Changes for new students from rural and remote areas

29 November 2017

If you’re from a rural or remote area you may be considered independent sooner.

From 1 January 2018, we may consider you independent for Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY Living Allowance if:

  • you're from a rural or remote area, and
  • you earn a certain amount of income in a 14 month period after leaving secondary school

Currently, you needed to earn this amount in 18 months.

You still need to earn the same amount, just in a shorter period of time.

What’s changing?

How long you have to earn after leaving school—from 1 Jan 18, you’ll have 14 months to earn instead of 18 months.

What isn’t changing?

You still need to:

  • be from a rural or remote area

  • earn the same amount, and

  • meet the other conditions to be considered independent

For most eligible students, this means you can start study sooner. It also aligns with the start of the school year if you’re taking a gap year.

If you left secondary school in 2016 and are working toward the current rules, now’s the time to think about what this means for you.

Next steps

Check your independence through work history using the online tool.

Find out more about what’s considered independent for Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY.

If you can’t get Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY, you may be able to get a Low Income Health Care Card.

Contact us to discuss your situation and options.

Read more news for students and trainees.

Page last updated: 5 December 2017