Managing ABSTUDY secondary student payments

Secondary board and education providers play an important role in helping manage ABSTUDY payments.

Help families claim ABSTUDY

Parents and guardians can claim ABSTUDY 13 weeks before their child starts high school. They can claim even earlier if the student has to travel for an orientation visit, open day or interview.

From age 16, students need to claim ABSTUDY for themselves. You can help them get their supporting documents ready for the first claim.

Read more about helping families claim ABSTUDY.

Get the right amount of ABSTUDY

You can help make sure your students get the right amount of ABSTUDY by:

Secondary school boarding students living in hostels can have payments made directly to you. Learn more about getting boarding instalments paid directly to your hostel.

To avoid overpayments you or families may have to pay back, it’s important to advise us of changes as soon as you can. This includes when a student:

  • enrols but doesn’t start school
  • is under 16 and has a change of care, as their new guardian needs to submit a new ABSTUDY claim
  • changes to another school or board provider, as we pay their boarding instalment for the days they attend
  • stops boarding.

Tell us about changes by calling the National Business Gateway line and selecting the ABSTUDY option.

Help students get a Tax File Number (TFN)

All ABSTUDY students need to get their own TFN by the time they’re 16. We can’t continue their payment until they have one. This includes boarding instalments.

Instructions and forms to apply for a TFN are on the Australian Taxation Office website. People under 13 need a signature from their parent or guardian. Encourage students to do this well before they turn 16, because it can take up to 4 weeks for the TFN to arrive.

Transition to higher education or an apprenticeship

As students prepare to leave school, they may be able to keep getting ABSTUDY. This depends on what they choose to do next.

Students going on to full time higher education study can get ABSTUDY during their course including vacation periods. Higher education study includes a certificate, a diploma or a bachelor degree.

Students going on to a full time Australian Apprenticeship can also continue to get ABSTUDY.

Students can claim up to 13 weeks before starting their course or apprenticeship. Learn more about:

Page last updated: 24 July 2023.
QC 63004