Proof to support your claim

If you’re applying for ABSTUDY as an independent student or Australian Apprentice, we may ask you for extra documents to show you meet the independence criteria.

The table shows some of the documents we might ask for. We’ll tell you what we need when you submit your claim.

Your situation Documents we need

You’ve done a work related activity for 3 of the last 4 years

1 or more of the following:

  • statement from an employer that says when you worked and whether you worked full time
  • statement confirming you were on paid sick, maternity or recreation leave
  • statement from an accountant showing when you worked, if you were self-employed
  • statement from a religious order showing when, and for how long, they supported you
  • statement from your correctional institution showing when, and for how long, you were in lawful custody.

You’ve had full time work for 18 months within 2 years

1 of the following:

  • letters from all employers showing the time periods you worked and whether you worked full time
  • payslips showing your weekly working hours.

You’ve had part time work or earnings, if you’re a rural or remote student

1 of the following:

  • a letter from your employer saying what time periods you worked and how many hours you worked each week
  • payslips from your employer that say what hours you worked each week.

You’ve been in lawful custody for  6 months or more

1 of the following:

  • a statement from your correctional institution that says how long you were in prison
  • a statement from you that says which institution or institutions you went to and when you were there.

You’re 16 or older and return to live in an Indigenous Australian community

A statement from an Indigenous community organisation, elder or relevant state or territory authority. This must confirm that for a period of 2 years or more, you were either:

  • adopted or fostered into a non-Indigenous family
  • removed from your biological family by government or religious organisations and placed with a non-Indigenous family.

You’re an orphan

Evidence your parents are dead, or legally missing and presumed dead. This may include 1 of the following:

  • a death certificate
  • a police or coroners statement
  • a statement from a missing persons register
  • documentation from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander organisation.

You have special adult status

Both of the following:

  • a signed statement from the elder that did your coming of age ceremony, confirming you’ve completed a traditional initiation
  • a statement from you confirming you’re not supported financially by your family and you live independently in the community.

You are, or were, married under Australian law or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian lore

1 of the following:

  • an original or certified copy of your marriage certificater
  • statement from a community elder responsible for cultural ceremonies confirming recognition of marriage under Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander lore
  • divorce papers that say when your marriage or previous marriage ended.

You are or were in a registered relationship

An original or certified copy of your registered relationship certificate

You have or had a dependent child

1 or more of the following:

  • an original birth certificate or certified extract of a birth certificate confirming you’re the child's natural parent
  • other official documentation that shows you’re the child’s natural parent
  • legal evidence that shows you adopted the child.

You may not be in a relationship with your child’s mother. If this is the case you also need to provide evidence the child is dependent on you. This can be evidence that shows you:

  • provide material support towards care of the child
  • have regular or periodic care of the child
  • have input into decisions that affect your child
  • pay court ordered or voluntary child maintenance for the child.

You’re caring for or have custody of another person's dependent child

Evidence that shows the child:

  • is in your care or custody and from what date
  • is wholly or substantially dependent on you.

This may include 1 of these:

  • Family Tax Benefit statement
  • statutory declaration from you
  • statutory declaration from a third party, like a doctor, that says you’re the child’s carer.

It’s unreasonable for you to live at home

If you’re younger than 18, a Centrelink social worker will assess your situation.

If you’re 18 or older, we may need 2 or more the following forms:

You’ve been in a de facto relationship for at least 6 months

Evidence that shows all of the following. You:

  • live together
  • are in a de facto relationship
  • when the relationship started.

This must include both:

  • a statutory declaration signed by you and your partner
  • other documents like a rental agreement, electricity, water or phone bill.

You’re 15 or older and your parents can’t take care of you

If your parents are in prison
We need evidence confirming when they went to prison and their expected release date.

If your parents are living in a nursing home, hospital or similar institution
We need evidence showing how long they’ve lived there.

If your parents can’t take care of you because they’re mentally ill
We need medical evidence, like a report from the doctor or specialist treating them. The report should say all of the following:

  • what their illness is
  • how it affects their ability to care for you
  • how long they won’t be able to care for you.

If your parents are missing
We’ll try to find them. We may ask you for information, including:

  • their date of birth
  • other names they’re known by
  • their last known address or employer.

Page last updated: 20 December 2019