The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. ES payment choices


This topic outlines the payment choices available for ES. It covers:

  • delivery choices for individuals who receive FTB by instalments
  • quarterly ES payments option, and
  • FTB More Choice for Families.

Note: The ES ceased on 20 March 2017 for new FTB recipients. For individuals who became new recipients of FTB after 20 September 2016, they will no longer be paid ES after 19 March 2017. However, eligible individuals and ACOs may continue to be paid ES as part of their FTB rate under grandfathering rules. See 8.2.

Delivery choices for individuals who receive FTB by instalments

Generally, individuals who receive FTB by instalments can choose to receive their FTB payments fortnightly through Centrelink or defer payment of some or all of their FTB until the end of the income (financial) year.

ES generally aligns with FTB, and can be received as a fortnightly instalment. However individuals are given an additional option to receive ES on a quarterly basis instead.

All individuals will default to fortnightly instalments of the ES if a different choice is not made.

Individuals who receive ES by quarterly instalment

If an individual is receiving FTB by instalments, regardless of their FTB payment choice, they may elect to receive their ES payment on a quarterly basis whilst still receiving FTB by instalment based on their current payment choice. If an individual wishes to choose the quarterly option they will need to contact Centrelink. Individuals cannot make a different election for ES Part A and ES Part B.

Individuals may elect to receive ES on a quarterly basis at any time. Quarters commence on 1 July, 1 October, 1 January and 1 March of each year. Any election to receive ES as a quarterly payment will come in force as soon as practicable following the decision.

If the individual has a quarterly payment choice in place, the ES payment will not be made before the end of the quarter unless:

  • the decision to receive ES as a quarterly payment is revoked by the individual
  • the individual's FTB entitlement is cancelled, or
  • the individual is entitled to a lump sum bereavement payment.

In all these cases, the election will end as soon as practical and an arrears payment of the ES made to the individual. In the case of a lump sum bereavement payment, a new election cannot be made until the end of the bereavement period (

FTB More Choice for Families

More Choice for Families gives families more choice and flexibility in how their FTB is paid ( ES payments align with More Choice for Families payment choices. Where FTB Part A is deferred, ES Part A will be deferred. Where FTB Part B is deferred, ES Part B will be deferred. Where an individual has made a quarterly payment election, this will interact with More Choice for Families choices. If a deferral is in place, the quarterly ES will also be deferred.

Example: Emma and Tim receive FTB for one child and have just had their second child. Tim's employment is steady and he has confidently estimated his income for the current income (financial) year will be $51,000. Emma currently has no income but is thinking about returning to work part-time later in the year. Emma will need to notify Centrelink if she is not required to lodge a tax return. Emma and Tim have opted to receive their ES Part A as a quarterly payment.

Tim and Emma know they will be entitled to FTB Part A, but are unsure if they will be entitled to FTB Part B because Emma might return to work before the end of the income (financial) year. They opt for Choice 2 under the 'More Choice for Families' FTB payment choices. Their payments arrangements will be as follows:

  • Tim and Emma will receive all of their FTB Part A as fortnightly payments.
  • Their ES Part A will be paid at the end of each quarter.
  • They will be assessed for any entitlement to FTB Part B and the supplements after the end of the income (financial) year when Emma's actual income is known. If they are entitled to FTB Part B, their ES Part B will also be paid at that time.

Act reference: FAAct section 58A Election to receive ESs quarterly

Policy reference: FA Guide FTB payment choices for instalment individuals

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