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Centrelink - A short guide to student income support

What is Centrelink?

Centrelink (opens an external site) is the official Australian Commonwealth Government agency which assesses income, administers payments and ensures effective distribution of information on benefits, allowances and pension payments as per the Social Security Laws. If you are a local student (i.e. not on a temporary entry visa) you may be eligible for student income support! Student income support is paid fortnightly to students on a low income and who have been assessed as eligible by Centrelink.  The following information will assist you in assessing your eligibility.

Ongoing changes to Centrelink rulings

From 1 April 2010 through to 1 January 2014, many Centrelink student income support rulings are changing - largely to your advantage.

Students who in 2009 were not eligible for a dependant Youth Allowance because your parents were earning too much, should check woth Centrlink regarding their eligibility from 1 July 2010 again, as the parental income thresholds have subsequently increased considerably -see Assets Test .

Students who turn(ed) 22 years of age before 1January 2012, please refer to the Youth Allowance (Independant category) or the Austudy rulings - see Age of Independence.

Where to start

To help you work out if you are eligible for Centrelink payments, check out the Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy guidelines.

If you think you may be eligible for any of the allowances/support payments, you will need to register for this online - see Register for online services (opens an external website).

Students seeking detailed information and recent changes published by Centrelink should see 'Studying or Training'  on www.centrelink.gov.au (opens an external website).

Other news items and rulings regarding Centrelink Income Support are posted regularly under the 'Important News' item on the Centrelink home page (opens an external website).

Students currently receiving a pension will find specific information relating to the disability support pension, the single parenting pension, the carers allowance and other benefits on the following Centrelink website pages (opens an external website). You can also call the applicable Centrelink customer service line.

Disclaimer: The information in these pages was correct at the time of publishing live. We make every effort to keep the information updated.

Find out more about study loads required for Centrelink.