39. Provider payment and reconciliation

The department makes HELP payments to providers in advance based on provider estimates. HELP payments are adjusted following variations processes throughout the year and end-of-year reconciliations as described below. They may also be revised based on revisions submitted for prior years, including giving effect to remissions of HECS-HELP and FEE-HELP debts.

If a provider becomes aware that the amount of the advance payments for the year is significantly different to actual liabilities incurred, the provider must contact the department at FEE-HELP@dese.gov.au to request a variation. Variations for FEE-HELP advance payments may be requested at any time throughout the year, but are generally processed at the close of March, June and September.

39.1 - HECS-HELP payment cycle

Date Action
October Review of amount of HECS-HELP paid for the current year based on updated CGS estimates. The remaining payments may be adjusted and a lump sum amount may be paid or recovered depending on how HECS-HELP payments varied from estimates.
October and November HECS-HELP advances for the following year are calculated. Forward estimates for three additional years beyond the current budgeted year are also calculated.
December Payments are authorised for following year advances.
Early January First HECS-HELP advance is paid. Future payments are made in instalments throughout the year.
April Review of amount of HECS-HELP paid for the current year based on updated CGS estimates.
July to September End-of-year reconciliation of HECS-HELP paid for the previous year upon finalisation of full year data for the previous year. An additional payment or a recovery is used to resolve variations.

39.2 - FEE-HELP payment cycle

Date Action
October FEE-HELP estimates for the following year are due. Review of amount of FEE-HELP paid for the current year based on updated estimates. The remaining payments may be adjusted and a lump sum amount may be paid or recovered depending on how FEE-HELP payments varied from current year estimate.
November/December Providers are advised of estimated advances for the following year.
December Payments are authorised for following year advances.
Early January First FEE-HELP advance paid. Future payments are made in instalments throughout the year. Variations may be requested throughout the year.
March, June and September Variation processing periods for Non-University Education Providers (NUHEPs).

Variations should be submitted once a provider becomes aware that the liabilities likely to be incurred for the entire year will vary from agreed advances. This includes reductions to variations as well as increases. Providers are expected to monitor their regular data submissions to check on the extent of student liabilities against the advance payments.

Variations will be processed in three distinct batches rather than continually as they are submitted. Variations will be batch processed commencing on 31 March, 30 June and 30 September each year.

Variation requests received after 30 September may not be processed until the following year.

June to July End-of-year reconciliation of FEE-HELP paid for the previous years. An additional payment or a recovery is used to resolve variations.

As loan data is reported to the department (see part 36), interim data and payment reconciliations can occur at any time. Providers that have a significant change in student enrolments are encouraged to notify the department as soon as possible to ensure that advance payments are updated accordingly.

39.3 - OS-HELP payment cycle

Date Action
September and October Providers are invited to request an allocation of OS-HELP loans for the following year as part of the annual request round.
November Providers are advised of OS-HELP allocation for the following year resulting from annual request round. If there are any OS-HELP loans remaining, providers may request an additional allocation.
December Payments are authorised for following year advances.
Early January Payment of 50 per cent of the OS-HELP advance amount for the year.
June to August Reconciliation of OS-HELP funds allocated in the previous year. Unused OS‑HELP funds are recovered.
Early July Payment of remaining 50 per cent of the OS-HELP advance amount for the year.

39.4 - SA-HELP payment cycle

Date Action
November SA-HELP advances for the following year are calculated.
December Payments are authorised for following year advances.
Early January First SA-HELP advance is paid. Future payments are made in instalments throughout the year similar to FEE-HELP.
April Review of amount of SA-HELP paid for the current year based on updated estimates.
July to August End of year reconciliation of SA-HELP paid for the previous year. An additional payment or a recovery is used to resolve variations.
October Review of amount of SA-HELP paid for the current year based on updated estimates. The remaining payments may be adjusted and a lump sum amount may be paid or recovered, depending on variation from current year estimate.