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.

4.3.2 Payment cycles for FTB instalments


When an individual is paid FTB by instalments their entitlement is paid fortnightly in arrears. Payment is made on the FTB delivery day (1.1.P.73), which is 2 working days after the end of the instalment period. This topic covers the following:

  • instalment periods (1.1.I.100)
  • FTB delivery day
  • entitlement period end day codes
  • payment for blended families (1.1.B.30)
  • payment for ACOs (1.1.A.80), and
  • instalment amount.

Instalment periods

An instalment period is normally 14 days, ending 2 working days before the delivery day.

There are 10 possible instalment periods, for the 10 weekdays in a 14-day period. Instalment periods for FTB are the same as entitlement periods for social security payments made by Centrelink. Each weekday has an assigned code for the entitlement period end day.

An instalment period can be less than 14 days:

  • for the first instalment (see explanation 1)
  • if eligibility for FTB has ceased (see explanation 2), or
  • if the individual changes their delivery day.

Explanation 1: Entitlement period end day codes (1.1.E.40) provide more information.

Explanation 2: If the individual loses eligibility to FTB, the last instalment period includes only the days for which an instalment amount is owing.

Setting instalment periods

The rules for setting an FTB instalment period for individuals and their partners who are receiving a payment from Centrelink are described in the following table.

If the FTB individual receives … and their partner receives … then the instalment period ends …
no other payment no other payment
  • 14 days after the claim is lodged, or
  • on another weekday chosen by the individual.
no other payment a social security benefit (1.1.S.60), or pension (1.1.S.90)
  • the same period as their partner's, or
  • the same day but in the alternate week to their partner.

Explanation: The FTB individual can choose.

a social security benefit or pension no other payment
  • the same period as their other payment, or
  • the same day but in the alternate week.

Explanation: The FTB individual can choose.

By aligning FTB instalment periods with the entitlement periods for other social security payments, any changes in circumstances that affect both payments can be applied at the same time. This means that changes in rates will occur at the same time in relation to the same event.

Choosing the FTB delivery day

The individual can choose their FTB delivery day depending on whether they or their partner receive a social security benefit or pension from Centrelink. Delivery days for different payments are shown in the table below.

If the payment is … then the delivery day is …
family tax benefit 2 working days after the end of the instalment period.
a social security benefit, but not PP (partnered) the next working day after the end of the instalment period.
  • a social security pension, or
  • PP (partnered)
2 working days after the end of the instalment period.

As the table above shows, a couple with the same period end date, or the end date offset by a week may have different delivery days. The discrepancy is due to the difference in time required by financial institutions to process social security benefit payments compared to other payments.

If an individual changes their FTB delivery day, an adjustment payment (1.1.A.30) is made to align the instalment period with the new delivery day. The adjustment payment is for the number of days since the end of the previous period up to the beginning of the new entitlement period.

Payment for blended families

The requirement to align instalment periods does not apply where payment of FTB has been shared between members of a couple (1.1.M.50) in a blended family.

Explanation: A couple in a blended family who have asked to share their FTB will be likely to want their payments kept separate. They may have nominated different accounts for direct credit, and may wish to be paid on different days.

Payment for ACOs

ACOs are paid fortnightly instalments of FTB for children in their care. An ACO has a Centrelink record similar to that of individuals.

Instalment amount

The instalment amount of FTB is calculated as a daily rate for the number of days in the instalment period, including weekends. A change in rate only affects the days in the instalment period following the date of effect of the change.

Example: Susan is paid FTB by instalments for her 3 FTB children. Susan notifies Centrelink as soon as one of the children leaves her care. Her FTB is varied from the date the child left, which is the sixth day of her instalment period. Susan's instalment amount for the period is 5 days at the higher rate and 9 days at the reduced rate.

Act reference: FA(Admin)Act section 23 Payment of FTB by instalment

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