Changes to ABSTUDY start 1 January 2019

7 November 2018

What you need to know if your child gets ABSTUDY, is in secondary school and studies away from home.

Changes at a glance

  1. Payment rate changes.
  2. More flexible travel.
  3. Safe Travel Plans.

1. Payment rate changes

Your child’s payment rate might increase if they:

  • are under 16 and in secondary school
  • study away from home, and
  • get ABSTUDY Living Allowance at the away from home rate.

From 1 January, they may get the Living Allowance away from home rate we pay students over 16.

You don’t need to do anything to get the higher rate. If your child’s eligible, we’ll change their payment rate.

If your child’s boarding provider gets the payment on their behalf, this will continue at the higher rate.

2. More flexible travel

If your child gets ABSTUDY Fares Allowance, from 1 January 2019

  • you may be able to visit them more often using the allowance
  • they may get to travel to places besides school and home that are on the usual travel route
  • they’ll get reduced penalties for missed travel without a valid reason.

3. Safe Travel Plans

Your child will need a Safe Travel Plan if:

You can ask your child’s school about putting one in place.

They’ll need this plan by 1 July 2019. If they don’t, they won’t be able to get ABSTUDY Fares Allowance for pre-booked travel.

Next steps

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Page last updated: 7 November 2018