What we pay it for

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.

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

Your situation What you can use the allowance for

You get Youth Allowance, Austudy or Pensioner Education Supplement as a tertiary student for 3 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.

You get Youth Allowance, Austudy or Pensioner Education Supplement as a tertiary student for less than 3 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 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 study.

This can include essential equipment you need to transport from your home to your place of study such as:

  • musical instruments for music students
  • kitchenware for hospitality students.

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 to us why you couldn’t use public transport.

If it’s more practical to travel by public transport and you choose not to, we may pay you less. We’ll 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. She took a bus to the airport to catch her flight. 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. This is only if it’s the cheapest form of public transport.

Example 2

David is from Goulburn, NSW. He’s starting his first year of study in Wollongong, NSW. 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 public transport. We pay David for the cost of private transport. This is because it’s the most practical form of travel for this trip.

Next: When to claim

You can get Fares Allowance after your journey or we can pre-book your travel for you.

Page last updated: 1 January 2021