- 16 to 21 years of age and looking for full time work or undertaking approved activities
- 18 to 24 years of age and studying full time
- 16 or 17 years of age and have completed year 12 or equivalent, or undertaking full time secondary study and need to live away from home in order to study, or are considered independent for Youth Allowance, or
- 16 to 24 years of age and undertaking a full time Australian Apprenticeship
Changes to Job Services Australia from 1 July 2015
From 1 July 2015, new employment services called jobactive replaces Job Services Australia.
From mid-April, you will receive a letter or SMS from the Department of Employment. It will tell you about the changes and what you need to do.
If you have any questions, speak to your current employment provider, go to Australian JobSearch website or call the Department of Employment’s customer service line on 1300 854 414.
Eligibility and payment rates
Eligibility for Youth Allowance
Eligibility for Youth Allowance is based on your age, the course you are studying, income and assets and residence requirements.
Payment rates for Youth Allowance
Payment rates for Youth Allowance are calculated using an income and assets test.
These rates are a guide only. If you are dependent, the parental means test will apply. If you are a student younger than 18 years, your payments will usually be paid to a parent or guardian.
|Your circumstances||Your maximum fortnightly payment|
|Single, with no children, younger than 18 years, and living at parental home||$233.60|
|Single, with no children, younger than 18 years, and required to live away from parental home to study undertake training or look for work||$426.80|
|Single, with no children, 18 years or older and living at parental home||$281.00|
|Single, with no children, 18 years or older and required to live away from parental home||$426.80|
|Single, with children||$559.20|
|Member of a couple, with no children||$426.80|
|Member of a couple, with children||$468.70|
Single job seeker principal carer granted an exemption from Mutual Obligation Requirements because you are either:
Special payment rates
The special rates below apply if you are older than 22 years, starting full time study, and are:
- a long term income support recipient who is receiving or has received an income support payment, other than a student payment, for at least 26 out of the last 39 weeks, or
- a migrant student who does not have English as a first language, does not have a dependent child and is undertaking an approved course in English
|Your circumstances||Your maximum fortnightly payment|
|Single and living at parental home||$344.80|
|Single and required to live away from parental home||$518.50|
|Member of a couple with no children||$468.70|
From time to time, your Youth Allowance payment is reviewed. The amount you receive may be adjusted because your circumstances or a family member's circumstances change. This may include a change in your income, moving house, or separating from your partner.
If you are a dependant and you receive Youth Allowance, we will request details of your parents' taxable income in September each year.
If you are a student, we will request information about your future study intentions 4 weeks before your course is due to finish. You can provide this information online or with the Express Plus mobile app.
Income and assets test for Youth Allowance
The amount of Youth Allowance you can receive will depend upon your personal circumstances.
Residence requirements for Youth Allowance
To be eligible for Youth Allowance you must satisfy residence requirements. You must:
- be an Australian resident
- be physically present in Australia on the day you lodge your claim, and
- continue to meet the residence requirements for as long as you get this payment
Newly arrived residents generally have a 104 week waiting period, with some exemptions.
If you are not an Australian resident, but arrived in Australia on a New Zealand passport after 26 February 2001 and have lived here continuously for at least 10 years since 26 February 2001, you may qualify for payment of Youth Allowance for up to 6 months. If you qualify for payment under this exemption, you will not need to serve the 2 year newly arrived resident’s waiting period.
Approved courses of study and institutions for Austudy, Youth Allowance and Pensioner Education Supplement
You need to be studying an approved course at an approved institution to receive Austudy, Youth Allowance (student) and Pensioner Education Supplement.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to wait for a period of time before receiving your first income support payment.
Higher rates of Youth Allowance when living away from home
If you need to live away from your parents' home to study, train or look for work, you may be eligible for the higher away from home rate of Youth Allowance.
Independence for Youth Allowance
If you apply for Youth Allowance, you will be assessed as being either independent or a dependant. If you are a dependant, the parental means test applies.
Study loads for Austudy and Youth Allowance
You need to meet study load requirements to receive Austudy or Youth Allowance.
Allowable time for study while receiving Youth Allowance
Allowable time is the length of time you can receive Youth Allowance while studying.
Low Income Health Care Card while receiving Youth Allowance
If you are a student or Australian Apprentice and receive Youth Allowance you may qualify for a Low Income Health Care Card.
Read more about Low Income Health Care Cards.
Other benefits while receiving Youth Allowance
If you qualify for Youth Allowance, you may be entitled to other payments and services, such as:
Managing your payment
Change of circumstances while receiving Youth Allowance
You need to tell us within 14 days if your circumstances change while you are receiving Youth Allowance.
Annual parental means test reassessment
Each year in September parents or guardians of dependent Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY Living Allowance customers need to provide their income and asset details.
Advance payment options
You may be eligible to receive part of your Centrelink payment in advance. Accessing an advance payment depends on the type of payment you receive, how long you have been receiving it and the amount that you receive.
Youth Allowance while travelling outside Australia
To get your payment while outside Australia you must continue to meet the qualification rules for that payment.
Penalties for not meeting your Mutual Obligation Requirements
If you do not meet your Mutual Obligation Requirements as a job seeker, your income support payment may be affected.
Weekly payment option
You can receive your income support payment weekly, instead of fortnightly, in certain circumstances.
How much you earn affects your payment. We need to know what you have earned each fortnight so you are paid the right amount.
What to do if your account is overdrawn
There is support available to help you manage your money if you have overdrawn your bank, building society or credit union account.
Information you need to know about your claim for Youth Allowance/Austudy form (CI004)
This booklet contains information you may need to know about your claim for Austudy and Youth Allowance.
You can do most of your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service. Options include Express Plus mobile apps, online services or phone self service.
Youth Allowance eligibility video
Skills for Education and Employment
A program to help develop speaking, reading, writing or basic maths skills to improve the chances of you getting and keeping a job.
Read more about Skills for Education and Employment
Select the options that describe your circumstances then explore a suggested list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
Select your state and topics of interest to find links to government and community organisation support.
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