By AMY STOCKWELL
OK, quick quiz: What does the 2013 Federal Budget mean for family payments? What do you need to do at tax time if you receive family payments or income support?
When should you apply for Paid Parental Leave and when is too late? What is the difference between Family Tax Benefit A and Family Tax Benefit B? What is the best time to ring the Centrelink Families line so that you don’t end up waiting forever on hold while your kids tear the house apart?
Anyone got an answer?…Anyone?…No?
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by the Department of Human Services. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words.
Whether you currently receive Centrelink family payments or not, there is a good chance that you’ve got some questions about what your obligations are or whether you are eligible. And unless you’ve been paying very close attention, you may not be aware of changes that could make your interactions with Centrelink easier and faster – without a single queue in sight.
On 13 June 2013, our founder and publisher, Mia Freedman, hosted a webcast during which parents and carers could ask questions about family payments, tax and paid parental leave – all from the comfort of their home. No waiting! No wondering! Just helpful advice and direction.
The resulting video is now available as three clips on Youtube, which you can watch, pause and rewind whenever you get a chance, here.
All of the questions that I listed above are answered, along with some helpful direction to locations on the Human Services website that will help you with your eligibility and obligations.
I trust that you’ll watch it anyway, but I am going to give you five spoilers:
1. THE ANSWER IS as early in the day as possible! The Centrelink Families line opens from 8am -that’s the best time to so you have the shortest waiting time. Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen says that they’ve put on additional call-centre staff during June, July and August to deal with questions about obligations at tax time. He also said that the waiting time the day before the webcast was about 7 minutes. 7 minutes! Remember: from 8am.