Financial Assistance

Youth Allowance and Austudy payment

The Youth Allowance and the Austudy payment are subject to income and asset tests. A parental means test applies under Youth Allowance if you do not qualify as 'independent'.

Youth Allowance is available to:

  • eligible full-time students aged 16 to 24 (or 15 if considered independent)
  • full-time students aged 25 or over who were getting Youth Allowance before they turned 25 and are still doing the same course
  • people up to 21 who are undertaking job search, a combination of activities such as part-time job search with part-time study, or who are ill.

Austudy payment is available to:

  • eligible full-time students aged 25 years and over.

Other benefits available to students receiving Youth Allowance or Austudy payments include: Fares Allowance for certain full-time tertiary students who have to live away from home to study; a Health Care Card to help with costs for some prescription medicines; a Pharmaceutical Allowance for recipients who are sick and temporarily incapacitated; a Remote Area Allowance for students living in certain remote parts of Australia; and an interest-free Advance Payment of up to $500.

Making a claim and staying up to date

Claim forms and information about Youth Allowance or Austudy payment (including rates of payment) are available from any Centrelink office, or by calling 13 2490. Completed claim forms can be lodged at Centrelink offices. You can also save time and claim online. Once approved, payments are made fortnightly.

To maintain eligibility for financial assistance, you must notify Centrelink of any changes to your circumstances, such as: changes in enrolment or courses; earnings from employment; change in address; or, if dependent on your parents, any change in your parents' income.

Rent assistance

If you receive Youth Allowance and you have to live away from home to study, you may be able to get Rent Assistance.


Pensioner Education Supplement (PES)

Some students in receipt of a social security or Veterans' Affairs income support payment (for example, sole parents, widows, or people with a disability) may also be eligible for the Pensioner Education Supplement (PES) to assist with ongoing costs associated with study. For more information call 13 2490.



ABSTUDY provides financial assistance for Indigenous people who undertake approved full-time or part-time study. It may be able to help you if you are young, Indigenous and are undertaking:

  • primary school studies and you are 14 years or over at 1 January each new year
  • secondary school studies
  • full-time or part-time studies after having left school
  • a distance education/correspondence course
  • Masters or Doctorate study.

The main benefits available under ABSTUDY include Living Allowance, School Term Allowance, School Fees Allowance, Rent Assistance, Remote Area Allowance, Pharmaceutical Allowance, ABSTUDY Pensioner Education Supplement and an Advance Loan. ABSTUDY payment rates depend on a number of factors such as your age and the course you are studying, and whether you need to live away from home.

Information and claim forms can be obtained from any Centrelink office or by calling the ABSTUDY enquiries line on 13 2317.


For apprentices

The Tools For Your Trade payment was announced in the 2009/10 Commonwealth Governement Budget. It combines three previous initiatives previously available to Australian Apprentices, the Tools For Your Trade voucher, Apprenticeship Wage Top-Up and the Commonwealth Trade Learning Scholarship. Details about Tools for Your Trade Payment can be downloaded here.

Information about NSW Incentives for Apprentices can be found at the NSW Apprenticeships and Traineeships website.


Financial Counselling

TAFE provides free access to professional counsellors who can advise students about careers as well as educational and personal problems which include financial and legal issues. Use this link for more information about TAFE Western Counsellors


More information

Information about all types of assistance can be obtained from the Centrelink website and from Centrelink Customer Service Officers. For information about Youth Allowance, Austudy payment or Pensioner Education Supplement call 13 2490; for information about ABSTUDY, call 13 2317.