What cost it covers
ABSTUDY Fares Allowance covers the most reasonable costs of travel.
Fares Allowance covers the most reasonable cost of travel. We work out reasonable costs when you claim. This means if you use travel that’s more expensive than this, we might not cover the full amount. For example, you may take a plane when a train would’ve been the most reasonable trip. In this case, we’ll only reimburse you for the cost of the train trip.
Sometimes, the allowance may also pay for extra travel costs during your trip.
When we work out the most reasonable travel we consider the following things:
- cost, such as what the cheapest option is
- duration, such as how long you’ll be travelling and the most direct route for the approved travel
- services, such as what transport options you have
- your personal circumstances.
The rules for reasonable travel are different for each type of transport.
Train or bus
ABSTUDY Fares Allowance can cover the cost of an economy train or bus ticket.
If you’re a secondary school student, we’ll cover the cost of an economy train or bus ticket if you’re either:
- alone for less than 8 hours
- with a supervisor or other students for less than 10 hours.
If you’re a tertiary student or secondary student at a tertiary institution, we may cover the cost of your ticket. We’ll cover the cost if your travel time is less than:
- 18 hours by bus
- 36 hours by train.
If the trip would take longer, train or bus may not be the most reasonable form of travel. In this case, Fares Allowance may cover other travel options.
ABSTUDY Fares Allowance may cover the cost of an economy plane ticket. We’ll do this if any of the following apply:
- there’s no train or bus you can take
- the trip by train or bus is longer than the reasonable travelling time for a train or bus trip
- you or the non-student traveller are sick or hurt and can’t take a train or bus
- your train or bus would be overnight.
We’ll also cover it if you’re a secondary school student and you need to either:
- start your trip before 7 am
- finish your trip after 9 pm.
ABSTUDY Fares Allowance can cover the cost of travelling by private motor vehicles if:
- there’s no bus, train or plane you can take
- you can’t take public transport because of bad services, for example, a 10 hour wait for a connection
- you can’t take public transport because you’re hurt or have a disability
- you can’t take public transport because you need to start your trip before 7 am or finish it after 9 pm
- you need to travel with extra living or study items
- travel by private vehicle is cheaper than other transport.
You should call the ABSTUDY students line to discuss how much Motor Vehicle Allowance you can get. We can tell you how we work out the amount based on:
- vehicle type
- number of passengers
- distance you need to travel.
ABSTUDY Fares Allowance can cover the cost of chartered transport including:
- hire cars
- helicopter travel.
It can cover all or some of the trip for any of the following reasons:
- there’s no public transport
- there’s no regular plane
- it’s cheaper than other transport options.
Call the ABSTUDY students line to discuss your claim in detail.
Extra travel costs
If a student is eligible for ABSTUDY Fares Allowance, and has incurred extra travel costs, we can pay for:
ABSTUDY Fares Allowance can cover the cost of transfers. This is travel from where your plane, bus or train stops to your accommodation. We can pay for public transport.
We can also pay for transport arranged by your accommodation provider where they either:
- charge all students
- charge a reasonable amount if charging ABSTUDY students only.
We will pay whoever makes the claim. This can be either yourself or your education institution.
We can also pay for taxis if any of the following apply:
- public transport isn’t available
- it’s not safe for you to take public transport because of the time of day or your age
- it’s the first time you’re travelling to your place of study.
We don’t book taxis for you. If you pay for one, keep your receipt. You can apply for reimbursement from us after you travel.
ABSTUDY Fares Allowance may cover the cost of extra baggage.
How much baggage you can take depends on both:
- your type of transport
- the carrier you’re travelling with.
Check how much baggage you can take with the service before you travel.
If you or a non-student traveller have more baggage than what you can carry for free, we’ll pay for either:
- 1 extra piece of baggage
- up to 18 kg over your baggage limit.
You should tell us if you need more baggage before your trip. If you pay for excess baggage at the time of travel, keep your receipt. You can apply for reimbursement from us after you travel.
ABSTUDY Fares Allowance can cover accommodation costs for one or more nights if any of the following apply:
- you or a non-student traveller need accommodation during your trip, unless the transport carrier pays for these costs
- your family member, supervisor or travelling companion need accommodation somewhere because of transport timetables
- your family member needs to stay for a reasonable amount of time at your place of study to visit you.
We may also cover accommodation costs if an educational institution representative is completing orientation or special purpose visit travel. We cover costs where the educational institution representative needs to either:
- have accommodation somewhere because of transport timetables
- stay a reasonable amount of time for the visit.
ABSTUDY Fares Allowance covers either:
- the reasonable cost of meals and accommodation if we, the educational institution or community arranges the accommodation
- a set allowance amount for meals and accommodation if you or the non-student traveller arranges the accommodation.
ABSTUDY Fares Allowance may cover credit card costs if you’re charged additional fees when you book your travel.
You can apply for reimbursement from us after you travel, if you keep your receipt.
We don’t pay Afterpay, Zip Pay or debit card fees.
Page last updated: 26 September 2019
This information was printed 4 June 2020 from https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/abstudy-fares-allowance/who-can-get-it/what-cost-it-covers. It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/site-notices when using this material.