Change of circumstances

You must tell us if things change as it may affect your ABSTUDY payment.

Watch our video about how to avoid an ABSTUDY debt.

Tell us within 14 days

You need to tell us about any changes to your circumstances within 14 days. This includes your parents’ or guardians’ and partners’ circumstances.

Use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app or your Centrelink online account through myGov to tell us about changes.

If you don’t tell us, it may affect your payment and you may need to pay back money we’ve paid you. If you deliberately don’t tell us about the changes, we could charge you with fraud. Read more about how to avoid committing fraud.

It’s important you tell us about any changes. We’ve listed some common examples.

Study

Tell us if you do any of these:

  • change your course
  • study at a different institution
  • reduce your study or training workload
  • stop studying
  • stop being a full time Australian Apprentice
  • don’t start your course within 3 weeks of it starting.

Employment

Tell us if you do any of these:

  • change your work hours, start or stop work
  • change your income or assets
  • get income from outside Australia
  • change jobs
  • get compensation, leave or redundancy payments
  • start or stop getting other financial help to complete your course or apprenticeship.

If you’re reporting income to us for the first time, contact us and we’ll set up self service options for you.

Personal

You need to tell us if your personal situation changes. This could be a change to where you live, your family situation, or finances, work or study. If you’re in lawful custody the correctional institution will let us know.

You don’t need to provide proof of your rental arrangements. This is due to coronavirus (COVID-19). We’ll let you know when you need to again.

If your home situation changes

You need to tell us about changes like any of these:

  • you change your address or contact details
  • you move back to your parents' or guardians’ home
  • you move into or out of long term care, like a nursing home or hostel.

If your family situation changes

You need to tell us about changes like any of these:

  • you marry or start living with your partner
  • you separate from your partner
  • your dependent child or immediate family member dies
  • you have a child or take care of a child who is 16 years of age or younger
  • your dependent child who is 16 years of age or younger leaves home, or gets a pension, benefit or allowance
  • your dependent child is in custody on remand, in a psychiatric institution or in prison.

If your work, study or financial situation changes

You need to tell us about changes like either of these:

  • you’re sick or injured and can’t continue your study
  • you start or stop getting another government pension, benefit or allowance, such as one from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

If you get Rent Assistance

If you get Rent Assistance there are some specific changes you need to let us know about. Tell us if you:

  • stop paying rent, or the amount of rent you pay changes
  • start paying rent to a state, territory or Commonwealth Housing Authority
  • move in with your parent or guardian.

Partner

Tell us if your partner:

  • starts or stops working
  • has income or assets change
  • gets ABSTUDY, a pension, benefit or allowance
  • dies.

Parents or guardians

Tell us if your parents or guardians:

  • change their address
  • marry or start living with their partner
  • separate from their partner
  • have changes to their income
  • have a dependent child who leaves or comes into their care
  • are, or are no longer, in custody, a psychiatric institution, nursing home or similar.

Page last updated: 27 March 2020