Ask Abe: Austudy – maximum allowable time for completion

Dear Abe,
I hope you can help me with a problem I have with Centrelink. I am in my third year of my medicine course and I am on an Austudy payment. Even though I didn’t receive anything while doing my Science degree, they say that it counts towards the amount of time I’m allowed to study and my payments will run out in the middle of the year. Is this true? And if so, what can I do?

Doctor in Trouble


Dear Doctor in Trouble,

Centrelink should know better. The basic formula for the “maximum allowable time for completion” of your course is the normal length of your course plus the length of one subject. For example, for a Bachelor of Arts course that would be 3 years plus 1 semester. For a medical degree that would be 5 years plus arguably 1 semester (sometimes 1 year). In any case, the time that you took to do the Science degree does not count because it is part of THE way to gain entry into the Medical degree. That is, it is a graduate course. If it was not necessary then the time spent on that course would count. If this is confusing for you please contact SRC help to clarify your details.


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