Changing your study plans? Don't forget to tell Centrelink - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Changing your study plans? Don't forget to tell Centrelink

2 Mar 2020

If you change your study plans, don’t forget to tell Centrelink

Do you get Youth Allowance, Austudy, ABSTUDY or Pensioner Education Supplement?

If yes, you need to let Services Australia know of changes in your circumstances that might affect your payment. This is to avoid getting overpaid and owing money that you’ll have to pay back.

If you’ve dropped any of your subjects, you need to update your study details. You may have reduced your study load. If this is the case, you may no longer be considered full time.

To get Youth Allowance, Austudy, ABSTUDY or Pensioner Education Supplement, you usually need to be studying full time. Full time means you’re studying at least 75% of the equivalent full time study load (EFTSL).

Your online student portal will say what your EFTSL is.

If you’ve stopped studying, it may mean you’re not eligible for a student payment. You need to tell Services Australia as soon as you’ve stopped to avoid owing money.

If you’ve changed courses you need to update this as well. While you might be at the same uni, your study details have changed. Services Australia considers this a new course for your payment.

If your new course is approved for a student payment you’ll continue to get your payment. If it’s not approved, your payment will stop.

Changes to your course may also affect how long you can get a student payment from Services Australia.

Make sure you update your details if you’ve changed where you study. You might be doing a course which has the same name but you’re doing it through a different education provider. You still need to let Services Australia know.

Other changes in circumstances

Apart from study changes, there are other changes you also need to tell Services Australia about. These include:

  • how much you earn
  • when you change your address or go overseas
  • if you’re in a relationship.

Don’t forget, you must let Services Australia know about changes within 14 days. If you don’t, you may end up owing money that you’ll need to pay back.

More information

Find more information about how to update your change of circumstances on the Services Australia website.

Read more about allowable time for Youth Allowance, allowable time for Austudy or reasonable time for ABSTUDY students.