Under age 16: Home educating families with children up to age 16 are eligible for the Family Tax Benefit Part A if they meet the other criteria.
Aged 16+: The eligibility criteria for FTB Part A require students 16 and over to be “undertaking full-time education or training in an approved course leading to a Year 12 or equivalent qualification.” Centrelink (and the federal govt) recognise VRQA registration as indicating a child is in full-time education but NOT that they are in an approved course with an approved institution leading to a Year 12 qualification. This renders Victorian home educated families ineligible for the FTB A for students aged 16 and over.
However, some families continue to receive it without question as the attitude varies between Centrelink staff and offices.
When your child turns 16, you receive a letter stating that if they are still attending school full time, there is no need to do anything. So the current options for Victorian home ed families with kids over 16 are:
- Continue home educating without the Centrelink payment.
- Enrol in year 10 or VCE with Distance Ed (you need to have been registered with the VRQA for at least 12 months)
- Look at other full-time options that meet the YA criteria – TAFE, Open Uni, AYCE programme – see our Older Students section for details.
- A combination of part-time work/part-time study can qualify as ‘full-time education’. Centrelink will not give a blanket comment on what constitutes suitable study/work experience etc. but volunteering can apparently count as part-time work.
- Families could apply for FTB A regardless and, when it is rejected, they can appeal the decision where it will be looked at on a case by case basis.
- If the student is also undertakes a certificate or diploma in conjunction with home education, they may be eligible for Youth Allowance or FTB Part A
- Some families do nothing when they receive the Centrelink ‘turning 16 letter’ on the basis that home ed = school enrolment. Their payment continues unaffected.
From the Department of Human Services website:
If your child is 16 to 19 years of age and is in full time secondary study, we’ll pay you until the end of the calendar year they turn 19 years of age.
Children that are 16 to 19 years of age who are in home school must be in an approved course leading towards a year 12 or equivalent qualification to meet the study requirements.
Home schooling for children 16 to 19 years of age does not satisfy study requirements for FTB.
Last updated on