Federal Nationals Member for Page Kevin Hogan has encouraged Australians planning to start university in 2020 to lodge their claim for Youth Allowance or Austudy sooner than later.

Youth Allowance provides financial assistance for eligible young people who pursue further study or an apprenticeship after leaving school. Austudy provides assistance to eligible students and apprentices aged 25 or older.

“Claiming online is quick and easy, I encouraged students to apply now and avoid the last minute rush at the start of the new semester,” Mr Hogan said.

“Claiming early gives new university starters the best chance of having their payment approved when their course begins.

“Eligibility for additional support will also be assessed. For example, students who move away from home to study may get the increased away from home rate of Youth Allowance.”

Students are among the first to benefit from the large scale business transformation underway to modernise the delivery of government payments and services.

“We know many students want to access services quickly, at a time and place that suits them. We’ve been working hard on improvements with this in mind.” Mr Hogan said

“We’ve reduced the number of questions students need to answer when claiming. Students can now also let us know online when they start or stop working, instead of calling or visiting a service centre.”

Other improvements include Digital Assistants ‘Sam’ and ‘Oliver’, which are available 24/7 to answer general questions about payments and help guide students through their online claim. These assistants have responded to more than 1.8 million queries since 2017.