ABSTUDY Lawful Custody Allowance

Help for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and Australian Apprentices with study and training costs while in custody.

Being in custody can mean in a correctional institution, remand centre or youth training centre.

Lawful Custody Allowance helps pay for essential course costs. They can include:

  • education institution fees like union, sports, library, administration, amenities or laboratory fees or levies
  • textbooks, art material, stationery, ink cartridges and paper for computer printers
  • photocopying costs, due to restricted access and inability to borrow library books
  • approved daily travel expenses to and from the education institution
  • compulsory equipment, where it’s unreasonable for the institution to provide them.

The education provider, such as the head of the school or department, must approve essential course costs.

What it doesn’t pay for

You can’t use the allowance to pay for any of the following:

  • tuition or course fees
  • items education providers normally provide such as musical instruments, cameras, videos, sewing machines or computers.
Page last updated: 29 March 2023.
QC 53543