Laptops can be expensive to own even know you really need one for school, work, or to learn a digital skill. Fortunately, you can subsidize the cost through grants. One of the household names for this is the Centrelink laptop grant, which can help you get a laptop without bothering about the cost.
Centrelink is a program that gives income support and other payments to Australians, including laptop grants. This program is part of Services Australia—an Australian Government department delivering payments and services on behalf of many government programs such as Medicare and Child Support.
Centrelink Laptop Grant
With Centrelink, you can get a laptop grant to subsidize the cost of owning a laptop. I have been able to figure out the grants you may qualify for. Alternatively, you can use the Centrelink website to manually complete the process to see what laptop grant may be available for you.
1. Pensioner Education Supplement
Pensioner Education Supplement is a special extra money given to help you pay for your studies, including a study laptop. However, you must be receiving certain types of payments.
Below are the eligibility requirements for this supplement:
- Be receiving a payment from Centrelink or the Department of Veterans Affairs that includes this extra benefit.
- Enroll in a course that is approved and recognized.
- Study full-time. However, in some special cases, part-time students may also be eligible.
If you qualify according to the study rules and are receiving specific payments, then you are eligible to receive the supplement for your Centrelink laptop grant.
How much can you get?
The Pensioner Education Supplement amount is available at two different rates. The amount you can get depends on your specific situation and circumstances, and in this case, the type of laptop needed.
2. Low Income Health Care Card
If you don’t earn much money, you can get a special card that helps you pay less for health care. It also gives you some other discounts too, including a Centrelink laptop grant.
If you want to get a Low Income Health Care Card, your earnings must be under a certain amount. This amount is set by the income test limit. An assets test is not required for this Centrelink laptop grant.
If your child’s name is on your card, you might be able to use the card to help pay for their needs, including buying them a laptop.
You can add your dependent child to your card if you are the primary person taking care of them. Also, if they live with you for at least two nights every two weeks, you can add them to your card. However, if you’re supporting them while they’re in school, they must be younger than 19 years old.
3. Tertiary Access Payment
You can also use the Tertiary Access Payment (TAP) to get a Centrelink laptop grant. This grant helps students who are moving from regional or remote areas to pursue higher education. It is primarily designed to assist you with the costs of relocating for tertiary study after completing year 12 or an equivalent level of education.
The TAP is a one-time grant that can be up to $5,000—that is more than enough to get an affordable laptop. To be eligible for this payment, you need to meet the criteria, including:
- You must be moving from a regional or remote area to attend a tertiary educational institution.
- You must be starting your tertiary studies in the year immediately following the completion of year 12 or its equivalent.
Note that regional areas are defined as places that are not in or near a major city. You can use the Student Regional Area Search tool to determine if your family home is located in a regional or remote area.
Remember, the Tertiary Access Payment can only be claimed in your first year of tertiary study.
This grant is available to those who begin their tertiary studies within 12 months of completing year 12 or its equivalent. You can claim the Tertiary Access Payment from January 1 to December 31 in your first year of tertiary study.
- You are an Australian resident and meet the residence rules.
- You are from an inner regional, outer regional, or remote area.
- You are moving to study at a tertiary education provider that is at least 90 minutes away from your family home by public transport.
- You have completed year 12 or its equivalent.
- You are enrolled in a tertiary course at certificate IV level or above within 12 months of completing year 12.
- You are 22 years old or younger on the day you start your tertiary course.
- Your parents or guardians have a combined income of less than $250,000.
In addition to these criteria, you must also meet specific study rules to be eligible for the payment.
- You are enrolled in a university course, Vocational Educational and Training (VET) course, or other higher education course.
- You are studying a Certificate IV or above at an accredited Australian tertiary education provider.
- You are enrolled in at least 75% of a full-time study load.
- Your course has a minimum duration of one academic year.
If you are unable to study full-time due to special circumstances, you may still be eligible for the payment. However, you need to provide proof of your situation.
Lastly, your study program must be delivered in one of the following formats:
- A combination of face-to-face and online study.
- At a Regional University Centre (RUC), including as an online student.
You can get either $3,000 or $5,000, but the amount you receive depends on where your family lives. If your family home is in a remote location, you might get a higher amount.
