Are You Entitled To The HECS-HELP Benefit?

Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

The HECS-HELP Benefit is not widely published by the ATO and therefore we have found that very few know about it.

The benefit provides an incentive for graduates of particular courses to take up related occupations. Or work in specified locations, by reducing their compulsory HELP repayments or HELP debt. You may be eligible for the HECS-HELP Benefit if you have graduated in one of the following fields and fit the listed criteria.

Mathematics, statistics or science
  • Graduated from an undergraduate ‘natural and physical science’ field of education course (mathematics, science or statistics) after 30 June 2008.
  • Employed in a related occupation, including as a secondary school teacher of these subjects or as a primary school teacher.
Education, nursing or midwifery
  • Graduated from an education, nursing or midwifery course required for initial entry to a teaching or nursing profession after 30 June 2009.
  • Employed as a teacher or nurse/midwife.
Early childhood education
  • Graduated from an early childhood education teaching course.
  • Employed as an early childhood teacher.
  • Employed by a provider of pre-school education or childcare services in a regional or remote area, Indigenous community or area of high-socioeconomic disadvantage, as specified in the HECS-HELP Benefit Guidelines.
The 2016-2017 financial year is the last for which someone can claim the HECS-HELP Benefit.

From 1 July 2017, the HECS-HELP Benefit will be removed. This means that the 2016/17 income year is the last chance you have to claim the HECS-HELP Benefit. However, you can still lodge your application for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years now.

Are you eligible?

You are eligible for the HECS-HELP Benefit if you:

  1. Graduated from an eligible education course or an eligible nursing/midwifery course after 30 June 2009;
  2. Were a Commonwealth supported student for some or all of that course;
  3. Had a HECS-HELP debt at course completion for that course;
  4. Still have a HELP debt to repay in the income year of your application; and
  5. You were employed as a teacher or a nurse/midwife for at least one week in the income year for which you are applying.

There is a lifetime limit of 260 weeks for the Benefit as an education or nursing/midwifery graduate. This means eligible applicants could receive this HECS-HELP Benefit for five years of eligible employment.

How much will my reduction be?

The Benefit is calculated on a pro-rata basis according to the number of weeks worked in the income year period. The amount of HECS-HELP Benefit that you can receive depends on your HELP debt when you completed your course and the number of weeks worked in an eligible occupation.

The maximum HECS-HELP Benefit as an education or nursing/midwifery graduate is:

  • $1,798.48 for the 2015-16 income year;
  • $1,825.46 for the 2016-17 income year.

To be eligible to apply for the HECS-HELP Benefit, you must be able to answer “Yes” to all questions below:

  1. Are you applying for the 2015/16 and/or the 2016/17 income year?
  2. Have you completed one of the following:
    1. An undergraduate natural and physical science course of study (maths or science graduate – classified as being in Broad Field 01 Australian Bureau of Statistics) after 30 June 2008?
    2. An Education course of study after 30 June 2009?
    3. Nursing (including midwifery) course of study after 30 June 2009?
  3. Were you a Commonwealth supported student for some, or all of the course?
  4. In the income year (1 July – 30 June) for which you are applying. Were you employed in an eligible occupation in Australia related to that course for at least one week?
  5. Did you incur a HELP debt at course completion in respect to that course and still have some or all of the HELP debt to repay?
  6. Do you have a HELP debt in the income year (1 July – 30 June) you are claiming for?
  7. In the income year (1 July – 30 June) for which you are applying. Are you required to make a compulsory repayment or overseas levy?

If you answered “yes” to the above questions and would like more information about claiming the HECS-HELP Benefit for the 2015/16 and/or the 2016/17 income years, get in touch with us.

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