Hi Stacey, I totally agree, it is a confusing system and website! I actually work for DHS, but I am not trained in family payments unfortunately. I do know that the best thing you can do is "test" your eligibility by lodging an online claim through the DHS website. If you are within 12 weeks of giving birth, you can do this now before bub is born. I did mine the other day... And I'm due early Sept.
Within the DHS website, search for the online calculators and you may find these a bit more helpful on what you may be eligible for.
Call the Family assistance line 136150 (they are open 8am until 8pm Monday to Friday) and speak to someone about your individual circumstances as to what you may be eligible for specifically. Also, make sure you ask them for your customer reference number and online password to lodge your claim. For your online claim, you will need your bank acct details for payment, TFN for your partner, passport # for yourself and partner if you have travelled overseas recently (for portability reasons to ensure they consider you an Australian resident) and current and previous financial year details of your income and your partners income.
If you have the information ready before you do the online claim, it should take 30mins max to submit the claim online. I recommend you have the info ready so it doesn't time out on you etc.
Then all you need to do is take the form they give you in hospital into a Medicare or Centrelink office after bub is born which is proof of birth.
Expect to wait on hold for a fair bit when you call the FAO number 136150... I'd try later in the week and either at 8am first thing or between 6-8pm when they are usually not as busy. Good luck!!!
Last thoughts....Some useful questions to ask the FAO.
- how long do claims take to process? Is there a number I can call to check the progress?
- what do the different payment options of FTB mean (base rate, lump sum etc)
- what happens if I choose to return to work before PPL is finished being paid to me?
- do I have to pay tax on PPL?
- what happens if our income estimate for FTB is incorrect?