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Thursday, 11 May 1989
Page: 2413

(Question No. 445)


Senator Patterson asked the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Education Services, upon notice, on 23 August 1988:

(1) For 1988 how many students receive Austudy payments within the following categories:

(a) Students 18 years and over living at home: (i) $60 per week, (ii) $40-$59.99 per week, (iii) $20-$39.99 per week, (iv) $19.99 or less per week, (v) total recipients in this category;

(b) Students 18 years and over living away from home: $91.20 per week, (ii) $80-$91.99 per week, (iii) $60-$79.99 per week, (iv) $40-$59.99 per week, (v) $20-$39.99 per week, (vi) $19.99 or less per week, (vii) total of recipients in this category;

(c) Students 16-17 years living at home: (i) $50 per week, (ii) $40-$49.99 per week, (iii) $20-$39.99 per week, (iv) $19.99 or less per week, (v) total of recipients in this category; and

(d) Students 16-17 years living away from home: (i) $76 per week, (ii) $60-$75.99 per week, (iii) $40-$59.99 per week, (iv) $20-$39.99 per week, (v) $19.99 or less per week, (vi) total of recipients in this category.

(2) How many students applied for Austudy in 1988 and were refused because of the application of: (a) the parental income test; (b) the personal income test; and (c) other reasons.

(3) How many students have appealed against their assessment of ineligibility for Austudy.

(4) How many appeals have been upheld.

(5) How long, on average, have successful appellants had to wait after first applying before receiving Austudy payments.


Senator Walsh —The Minister for Employment and Education Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The following table is preliminary data for the number of students receiving AUSTUDY at 30 June 1988.

The information cannot be retrieved from the database in precisely the same categories as sought.

Due to coding inconsistencies a small number of entries are not identifiable to a particular category. These have been listed as `Invalid'.

Age and category

Amount per

week

Number

(a) 18 years and over, living at home rate

$60.00

$40.01 to $59.99

$20.01 to $40.00

25,896

10,253

8,024

$20.00 or less

4,669

Invalid

2

Total

48,844

(b) 18 years and over, living away from home rate

$91.20

$80.01 to $91.19

$60.01 to $80.00

$40.01 to $60.00

17,482

3,811

5,662

4,435

$20.01 to $40.00

3,104

$20 or less

1,674

Total

36,168

(c) 16 to 17 years, living at home rate

$50.00

$40.01 to $49.99

$20.01 to $40.00

66,290

10,192

16,225

$20.00 or less

8,339

Invalid

3

Total

101,049

(d) 16 to 17 years, living away from home rate

$76.00

$60.01 to $75.99

$40.01 to $60.00

1,596

395

414

$20.01 to $40.00

386

$20.00 or less

270

Invalid

1

Total

3,062

There are two additional categories of students receiving AUSTUDY:

18 years and over, independent rate

$91.20

$80.01 to $91.19

$60.01 to $80.00

33,346

2,376

2,039

$40.01 to $60.00

1,101

$20.01 to $40.00

794

$20.00 or less

3,166

Invalid

123

Total

42,945

16 to 17 years, independent rate

$76.00

$60.01 to $75.99

$40.01 to $60.00

4,683

439

77,163

$20.01 to $40.00

16,620

$20.00 or less

8,737

Invalid

3

Total

107,645

There are 44 other students not elsewhere classified.

(2) This information is not available.

(3) Between 1 January and 26 August 1988, 115 students had appealed to the Student Assistance Review Tribunal (SART) against Departmental decisions in respect of AUSTUDY. This number includes appeals in cases where eligibility has been granted but at a different rate or type of allowance to that sought.

(4) Between the above dates SART had heard 93 appeals. Of the appeals heard, it had upheld in full 17 appeals, upheld in part another 5 appeals and affirmed 71 departmental decisions.

(5) There is no information available on the average time successful appellants have had to wait between first applying for AUSTUDY and receiving benefits.

In the vast majority of cases, applicants for AUSTUDY will know the outcome of their application within three weeks.