Important back to school reminders for families

As families across the country head back to school, the Department of Human Services is reminding those receiving family payments to be prepared for the year ahead.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen encouraged families to take action and start the new school year on the right track.

“The start of the year is an important time for parents who receive family payments to let the Department of Human Services know about any changes in their circumstances,” Mr Jongen said. 

“Families who receive Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Subsidy should check their family income estimate for 2018-19, and update it if necessary.

“This estimate is used to work out how much Family Tax Benefit families are paid and how much Child Care Subsidy they get, so it’s important to make sure it’s as accurate as possible.

“When estimating, families should include their adjusted taxable income for the whole 2018-19 financial year.

“If families receive Child Care Subsidy, they should also check and update their activity details to include the hours they spend working or doing other activities that improve work skills, like studying or volunteering.

“The easiest way for families to update these details is with their Centrelink online account through myGov, or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.”

Mr Jongen said children who are heading to school or child care for the first time need to be up to date with their immunisations.

“To get the best start at school, we want all children to be healthy, fit and ready to learn,” Mr Jongen said.

“Immunisation is a safe, simple and effective way of protecting against harmful diseases, and families are responsible for making sure their child is meeting immunisation requirements. Families can access their child’s Immunisation History Statement on their Medicare online account or mobile app.

“The Immunisation History Statement will show if vaccinations are up to date, and can be used as proof of immunisations for child care or school. A child’s immunisation status also assists in determining if a child meets the requirements for family or child care payments.

“To make sure children are happy and healthy when they start school, children who are turning four in the 2018-19 financial year must also have a health check if their family receives Family Tax Benefit Part A and an income support payment.

“Once your child’s health check is complete, let the Department know by going online using your Centrelink online account through myGov, and then you’re ready for the exciting school year ahead.”

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