Changes to student payments as announced in the 2015-16 Budget

Changes to student income support payments


On 12 November 2015, Parliament passed the following changes to student income support payments, as announced in the 2015-16 Budget.

  • From 1 January 2016, the Family Assets Test (FAT) and the Family Actual Means Test (FAMT) will be removed from Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY Living Allowance parental means testing arrangements. This will align these payments with Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB Part A), which does not include a FAT or FAMT. Current exemptions from the Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY Living Allowance parental income test will also be aligned with the existing arrangements for FTB Part A. There will be no Low Income Health Care Card and New Enterprise Incentive Scheme exemptions from parental income testing for Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY Living Allowance.
  • From 1 January 2016, the treatment of maintenance income will align with arrangements applying to FTB Part A, by removing child support amounts from the Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY Living Allowance parental income test assessment.
  • All dependent children will be included in the family pool calculations for the Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY Living Allowance parental income test, from 1 July 2016 (currently only those aged 16-21 years are included).
  • From 1 January 2017, the treatment of child support will be further reformed by applying a separate maintenance income test as currently applying to FTB Part A.