The Child Dental Benefits Schedule

The Child Dental Benefits Schedule commenced on 1 January 2014 and provides access to benefits for basic dental services to around 3 million children aged 2-17 years.

Page last updated: 31 August 2016

Closure of the Child Dental Benefits Schedule

On 31 August 2016, the Government introduced legislation to close the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) from 1 January 2017 and establish the Child and Adult Public Dental Scheme.

The closure of this program is subject to the passage of legislation. Once the legislation has been agreed to by Parliament, confirmation of the program’s closure will be made available here.

Eligible children will need to receive dental treatment before 1 January 2017 if they wish to access benefits under the CDBS before its intended closure. Claims for dental benefits may be submitted after the closure as long as the service was provided before 1 January 2017. If the closure is agreed to, dental benefits will not be paid under the CDBS for any services provided from 1 January 2017.

Patients already accessing care under the program may wish to discuss the impact of this change with their dentist.

Closure information for families

Word version: Frequently asked questions for families (Word 19 KB)
PDF version: Frequently asked questions for families (PDF 22 KB)

Closure information for providers

Word version: Frequently asked questions for dental providers (Word 16 KB)
PDF version: Frequently asked questions for dental providers (PDF 22 KB)

Program information for families in the interim

Until the legislation to close the CDBS has been passed, the program will continue to operate as normal.

The CDBS provides individual benefits for a range of services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions. Benefits are not available for orthodontic or cosmetic dental work and cannot be paid for any services provided in a hospital.

The total benefit entitlement is capped at $1,000 per child over a two calendar year period. The CDBS has a means test, which requires receipt of Family Tax Benefit Part A or a relevant Australian Government payment.

Families can check whether their child is eligible for the CDBS by contacting the Department of Human Services. General information about the program can also be found on the Department of Human Services website.

Program information for providers in the interim

Until the legislation to close the CDBS has been passed, the program will continue to operate as normal. Resources to assist providers to participate in the CDBS can be found below.

The Guide to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule was updated to version 4 on 11 February 2016. Version 4 includes minor updates to website links and reflects the Machinery of Government change that has resulted in compliance activities for health professionals being transferred from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Health.

Guide to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (Word 1059 KB)
Guide to the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (PDF 535 KB)
Informed Financial Consent – Bulk Billing Patient Consent Form (Word 479 KB)
Informed Financial Consent – Bulk Billing Patient Consent Form (PDF 246 KB)
Informed Financial Consent – Non-Bulk Billing Patient Consent Form (Word 479 KB)
Informed Financial Consent – Non-Bulk Billing Patient Consent Form (PDF 289 KB)
Ministerial Guidelines on Extenuating Circumstances for Informed Financial Consent (Word 502 KB)
Ministerial Guidelines on Extenuating Circumstances for Informed Financial Consent (PDF 1169 KB)

Further information for providers on the CDBS, including a quick reference guide and information on Medicare registration and claiming, is available from the Department of Human Services website.

Translated resources for providers

The Bulk Billing and Non-Bulk Billing Patient Consent Forms have now been translated into 20 community languages and are available for downloading at Translated Informed Financial Consent Forms.

Compliance activities for dental providers

The Department of Health is responsible for making sure that claims paid under the CDBS comply with the legislative requirements of the program - information on your obligations and our compliance activities.

Legislation

The legislation for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule includes:
  • Dental Benefits Act 2008
  • Dental Benefits Rules 2014
  • Part VAA of the Health Insurance Act 1973
The legislation can be accessed at the Federal Register of Legislation.