The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Austudy participation failures


Under social security law, an Austudy participation failure occurs when the recipient fails to:

  • comply with a requirement notified to them by Services Australia, for example, for the person to attend a Services Australia office or to provide specific information
  • satisfy the activity test, that is, undertake qualifying study (1.1.Q.40), or
  • comply with a requirement to undertake another activity, as required by Services Australia, in place of the activity to which the participation relates.

However, in practice, if a student fails to satisfy the activity test, that is, ceases undertaking qualifying study, they lose their qualification for Austudy. The payment may be cancelled, and/or the student may incur an overpayment, so the application of a participation failure would have no effect.

A student does not have an Austudy participation failure if the student provides evidence their participation failure was due to a reasonable excuse.

Act reference: SSAct section 576 Austudy participation failures, section 576A Allowance not payable because of austudy participation failure, section 576(2) Reasonable excuse

Social Security (Reasonable Excuse - Student Payments) Determination 2019

Policy reference: SS Guide Austudy & full-time tertiary students

Last reviewed: