New app to make family payments easier for parents
The Australian Government today launched an app that can make it easier for more than a million parents to access family payments.
Developed for parents, the Express Plus Families App makes it easier and faster for people to manage their Family Tax Benefits, Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate, as well as the Paid Parental Leave scheme and Baby Bonus – without having to call or visit an office.
Minister for Human Services Senator Kim Carr said the app was a world leader.
“There are about 1.6 million parents accessing these benefits, designed to help out with the costs of childcare, school and raising children.
“Last year they called Centrelink six million times; spending about nine minutes talking to an officer each time. Most business dealt with on those calls will only take a minute using this app.
“Ultimately, it’s about making parents’ lives a bit easier.”
Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann welcomed the app.
“It’s great to be able to make a change to service delivery for these people that is user-friendly, and makes a practical difference – freeing up more time for them to spend with their kids.
“This adds to other changes the Gillard Labor Government has made, including increasing the Child Care Rebate from 30 per cent to 50 per cent of all out of pocket expenses, providing up to $820 per year via the School Kids Bonus, and increasing the Family Tax Benefit from next year.”
The new Express Plus Families app is for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android and has already been downloaded more than 4,000 times.
The Express Plus Families is the latest app developed by the Department and joins two other recently released popular apps: Express Plus Students and Express Plus Jobseekers which together have been downloaded more than 110,000 times.
“Our goal is to have 430,000 families using the app within the next six months. If every one of those families saved 15 minutes every few months then that is a good step forward,” Senator Carr said.
The new Families Express app is available for free from the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad or atwww.itunes.com/appstore. The Android version is available from Google Play.
Families must be registered for online services in order to access the app.
To register for Centrelink Online Services and to find out more about Express Plus Families, the new Family Update Facebook page and Twitter account and News for Families, go to humanservices.gov.au/expressplus.