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ABSTUDY boost for Indigenous Students
With the academic year back in full swing, the Department of Human Services is reminding Indigenous students and their parents not to miss out on study assistance.
General Manager Hank Jongen said Centrelink’s ABSTUDY payment helps Australians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent with the costs of studying or doing an Australian Apprenticeship.
“If you’re a student aged 16 or over, or you’re a parent of a student younger than 16, you may be eligible for the payment,” Mr Jongen said.
“Independent students under 16 years of age may also be eligible.”
Mr Jongen said the best way for customers to check their eligibility is to visit humanservices.gov.au/abstudy
“The payment amount depends on the customer’s specific circumstances, and can assist in covering study costs such as uniforms, text books, excursions and stationery,” Mr Jongen said.
“For students who need to live away from home to study, it helps with the cost of rent or board, and travel between their permanent home and place of study.
“To lodge a claim, you can Freecall 1800 132 317, or visit a department Service Centre.”
Mr Jongen reminded students already receiving ABSTUDY to keep the department updated on any changes to their circumstances, to ensure they receive the correct payment amount.
“If the new study year has brought changes your way, like a change of address, a different course, or if you’ve picked up more work, make sure you let us know as soon as possible,” Mr Jongen said.
“The Centrelink Express Plus app, or using online services at my.gov.au, are the easiest ways to update your details, giving you the time and freedom to get on with your studies.”
Mr Jongen also reminded students who are eligible for Relocation Scholarship that payments are being made automatically with their regular student payment, in the first fortnight they are eligible after 24 February 2016.
“The Relocation Scholarship is an annual payment of up to $4,333 in the first year, made to eligible students who relocate to or from a regional location to study an approved course,” Mr Jongen said.
“If you haven’t received the payment, but think you are eligible, make sure your home address and your study details lodged with the department are up-to-date, using online services.
“There’s no need to call, as we will continue to assess your eligibility each fortnight. If you do qualify, it will be paid to you automatically.”