Do you Qualify for the HECS - HELP Benefit?
The HECS-HELP 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. You may be eligible for the HECS‑HELP Benefit if you have graduated in one of the following fields and fit the listed criteria.
Important note: Applications for the HECS-HELP Benefit are initiated by the student via the ATO.
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 socio‑economic disadvantage, as specified here
Please note that you may be eligible for more than one type of benefit. For example, an early childhood education teacher working in a rural/remote area may be eligible for both the Early Childhood Education HECS-HELP Benefit as well as the Education HECS-HELP Benefit. Applicants need to lodge a separate application for each benefit.
HECS-HELP benefit maximum annual amounts
Income year Early Childhood Maths or Science Education Teachers Graduates
2015–16 $1,918.39 $1,798.48
2014–15 $1,878.93 $1,761.49
2013–14 $1,831.32 $1,716.85
2012–13 $1,795.41 $1,683.19
If you're eligible, you can apply for the HECS-HELP benefit by completing the relevant application form here
You have two years to lodge your application from the end of the income year for which you are applying. For example, applications for the 2015-16 income year must reach the ATO by 30 June 2018. They will not accept late applications.
Eligible graduates may apply for the HECS-HELP benefit on an annual basis for a total lifetime claim of 260 weeks (Five Years). The claim does not need to be for a continuous period. The number of weeks claimed each year is subtracted from the 260 weeks until the entitlement is reduced to nil.
More information about applying for a HECS-HELP Benefit is available here