The Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin, and the Member for Reid, John Murphy, visited Homebush West Public School recently to encourage parents with kids starting primary or secondary school next year to go online and update their details to ensure they get the new Schoolkids Bonus in January.
“The Schoolkids Bonus will help lighten the load of back-to-school costs for nearly 7000 local families,” Ms Macklin said.
“It helps parents buy uniforms, shoes, school books and stationery, as well as other costs like school excursions, music lessons and sports registration fees.
“Each year eligible families will receive up to $410 for each child in primary school, and up to $820 a year for each high school student paid in two instalments – just when families need it most.
“The first Schoolkids Bonus payment comes in January, so parents only have a few weeks left to let Centrelink know that their child is starting primary school next year to get their payments on time.
“If Centrelink doesn’t know their child is starting school, families will miss out on $410.
“And if their child is starting high school we also need to know so they can get the higher secondary school payment.
“Christmas and January are a busy time for many families, so that’s why we want parents to update their details now before the silly season kicks in.”
Families with kids starting primary or high school next year need to make sure their child’s schooling details are up to date with Centrelink by 31 December to receive their Schoolkids Bonus entitlement in January 2013.
Families with children already in primary school and high school don’t need to do anything.
Mr Murphy said many families are feeling the pinch right now and need a bit of extra support.
“The Schoolkids Bonus replaces the old Education Tax Refund, which too many families were missing out on,” Mr Murphy said.
“The Schoolkids Bonus also means families do not have to collect a pile of receipts or fill out that extra paperwork at tax time.
“All they need to do instead is check and update their children’s school details online, then receive their Schoolkids Bonus in time for the new school year.”
Families receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A, as well as young people in school receiving Youth Allowance, and others receiving certain income support or veterans’ payments are eligible for the Schoolkids Bonus.