Eligibility for Newstart Allowance

You may be eligible for Newstart Allowance if you are:

  • aged 22 years or older but under Age Pension age
  • looking for suitable paid work
  • prepared to enter into an Employment Pathway Plan and meet the requirements included in the Employment Pathway Plan
  • not involved in industrial action
  • meet income and assets test requirements
  • meet activity test requirements
  • meet residence requirements

Employment Pathway Plan

You need to have an Employment Pathway Plan when you start to receive Newstart Allowance. This outlines activities you agree to undertake while you are looking for work to give you the best chance of getting a job. This is reviewed on a regular basis and can also be negotiated with your Employment Services provider.

Activity test requirements

To keep getting Newstart Allowance, you need to participate in activities that will increase your chances of finding work. This is called meeting the activity test requirements. The activity test requirements usually mean you need to apply for jobs, train or study, or work part-time. You may be able to receive a short-term exemption from the activity test in special circumstances.

If you are aged 55 years or older, the activity-test requirements are more flexible.

If you are the principal carer of a child under the age of 16 and receiving Newstart Allowance, the activity-test requirements are more flexible. More information is in the Flexible arrangement for parent and principal carers brochure.

Employment Services assistance

We can refer you to a Job Services Australia or Disability Employment Services provider in your area that can help you look for work. They can help you access job search assistance and training, job vacancies in your area and things like computers, telephones and stationery.