allowance

Additional pension

Additional benefit

First child

Each other child

First child

Each other child

 

($ per week)

07.43

0.0

-

-

-

-

07.45

0.50

-

-

0.50

-

06.49

0.90

-

-

0.50

-

11.51

1.15

-

-

0.50

-

10.56

1.15

-

1.00

0.50

-

10.57

1.50

-

1.00

1.00

-

09.61

1.50

-

1.00

1.25

-

03.62

1.50

-

1.00

1.50

1.50

10.63

1.50

1.50

1.50

1.50

1.50

10.68(a)

-

2.50

2.50

1.50

1.50

09.69

-

2.50

3.50

2.50

3.50

 

.

Under 13 years:
each child

13 to 15 years:
each child

Each prescribed student

09.71(b)

4.50

4.50

4.50

09.73

5.00

5.00

5.00

11.74

5.50

5.50

5.50

05.75

7.00

7.00

7.00

11.75

7.50

7.50

7.50

11.80

10.00

10.00

10.00

05.83(c)

10.00

10.00

10.00

11.83

12.00

12.00

12.00

11.84

14.00

14.00

14.00

11.85

16.00

16.00

16.00

01.86

16.00

16.00

14.00

11.86

17.00

17.00

14.00

12.87(d)

22.00

28.00

17.00

12.88

24.00

31.00

17.00

07.89

24.00

34.10

17.00

01.90

24.15

35.25

17.00

01.91

26.50

38.65

17.00

01.92

27.40

39.95

17.00

04.92

30.40

42.95

17.00

01.93(e)

30.95

43.70

17.00

01.94

32.10

45.30

17.00

01.95

33.60

47.05

17.00

Notes:
(a) Child's Allowance abolished.
(b) Additional pension and additional benefit paid at same rate.
(c) Family Income Supplement introduced.
(d) Famly Allowance Supplement introduced.
(e) Additional Family Payment introduced.

 

Commonwealth of Australia
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