What we pay it for

If you’re eligible, you can get Fares Allowance for the following situations.

If you’re eligible, you can get Fares Allowance for the following situations.

Fares Allowance covers the cost of the least expensive and most available form of public transport in Australia.

Your situation What you can use the allowance for
You get Youth Allowance, Austudy or Pensioner Education Supplement as a tertiary student for less than 6 months a year. You can get:
  • 1 trip to your place of study from your home to start studying
  • 1 trip home after finishing or ending your study.
You get Youth Allowance, Austudy or Pensioner Education Supplement as a tertiary student for 6 months or more a year.

You can get:

  • 1 trip to your place of study from your home to start studying per year
  • 1 trip home after finishing or ending your study per year.

You may also get 1 return trip between your place of study and your home during the study year. In most cases, you won’t qualify for a return trip in your first year until at least 1 July. You can ask us to pre-book your journey to see when you can get your first return trip.

You study online or by distance and have to travel for tertiary study.

You can get 1 return trip between your permanent home and your place of study for each course per year.

Public transport

You can use the allowance for air, ferry, coach, train, bus or a combination of these. We may also cover the cost of standard baggage fees.

We sometimes reimburse or pre-book extra baggage fees if you need to transport extra items for your study. For example, if you need to transport essential living items like kitchenware, or for a music student who needs to take their instrument between their permanent home and place of study.

Private transport

Where it’s not practical to use public transport, you can travel by private transport. It might not be practical to use public transport if you need to move belongings that either:

  • exceed strict luggage limits
  • are difficult to move around.

You’ll need to explain why you couldn’t use public transport.

If it’s more practical to travel by public transport and you don’t, we may only pay you the equivalent amount of the cheapest public transport available.

Example 1

Sonya studies at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, NSW. Her parents live in Townsville, QLD. She gets Youth Allowance as a dependent student at the away from home rate.

Sonya paid for a flight home to see her parents at the end of the study year and took a bus to the airport. Sonya can claim Fares Allowance for the cost of the flight and bus. If Sonya travelled by private car, we would pay the amount of a bus fare if it’s the cheapest form of public transport.

Example 2

David is from Goulburn and is starting his first year of study in Wollongong. He gets Youth Allowance as a full time student.

David drives his car from Goulburn to Wollongong to transport essential belongings too large to carry on the multiple bus or train trips he would need to take. We pay David for the cost of private transport even though it’s cheaper to get public transport because it’s the most practical form of travel for this trip.

Page last updated: 23 October 2019