Payments for job seekers

We offer income support and other help if you’re looking for work or completing approved studies to help you get a job.

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Income support while you look for work

You may be able to get a payment while you look for work.

If you’re looking for work, or doing approved activities to find a job, you may be able to get Newstart Allowance. This payment is for people between 22 years of age and age pension age.

If you’re aged 16 to 21 you may be able to get Youth Allowance. To get this payment as a job seeker, you must be looking for full time work or doing approved activities.

If you have young children you may be able to get Parenting Payment. This payment supports parents or guardians to help with the cost of raising children.

Payments to help you study or train

You may be able to get a payment while you’re studying.

Austudy is for full time students and Australian Apprentices aged 25 or older.

ABSTUDY is for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders who are studying or undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship.

If you’re studying, training or doing an Australian Apprenticeship full time, you may be able to get Youth Allowance. To get this payment you need to be 16 to 24 years of age.

You may be eligible for other payments if you’re studying or training and getting certain income support payments.

You may be able to get the Pensioner Education Supplement. This payment helps with the ongoing costs of full time or part time study in a secondary or tertiary course.

You may also be able to get Education Entry Payment.

Child care costs while you look for work or study

The Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance provides extra help to pay for approved child care if you’re eligible. To get this payment you have to do activities to help you enter the workforce as part of a Job Plan or Participation Plan. These activities can include:

  • looking for work
  • working
  • studying
  • training, or
  • rehabilitation

Job seekers with disability

Disability Support Pension provides financial support if you can’t work because you have a physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition. You may also get this payment if you’re permanently blind.

If you’re eligible for Disability Support Pension, you may also get other benefits including a Pensioner Concession Card. If you start work you may still get this payment, depending on the number of hours you work and how much you earn.

Mobility Allowance helps you take part in approved activities when you have a disability, illness or injury. It helps with transport costs if you can’t use public transport without substantial help, either permanently or for long periods. To get this payment you must be looking for work or taking part in paid or voluntary work, study or training.

You won’t get Mobility Allowance if you’re getting a funded package of support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Youth Disability Supplement provides extra financial support to young people with physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability who get certain income support payments.

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 the Payment and Service Finder to find help in your area.

JobAccess offers help and workplace solutions for people with disability who are looking for work, and their potential and current employers.

The Department of Employment has a range of services, including:

  • jobactive - connects job seekers with employers through a network of providers
  • the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme - helps job seekers who want to become self-employed business owners
  • Job Jumpstart - an online resource with tips and articles about careers and job hunting.

My future is Australia's national career information and exploration service. It helps with career decisions, planning career pathways and managing work transitions.

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

beyondblue is an independent, not for profit organisation for depression, anxiety and related mental health disorders in Australia.

MensLine Australia gives professional telephone and online support and information services for men with family and relationship concerns.

Page last updated: 9 November 2017