Do you get a Centrelink payment? You need to ensure you’re not being overpaid
Do you get Youth Allowance, Austudy, ABSTUDY or Pensioner Education Supplement? To avoid being overpaid and owing money that you’ll have to pay back, you must ensure you study full-time and are enrolled in both compulsory study periods (trimesters one and two).
It’s your responsibility to let Centrelink, which is part of Services Australia, know about any changes in your circumstances that might affect your payment. You must let Centrelink know within 14 days if any of the following changes happen to you.
1. You drop any units
If you’ve dropped any of your units, you need to update your study details with Centrelink. Reducing your study load means you may no longer be considered a full-time student.
To get a student payment, you usually need to be studying full-time – this means you’re studying at least 75% of the equivalent full-time study load (EFTSL). You can find your total EFTSL in StudentConnect by printing your Evidence of enrolment.
You may still be eligible for a student payment if you need to study part-time for reasons outside your control, such as:
- a temporary injury or illness
- if Deakin cancels a unit and you can’t study something else
- a timetable clash.
You’ll need to provide some documents to support this, like a medical certificate or letter from Deakin. If you’re in this situation, call the Youth and Students line on 132 490.
2. You stop studying or change course or institution
If you’ve intermitted your study, even for a trimester, you might not be eligible for a student payment and may need to apply for a different Centrelink payment. To avoid owing money, you need to tell Centrelink as soon as you stop studying.
You also need to report if you’ve changed courses or the institution you study with. If your new course is approved for a student payment, you’ll continue to get your payment. If it’s not approved, your payment will stop.
Changes to your course may also affect how long you can get a student payment.
3. Your income changes
To make sure you’re paid the correct amount, you need to report your gross income – your income before tax – every 14 days. If you have a partner, you need to report their income too. You may incur a debt or your payment could stop if you:
- report your income late
- get income and don’t report it
- report the wrong amount.
4. Your living situation changes
Your payment could be affected if your home situation changes. This includes when:
- your rent changes or you stop paying rent
- you change address
- you move back to your parents’ home or start living with a different parent or guardian
- you start living with a partner.
5. You have any other changes in circumstances
As well as study changes, you also need to tell Centrelink if other things in your life change. This includes when:
- you become sick or injured and can’t study
- you go overseas
- your partner starts or stops working
- you have a child or start taking care of a child
- your parents or guardians have changes to their incomes.
How to update your details
You can tell Centrelink about your changed circumstances using one of their self-service options:
- Centrelink online account through myGov
- Express Plus Centrelink mobile app
- Centrelink phone self-service.
You can also contact Centrelink for help.
- Find out what other changes you need to tell Centrelink about and how to do it.
- Learn more about student payments, including allowable time for Youth Allowance or Austudy or reasonable time for ABSTUDY students.
- Need to chat to someone at Deakin about your circumstances? Just contact Student Central.
- It’s not easy to manage your finances, especially with the increasing cost of living. Help is available through our Financial Assistance team, DUSA Financial Counselling and moneysmart.gov.au. Also check out these tips on how to save your money as a uni student, sourced by our student Money Matters team.