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Youth Allowance

Who can get Youth Allowance?

You may get Youth Allowance if you are:

  • 16 to 22 years of age at 1 January
  • studying full-time in an approved course at UTS (eg Bachelors, Graduate Certificate, Honours..) ; or
  • in certain Masters courses that are required for professional entry

You must be:

  • an Australian citizen
  • a permanent visa holder/resident, and
  • have been in Australia as an Australian resident for at least 104 weeks (some exceptions)
  • assessed as eligible by Centrelink on the basis of a financial 'means test'

What if I am over 22 and a full-time student?

If you are 22 or over, you can receive Independent Youth Allowance if you:

  • were receiving Youth Allowance immediately before your 22nd birthday, and
  • continue to study the same course.

Other full-time students 25 years of age or over can apply for Austudy.

When can I start getting Youth Allowance?

You need to register as a client with Centrelink:

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 4 to 6 weeks to process your application and confirm your eligibilty. (Please factor this period into your budgeting).

Note: if you are not a full-time student you will need to arrange an interview with Centrelink

Delays in your first payment may occur because:

  • you have liquid assets (opens external website) worth more than $5,500 (if you are single), or $11,000 (if you have a partner or child) .There is no delay in your claim for a benefit payment if you have less than these cut-offs in cash/liquid assets. The ruling allows for a 'reduced waiting period' if people who are single have liquid assets between $5,500 and $11,500, or between $11,000 and $23,000 if you are partnered or have a dependent child).
  • you have not lived in Australia as a Permanent Resident for a total of two years (please consult with Centrelink on your specific eligibility)
  • your course start date is after you lodge your claim
  • (see www.humanservices.gov.au/ for other reasons for delays)

How much $$ is Youth Allowance (YA)?

1. As a dependent

Assuming you are single, have no children and living at home:

aged under 18, living at home

$226.80 pf (per fortnight)
aged over 18, at home $272.80 pf

Your eligibility for the payment claim depends on your parents’ income and assets.

2. As a dependent – but living away from home

If you depend on your parents financially, but have to live away from home while you are studying, your parents’ income and assets will be tested to assess if you are eligible for Youth Allowance. This is a higher amount of Youth Allowance than the normal dependent rate.(see www.humanservices.gov.au/  – and see your local branch for further information)

Current payment rates for Independent students or students eligible for the 'Living-away-from-home' Youth Allowance: (source: www.centrelink.gov.au)

single with no children, under 18 years and not living at home $414.40 pf (per fortnight)*
single with no children, 18 years and over and not living at home $414.40*

* Rent Assistance may be payable

3. As an Independent

You have probably taken a ‘Gap year’ or two, and/or

You are 22+ years of age, and/or

You can demonstrate you are independent of your family (link to external site)

In this case, your parents’ income and assets will NOT be taken into account to test your eligibility. Your own income and Tax File Number will be means tested.

 

When am I independent?

 You are independent when you have worked and satisfied any one of the following criterion:

Criterion to satisfy 'financial independence' from parents
Centrelink workforce participation requirements all students seeking independence prior to set 'age of independence' - 2009 to 30 June 2010 New qualifying criterion for independence through workforce participation, as of 1 July 2010

Exceptions: Students with a family home in Inner Regional; Outer Regional & Remote areas, and in addition, when the parent's income is less than $150,000 per annum

worked part-time for at least 15 hours a week for at least two years since leaving school Not Applicable
you have worked part-time for at least 15 hours a week for at least two years since leaving school
earned, in an 18-month period since leaving school, an amount equivalent to 75 per cent of the maximum rate of pay under Wage Level A of the National Training Wage Schedule 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 the last two years 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

Other criterion:

  • 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.

$$ Youth Allowance payment rates

Current payment rates for all categories of Youth Allowance. Link opens external website.

What is the Youth Disability Supplement?

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
  • have succesfully completed an Employment Services Assessment,

you may be eligible for additional financial support.

Students on the DSP who are under 21 years of age will automatically receive the Youth Disability Supplement.

Does an absence from Australia affect Youth Allowance?

If you are a full-time student you may still continue to receive Youth Allowance for 6 weeks whilst outside of Australia. You may be eligible for additional payments if you leave Australia temporarily on an approved study at an institution in another country, with the study counting towards your full-time Australian course. Please contact Cenrelink well in advance of your planned travel outside of Australia to find out how your payment may be affected.