Financial Assistance from the Government

Share

There are numerous assistance packages provided by the State and Federal Governments to help you out financially in the form of financial assistance, or an 'allowance' while you're studying or undertaking training, are unemployed or building your first home.

MoneyHelp - Financial Counselling

The Victorian Government's MoneyHelp website (new window) is a free financial counselling service. They can either provide you with financial counselling information and advice based on your circumstances, or refer you to a financial counselling service in your area.

You can call MoneyHelp directly on 1800 007 007.

There's more information about managing debt and budgeting in our Saving & spending section.

Victorian Government Concessions

A range of concessions are available to low income individuals and families in Victoria. If you are eligible for a concession it means you can pay less for things like your bills and public transport.

Most Victorian Government concessions are available to individuals and families who receive income support payments from the Commonwealth Government and who have an appropriate Commonwealth concession card like a:

  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Health Care Card
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card

For more information about Commonwealth concession cards, check out  the "Centrelink Assistance" section of this page, below.

For some concessions, like energy or water, the account or bill has to have the same name on it as the name on the concession card. Holders of Health Care Cards listed as Child Disability or Foster Care are generally not entitled to Victorian Government Concessions.

For more information about Victorian Government Concessions, contact the Concessions Information Line on 1800 658 521 (free call) or check out www.dhs.vic.gov.au/concessions (new window) to use the Concessions Wizard to find out what kind of concessions are available, what you're eligible for, and how to apply for them.

Centrelink Assistance for Students and the Unemployed

The Federal Government provides a range of allowances or regular payments to people in Australia depending on their financial and other circumstances. Here's a quick overview:

  • Newstart - If you're over 21, unemployed, looking for work and prepared to agree to an Employment Pathway Plan and to meet activity test requirements, you're eligible to apply for the Newstart Allowance (new window).
  • Youth Allowance - If you're aged between 16 and 24 years of age and are a full-time student you're eligible to apply for the Youth Allowance (new window).
  • Austudy - If you're a full-time student and you are 25 years old or older, then you should apply for Austudy (new window).
  • ABSTUDY - If you're an Indigenous person and are studying either full-time or part-time at secondary or tertiary level, you're qualified to apply for ABSTUDY (new window) payments.
  • Pensioner Education Supplement (PES) - The PES (new window) is provided to people who receive any of the various kinds of pensions (including disability support pensions, parenting payments, widow allowance and payments from the Department of Veterans' Affairs) and who are studying either full-time or part-time.
  • Assistance for Isolated Children (AIC) - If you're a primary, secondary or tertiary student and you can't go to an appropriate government school because you live too far away, your family may qualify for the Assistance for Isolated Children (AIC) scheme (new window).

Low Income Health Care Cards

If you're eligible for these allowances you'll probably also be eligible for a Low Income Health Care Card (new window), but even if you don't receive any of those allowances, you might still be eligible for one. Not only can the Health Care Card act as a travel concession card, it can give you other additional benefits, like:

  • Discounted prescription medicine
  • Lower utility bills (a big help to those students living out of home)
  • Cheap movie tickets

For more information about financial help while studying, go to our Assistance while studying page.

Financial Assistance to Help You Pay for Tertiary Fees

For tertiary students, there are programs designed to help you pay for your education.

The Higher Education Loan Programme (HELP) is for eligible students enrolled in Commonwealth supported places, to be used to cover their student contribution. HELP replaces the old HECS.

FEE-HELP is for eligible students enrolled in non-Commonwealth supported places which, like HELP, payment can be deferred.

For more information on assistance with paying for your education, visit our Paying for study page.

First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)

The Victorian government helps first home buyers through the First Home Owner Grant (new window). This is a one-off payment of up to $7000 for eligible first home owners to help with their purchase or construction.

Links

MoneyHelp
Free telephone financial counselling service. Visit the website or call on 1800 007 007.

Victorian Government Concessions
Concessions help low income Victorians with bills and public transport. Find out if you're eligible by using the online wizard.

Centrelink - Students & Trainees
The gateway to information about Centrelink's various allowances for people who are currently studying.

Centrelink - Job-Seekers
The gateway to information about Centrelink's allowance for the unemployed, including Newstart and Youth Allowance.

Centrelink - Health Care Cards
Find out if you're eligible, how to apply and what card holders are entitled to.

Moneyhelp - Financial Counselling
Financial counselling services provides information, advice and practical support for those with financial difficulties.

First Home Owner Grant (FHOG)
Visit the Victorian Government's State Revenue Office's website for more information about the First Home Owner Grant, a one-off payment of up to $7000 to help first home owners with their purchase or construction.