Payment of ABSTUDY Fares Allowance

The payment rate for ABSTUDY Fares Allowance is the most reasonable amount for the travel.

This is normally the cost of an economy class rail or bus service that travels the most direct route from your home, or the approved non-student traveller’s home, to your place of study.

Economy class rail or bus service

Assistance may be available for the cost of an economy class rail or bus ticket if you are:

  • a secondary school student and your travel time is under:
    • 8 hours by bus or rail and you are travelling alone, or
    • 10 hours by bus or rail and you are travelling with a supervisor or other students
  • a tertiary student or secondary student at a tertiary institution and your travel time is under:
    • 18 hours by bus, or
    • 36 hours by rail

Economy airfare

Assistance may be available for the cost of an economy airfare if:

  • no rail or bus service exists for the trip
  • the trip exceeds the travel time for economy class rail or bus services
  • the approved traveller cannot make the trip by rail or bus due to illness or injury, or
  • due to travel schedules:
    • an overnight trip by rail or bus service is unavoidable, or
    • you would have to start your trip before 7am or arrive after 9pm and you are a secondary school student

Motor vehicle allowance

Assistance may be available for the cost of using a motor vehicle if:

  • no bus, rail or air services exist for the trip
  • you cannot travel by public transport due to poor services or connections
  • you cannot travel by public transport due to injury, disability or other reasons, or
  • travel by private vehicle is more cost effective

Please call us on Freecall™1800 132 317 to discuss the Motor Vehicle Allowance rates. We can tell you how the rate is calculated based on the type of vehicle, number of passengers and the distance you need to travel.

Chartered transport

Assistance may be available for the cost of chartered transport, including hire cars, ferries or helicopter for all or part of the trip if:

  • there is no public transport or regular air service available, or
  • the use of chartered transport is cost effective

Additional travel costs

In addition to fares, we may pay for:

Transport terminal transfers

We may pay the cost of transfers between an air, bus or train terminal and your accommodation. We may pay:

  • the fee charged for accommodation provider transport services for all students, or a reasonable fee if only ABSTUDY students are charged
  • public transport bus or rail fare, or
  • a taxi fare if:
    • public transport is not available
    • it is not safe to use public transport due to your age and the time of travel
    • you are travelling to your place of study for the first time, or
    • there are other reasons that make taxi travel reasonable

We cannot book taxi fares as part of your travel arrangements. If you need a taxi, you will need to pay for it, keep your receipt and then get reimbursed by us.

Excess baggage

The amount of baggage you can take with you will be based on the type of transport booked for your trip. Charter aircraft have lower baggage limits than larger aircraft used by commercial airlines, such as Qantas.

If you, or a non-student traveller, have more baggage than what the transport provider carries for free, we will pay for:

  • 1 additional piece of baggage, or
  • up to 18 kg if the allowance is based on weight

You must tell us if you need excess baggage to be booked as part of your travel arrangements. If you do not, the travel carrier may not be able to take your baggage on the day of travel. Or, you may need to pay for your excess baggage, keep your receipt and then get reimbursed by us.

Overnight accommodation

We may pay for overnight accommodation if:

  • you, or a non-student traveller, needs to stay 1 or more nights mid-journey, unless the transport carrier pays for these costs
  • your family member, supervisor or travelling companion cannot avoid staying 1 or more nights at the place they accompanied you to because of transport schedules
  • your family member needs to stay for a reasonable amount of time at your place of study to visit you, or
  • the educational institution representative is completing orientation or special purpose visit travel and:
    • cannot avoid staying 1 or more nights at the place they are visiting because of transport schedules, or
    • they need to stay a reasonable amount of time to complete the visit

If we approve overnight accommodation, we will cover:

  • the reasonable cost of meals and accommodation if the accommodation is arranged by us, the educational institution or community, or
  • travel allowance if accommodation is arranged by you or the non-student traveller

Page last updated: 10 November 2016

This information was printed Wednesday 7 December 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/payment-abstudy-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.