Financial help if you’re 24 or younger and studying, an Australian Apprentice, looking for work or sick.
- 16 to 21 and looking for full time work, or
- 18 to 24 and studying full time, or
- 16 to 24 and a full time Australian Apprentice, or
- 16 to 17 and independent or needing to live away from home to study
From January 2018 there are changes to approved courses may impact your eligibility for a payment. Go to the Department of Social Services website for information.
If you get a letter saying you’re not eligible, there’s still time to change your study options to align with approved courses and institutions.
Eligibility & payment rates
Who can get it
To get Youth Allowance you must meet certain criteria.
Dependent or independent
If you apply for Youth Allowance, you’ll be assessed as being dependent or independent for payment.
Income and assets test
We assess your eligibility and payment amount using income and asset tests.
On the day you claim Youth Allowance you must be an Australian resident and in Australia.
Approved courses and institutions
You must study an approved course at an approved institution to get Youth Allowance as a student, Austudy, or Pensioner Education Supplement.
We use income and assets tests to work out how much Youth Allowance you get. These are the maximum rates.
You may have to wait before your payments start.
Higher payment rates when living away from home
If you need to live away from your parents' home to study, train or look for work, you may get a higher rate of Youth Allowance.
Most people need to study full time to get Austudy or Youth Allowance as a student. To work out if you’re full time you need to know your study load.
Allowable time for study
Your student payment is not paid indefinitely. The amount of time you can get your payment is called allowable time.
Distance and online education for tertiary and secondary students
If you study by distance education, you need to do an approved course with an approved institution.
Check if you’re eligible before you start your claim.
- find out what you need to start your claim
- start a claim
- submit your claim with supporting documents
- we assess your claim and tell you the outcome
Managing your payment
Change of circumstances
You must tell us if things change as it may affect your payment.
Annual parental income test reassessment
If you're dependent and you get Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY, we may need your parents’ or guardians’ income details each year.
You may get part of your income support early. This is an advance. You pay it back out of your normal payments from us.
While travelling outside Australia
To get your payment while outside Australia, you must remain eligible for Youth Allowance.
Not meeting mutual obligation requirements
Not meeting your mutual obligation requirements as a job seeker can affect your Centrelink Payment.
Weekly payment option
Some people can get income support payments each week instead of each fortnight.
How much you or your partner earn affects your payment. We need to know what you and your partner earn so we pay you the right amount.
My bank account is overdrawn
You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.
Online review of study details
We may send a letter to your myGov inbox asking you to complete an online review of your study details.
Working Credit lets you keep more of your income support payment and benefits while you're working.
jobactive - helping you get work
jobactive is a service that helps connect you with employers and find work.
Read about jobactive on the Department of Employment website.
Vocational Education and Training - VET Student Loans
Eligible Students can get a VET Student Loan to access higher level VET qualifications.
This could help you, if you couldn’t otherwise afford to pay for your course upfront.
Read more about VET Student Loans on the Department of Education and Training website.
If your course has stopped because of provider closures, you may be eligible for support from the tuition assurance scheme.
Read more about Provider Closures on the Department of Education and Training website.
Improve your skills for education and employment
The Skills for Education and Employment program may help you improve your speaking, reading, writing or maths.
Read about Skills for Education and Employment.
Help to find jobs in remote areas
If you live in a remote area the Community Development Programme can help you contribute to your community and gain skills and training while you look for work.
Read more about the Community Development Programme on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.
Try self service
Do your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options, including our Express Plus mobile apps, online accounts and phone self service.
Read more about using self service.
Payment and Service Finder
Find, estimate and compare payments and services you may be eligible for. You can also work out how a change in circumstance may change the payments and services you currently get from us.
Manage your money
We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.
Read about how to manage your money.
Regular deductions using Centrepay
You can use our free and voluntary service to pay bills as regular deductions from your Centrelink payments.
Read more about how Centrepay works.
Green Army Programme
Provides training and work experience in environment and heritage conservation for young Australians while generating environmental benefits.