Eligibility for Fares Allowance

You may be able to get Fares Allowance if you’re a tertiary student and need to live away from home to study.

You may be eligible if you are a tertiary student receiving:

Fares Allowance is not available to secondary students and Australian Apprentices.

You must be an Australian resident and either:

  • considered dependent and receive a higher rate of Youth Allowance when living away from home
  • considered independent and have a partner who you are living away from because you are studying
  • a single parent living away from your dependent children because you are studying
  • living away from home and are independent due to age or work, and you were dependent and living away from home in the last study year before becoming independent, or
  • studying as an external tertiary student in a distance or online course at an Australian institution in Australia and you have to travel to the institution to complete a compulsory residential part of your course

Eligible students can receive Fares Allowance for the following situations:

If you: You can use the allowance for:
Receive Youth Allowance, Austudy or Pensioner Education Supplement as a tertiary student for less than 6 months in a study year
  • 1 trip to your place of study from your permanent home to start studies, and
  • 1 trip back to your permanent home after finishing or discontinuing studies
Receive Youth Allowance, Austudy or Pensioner Education Supplement as a tertiary student for 6 months or more in a study year
  • 1 trip to your place of study from your permanent home to start your studies
  • 1 return trip between your place of study and permanent home during the study year, and
  • 1 trip back to your permanent home after finishing or discontinuing studies

To be eligible for a return trip during the study year, you must be receiving payment as a tertiary student for at least 6 months. In most cases, you will not qualify for this return trip in your first year of payment until at least 1 July. In this situation, you should consider asking us to pre-book your journey to determine if you are eligible for your first return trip.

Are enrolled as an external student in an tertiary distance or online course that has a compulsory residential component
  • 1 return trip per course between your permanent home and your place of study

Permanent home

If you are dependent, the home where your parents or guardians normally live is considered your permanent home.

If you are independent, the place you normally live is considered your permanent home.

The permanent home must be in Australia.

External student for distance and online studies

You may be an external student if you are studying a distance or online education course and you do not normally study on campus or have face to face classes. You may be eligible to claim Fares Allowance if you need to attend compulsory activities for your study such as a field excursion, practical teaching sessions or periods of hospital residence.

Example

Aaron is receiving Austudy and is an online student at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. He lives with his partner in Melbourne. However, he has to attend the University in Brisbane for a compulsory residential unit. Aaron should submit a claim for Fares Allowance with evidence of the residential component requirement. Aaron can either submit a claim asking us to pre-book his travel arrangements or he can submit a claim to have his travel expenses reimbursed after he has travelled.

Page last updated: 23 February 2016

This information was printed Thursday 8 December 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/eligibility-fares-allowance It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.