Claim ABSTUDY now for 2016

If your child is starting high school or an Australian apprenticeship next year, you can claim ABSTUDY now to help with the costs of study or training if they are an eligible Indigenous Australian.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongen said the cost of uniforms, text books, excursions and stationery can really add up for secondary education and trade school.

“ABSTUDY helps to cover these costs, and if you’re a parent, guardian or carer of an eligible primary school student under 16 years of age, you can claim ABSTUDY on their behalf,” Mr Jongen said.

“When your child turns 16 years old they will need to lodge their own claim.

“You can lodge an ABSTUDY claim – or help your child to lodge their own – over the phone by calling Freecall™ 1800 132 317 or apply in person at a service centre or remote service centre.

“If you are receiving Family Tax Benefit for your child and they are under 16 years of age you may still be able to claim ABSTUDY without it affecting your payment.

“You should lodge a claim as soon as you know where your child will be attending high school.

“If your child is already in secondary school or has commenced an Australian apprenticeship and is not receiving ABSTUDY they may still be eligible. It’s not too late to lodge a claim.”

Mr Jongen said if your child’s ABSTUDY claim is approved and they need to live away from home to study, there are a range of other payments they may be eligible for, such as Fares Allowance.

“These payments help with your child’s travel costs from their permanent home to school,” Mr Jongen said.

“Once ABSTUDY payments commence it is important to remember to keep their details up-to-date.

“You need to let us know if circumstances such as your income or your child’s study details change within 14 days.

“You also need to ensure your child attends school regularly to remain eligible for ABSTUDY.

“If you don’t tell us you may be overpaid and end up with a debt, which you will have to pay back.

“You or your child can manage their ABSTUDY payment on a mobile device with the Express Plus mobile app or by using Centrelink services through myGov.”