Have you heard about the government’s School Transport Assistance Scheme?
Now more than ever, we need to be more frugal and make as much as we can. And aside from working our asses off, we should also be knowledgeable about certain benefits and assistance from the government. There’s no reason to hesitate when you’re eligible for it, especially it’s something you already do anyway!
The School Transport Assistance Scheme (STAS) is basically what it’s called, a school transport assistance scheme wherein the government offers subsidies to eligible families with full time enrolled students to help them travel to and from school. It was created to remove the obstacle of transportation which could possibly hinder a child’s right to study. The aim of STAS is to help parents in doing their responsibility of ensuring that their children are enrolled and is attending an approved educational facility. The assistance is paid as conveyance allowance to parents to contribute towards the cost of transporting their children to and from school.
Even if your kid’s school is like a 5-minute drive from your house, you could still be entitled to the assistance.
How to apply for school transport assistance
Each state has a varied set of requirements for families to claim assistance.
For Queensland, these are the general guidelines for private transportation stated at www.qld.gov.au
- The student must have parents/guardians who are residents of Queensland are independent students who are residents of Queensland
- The student must attend an approved school or an alternative program approved by the Queensland Department of Education
- The student must be younger than 19 years of age prior to commencing secondary study
- The student must be seeking transport assistance from one residential address and to one school facility with the address being the principal place of residence of the student’s parent or guardian. For students with shared custody, parents must select one address to be used to assess STAS eligibility. For shared custody arrangements, the principal place of residence of only one parent/guardian can be nominated. It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to determine the principal place of residence used to assess eligibility for STAS.
- The student must be travelling more than 1 trip per week.
- Primary school students must live more than 3.2 km from the nearest state primary school
- Secondary school students must live more than 4.8 km from the nearest state secondary school
- Non-state school students must live more than the required distances above from both the nearest state and non-state school of the type attended.
In addition, students are not eligible to apply for school transport assistance if:
- they are pre-prep and kindergarten students
- they are mature age students
- they are overseas, interstate and exchange students
- they are TAFE students
- they are distance education students
- they are tertiary students.
- If there is a school transport bus service operating in your area. (Contact your local TransLink office to inquire about this)
Applying for the School Transport Assistance – Personal Story
I applied for the School Transport Assistance Scheme last year. There is no direct bus to where we live, my son in on the Autism Spectrum so I want to make sure he gets to school safely – and back every day.
When I first heard about it – I couldn’t believe there was funding available – literally to take my kids to school and back every day!
The application was done online – and it asks about the length of the drive to school, reasoning etc. School catchment areas and how far the school is from home – questions like that.
I attached my son’s Health Care Card (because he is medically diagnosed he automatically gets one to help with the costs associated with medication etc). And then that was it – I didn’t hear back.
But the money dropped into my account just before Christmas – it was just over $400.
I don’t know whether having the diagnosis and the Health Care Card worked towards it – but I figured every bit of info helps.
Click on each state or territory to read more about your state/territory eligibility requirements:
The best part of the STAS is that once you have applied and your claim has been approved, you don’t have to reapply each year (unless there is a change in your address or other details). You just have to check your filled-out form and then your good to go!