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5.1 Fares Allowance (see 5.1 of the Instruments)
Where the Commission has approved payment to a student of a 'living away from home', 'homeless' or 'double orphan' rate of education allowance under paragraph 3.5.1, it may accept financial liability for a fare (or part thereof) paid, or to be paid, by the student for a journey between the student's home and place of study.
In making a decision under paragraph 5.1.1 in respect of whether to accept liability for a fare, the Commission is to take into account Part 2.26 of the Social Security Act 1991. Part 2.26 sets out the circumstances under which fares allowance is payable and the level of fares allowance payable in certain circumstances. This Part also provides direction on fares allowance for students studying an external or correspondence course.
Students are entitled to the reimbursement of up to 2 single and 1 return trip per academic year (or equivalent). The intention is to reimburse the cost of travel from the student's permanent or family home to the study institution at the beginning of the year, and return travel at the completion of study for the year. The student's permanent home must be in Australia.
Reimbursement is at the cheapest rate of public transport and it is payable upon receipt of expenditure (copy of receipt, bus/ train ticket, etc). This can include the use of private transport. Reimbursement is based on size of car/ number of kilometers travelled, calculated by formula under Part 2.26 (Fares Allowance) of the Social Security Act 1991.
Air travel may be paid where the travel time (including waiting time between connections) exceeds 36 hours by train or 18 hours by coach.
A higher rate may also be paid if the student is unable by illness or incapacity to travel by the cheaper means.