Is the pensioner education supplement backdated?

The Pensioner Education Supplement (PES) is an additional payment available to eligible recipients of certain income support payments who are undertaking approved studies. It is usually paid fortnightly along with the regular pension payment.

As a general rule, the PES start day may be backdated to the first day of qualification if the claim is made within 4 weeks of that day. Generally, a recipient is qualified from the date they begin undertaking a qualifying study.

The following table outlines the backdated start days for full-year courses.

If a person claims before … then the start date for PES is …
1 April, for a course starting before 1 April 1 January or the first day on which the person is qualified for PES.
1 August for a course starting in July 1 July or the first day on which the person is qualified for PES.

Explanation: Qualifying study for most claimants will start from the commencement of their course, NOT FROM 1 January or 1 July unless they are resuming study after a break.

Exception: Where a student resumes study after a break in study of one semester or less or a break in study of more than one semester in the preceding 12 months due to illness or circumstances beyond the person’s control, the recipient will be considered to be undertaking qualifying study from 1 January or 1 July provided the student commences their course before 1 April or in July respectively.

It’s important to note that policies and regulations can change over time, so it’s recommended to consult the Department of Human Services or Services Australia for the most up-to-date information regarding the Pensioner Education Supplement and whether it can be backdated in specific circumstances.