How long can you get ABSTUDY for?

The duration (reasonable time) for which an individual can receive ABSTUDY payments can vary depending on the type of study or training they are undertaking and their specific circumstances. You need to complete your course within a set period of time to keep getting your payment. If you run out of reasonable time, your payment will stop.

Reasonable time applies to tertiary and secondary non-school courses such as secondary courses completed at TAFE. Centrelink bases the reasonable time on the minimum time it normally takes to complete your course as a full-time student. The amount of reasonable time depends on the normal length of your course.

Reasonable time for a course 2 years or less is considered to be up to twice the course length. For courses longer than 2 years, reasonable time is the normal course duration plus 2 years.

For example, Rith is studying a 3-year Economics degree and getting ABSTUDY Living Allowance. The normal time for him to complete the course is 3 years. His reasonable time is up to 5 years. This is the normal course duration of 3 years plus 2 years. This means Rith can take up to 5 years to complete his degree and still get ABSTUDY Living Allowance.

Here are some general guidelines regarding the duration of ABSTUDY:

  1. Primary and secondary students: ABSTUDY payments for primary and secondary students are typically provided throughout the duration of their schooling. This means that as long as the student remains enrolled in an eligible primary or secondary school and meets the ongoing eligibility criteria, they can continue to receive ABSTUDY payments until they complete their studies or reach the maximum age limit.
  2. Tertiary students: ABSTUDY payments for tertiary students are generally available for the duration of their approved course. This includes university degrees, TAFE courses, and other vocational education and training programs. The specific duration can vary depending on the length of the course or program of study. ABSTUDY payments for tertiary students may also continue during study breaks or holidays, depending on the circumstances.
  3. Australian Apprentices: ABSTUDY payments for Australian Apprentices or trainees are typically provided for the duration of their apprenticeship or traineeship. The length of an apprenticeship or traineeship can vary depending on the specific trade or occupation and the training requirements. ABSTUDY support is generally available throughout the apprenticeship or traineeship period, as long as the individual meets the ongoing eligibility criteria.

It’s important to note that there may be certain conditions and ongoing eligibility requirements that need to be met to continue receiving ABSTUDY payments. These can include maintaining satisfactory academic progress, meeting attendance requirements, and fulfilling any other obligations outlined by Services Australia.

For up-to-date information about the duration of ABSTUDY payments and the specific conditions that apply to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to visit the official Services Australia website or contact Centrelink directly. They will be able to provide you with detailed information based on your specific situation.