6th Dec 2011
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Austudy and Age Pension
austudy, age pension, australia

At 68-years of age, YOURLifeChoices subscriber Fiekel still has a thirst for knowledge but understands this comes at a price. He is keen to find out if he can access Austudy payments while claiming an Age Pension?

Q. I would like you to tell me if I would be able to apply for Austudy on top of a full pension. I am 68 years old and would like to do a university course, but have no other income apart from the Age Pension. The course is supplied online by Monash University and costs $3,000.

A. The eligibility criteria for Austudy requires you to be over 25 years and studying an approved course full-time. There are also limits on the income you can earn and the assets you can hold. If your income or assets are above the limits set, then any Austudy payments will be reduced.

However, both Austudy and the Age Pension have restrictions whereby you can’t receive another social security benefit at the same time. The Age Pension would give you a higher payment, as the most you can receive on Austudy is $388.70 per fortnight.

To find out more about eligibility criteria, income and asset limits and payment rates, visit Centrelink’s Austudy section.

Would you like to study more but find the cost prohibitive?





    COMMENTS

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    tezziem@gmail.com
    6th Dec 2011
    4:37pm
    I've been looking at this idea myself and found that OUA (Open Universities of Australia) can offer hundreds of courses to chose from leading to a degree of your choice. Any Australian citizen is eligible to apply HECS whereby the government pays for the costs of your studies and later on you can pay it back through the Taxation Department when you start earning money over $46,000 (just about). At age 68, when can you earn that much?
    gized
    6th Dec 2011
    5:10pm
    No, you are not able to get both Austudy and the Pension. You can claim the Pension Education Supplement on top of the Pension. That is for those that are studying.
    JettyArt
    6th Dec 2011
    7:17pm
    copy "Any Australian citizen is eligible to apply HECS whereby the government pays for the costs of your studies and later on you can pay it back through the Taxation Department when you start earning money over $46,000 (just about). At age 68, when can you earn that much? "
    Interesting but what about the HECS loan being claimed against your estate?
    tezziem@gmail.com
    6th Dec 2011
    7:29pm
    JettyArt - it's not your worry anymore, is it? the rule is that the government thru ATO will start claiming your loan soon as you reach earning above the threshold currently $47,169. Will ATO find the time to go thru your estate when you're dead
    maggiemaycole
    6th Dec 2011
    9:36pm
    I am 65 and studying under HECS. One of the first questions that I had was whether it would have to be repaid if I died and I was advised that I did not. The debt is wiped on your death. You cannot get the pension education supplement with the age pension. Certainly the age pension is better than Austudy. You lose the pension card with Austudy as well and have to apply for a low income earners health care card, which does not have the same benefits. I am doing a full degree course in Medical Science (Clinical Physiology) through Charles Sturt Uni - I hope to work at the end but that may not happen as due to a number of circumstances I am going to finish it a lot later than I expected when I enrolled. Good luck.
    Eljay
    10th Dec 2011
    2:20pm
    Beware: I self-financed my way into a course, which finishes next week. I went into Centrelink and told them I would be studying for four weeks and would not be able to report in. I also asked them to set up on-line income reporting. Of course, this has not been actioned as yet, and two days ago I received a letter saying my pension payments had been stopped forthwith as I had not reported in. I still can't contact Centrelink until after the course ends as it is pretty intensive and involves a lot of own-time work, plus we have exams this week, just to add to the stress. I'm trying to to set up the possibility of weaning myself off the pension as soon as I can, but with little money to fall back on it is certainly upsetting to find Centrelink being so aggressive. They could at least have contacted me first to assess the situation. The guy I spoke to said the conversation had been recorded and that I need not worry about reporting in during the course.


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