Child Dental Benefit Scheme (CDBS)

WHAT IS CDBS?

The Commonwealth Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) is a dental benefits program for eligible children aged 2–17 years that provides benefits over two years to the child for basic dental services.

Are my children eligible?

A child is eligible if they are aged 2–17 years, are eligible for Medicare and receive Family Tax Benefit Part A or other relevant Australian Government payments, including:

 Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY, Disability Support Pension, Parenting Payment Special Benefit, Carer Payment, Double Orphan Pension, Veteran's Children Education Scheme, if the child is 16 or over Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme (if the child is 16 or over).

 Eligible families should have received a letter to confirm eligibility from the Commonwealth Department of Human Services in January.

How can I check my eligibility and balance?

You can also confirm your child's eligibility and balance amount by accessing your Medicare online account at my.gov.au External website icon or calling the Medicare general enquiries line on 132 011.

What kind of dental treatment can my children receive?

Benefits cover a range of dental services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canal treatments and extractions.

 Benefits will not be available for orthodontic or cosmetic dental work and will not be paid for any dental services provided in a hospital operating theatre or oral surgery environment.

 Will I have any out-of-pocket cost for treatment?

If you receive your dental treatment in a public clinic, your claim will be bulk billed via Medicare and you will have no out-of-pocket costs. You do not need to submit a Medicare claim. No patient co-payment is required.

Will I have to go on a waitlist?

No, your children will not be placed on a dental waiting list to receive treatment in a public clinic. You will be offered the next available appointment.

How does the cap work?

Benefits for basic dental services are capped over two consecutive calendar years. If you do not use all of your benefit in the first year of eligibility, you can use it in the second year if you are still eligible. Any remaining balance will not be carried forward at the end of the second year.

What if our family stops receiving any of the Government benefits which entitles my children to CDBS?

Your children will still be eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule even if Government payments' eligibility changes throughout the year, as you only need to be receiving benefits at some point throughout the year.

Will my Dental Practitioner be able to check if my children are eligible?

Yes, all dental practices will be able to check patient eligibility by contacting Medicare.

Will my Dental Practitioner be able to check if my children have benefits remaining?

Yes, all dental practices will be able to check patients remaining benefits balance by contacting Medicare.

 Dental practices will be encouraged to check each patient's balance at each appointment.

When does the 2 year period commence?

The 2 year period commences at the start of the calendar year, not from the first appointment date.

Can other family members use the Child Dental Benefits Schedule for their dental treatment?

The benefits can only be used by the eligible patient. Benefits cannot be shared amongst family members.

Can I use my private health insurance with Child Dental Benefits Schedule services?

No, patients with private health insurance are unable to claim benefits from both their health fund and the Child Dental Benefits Schedule for the same treatment.

What happens if my child reaches the benefit limit?

Community dental clinics will complete your child's general dental care.

What if my child is turning 2 or 18 during the year?

If your child is turning 2 or 18 at any time throughout the year, they will be eligible that year, for the full year, even when they are aged 1 or 18.

What if I become eligible for Government benefits during the year?

The Government will advise families throughout the year when newly eligible children are identified.

Can my child use their full benefit in the first year?

Yes, patients can use their full benefits within the first year if required, but this will leave no funds available for the second year. Community dental clinics will still treat eligible families in that second year.

What happens if my child doesn't use their full benefit in the first year?

Any remaining benefits from the first year will be carried over to the second year.

What happens if my child doesn't use their full benefit within two years?

If the full amount is not used within two calendar years, remaining benefits cannot be used in the future.

Can my child have a dental operation performed in hospital under general anaesthetic?

Treatment performed as an inpatient at hospitals cannot be claimed from the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.

I have received the letter from the Government advising that my children are eligible for Child Dental Benefits Schedule, now what happens?

Contact your local community dental clinic and make an appointment.

Will all dental clinics accept Child Dental Benefits Schedule patients?

All community dental clinics will treat all children eligible for Child Dental Benefits Schedule.

Can public dental clinics provide dental services that I'm not able to claim in the Child Dental Benefits Schedule?

Yes, your child can access other dental treatments that cannot be claimed in the Child Dental Benefits Schedule. Contact your local public dental clinic for more information.

Can I use my CDBS benefit at a private dentist and then come back here?

Yes, you may choose to visit a private dentist to claim CDBS benefits. We encourage you to use these funds at a Public Dental Clinic where your child will benefit from high quality oral health care and ongoing continuity of care. In addition, by using the Public Dental Service, you will be providing your valued support to ensure the existence of public dental services for the future. We have been treating children for almost 100 years. Last year we treated almost 140,000 children throughout the state. Our aim is to improve the oral health of all Victorians, particularly vulnerable groups and those most in need.

Why should I use my CDBS at a public dentist?

When you use CDBS at a public dental clinic you are helping us build a stronger public dental system for the future. Treating more patients under the CDBS will provide additional funding from the Commonwealth Government. This funding can be used to maintain and enhance our services, and so enable us to see more patients including those groups most in need – such as children, the aged, refugees and asylum seekers, homeless and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

With your support today we can build a strong public dental service for tomorrow.

Will I receive the same type of treatment in public dental clinics as in private practices?

Yes, you will receive the same type of treatment. As occurs in private practices, public dental clinics employ qualified dentists and therapists to treat their patients, and on occasions students with the consent and knowledge of the patient. All public dental clinics are committed to providing the best appropriate oral health care for their patients.