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. Change in circumstances during the study year for FAA

Change in permanent home

A student loses eligibility for FAA for the remainder of the study year, if the relevant family members move outside of Australia or its external territories (1.1.A.320). That is, whichever of the following is appropriate to the student's circumstances:

Example: Ralph was enrolled at a university in Melbourne and was entitled to FAA to travel from his permanent home with his parents in Hobart, to Melbourne. He cannot get FAA to return to Hobart when his parents move outside Australia to Lae, Papua New Guinea.

Attaining independence

Attaining independence during the study year MAY affect a YA student's eligibility for FAA. The effects that the various ways of gaining independence can have on their eligibility are explained in the following table.

If the YA recipient becomes independent because … then …
  • they turn 22 years of age, OR
  • they support themselves by paid employment (as described in

FAA is not affected.

  • they marry, OR
  • they have a de facto relationship of more than one year (or 6 months in certain circumstances), OR
  • they have a dependent child, OR
  • they become an orphan, OR
  • it becomes unreasonable for the student to live at home, OR
  • the student becomes a person in state care, OR
  • their parents cannot exercise parental responsibilities because they are in prison, in a psychiatric hospital, or cannot be located

the student will lose eligibility for FAA from the date they become independent, UNLESS they satisfy the eligibility criteria for FAA as an independent student.

Example: A journey to visit their partner or dependent child.

Policy reference: SS Guide YA & DSP - self-supporting through paid employment, Qualification for YA & DSP as an independent young person

Reviewable independence

Some categories of independence, such as 'unreasonable to live at home' are granted on a temporary basis and are reviewed when circumstances change.

Example: George lived with his parents in Bendigo. He received FAA to travel to Melbourne to study. The relationship between George and his parents subsequently broke down during a home visit and George was granted independence on the basis that it was unreasonable for him to live at home with his parents (or to visit them). George's eligibility for FAA ceases from the date he was assessed as independent. However, if the relationship between George and his parents improves to the point that George can return home, he would be reassessed as dependent and would become eligible for FAA again.

Attaining independence while retaining eligibility

A student may attain independence and retain eligibility for FAA, as long as they satisfy the eligibility criteria for FAA for independent students.

Example: Jim and Tracey have been in a de facto relationship since April in their first year at the University in Armidale. Jim receives the away from home rate and FAA to visit his parents in Newcastle. He is able to claim FAA for one return trip and 2 single journeys in first year and claims a single journey at the beginning of second year. In April of their second year of study, Jim and Tracey's relationship has lasted for one year and they qualify as independent. Jim is no longer eligible for FAA from April.

Note: If Jim claims a return journey to visit his parents before the relationship has lasted for one year, he is entitled to FAA for the return journey. If Tracey transfers to a university in Melbourne to complete her course, Jim would be entitled to FAA to visit her in Melbourne.

Policy reference: SS Guide Eligibility for FAA

Last reviewed: