Eligibility for Youth Allowance

Eligibility for Youth Allowance is based on your age, the course you are studying, income and assets and residence requirements.

Youth Allowance provides financial help for young people to study or train.

Eligibility is based on many things including:

  • your age and whether you are doing an approved course or activity
  • if you are dependent or independent
  • income and assets tests, and
  • residence requirements

Your age and whether you are undertaking an approved courses or activity

You may be eligible for Youth Allowance if you are:

  • 16 to 21 years old and looking for full-time work or undertaking approved activities
  • 18 to 24 years old and studying full-time
  • 16 and 17 years old and have completed year 12 or equivalent, need to live away from home in order to study, or considered independent for Youth Allowance
  • 16 to 24 years old and undertaking a full-time Australian Apprenticeship

Dependent or independent


You are considered dependent for Youth Allowance if you do not meet the independence criteria. Being dependent means parents' or guardians' income and assets will be used to determine your eligibility.


If you are 22 or older you are automatically considered independent.

If you are under 22, some of the ways you may be considered independent, include where you:

  • have supported yourself through full-time employment of an average of 30 hours per week for at least 18 months during any period of 2 years,
  • have or have had a dependent child, or
  • are unable to live at home due to extreme circumstances, or your parents can not exercise their responsibilities

Students from areas classified as inner regional, outer regional, remote and very remote can be assessed as independent who, since leaving secondary school have:

  • earned at least 75 per cent of Wage Level A of the National Training Wage Schedule included in a modern award, in an 18-month period, or
  • worked part-time (at least 15 hours each week) for at least 2 years

For a full list of all the ways that you may be considered independent for Youth Allowance see the Independence for Youth Allowance page.

Income and assets tests

If you are dependent, your parents' or guardians' income will be considered in determining your eligibility and how much you can get. This is called a Parental Income Test.

If you are independent, a Personal Income Test and a Personal Assets Test will be used to work out if you can get Youth Allowance and how much you can get.

If you are independent your parents' income is not generally taken into consideration. However, if you are a student from a regional or remote area applying for Youth Allowance under the earnings or part-time work independence criteria, your parental income is taken into account. In these circumstances parental income must be under $150,000.

If you are independent and have a partner, their income and assets will be considered.

Residence requirements

You must be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day you lodge your claim.

Page last updated: 11 August 2016

This information was printed Monday 5 December 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/eligibility-youth-allowance It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.