If a child in your care must board away from home to access secondary education (Years 7 to 12), you may be eligible for the Living Away from Home Allowance.

To be eligible for the allowance, you will need to meet some pre-conditions related to:

  • family income
  • distance from a secondary school (public or preferred religion)

Other circumstances taken into consideration include:

  • medical conditions
  • impassable roads
  • inability to provide adequate supervision outside school hours
  • a change of residence when the student is in Year 12.


Your child must:

  • be living away from your usual NSW home address
  • have a primary carer who is a permanent resident of NSW
  • be enrolled at a government secondary school (Years 7 to 12) or non-government secondary school of preferred religion.

What you need

  • student's details
  • parent's or carer's details
  • family income information
  • copies of tax assessment documents and/or Centrelink statements for the Adjusted family income calculation
  • other supporting documents (where applicable)
  • signature of the principal of the school the student is attending.

How to apply

  1. Check the eligibility requirements.
  2. Download, print and complete the Living Away From Home Allowance information and application – PDF
  3. Check the School principal's certification page has been signed.
  4. Gather your supporting documentation and attach them to the form.
  5. Submit your application by post or email, to the details on the form.

More information

  • You must send in applications before 30 September of the year you are applying for the allowance.
  • The allowance starts at the beginning of the year you put in the application. You get paid yearly in two equal instalments.
  • For help with completing the form, call Rural and Distance Education on (02) 6334 8070 or (02) 6334 8072.
  • Learn about allowances and scholarships for rural students at Rural and Distance Education.
Last updated: 28 February 2024

Rate the information on the page