3.2.6.20 Rules that Determine the Need to Live Away from Home for YA

Summary

To be approved for the away from home rate of YA, secondary students, Australian Apprentices and YA job seekers must undertake full-time study, an apprenticeship, or an approved activity (1.1.S.410). Tertiary students are NOT subject to the same rules about where they study - their choices of course and institution will be accepted.

Act reference: SSAct section 1067D Person required to live away from home

Away from home rate for dependent job seekers

Job seekers may be eligible for the away from home rate of YA, if they can demonstrate the move will significantly increase their prospects of finding work. To be eligible for the away from home rate AT LEAST ONE of the following criteria must be met:

  • travelling time is excessive (1.1.E.150), OR
  • the parental home is an inadequate place for job search, OR
  • the young person has a disability and the parental home is isolated from required special facilities.

Away from home rate for dependent early school leavers (1.1.E.05)

Dependent early school leavers may be eligible for the away from home rate of YA if they can demonstrate that they can undertake their approved activity only (or more productively) in a region that requires them to live away from home and that either:

  • the travelling time is excessive, OR
  • the parental home is an inadequate place to undertake their approved activity, OR
  • the young person has a disability and the parental home is isolated from required special facilities.

Away from home rate for Australian Apprentices

Australian Apprentices may be eligible for the away from home rate of YA if they can demonstrate that they need to live away from the parental home in order to undertake an Australian Apprenticeship.

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.6.10 Qualification for Away from home Rate of YA

Approval to live away from home - secondary students

In order to approve a secondary student to live away from home, AT LEAST ONE of the following conditions would need to exist:

  • travelling time is excessive (1.1.E.150), OR
  • parents move their principal home frequently, OR
  • the parental home (1.1.P.20) is isolated, OR
  • the parental home is an inadequate place to study, OR
  • the young person has a disability and the parental home is isolated from required special facilities, OR
  • parents move out of the area (year 11 and 12 students), OR
  • an equivalent activity is not available locally.

Each of these points is explained in the rest of this topic.

In some cases, secondary students may bypass local schools to attend another of their choice that is not in their local area if they can demonstrate a need to live away from home. However, if the local area provides reasonable access to an appropriate government school, but the young person simply chooses to attend another school outside their local area, then the young person would NOT be approved to live away from home.

Note: All geographically isolated students eligible for AIC scheme payment are eligible for the away from home rate of YA on turning 16 (provided they qualify for YA). However, if the student receives YA they will not be able to also attract a payment under the AIC scheme.

Act reference: SSAct section 11A(1) Principal home

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.6.40 Away from home rate of YA & bypassing local schools

Approval to live away from home - tertiary students

In order to approve a tertiary student to live away from home, AT LEAST ONE of the following conditions would need to exist:

  • travelling time between the parental home and the institution at which they choose to study is excessive, OR
  • the parental home is an inadequate place to reside while studying, OR
  • there is a compulsory requirement to reside at the institution while studying, OR
  • they are undertaking part of their Australian approved course at an overseas institution.

Parents move principal home frequently

If the parents move home at least 5 times a year and it would require excessive travelling time for the young person to continue attending their current school or to continue to work as an Australian Apprentice after moving with the parents, the young person may need to live away from home to maintain continuity of schooling or apprenticeship. If the parents move back to the area where the young person is living, the away from home rate would NOT be payable for that period.

Parental home is isolated

The parental home is isolated if it is:

  • 56 kms or more from an appropriate government school, OR
  • at least 90 minutes travelling time one way, OR
  • isolated because of impassable roads for 20 school days in a year.

If the family would be eligible for assistance under the AIC Scheme, then the away from home rate would generally be payable to a young person living away from the parental home, without the provision of reasons. However, if the student receives YA they will not be able to also attract a payment under the AIC scheme.

Parental home is inadequate for study & undertaking job search activities

The parental home may be considered inadequate for study or job search activities in the following situations:

  • overcrowding of the parental home which means the young person lacks the physical facilities and privacy (not meaning the young person requires a room for themselves) required for study only, OR
  • if conflict exists between the parents or between the young person and parents, e.g. conflict involving alcoholism, assault, or chronic illness in the family.

This does NOT extend to minor difficulties of a kind normally encountered in a family.

However, it may be possible for recipients to reasonably demonstrate other situations where the parental home is inadequate for study and undertaking job search activities.

Young person has a disability & parental home is isolated

If the young person has a disability, and the parental home is isolated, they may need to live away from home to:

  • board at a special institution for people with disabilities, OR
  • access special facilities or regular medical treatment which would otherwise involve excessive travelling time, OR
  • avoid the effects of lengthy daily travel.

Parents move out of the area (year 11 & 12)

If the parents move out of the area while the young person is in year 11 or 12, their continuity of studies would be interrupted by moving with the parents. In this case, they qualify for the away from home rate if they would meet the excess travelling time provisions in relation to the new principal family home and their current school. In most cases a young person would be expected to move with their parents, however situations arise where this provision could be applied.

Example: A young person with a learning disability may be progressing well in their current school and may suffer significant disruption if they had to move to a new school part way through their final studies.

Other young people, who are not full-time students, may choose to remain in the local area because of better employment and training opportunities than to move to a lower opportunity area with their parents.

Equivalent activity is not available locally

This applies ONLY to secondary students, and means the student is unable to study or attend training courses locally because:

  • an equivalent course is not available locally, OR
  • a student's academic needs are not met by local education facilities, OR
  • there is no local facility.

Example: The local school does not offer a year 12 course.

Approval for away from home rate under this category should only be given where excessive travelling time is involved.

In deciding if 2 courses are equivalent, the following must be taken into account:

  • course content, AND
  • length of the course, AND
  • level of the course, AND
  • when it is offered.

Tertiary students are NOT subject to the same rules about where they study - their choices of course and institution will be accepted.

Continuity of study - Year 11 & 12

Where a student had qualified for the away from home rate and circumstances change meaning that the student no longer meets the conditions required for approval to live away from home, they may be deemed eligible for the away from home rate in order to limit disruption to their schooling during Year 11 and 12. Where moving to a different school would interrupt the student's continuity of studies, then the student would continue to retain qualification for the away from home rate until their completion of secondary school, provided that they remain at the same school.

Last reviewed: 7 May 2018