1.1.P.120 Primary carer (FTB, baby bonus)

Definition: FTB

For the purposes of FTB, the primary carer is the member of a couple (1.1.M.50) identified as having greater responsibility for the children.

The primary carer is the person who generally:

  • has major daily responsibility for caring for the child/ren in the family,
  • looks after the child/ren's needs,
    • Example: Dressing, feeding, bathing, outings.
  • makes most arrangements for the daily needs of the child/ren,
  • makes appointments for the child/ren,
    • Example: Appointments at school or with doctors or dentists and accompanies them on those appointments.
  • is the first individual for the day care, school, or college to contact in emergencies, or
  • is the individual who is responsible for taking the child/ren to and from day care/pre-school/kindergarten/school.

The primary carer may be an individual in receipt of PP. Although receipt of PP generally indicates who stays home to care for the children, that individual may not always be the primary carer for FA purposes. PP for members of a couple is mainly a payment to provide parents with flexible choices about work and family responsibilities.

Paying FA to the primary carer arises from provisions that prevent FA from being paid to more than one individual for the same child.

Act reference: FAAct section 26 Only 1 member of a couple eligible for family tax benefit

Definition: baby bonus shared care cases

Note: On 1 March 2014, NBS and SBP replaced baby bonus to provide assistance to those families not eligible for or not accessing PLP (PPL Guide 2.2).

For children born or entrusted to care as part of an adoption process on or after 1 March 2014, baby bonus will no longer be available.

For children born or entrusted to care as part of an adoption process before 1 March 2014, an individual may still be eligible to receive baby bonus.

From 1 January 2011, for the purposes of baby bonus shared care cases, if a child is an FTB child of an individual and is also the FTB child of another individual who is not the individual's partner, then the primary carer of the child is:

  • the individual who gave birth to the child if that individual's percentage of care is at least 48%, or
  • if that doesn't apply, the individual who has a higher percentage of care of the child than anyone else, or
  • if neither of the above circumstances apply but 2 individuals have an equal percentage of care (i.e. higher than anyone else's percentage of care), one of whom gave birth to the child, that individual; or whichever of those individuals the Secretary determines is the primary carer of the child.

Act reference: FAAct section 36(8) Primary carers in cases of shared care

Policy reference: FA Guide 1.2.18 Newborn Supplement (NBS) - Description, 1.2.19 Stillborn Baby Payment (SBP) - Description

Last reviewed: 11 May 2015