On July 1 2018 national legislation was introduced altering Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A payments and childcare subsidies if a child is not up to date for age with their scheduled immunisations as per the National Immunisation Program (NIP). Exceptions to this include being on an approved catch up schedule, having a valid medical contraindication or natural immunity recorded on the Australian Immunisation register (AIR). Recipients of FTB part A or child care fee assistance will need to meet these immunisation requirements to ensure that payments are not reduced.

Exemptions for conscientious reasons are no longer accepted. Only exemptions for medical contraindications and natural immunity will be approved and must be signed by an approved medical practitioner in order to be valid [see Resources].

Routine catch up vaccinations are free for all individuals aged less than 20 years (including those who do not hold a medicare card). Please refer to the resources below for eligibility criteria for funded catch-up immunisations. Catch up immunisations can be administered by local health care providers, council immunisation sessions, as well as hospital immunisation services. If your child is not fully immunised and you wish to receive family assistance payments, contact your health care provider to organise a vaccination catch-up program.


Author: Rachael McGuire (SAEFVIC Research Nurse, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute)

Date: February 2019

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family’s personal health. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult a healthcare professional.