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CCS News

2019–20 CCS balancing started

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) balancing process (also known as reconciliation) is underway for the 2018‑19 and 2019‑20 financial years.

What is “balancing”?
Balancing, also referred to as “reconciliation”, is the process that occurs after the end of each financial year where Services Australia compares families’ income estimates with their actual adjusted taxable income to ensure families receive their correct Child Care Subsidy (CCS) entitlement.

What do families need to do?
Families will need to take action so Services Australia can balance their CCS. They will need to either:

  • lodge a tax return(s), or
  • tell Services Australia they are not required to lodge a tax return. Families can do this by completing an Advise non-lodgement of tax return using their Centrelink online account through myGov or through the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Important: Even if a family has told the ATO they don’t need to lodge, they must still do an Advise non-lodgement of tax return with Services Australia.

CCS balancing for 2019–20 financial year
Balancing CCS for the 2019–20 financial year starts from 10 August 2020.

If Services Australia has paid a family too much during the financial year, they won’t finalise balancing the family’s payments straight away. This is because they have paused a range of debt activities due to COVID-19.

CCS balancing for 2018–19 financial year
Balancing for the 2018–19 financial year is still underway.

Some families still have not confirmed their 2018–19 income, which means they may not have received the correct CCS entitlement for the 2018–19 financial year.

If a family received CCS for 2018–19 and haven’t confirmed their family income by 31 March 2021, their CCS will reduce to 0 per cent from 5 April 2021. This means families will need to be charged full fees for child care they use.

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CCS News

Families affected by COVID-19 can apply for extra Child Care Subsidy (CCS) hours

Families who are doing less work, study or other recognised activity due to COVID-19 may be able to apply for more Child Care Subsidy (CCS) hours.

Families affected by COVID-19 may get up to 100 hours of CCS per fortnight for up to 12 weeks.

If you’re eligible, you can access extra hours between 13 July and 4 October 2020. You can apply any time before 4 October but the government can only back pay you up to 28 days.

It’s important you keep your activity test details up to date so the government can give you the right rate of CCS. Check they’re correct before applying for extra hours.

Who can get extra hours
You can get extra CCS hours if your family’s recognised activity level has gone down because of COVID-19. All of the following must also apply:

  • you don’t already have access to 100 hours of CCS
  • between 13 January and 22 March 2020, you were doing more than 16 hours of recognised activity per fortnight
  • now, you’re doing 8 or more hours of recognised activity per fortnight.

You can’t get extra hours if you’ve chosen to do less activity and this isn’t because of COVID-19.

Services Australia has created the below short video to help families understand if they are eligible.

What you need to do
You can apply for extra hours using your Centrelink online account through myGov. Select My Family from the menu, then Child care.

You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

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CCS News

Why the amount of Child Care Subsidy (CCS) changes

As the new financial year starts you may notice that your out of pocket child care fees change. This is most likely caused by a change in your CCS payment. These are the 4 main reasons how much the government pays your child care service might differ.

1. Your CCS rate changes
Your CCS percentage and hours of subsidised care depend on:

  • your family income
  • the type of care you use
  • the hours of activity you and your partner do.

Every July the government:

  • updates the family income thresholds, annual cap and hourly rate caps to match Consumer Price Index (CPI) changes
  • starts using your family income estimate for the new financial year.

These updates mean you could get more or less CCS from July.

2. Your eligibility changes
You may no longer be eligible for CCS if:

  • your child doesn’t meet their immunisation requirements
  • you travel outside Australia
  • your percentage of care reduces below 14%.

If you’re no longer eligible, your CCS will stop. You can keep using child care, but you’ll need to pay full fees.

3. You’re repaying an overpayment
The government may use some of your CCS to repay money you owe them for child care fee assistance.

4. You change your withholding amount
When you get CCS the government withholds 5% of your subsidy. You might have chosen to increase your withholdings unintentionally or intentionally. If you do, your out of pocket fees are likely to increase.