BY MARIA BEKIARIS
MONEY MAGAZINE, FEBRUARY EDITION
Changes to benefits
From January a number of government benefits have changed. Here are the details of some of the key changes:
• Students from Inner Regional Australia will now be able to be considered independent for Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY if they are required to live away from home to study, and they have a combined parental income of less than $150,000. They must have also either worked part-time (at least 15 hours each week) for two years since last leaving secondary school, or earned at least 75% of Wage Level A of the National Training Wage Award included in a modern award in 18 months since last leaving secondary school.
• The age of independence for Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY will be lowered from 23 to 22 years of age.
• The amount of the Student Start-up Scholarship, available to eligible higher education students receiving Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY or Austudy, will be reduced to $1025 per half-yearly instalment from $1097.
• Approved Masters by coursework will now be eligible for Youth Allowance and Austudy.
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