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Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance

If you decide to go on to do an apprenticeship or go to uni or TAFE there are several types of financial assistance from the government that you may be eligible for.

Centrelink is where all government financial assistance comes from. There are offices all over Australia. For WA office locations go to the “contact us” link on the Centrelink homepage www.centrelink.gov.au. Once you are set up it is easy to do things online or over the phone but to begin with it’s often helpful going in to speak to someone in person.

Austudy

Austudy provides financial support for students and Australian Apprentices aged 25 or over. Go to the Austudy page on the Centrelink website to find out if you are eligible.

Pensioner Education Supplement

Pensioner Education Supplement is a fortnightly payment from Centrelink to help some students with ongoing study costs. You must be studying an approved tertiary course and also receiving other Centrelink payments. To see if you’re eligible have a look at the brochure below. Download Pensioner Education Supplement Brochure

HELP

The HELP scheme (Higher Education Loan Programme) helps you by paying for your uni fees upfront. You then pay it back later (as extra tax) when you’re earning a substantial salary (at least $38 000).
The other option is to pay for your fees upfront. This is quite expensive (cost varies according to the university and course) so most people opt for the HELP scheme. However if you do pay upfront you receive a 25% discount.

ABSTUDY

ABSTUDY is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Study Assistance Scheme. ABSTUDY helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who want to stay at school or go on to further studies, as well as offering assistance to eligible apprentices and trainees. If you are studying, will soon start to study, or are undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship, you can apply for ABSTUDY to help you.
For more information have a look at the ABSTUDY pages on the Centrelink website.

Fares Allowance

If you are a tertiary student living away from your permanent home to study, Fares Allowance helps you to cover the cost of travelling between your permanent home and place of education eg TAFE. The link below will give you more information
Fares Allowance

Dealing with Centrelink

Centrelink can sometimes be hard and confusing to deal with. Try your absolute best to do everything they ask you to do, on time. This might be having a meeting with them or reporting your earnings. If you know that you won’t be able to do something on time let them know as soon as possible. If you don’t, you may have your payments stopped and it can be hard getting them started again. If you ever have problems with Centrelink or if they have stopped your payments there are services who can help you (see the legal section for welfare rights and advocacy services). Also, remember to keep good track of all your Centrelink information, receipts and letters. It’s good to keep it all in a folder so that you have it all in one place in case you need to refer back to it later.