School and Year Start-up Payment

If you're caring for someone else's child and need help with pre-school or school-related costs at the beginning of the year, you may be able to get the School and Year Start-up Payment.

You need to apply every year to get this payment and you'll receive a letter reminding you to do this.

For 2021, applications will be open from 11 January to 28 February.

  • Who can get it

    You can get a School and Year Start-up Payment if you're getting Unsupported Child's Benefit or Orphan's Benefit.

    You can get the payment for every child that you get these benefits for.

  • What you can get

    This payment is to help with the costs that mostly happen at the beginning of the year, in particular pre-school and school-related costs, eg clothing, school fees and stationery.

    How much you get is based on the age of the child at the end of February each year.

    Age of child (at end of February) Payment
    0 - 4 years $400
    5 - 9 years $450
    10 - 13 years $500
    14 years and over $550

    You won't be taxed on this money and you won't have to pay it back.

  • How to apply

    You need to apply every year to get this payment and you'll receive a letter reminding you to do this.

    For 2021, applications will be open from 11 January to 28 February.

    Applications are open during this time because a lot of costs associated with raising a child can come at the beginning of the year, such as pre-school or school-related costs like fees, clothing and stationery. This payment is to help take the pressure off carers at this time of the year.

    You don't need to show us any receipts or quotes to get the School and Year Start-up Payment. However, it is expected that the payment will go towards covering the child's school-related costs, or costs arising at the start of the year.

    Can't apply when applications are open

    If you have a good reason for not being able to apply between mid-January and the end of February, eg being in hospital, talk to us about your situation as we may still be able to make this payment to you.

  • Other payments

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You may be able to receive other financial help with your costs even if you get this payment. Call us to discuss your situation.

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