2.1.1.10 FTB Child

Summary

This topic explains the concept of an FTB child and covers the following:

  • FTB child,
  • FTB child - general exceptions,
  • FTB children aged 16 to 19,
  • legal responsibility for an FTB child under 18 (1.1.L.20),
  • FTB eligibility for an individual who is imprisoned or confined,
  • stillborn child (1.1.S.130),
  • FTB child living away from home, and
  • FTB child is a member of a couple (1.1.M.50).

This topic applies only to an FTB child of an individual (1.1.I.90). FTB for an ACO (1.1.A.80) is covered in a separate topic.

Where an individual has care of a child for at least 14% but less than 35% of the care period, they have a regular care child. Definition of regular care child is covered in topic, 2.1.1.13.

Where a change of care occurs, a child may be an FTB child of a foster carer. FTB for foster care situations is covered in topic, 2.1.1.85.

Policy reference: FA Guide 2.3 FTB Eligibility for Approved Care Organisations (ACOs)

FTB child

The following table explains the criteria for when an individual is an FTB child of an adult. Where more detail about a criterion is required, the second column indicates where you will find this and the third column indicates the relevant Act reference.

Criterion More Detail FAAct
Child must meet all of the following
Must be in the adult's care (1.1.C.90), 2.1.1.25, 2.1.1.70 section 22(2) to 22(4), section 22(7), section 23
Must be an Australian resident (1.1.A.130) or an SCV holder or living with the adult, 2.1.2.10 section 21, section 22(2) to 22(4)
Not meet any of the exception rules, and This topic  
If there is a pattern of care for the child over a period between more than one adult, the child must be in the adult's care for at least 35% of the care period. 2.1.1.20 section 22(7), section 25, Part 3 Division 1 Subdivision D Determination of percentage of care
Child must meet one of the following
  • child is under 16, and
  • one of the circumstances surrounding the legal responsibility for the child exist in relation to that child, or
This topic section 22(2), section 22(5)
  • child has turned 16 but is aged under 18, and
  • one of the circumstances surrounding the legal responsibility for the child exist in relation to that child, and
  • the child is a senior secondary school child (1.1.S.27), or
This topic section 22(3), section 22(5)
  • child has turned 18 or 19 (up until the end of the calendar year they turn 19), and
  • the child is a senior secondary school child, or
This topic section 22(4)
  • child satisfies the criteria under FAAct sections 22 and 22A regarding FTB child eligibility, and
  • the adult is a member of a couple where the child is from another relationship of their partner.
This topic section 27

Act reference: FAAct section 21 When an individual is eligible for FTB in normal circumstances, section 22 When an individual is an FTB child of another individual, section 23 Effect of FTB child ceasing to be in individual's care without consent, section 25 Effect of an individual's percentage of care for a child being less than 35%, section 27 Extension of meaning of FTB or regular care child in a blended family case, Part 3 Division 1 Subdivision D Determination of percentage of care

Family Assistance and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2011 Schedule 1 item 6 Application provision

Policy reference: FA Guide 2.1.2.10 Residence Requirements

FTB child - general exceptions

The following table explains certain limited situations or circumstances that prevent a child who would otherwise be an FTB child of an adult, from being an FTB child.

If the individual is aged… Then they cannot be an FTB child of the adult if…
from 5 to less than 16 years, - the adult is the individual's partner or would be if the individual was over the age of consent applicable in the state or territory in which the individual lives.
16 to 19 years,

- the adult is the individual's partner (1.1.P.30),

- the individual, or someone on their behalf is receiving a Prescribed Educational Scheme payment (1.1.P.100).

Note: The AIC Scheme is not a Prescribed Education Scheme.

any age, the individual, or someone on their behalf is receiving a:
any age, - in special circumstances, the child ceases to be in adult's care without their consent (2.1.1.70).

Act reference: FAAct section 22A(1) Exceptions to the operation of section 22

FTB children aged 16 to 19

A child aged 16 to 19 years (up to the end of the calendar year in which they turn 19) is an FTB child where they are a senior secondary school child.

Act reference: FAAct section 22B Meaning of senior secondary school child

Family Tax Benefit (Studying Overseas Full-time) Determination 2011

Student Assistance (Education Institutions and Courses) Determination 2009 (No. 2)

Policy reference: FA Guide 1.1.F.60 Full-time secondary study (FTB), 1.1.S.27 Senior secondary school child (FTB)

Circumstances surrounding legal responsibility for an FTB child under 18

The following table provides examples of possible care arrangements for children under 18 years of age:

The child is an FTB child of an adult because… Example

the adult is legally responsible for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the child.

