Looking for work

If you’re looking for work, have recently lost your job, or are at risk of losing your job, there are payments and services to support you.

Payments while you look for work

You may be eligible for financial assistance while you’re looking for work or studying.

Newstart Allowance provides financial help if you’re looking for work. It supports you while you do activities that may increase your chances of finding a job, such as studying or training. The amount of Newstart Allowance you can get depends on your situation.

Youth Allowance provides financial help for young people who are:

  • studying full time
  • doing a full time Australian apprenticeship
  • training
  • looking for work or
  • temporarily incapacitated and unable to work or study

Waiting periods may apply, if:

  • you were paid a lump sum from your employer when you finished work, or
  • you chose to leave work

Use our Payment and Service Finder to help you find, estimate and compare payments you may be eligible for.

Support to find work

Employment services providers can help you prepare and look for work. This may include access to training as well as computers and phones to look for jobs.

We can refer you to an employment services provider in your area:

  • jobactive can help you get and keep a job – jobactive organisations tailor their services to your assessed needs
  • Transition to Work can help some young job seekers build skills and confidence to engage in work, study, apprenticeships and traineeships
  • Disability Employment Services can help you find a job if you have a disability, injury or health condition
  • Community Development Programme gives job seekers in remote areas opportunities to gain skills that match local jobs

Read more about:

Support if you’ve been retrenched or made redundant

If you’ve lost your job and got a redundancy or termination payment, there may be help available.

Financial Information Service

The Financial Information Service is a free confidential service that can help you decide about investment and financial issues.

Social work services

Our social workers can help you during difficult times in your life with counselling, support and information.

Help to claim your unpaid entitlements

If your old employer went bankrupt or into liquidation, you may be able to claim some of your unpaid entitlements.

Read more about the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) on the Department of Jobs and Small Business website.

You can't claim unpaid employer superannuation contributions through FEG. The Australian Taxation Office website has information about claiming your outstanding superannuation.

Financial relief from loan payments

Your bank or financial institution may offer temporary help with your loan if you’ve lost your job. If you're having trouble paying your loan or mortgage, contact them to find out how they can help.

If they don't agree to a reasonable request, you can ask to have the decision reviewed. You can do this through the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Credit and Investments Ombudsman.

Information for employers

We can help you provide support and information to your employees facing redundancy or retrenchment.

Read more about redundancy information for employers.

Other government and community support services

There are a range of other organisations that provide support services and information you may find helpful. You can use Payment and Service Finder to find help in your area.

moneysmart logoMoneySmart has information to help you make the most of your money. Read the losing your job section on their website.

The Department of Jobs and Small Business has help for workers who have recently lost their job. This includes tailored help for people made redundant from some companies in specific industries.

Australian Apprenticeships provides information and resources about Australian apprenticeships and the support available.

beyondblue is an independent, not for profit organisation. They provide information and support to address depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions in Australia.

MensLine Australia gives professional support over the phone and online for men with family and relationship concerns.

JobAccess offers help and workplace solutions for people with a disability looking for work and their employers.

JobSearch is a free online jobs website with job vacancies advertised across all industries and regions in Australia.

myfuture is Australia's national career information and exploration service. They help people make career decisions, plan career pathways and manage work transitions.

Page last updated: 18 April 2018