Getting a medical certificate

You may be able to get an exemption from your Austudy requirements if you give us a medical certificate.

Why you need to give us a medical certificate

You usually need to study full time to get Austudy. If you can’t because of a medical issue, you need to let us know you‘re reducing your study load. Phone us on the Youth and students line so we can assess your situation.

You’re sick or injured

If you’re sick or injured you may get a temporary incapacity exemption. You may continue to get Austudy as if you were studying full time in certain circumstances, including if both the following apply:

  • you reduce your study load because of health reasons
  • you don’t qualify for a 25% concessional study load while living with disability.

You may have to claim another payment if you stop studying.

If you get Austudy and you’re sick or injured, call the Youth and students line to let us know. We can assess your situation.

You’re living with disability

You may be able to get Austudy if you can’t study full time because you’re living with disability. You need to do at least 25% of the full time study load.

This is for new students applying for Austudy as well as students on payment who need to reduce their study load.

What information you need to give us

The information you need to give us depends on your situation. It must be from a medical practitioner such as a general practitioner or specialist.

If you’re sick or injured

If you can’t study full time because you’re sick or injured, but want to stay on Austudy, we need evidence. You need to supply us with all of the following:

  • medical certificate telling us how long you’ll be sick or injured
  • evidence you’re still enrolled in study
  • your advice in writing or over the phone that you intend to return to full time study when you recover.

Your medical certificate should include all of the following information:

  • what the sickness or injury is
  • how long it will take for you to recover
  • how long you won’t be able to do your full time study load, if you’re unable to do it.

You’ll need to provide us with your medical certificate or letter within 14 days of the injury or illness.

If you’re living with disability

If you can’t study full time because you’re living with disability, you’ll need to provide specific medical evidence. The evidence, such as a medical certificate or letter, needs to show you’re living with either:

  • substantial physical disability
  • psychiatric or intellectual disability.

Types of medical certificates

There are 2 types of medical certificates we can accept, either a:

The preferred evidence is a Centrelink medical certificate form. This helps us assess your exemption request faster.

Who can complete a medical certificate

Only authorised medical doctors may complete and sign the Centrelink Medical Certificate form. A medical doctor is a person with recognised medical qualifications, such as a general practitioner, physician, specialist or surgeon. If you live in a rural or remote area without a doctor, a community nurse can complete your medical certificate.

Centrelink Medical Certificate form

Your doctor, a medical practitioner or specialist, can either:

  • fill the Centrelink Medical Certificate form out online, or print it and complete it by hand
  • give us a Centrelink Medical Certificate online using Health Professional Online Services.

Non-Centrelink Medical Certificate

Your doctor may choose to use their own form. We’ll accept it as long as it has the required details and your doctor signs it.

When to give us a medical certificate

You can do this if you’re sick, injured, or living with disability and you’re either:

  • making a new claim for Austudy
  • already getting Austudy and can’t meet your full time study requirements.

Applying for an exemption when you claim Austudy

If you’re applying for an exemption when you claim, you’ll need to do both of these:

  • let us know why you can’t study or train full time
  • give us a medical certificate as one of the supporting documents with your claim.

Read about how to submit your documents.

Applying for an exemption if you’re already getting Austudy

You can apply for an exemption at any time by giving us a medical certificate.

How to give us your Medical Certificate

If your doctor gives you the completed medical certificate, you can submit it online using either:

If you can’t submit it online, you can either:

Page last updated: 23 September 2022