Act reference: FAAct section 22(2) Individual aged under 16, section 22(3) Individual aged 16-17, section 22(5)(a) Legal responsibility for the individual

Michael and John are members of a couple. They have shared legal responsibility for their baby Sam because they are both parents of the child, and there is no court order in place. Sam is an FTB child of both Michael and John. As only one member of a couple is eligible for FTB, Michael or John may claim FTB for Sam (1.1.P.120).

a family law order (1.1.F.10) or registered parenting plan (1.1.P.21) allows the child to live with, or spend time with the adult at specified times.

Act reference: FAAct section 22(2) Individual aged under 16, section 22(3) Individual aged 16-17, section 22(5)(b) Legal responsibility for the individual

Chris and Jane are separated and have registered a parenting plan with the Family Court. The parenting plan orders that their child Ben is to live with Jane for 9 nights each fortnight and with Chris for the other 5 nights. Ben is an FTB child of both Jane and Chris.

the child is not in the care of anyone who has legal responsibility for the child.

Act reference: FAAct section 22(2) Individual aged under 16, section 22(3) Individual aged 16-17, section 22(5)(c) Legal responsibility for the individual

Joe's parent Emma has difficulty providing care for him and by mutual consent he goes to live with his grandmother Lois for an extended period. Lois is eligible for FTB because Joe is in her care and is not being cared for by someone who has legal responsibility for him.

the adult is a member of a couple where the child is from another relationship of their partner.

Act reference: FAAct section 27 Extension of meaning of FTB or regular care child in a blended family case

Emily lives primarily with her parent Dave and his new partner Anthony. Emily is an FTB child of both Dave and Anthony. They agree that Anthony should receive FTB for Emily, as he is the stay-at-home parent.

Policy reference: FA Guide 2.1.1.20 Shared Care & Change of Care Summary, 2.1.1.70 Disputed Care Arrangements, 2.1.1.100 Child at Risk of Harm, 2.1.1.90 Abducted, Absent or Missing Child

FTB eligibility for an individual who is imprisoned or confined

FTB can continue to be paid to an individual who is imprisoned or confined provided their FTB child is still in their care. Consideration must be given to whether a shared care arrangement exists, or if change of care has occurred. There is no time limit on continuing to pay FTB if the child is still in the individual's care.

Example: An imprisoned parent continuing to breast feed her newborn child.

Explanation: The institution may encourage the parent to maintain a close relationship with their child.

Act reference: FAAct section 22(2) Individual aged under 16

Policy reference: FA Guide 2.1.1.20 Shared Care & Change of Care Summary

Stillborn child

A stillborn child cannot be an FTB child.

Where a child is stillborn, families may be eligible for the SBP.

A child that is born alive and dies shortly after birth can still be an FTB child.

Explanation: This is known as a neonatal death.

Policy reference: FA Guide 1.2.19 Stillborn Baby Payment (SBP) - Description

FTB child living away from home

FTB can be paid for a child who is living away from home as long as the adult continues to have responsibility for the care of the child. This situation usually occurs with children living away from home to attend school. Although the adult does not have day-to-day contact with the child, care may continue to be provided.

The individual may be required to provide evidence supporting claims they have responsibility for the care of the child. Evidence of care may include:

  • providing for the child financially,
  • continuing responsibility for the long-term welfare of the child, and
  • the child usually returns home for school holidays.

Example: Emma receives FTB for her 15 year old son Julian who is studying overseas for 2 years towards his year 12 equivalent qualification at a school for the gifted in India. She pays all the school fees and is informed by the school anytime he is sick. Julian returns home for school holidays.

In some circumstances a young person who is living away from home to study may be eligible for YA (see SS Guide 3.2.3.10).

Act reference: FAAct section 22(2) Individual aged under 16

FTB child is a member of a couple

It is possible for an individual who is a member of a couple to be an FTB child of another adult. However, the circumstances under which this could occur are limited.

Example 1: Kate's 17 year old daughter Emma and Emma's boyfriend Kym are living with her. Kym has a part-time job. Emma is 7 months pregnant and has been unable to continue with her study due to difficulties with the pregnancy. Kate has been providing daily care for Emma, who is exempt from the FTB activity test. Emma has not claimed a payment in her own right. Kate can claim FTB for Emma.

Example 2: Laurel is receiving FTB for her 18 year old secondary student child Cindy. Cindy moves in with her 20 year old boyfriend Sean who receives YA. Cindy is not qualified for YA as an independent young person until they have lived together for 12 months. Laurel pays Cindy's share of the rent and Cindy returns home in semester breaks. Laurel can continue to receive FTB for Cindy while she continues to be a senior secondary school child.

Act reference: FAAct section 22(3) Individuals aged 16-17, section 22(4) Individuals aged 18-19, section 22A Exceptions to the operation of section 22, Schedule 3 clause 3 Adjusted taxable income of members of couple

Last reviewed: 20 March 2017