FAQs

How to apply to Centrelink

Questions on this page


What is EFTSL?

The study load of each unit is measured as Equivalent Full Time Study Load (EFTSL), a measure which is recognised by Centrelink.

To be considered full-time, you need to be enrolled in units which have a combined EFTSL of at least 0.250. This is normally two units and will require 20 to 24 hours of study per week.

You can find each unit's EFTSL on its unit details page. As not all units have a standard EFTSL of 0.125, it's best to check the EFTSL before enrolling in the unit.

Full-time study examples (EFTSL of 0.250 or more)

  • You are doing 2 units in Study Period (SP) 1, each with an EFTSL of 0.125, one of which has an exam in the exam period. You're also studying 2 units in SP2, each with an EFTSL of 0.125. As the exam period overlaps the next study period, your EFTSL during the exam period is reported as 0.375 which meets the full-time study requirement.
  • You are doing 2 units in SP1, each with EFTSL of 0.125, one of which has an exam in the exam period and 1 unit in SP2 with an EFTSL of 0.125. As the exam period overlaps the next study period, your EFTSL during the exam period is reported as 0.250, which meets the fulltime study requirement.
  • You are doing 2 units in Semester 1, each with EFTSL of 0.125, and 2 units in Semester 2 each with EFTSL of 0.125. Your load in Semester 1 is reported as 0.250, in the gap between Semester 1 and 2 it is reported as 0, and in Semester 2 it is reported as 0.250. You would receive the allowance in each of the Semesters, but not in the break between.
  • You are doing 2 units in each of the 4 study periods and the units all have an EFTSL of 0.125. As study periods are back to back, your load will be reported as 0.250 every week of the year.
  • You are doing 2 units in Study Period 1, each with an EFTSL of 0.125, and 2 units in Study Period 3 each with an EFTSL of 0.125. Your load in Study Period 1 is reported as 0.250 for each week of the term. During Study Period 2 your load is reported as 0, and in study period 3 it is reported as 0.250.

Part time example (EFTSL less than 0.250)

  • You are doing 1 unit in SP1 with an EFTSL of 0.125 and you are not studying in the following study period. Your unit also has an exam. During the study period and the exam period, your EFTSL is reported as 0.125, which does not meet the full-time study requirement.
Top
Top

Where do I find my E-Reference number?

When applying to Centrelink, you'll need to provide an Enrolment Statement which you can download through your My Study Centre on our website. This document has the E-Reference number on it.

Top

Considerations for postgraduate students

If you are studying a postgraduate course with OUA, you'll need to check with the Department of Human Services that it is an approved course for government allowances.

Top

Are allowances paid during the examination period?

OUA will report study load to Centrelink for the exam period when your unit has an invigilated exam. If the EFTSL reported meets the requirement for fulltime study, then you'll receive an allowance for the exam period. Exam periods for study periods overlap the following study period, so the EFTSL reported in the exam period is the EFTSL of your unit(s) with exams, and the EFTSL of any units you are studying in the overlapping study period.

I am studying the EDP425 - Internship unit

EDP425 has both a teaching period and a work placement period. This unit is equivalent to fulltime study. On our website, the unit shows an EFTSL of 0.5. This represents the 0.25 load during the 13 week teaching period, and the 0.25 load during the work placement period.

  • Teaching period - During the teaching period, OUA reports your study load as full-time to Centrelink.
  • Work placement period - As this is organised via Curtin University, OUA does not have a record of when this is happening, so we don't automatically report study load to Centrelink. To receive an allowance during the work placement period, you'll need to contact OUA by emailing admin@open.edu.au to let us know you are claiming Centrelink benefits. We will then add a work placement record for EDP425 to your account in our system, so we can report the study load to Centrelink during this period.
Top

Top