Extending immunisation requirements for Children—Frequently Asked Questions

What has changed?

From 1 January 2016, families with children aged under 20 years need to have their children immunised (unless the child has an approved exemption) to be eligible to receive the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A end of year supplement and child care subsidies. (Note: This does not apply to children aged under 12 months for the purposes of the FTB Part A supplement only.)

Vaccine objection is no longer an exemption category for immunisation.

Families with children that have a medical exemption (medical contraindication or natural immunity certified by a general practitioner, or participants of an approved medical research study) continue to be eligible to receive Child Care Benefit (CCB), Child Care Rebate (CCR), and the FTB Part A end of year supplement for that child.

What do families need to do to meet the immunisation conditions linked to the Family Tax Benefit Part A supplement? 

Parents will need to ensure their children meet immunisation requirements to be eligible for the FTB Part A supplement for that period.

To meet the immunisation requirements, children who turn one in the relevant income year, and in each income year after that, will need to be vaccinated as per the applicable early childhood vaccination schedule, or be on a recognised immunisation catch up schedule, or have an approved exemption.

The list of current early childhood vaccines required for CCB, CCR and FTB Part A supplement and the age at which they are scheduled to be administered is shown below

Child born before 1 May 1998

Child born on or after 1 May 1998 and before 1 July 2012

Child born on or after 1 July 2012 and before 1 October 2014

Child born on or after 1 October 2014

Age

Disease immunised against

Age

Disease immunised against

Age

Disease immunised against

Age

Disease immunised against

2 months

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib

2 months

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib
Hepatitis B*

2 months

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib
Hepatitis B
Pneumococcal

2 months

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib
Hepatitis B
Pneumococcal

4 months

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib

4 months

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib
Hepatitis B*

4 months

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib
Hepatitis B
Pneumococcal

4 months

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib
Hepatitis B
Pneumococcal

6 months

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib

6 months

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib
Hepatitis B (or at 12 months)*

6 months

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib
Hepatitis B (or at 12 months)
Pneumococcal

6 months

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Hib
Hepatitis B
Pneumococcal

12 months

Measles
Mumps
Rubella
Hib

12 months

Measles
Mumps
Rubella
Hib
Hepatitis B (or at 6 months)*

12 months

Measles
Mumps
Rubella
Hib
Hepatitis B (or at 6 months)
Meningococcal C

12 months

Measles
Mumps
Rubella
Hib
Meningococcal C

4 years

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Measles
Mumps
Rubella

4 years

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Measles
Mumps
Rubella

18 months

Measles
Mumps
Rubella
Varicella

18 months

Measles
Mumps
Rubella
Varicella
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis

4 years

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio

4 years

Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio

* Hepatitis B is required for a child born on or after 1 May 2000.

Note: To meet the immunisation requirements for the FTB Part A supplement for the income year in which a child turned 1 year, the child must have received the vaccinations against disease or antigen listed for age 2, 4 and 6 months. For the income year in which a child turned 2 or 3 years, the child must have received vaccinations against each disease or antigen listed for age 2, 4, 6, 12 and/or 18 months. For the income year in which a child turns age 4 and in each subsequent year a child must have received vaccinations against each disease or antigen listed for age 2, 4, 6, 12 and/or 18 months and 4 years

The Australian Government Department of Human Services will check whether a child is assessed by the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register as being immunised (or has an approved exemption) at the end of the financial year when a family’s payments are balanced. This happens after parents lodge their tax returns or advise Centrelink they are not required to lodge within the required timeframe.

If the FTB Part A supplement is withheld because immunisation requirements have not been met in the relevant income year, parents have an additional one year period, from the end of the relevant income year for the child to meet the requirements.

What exemptions are available?

Vaccine objection is no longer an exemption category.

Children with medical contraindications or natural immunity (certified by an immunisation provider) or those who have participated or are participating in an approved medical research study, will continue to be exempt from the requirements.

In very limited circumstances, families can seek a Secretary’s exemption from the immunisation requirements.

What do families need to do?

Families need to make sure their children receive all the listed early childhood vaccines.

Families with older children registered on the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register who have completed all early childhood vaccinations applicable at that time, are not required to do anything. 

For the purposes of FTB Part A Supplement, the Australian Government Department of Human Services will check whether a child is assessed by the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register as meeting immunisation requirements on the child’s birthday each year and at the end of the financial year when a family’s payments are reconciled. This happens after parents lodge their tax returns or advise Centrelink they are not required to lodge within the required timeframe.

How do I know if my child is up to date with their immunisations?

For more information about how to check your child’s immunisation records, visit the Department of Human Services website.

Where is more information about immunisation?

For more information about the Immunise Australia Program and the reforms to immunisation arrangements visit the Immunise Australia Program website.

Where is more information about the changes to the Family Tax Benefit and Child Care payments?

For more information about the changes to the payments, visit the Department of Human Services website.

Where is information about family assistance and other Australian Government payments?

For more information about Australian Government payments and assistance for families visit the Department of Human Services website.

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