Youth allowance and payments for young people

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Youth allowance and payments for young people

Centrelink has payments specifically for young people. These include:

  • Youth Allowance
  • Abstudy
  • Youth Disability Supplement.

Youth Allowance

Youth Allowance is for young people who need financial support while studying, training or looking for a job. You may be eligible if you are:

  • a full-time student or apprentice aged 16 to 24
  • aged 16 to 21 and are looking for a full-time job or combining part-time study with looking for work
  • a full-time student or apprentice over age 25 who was receiving Youth Allowance before you turned 25 and you are still in the same course of study or apprenticeship
  • a student aged 22 to 24 who is temporarily incapacitated for full-time study.

Both your income and assets, and your parents' income and assets (unless you are considered to be independent) can affect the amount you will be paid. If you receive the independent rate, your partner’s income may also affect your payments.

You will be considered independent and may get a higher rate of Youth Allowance if you are 22 or over. You may also be able to get the independent rate if you are aged between 15 and 21 and:

  • you are an orphan, a refugee or homeless
  • your parents can’t provide a home, care or support
  • you have a dependent child
  • you have lived with a partner in a de facto relationship for longer than a year, or are married
  • you have been assessed as having a partial capacity to work
  • you have previously supported yourself by working.

If you are sick and are temporarily unable to work, study or look for work, you may still be paid Youth Allowance. You have to get a medical certificate.

If you are under age 22 and have left school before finishing year 12 and you don’t plan on doing any further study or training, you may not be eligible for a Centrelink payment. You may have to rely on your parents to support you unless you can find work or are enrolled in study or training.

If you can’t live at home or stay at school or find suitable study or training programs, ask to see the social worker at your local Centrelink office to talk about your options.

There are additional payments that may be available if you begin study after being on an income support payment for a long period, or if your study requires you to live away from home.

If you are under age 18 and are not considered independent, then your payment would normally be paid to your parent.


Abstudy is for Australians of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent who are studying or undertaking an apprenticeship. The rate of payment you may be eligible for depends upon your age, whether or not you live at home and if you have dependent children.

If you are eligible for Abstudy you may also qualify for additional allowances for school expenses, tertiary studies or post-graduate studies.

Youth Disability Supplement

Youth Disability Supplement is additional financial support for young people aged 22 years and under with a physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability which affects their ability to work.

Other services

Centrelink and the Department of Human Services have other information, payments and services to support young people. See Financial and health support for young people.

Get help

Find out how you can get help with Centrelink.

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