4. Carer Allowance
With the Carer Allowance, you can get your grant for a laptop. This payment is given every two weeks to people who provide care for someone with a disability, or medical condition, or who is elderly and frail.
The person you are caring for must need ongoing daily care for at least 12 months or have a terminal medical condition.
The Carer Allowance is $144.80 every two weeks. In order to receive this payment, both you and the person you are caring for must meet certain criteria. You can find more information about eligibility and how to apply on the relevant website. Make sure you abide by the residency rules.
There is no assets test for the Carer allowance. However, there is an income test. Your combined adjusted taxable income with your partner must be less than $250,000 per financial year, before tax. The person you are caring for is not subject to an income test.
If you are caring for someone under the age of 16, you will receive a Health Care Card. This card will assist with the costs of their medical and healthcare needs. Your eligibility, as well as the eligibility of the person you are caring for, will be assessed.
You don’t have to pay taxes on this payment. Every year on January 1st, the Department of Social Services checks and updates the payment rate.
If you’re sharing the responsibility of caring for someone with another carer who isn’t your partner, and they also claim the Carer Allowance, you might only receive a portion of the payment. The exact amount you get will depend on how much care you provide compared to the other carer.
5. Carer Payment
Carer Payment is financial support for people who provide constant care to someone with a disability, medical condition, or an elderly adult who is frail.
You can apply for this payment if you have been caring for someone for at least 6 months, but you don’t have to wait for 6 months before starting your claim. This payment is also available if you are caring for someone at the end of their life.
Providing constant care means you are helping someone for most of the day, similar to a full-time job. This level of care prevents you from working full-time.
The types of care you might be providing include:
- Physical assistance
When you start your claim, you will be asked about the person you are caring for and the type of care you provide. You may also be asked for supporting evidence or medical forms.
The amount of Carer Payment you receive depends on your personal situation, including any income you or your partner earn. The payment is taxable if you or the person you are caring for are of Age Pension age.
6. Youth Allowance
You can qualify for a Centrelink laptop grant through the Youth Allowance which is available for young people in Australia. Below are some specific situations where you could qualify for Youth Allowance:
- You are between 16 to 21 years old and you’re looking for a full-time job.
- You are between 18 to 24 years old and you’re studying full-time.
- You are between 16 to 24 years old and you’re doing a full-time Australian Apprenticeship.
- You’re between 16 to 17 years old and you’re independent or you need to live away from home to study.
- You are between 16 to 17 years old, studying full-time, and you’ve completed year 12 or an equivalent level of education.
Youth allowance for students and Australian apprentices
Are you 24 or under and either studying or training in Australia? You might get some financial support.
You can get this if you are:
- Between 18 and 24 and studying all the time.
- 16 or 17, studying all the time, and either on your own or need to live somewhere else for school.
- 16 or 17 and finished year 12 or the same level.
- 16 to 24 and in a full-time training program.
What to do
- Check your eligibility.
- Follow the steps to apply.
- Report and keep getting your money. If you’re 21 or under and want a full-time job, learn about the Money Help for young job seekers.
Youth allowance for job seekers
This is a financial support program for young people who are searching for a job or temporarily unable to work. If you are 21 years old or younger, you might be eligible for this assistance.
To qualify for Youth Allowance for job seekers, you need to be between 16 to 21 years old and meet one of the following criteria:
- Actively searching for full-time employment
- Enrolled in part-time studies while also looking for a job
- Temporarily unable to work or attend school
- 24 years old or younger and either a full-time student or an Australian Apprentice
This form of payment is designed for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students and apprentices. The amount of grant you can receive from ABSTUDY depends on your situation. It can help cover a range of expenses, including:
- Fees for school
- Laptop for study
- Costs for boarding or living away from home
- Everyday living expenses
- Travel costs to and from school or your apprenticeship
- The cost of school supplies and materials
If your child is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student and they are attending school while living at home, there is ABSTUDY support available to help them secure a Centrelink laptop grant.
If your child is an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student and they need to live away from home to go to school, there is ABSTUDY support available to help them.
If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student and you are in high school, university, or any other form of higher education, including masters and doctorate studies, there is ABSTUDY available to help you.
Read also: Free Laptops for Students Australia