Income and assets test for Youth Allowance

We assess your eligibility and payment amount using income and asset tests.

Tests that apply to you

Your rate will be based on the test that results in the lowest payment rate. Your rate may change each fortnight.

Use our online estimators to help work out how much you might get.

You are Tests that apply to you
independent with a partner

Personal assets test

There are different assets limits depending on your situation. When you claim, you need to tell us the current market value of:

  • your assets, and
  • your partner’s assets if you have a partner

The personal assets test doesn’t apply if your partner is getting an income support payment.

Read more about assets and the assets test limits.

An income maintenance period may apply if you’ve recently received any income from leave or redundancy.

If you’re in severe financial hardship but aren’t eligible because of the assets test, you can still apply under Asset Hardship provisions.

Parental means test

There are 2 parts to the parental means test:

  • parental income test, and
  • maintenance income test

Parental income test

If you’re a dependant, your parents or guardians may need to give us their income details. If they get an income support payment, the parental income test won’t apply.

In 2017, we look at your parents’ or guardians’ taxable income from the 2015-16 tax year. If their income was $51,903 or less, it won’t affect your payment.

If they earned more than $51,903 in 2015-16, your payment might reduce by up to 20 cents for every dollar over this amount. This depends on how many children are in your family pool. You can use the online rate estimator to work out how much you may get.

We look at the income of the parents or guardians you normally live with, or last lived with. This includes step parents only if you live with them.

Parental income includes:

  • combined parental taxable income
  • fringe benefits
  • income from outside Australia
  • reportable superannuation contributions, and
  • total net investment losses such as negative gearing losses

If your parent pays child support, we remove it from their parental income.

The family pool

The family pool refers to the dependent children in your family who affect your payment rate.

We can include dependent children in your family pool if they are 21 years of age or younger and:

  • they get Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY Living Allowance or income tested School Fees Allowance Group 2
  • your parent or guardian gets Assistance for Isolated Children Additional Boarding Allowance for them, or
  • they’re up to 19 years of age, and, if 16 to 19 years of age, attend secondary school

The more children in your family, the less your parents’ income affects your payment. We may also assess shared care arrangements.

You can check your family’s details are up to date using your Centrelink online account through myGov. If you need to update your family details, call us.

Changes to income

Your parents or guardians must tell us if there are any changes to their income. This may change your payment rate. It may also change if your siblings’ circumstances change.

Where there has been a change, we can use your parents’ most recent income for the parental income test. For example, if you study in 2017 and your parents’ income has significantly changed, we may use your parents’ income for the 2016-17 tax year.

Your parents or guardians must update their income every year. Read more about the annual parental income test reassessment.

Maintenance income test

If you’re a dependant, we take the amount of child support or spousal maintenance your parents or guardians receive into account when working out your payment rate. This includes any voluntary maintenance your parents or guardians receive.

You need to supply details of any voluntary maintenance they receive if we haven’t made a child support assessment. Where we have made a child support assessment, you will not need to supply these details again. We’ll use information we already have to adjust your payment.

Maintenance income can include:

  • cash, lump sum payments and non-cash amounts
  • utilities charges
  • school fees and other payments made on behalf, or for the benefit of, the child

The maintenance income test free area is the amount of child support or voluntary maintenance your parents or guardians can get before the maintenance income test affects your payment. These are the maintenance income test free areas per year:

Your parents or guardians get maintenance for: Child support received per year
You $1,565.85
You and other children who get or are eligible for Family Tax Benefit $521.95
Other siblings who get Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY or Assistance for Isolated Children Allowance Additional Boarding Allowance only add $521.95 for each child

The maintenance test is similar to what we use for Family Tax Benefit Part A.

Page last updated: 31 May 2017

This information was printed Wednesday 28 June 2017 from It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at when using this material.