Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS): How to claim $1000 in government dental benefits

Is your child eligible for $1000 worth of dental services? I am referring to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS), a child dental benefits program that provides a capped benefit entitlement for $1000 worth of basic dental services for children aged between 2-17.

CDBS is a means-tested program that was launched in 2014, with an aim to benefit an estimated 3.4 million children every year. To be eligible, the child’s family must be a recipient of the Family Tax Benefit Part A or other specified government payments.

If your child is eligible for CDBS, that means he or she is entitled to receive the capped benefit that is claimable over a two-year period. If the CDBS benefits are not fully claimed during the first calendar year, the balance of the $1000 is claimable in the second year, if the child is still eligible. No remaining balance is allowed to be carried forward after the second year.


What Type of treatments can I claim under CDBS?

The program only covers basic dental services that include: Oral Exam, X-ray, dental cleans, root canal, extraction, and fissure sealing.

Non-essential treatments like orthodontics (i.e. braces) or hospital-based or surgical dental services will not be covered.


Can I co-pay with private Insurance?

Private insurance funds may not be used in conjunction with CDBS benefits to make payments.


How do I know if my child is eligible?

For your child to be eligible for CDBS, you or your spouse must be receiving Family Tax Benefit Part A or one of the following Australian Government payments:

  • Parenting Payment
  • Youth Allowance
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Special Benefit
  • Carer Payment
  • Double Orphan Pension

For children above 16:

  • Veteran’s Children Education Scheme
  • Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme


How to claim

If your child is eligible, you would have received a letter from the Australian Government stating as such. If your child is above 16, the letter will be directly addressed to him or her.

If you believe that you are eligible but have yet to receive a said letter, it’s actually not difficult at all to find out.

All you have to do is present your Medicare card (that includes your child’s name) to our friendly clinic receptionist. We’ll be able to check the system to check your child’s eligibility on the spot. If your child is eligible, we can even deduct from your benefit amount to pay for your child’s dental fees on the day of the appointment. At Molonglo Dental Surgery, your local Canberra dentist clinic, we will simply process payment using your Medicard.

Once a deduction has been made, we can keep you updated on your new balance amount for future claims – you can ask for a printout of your available balance. There is no need to submit a Medicare claim at all. If you have sufficient balance, you will not be required to make a co-payment.

NOTE: Although eligibility is determined for each calendar year, the funds are valid for two years (in consecutive calendar year periods). If you think your child may be eligible, you should ensure that your details held at Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs are up to date.


Claim up to $1000 free dental every 2 years under the CDBS initiative. Not sure? Just book an appointment with our Friendly Canberra Dentist in Molonglo Valley. Contact Molonglo Dental Surgery at 02 6287 1222.  

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