Before you apply for Youth Allowance (YA), there are a few points you will need to know.
You may get Youth Allowance if you are:
- over 16 years of age on 1 January
- studying full-time in an approved course at UTS, or
- in certain Masters courses that are required for professional entry.
- be an Australian citizen, or
- be a permanent visa holder/resident, and
- have been in Australia as an Australian resident for at least 104 weeks (with some exceptions), and
- be assessed as eligible by Centrelink on the basis of a financial means test.
When you become 22 years old you are automatically considered as 'independent' for Independent Youth Allowance purposes.
If you are 25 years of age, and starting a new course, you can apply for Austudy.
You need to register as a client with Centrelink:
- online at www.humanservices.gov.au (opens an external link), or
- in person at your local Centrelink office (opens an external link).
You must submit your Youth Allowance claim (plus supporting documents) within 14 days of registering with Centrelink.
- If you are eligible, your payment may start (i.e. be back-dated) from the date of your first contact.
- It may take Centrelink four to six weeks to process your application and confirm your eligibility.
Note: if you are not a full-time student you will need to arrange an interview with Centrelink.
- you have liquid assets (opens external website) of over $5,500 as a single person with no dependents and claiming a Youth Allowance/Austudy benefit. For partnered new claimants or people with dependent children there will be no waiting period if you have liquid assets of less than $11,000.
- you have not lived in Australia as a Permanent Resident for a total of 104 weeks, or
- your course start date is after you lodge your claim.
As a dependent
Assuming you are single, have no children and live at home:
aged under 18, living at parental home
|$253.20 pf (per fortnight)|
|aged over 18, at parental home||$304.60 pf
Eligibility depends on the means and assets of your parents.
As a dependent, living away from home
If you depend on your parents financially, but have to live away from home while you are studying (primarily for geographical reasons), your parents’ income and assets will be tested to assess if you are eligible for Youth Allowance. Payments for students who are required to live away from the parental home receive a higher amount of Youth Allowance than the normal dependent student:
|single with no children, under 18 years and not living at home||$462.50(per fortnight)*|
|single with no children, 18 years and over and not living at home||$462.50 pf*
Rent assistance may be payable*.
As an independent
You may have taken a gap year or two and/or you can demonstrate that you are independent of your family (opens an external site).
In this case your parents’ income and assets will not be taken into account to test your eligibility; instead, your income and tax file number will be means tested.
You are independent when you have worked and satisfied any of the following criteria listed in the table below.
In most cases you will have to have worked at least 30 hours a week for at least 18 months during any period of two years, with exeptions for regional students.
Centrelink workforce participation requirements for all students seeking independence prior to set 'age of independence'
|Current qualifying criterion for independence of under 22 year old students through workforce participation.||
Exceptions: Students with a family home in Outer Regional & Remote areas, and in addition, when the parent's income is less than $150,000 per annum
|Not Applicable||or earned at least 75 per cent of the maximum rate of pay under Wage Level A of the National Training Wage Schedule included in a modern award in an 18-month period since leaving school|
|you have worked at least 30 hours a week for at least 18 months during any period of two years||or you have worked at least 30 hours a week for at least 18 months during the last two years
There are several further eligibilty criteria which may be relevant to you, such as:
- You are, or have been, legally married or in a registered relationship
- You are, or have been, living with another person in a de facto relationship for 12 months or more.
- You have been living with another person in a de facto relationship for six months or more which ended because your partner died or because of domestic violence.
See current payment rates (opens an external website).
Youth disability supplement
You may be eligible for additional financial support if you are receiving Youth Allowance or Abstudy and:
- you have an illness, injury or disability which prevents you from working 30 or more hours a week, which
- is expected to last for more than two years, and
- you are under 22 years old, and
- you have successfully completed an Employment Services Assessment.
Students on the Disability Support Pension who are under 21 years of age will automatically receive the Youth Disability Supplement (opens an external site).