Get Yourself FinLit

Youth Allowance

We’re incredibly lucky to live in a country where education is a highly valued thing. In fact, we live in a place where you actually get paid a little bit of money to study. It’s called Youth Allowance and it’s provided by Centrelink, also known as “Sennos”, “Senners” or “The Link”. It’s nothing to be ashamed of - when you’re spending all your time reading books and learning mad skills, you bloody well deserve some compensation.

Here’s how it works: If you’re under 24 and studying at school, university or TAFE (or looking for work or are unwell) you’re probs eligible for some ca$h moneys in return for all your hard work.

And if you’re wondering whether you’re eligible or not, you’re in the right place. We’re going to explain everything you need to know about how to get Youth Allowance while learning.

Are you Dependent or Independent?

The first thing you’ll need to figure out is whether you’re considered dependent or independent from your parents. If you’re still dependent on your ‘rents then your eligibility for Youth Allowance is decided by your parents’ income.

Means Tests

If your parents’ income is less than $51,027 per year, then you’re still eligible for full Youth Allowance payments. If their income is more than that, your payments are likely to be reduced quite a bit.

Our advice? Get your independence ASAP.

Getting Independent

If you’re 22 or over, the good news is that you’re automatically considered independent by Centrelink. This means that you can immediately apply for Youth Allowance and the process is relatively simple.

If you’re under 22, you may still be considered independent – especially if you’re in a de facto relationship, married, unable to live at home or have gone through hardships (full list of criteria here. ) In most cases though, you’ve got to earn your right to independence by working for it.

You’re considered independent if you’ve supported yourself through full-time paid work for at least 18 months within a two-year period. This doesn’t mean you have to work at the same job or for 18 consecutive months, you can actually chop and change (and maybe travel a bit) if you want to. If you’re from a remote area and need to move away to study, becoming independent may be a little easier ( see the full requirements here )

How much CA$H am I entitled to?

youth allowance


You’re not exactly going to be making it rain, but Youth Allowance can help a lot when you’re learning and don’t have time to work full time. And if you’re living out of home, you might want to check out your eligibility for rent assistance too.

To apply for Youth Allowance, checkout the Centrelink website.

This information is intended to be general in nature only and might not apply to your financial circumstances. When in doubt always seek professional guidance.
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