Youth Allowance

Financial help if you’re 24 or younger and studying, an Australian Apprentice, looking for work or sick.

Eligibility basics

  • 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

There are changes to approved courses that 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.

Read more about who can get Youth Allowance

Dependent or independent

If you apply for Youth Allowance, you’ll be assessed as being dependent or independent for payment.

Read more about dependent or independent

Income and assets test

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

Read more about the income and assets test

Residence rules

On the day you claim Youth Allowance you must be an Australian resident and in Australia.

Read more about residence rules

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.

Read more about approved courses and institutions

Payment rates

We use income and assets tests to work out how much Youth Allowance you get. These are the maximum rates.

Read more about payment rates

Waiting periods

You may have to wait before your payments start.

Read more about waiting periods

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.

Read more about living away from home

Study loads

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.

Read more about study loads

Allowable time for study

Your student payment is not paid indefinitely. The amount of time you can get your payment is called allowable time.

Read more about 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.

Read more about distance and online education


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

Next read more about claiming

Managing your payment

Change of circumstances

You must tell us if things change as it may affect your payment.

Read more about reporting your change of circumstances

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.

Read more about the annual parental income test reassessment

Advance payment

You may get part of your income support early. This is an advance payment. You pay it back later out of your payments from us.

Read more about advance payment

While travelling outside Australia

To get your payment while outside Australia, you must remain eligible for Youth Allowance.

Read more about Youth Allowance while travelling outside Australia

Not meeting mutual obligation requirements

Not meeting your mutual obligation requirements as a job seeker can affect your Centrelink Payment.

Read more about not meeting your mutual obligation requirements.

Weekly payment option

Some people can get income support payments each week instead of each fortnight.

Read more about weekly payments

Income reporting

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.

Read more about income reporting for your main income support payment

My bank account is overdrawn

You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.

Read more about what to do if your 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.

Read more about online review of study details

Working Credit

Lets you keep more of your income support payment and benefits while you're working.

Read more about Working Credit


jobactive - helping you get work

Start looking for work now using the jobactive website.

Read about jobactive on the Department of Jobs and Small Business 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 what a change in circumstance might mean for the payments and services you currently receive from us.

Start using Payment and Service Finder

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.

Read more about the Green Army Programme

Page last updated: 7 February 2018