With over half of Queensland’s state schools being located in rural and remote areas, it is appreciated that there are financial assistance and extra services offered so those students in these areas are not disadvantaged by their geographic location.
In 2021 the Financial Assistance Portfolio will focus on issues including:
- the lobby for a significant increase to the LAFHAS (Living Away From Home Allowance Scheme) RATuA (Remote Area Tuition Allowance) so that it realistically reflects the cost of tuition for geographically isolated students who attend boarding schools;
- continuing to lobby for a hardship subsidy that is automatically allocated when a region is in a severe drought or flood situation and for a number of years during recovery; and
- liaising with the Department of Education to streamline the process and traceability of all allowances.
ICPA Qld Financial Assistance Portfolio Report 2020 is available for your perusal.
The Are You Aware factsheet provides a summary of State and Federal allowances which are available to families in rural and remote areas of Queensland, as well as how to apply.
COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT ALLOWANCES
A. Assistance for Isolated Children (AIC) – must be claimed by the 31st December of the current year.
If your student attends a primary or secondary school, School of Distance Education, boarding school, special education facility or rural training college, and
- You live at least 16km (by shortest practicable route) from the nearest state school with the required year level and at least 4.5 km from the nearest transport.
- If you live less than 4.5km from transport, a student may still qualify if the family home is: -
a) At least 56km from the school via the transport service; or
b) At least 3 hours traveling time per day to and from the school via the transport service.
You can claim for the following allowances:
- Boarding Allowance - income test free. [For families with low income, a means-tested Additional Allowance is available] Students aged 17, participating in an approved tertiary course at an Agricultural, TAFE or similar College are also eligible.
- Second Home Allowance - for a second home maintained by the family for education purposes only
- Distance Education Allowance - for prep, primary and secondary level.
Contact Centrelink on 132318 or Visit website.
All applications to PO Box 1122 Lismore NSW 2480
B. Youth Allowance -- Includes Rent Assistance and Remote Area Allowance for those eligible.
Contact Centrelink on 132490 or visit website.
C. Austudy is still available for students over 25. Visit website.
QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT ALLOWANCES
A. Living Away from Home Allowance (LAFHA)
Preferably claimed on line here from 1st December the year proceeding year of claim and no later than 31st December of the current year.
--- Eligibility criteria is similar to AIC
- Remote Area Tuition Allowance (RTuA) - to help with payment of tuition fees (paid direct to approved, non-state, primary or secondary school at which the students boards).
- Remote Area Travel Allowance (RTrA)- to help with travel expenses for distances more than 50km. (Paid direct to parents.)
- Remote Area Allowance (RAA) - for students attending one of the campuses of the Australian Agricultural College equivalent to and in lieu of Years 11 and 12. (Paid direct to parents.)
- Australian Remote Area Disability Supplement (RADS) – (Paid direct to parents.)
More information please contact School Financial Services, Department of Education and Training, PO Box 15033, City East, Qld, 4002 or phone 1800 248 997
LAFHAS Applicant Guidelines 2021 - Read More
LAFHAS Application Form 2021 - Read More
B. Textbook and Resource Allowance - Available for all secondary students. Parents do not apply - the allowance is claimed by the school on behalf of parents.
C. Conveyance Allowance - Queensland Transport – must be claimed by the 31st December of the current year. For students who reside more than 4.8km (Secondary) or 3.2km (Primary) from the nearest State school with the required year level.
Contact Queensland Transport 132380 and ask for the School Transport number for your area. Conveyance Allowance payment PDF information sheet can be downloaded
Other allowances PDF information sheets that can be downloaded here- Drought Assistance Arrangements Read More , School Transport Assistance Scheme Isolation Package ,
Link to all Application forms here.
D. Bypass Schools – If you live near certain secondary schools, you may still be eligible for allowances to send your child away to boarding school, year levels vary for eligibility. https://www.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0026/48905/lafhas-bypass-school-list.pdf
E. Schools of Distance Education ICT Subsidy Scheme - Internet subsidies are available to support families with students identified as belonging to the geographically isolated category. More information is available here.
Queensland Academies Isolated Student Bursary
Queensland Academies Isolated Student Bursary - students attending a Queensland Academy, who are ineligible for LAFHAS, may be able to apply for financial support through the Qld Academies Isolated Student Bursary .
The factsheet below gives a simple summary of State and Federal allowances and the way in which to apply. This can be printed out and distributed to any of your branch members for assistance.
More information on Financial Assistance can also be found on the Federal ICPA website here.
Financial Assistance Motions presented to State Conference
Financial Assistance motions from the past three State Conferences are available on this page.view
Financial Assistance Information Flyer
This flyer provides you with information regarding what this portfolio does for members - please feel free to download and share with your branch or community.view