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Navigating financial changes when children finish school

Posted on 5 December 2018
Navigating financial changes when children finish school

Hank Jongen
(General Manager, Department of Human Services)

When school finally wraps up for students, your clients might face some big changes - especially if their child is finishing Year 12.

For clients with children who have just finished Year 12, they'll need to help them make important decisions about their future. The Department of Human Services has support available, no matter what pathway they choose to take. With a little homework, your clients can understand the financial support available for their children.

They may not be ready to put the books away and choose to do further study at university or TAFE. Maybe they're interested in study, training and earning an income at the same time through an Australian Apprenticeship. Whichever pathway they choose, your client's child may be eligible for a payment to help with study costs.

Youth Allowance for students and apprentices is financial help for people aged 24 or younger who are:

  • studying full-time;
  • doing a full-time Australian Apprenticeship;
  • independent and needing to live away from home to study; or
  • temporarily unable to study.

If your client has a child who is over 25 and studying, they can apply for Austudy instead. They also need to be studying full-time or doing a full-time Australian Apprenticeship.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students may be eligible for ABSTUDY to help with study costs. There are extra ABSTUDY allowances available that can help with the costs of living and travel between home and the place of study.

However, other Year 12 students might be ready to put the books down and embark on their next adventure instead. If your client's child is interested in joining the workforce, we have support for them, too.

Youth Allowance for job seekers is financial help for people 21 or younger who are:

  • looking for work; or
  • temporarily unable to work.

To help your clients find out what their children might be eligible for, go to humanservices.gov.au/paymentfinder. Our Payment and Service Finder will find, estimate and compare payments for your clients.

Family Tax Benefit payments

While finishing Year 12 is a big change for students, it can also mean changes to their parents' Family Tax Benefit payments.

Your clients need to know Family Tax Benefit will stop when their child completes Year 12. If the child completes Year 12 before November, your client's payments will stop 28 days later. If the child completes Year 12 in November or December, your client's payments will continue until 31 December.

For more information and tips on planning for finishing school, go to humanservices.gov.au/leavingschool.

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