The Federal Government has introduced legislation that will remove regional distinctions for Youth Allowance.


The Social Security Amendment (Student Income Support Reforms) Bill 2011 forms part of the Federal Government's $265 million funding package outlined last week in the Government’s response to the Review of Student Income Support Reforms.


“Starting next year, students from Inner Regional areas will be able to access independent Youth Allowance under the same rules that currently apply to students from Outer Regional, Remote and Very Remote areas,”  Federal Tertiary Education Minister Senator Chris Evans said.


“As a result of these changes, around 5500 students from inner regional areas will either be able to access payments or receive a higher rate of payment next year.”


The new arrangements outlined in the legislation will also provide access to additional financial support for dependent Youth Allowance recipients from regional Australia who live away from home at a university.


In 2012, eligible regional students will receive a Relocation Scholarship of $4000 for the first year of study away from home, $2000 for each of the second and third years, and $1000 for any subsequent years.


“The Australian Government’s reforms to student income support are working, with more young Australians receiving Youth Allowance while they study,” Senator Evans said.