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A Huge Win for Rural and Remote Students wanting to go to Uni!


Federal ICPA Councillors were very excited to be in Canberra when the Social Services Legislation Amendment (More Generous Means Testing for Youth Payments) Bill 2015 was passed. ICPA has been lobbying for these changes for many years. For rural and remote students, the passing of this Bill means a greater number of students will be eligible for dependent Youth Allowance as the Family Assets Test and the Family Actual Means Test will be removed from the eligibility criteria for dependent Youth Allowance from Jan 1, 2016. Information about the budget measures is available here.
What Now?
The Department of Human Services (DHS) has advised ICPA that until the Bill receives Royal Assent, it is required to collect information regarding the Family Assets Test and the Family Actual Means Test. The new dependent Youth Allowance (YA) rules will not be implemented until 1 January 2016.  DHS Service Officers will receive detailed instructions once Royal Assent is received, until this time, they will not have information about the new criteria.
Options for Claiming:

Claim from January 1, 2016. If claimants wish to test their eligibility or claim early (i.e. prior to January 1, 2016) the online service and claim form will request information relating to the Family Assets Test and the Family Actual Means Test.
Prior to January 1, 2016 register for an online account - the claimant will need to visit their nearest service centre with their identification documents, ensuring one piece of identity includes photo ID.  More information about confirmation of identity here.
Make sure supporting documentation is ready including tax file number and parental income.
There will be updated information about the changes to dependent YA eligibility on the Human Services Website, Student Update (Facebook) and media releases. The updates will remove references to the Family Assets Test and the Family Actual Means Test.
If you encounter any problems while applying ring 13 2490 Youth Allowance dedicated phone service.   

NB. The income test for dependent Youth Allowance remains unchanged. 
There is no change to the application process and eligibility criteria for independent Youth Allowance.

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