Last updated 16 August 2016
Youth Allowance is paid in certain circumstances to young people who are studying full time, undertaking a full-time Australian apprenticeship or traineeship, are looking for work or are sick. Whether or not a young person is eligible for Youth Allowance can be found on the Department of Human Services website.
Generally, a young person is considered a dependant until they are 22 years of age after which they can access Youth Allowance up to 25 years of age. If a person turns 25 while finishing an apprenticeship or course, they will continue to receive Youth Allowance.
There is a variety of information that will assist a young person to establish that they are independent by showing that they have been engaged in a certain amount of employment or that it is unreasonable for them to be living at home (e.g. because of an extreme family breakdown or because it poses a serious risk to their health and wellbeing).
There is a youth disability supplement payable to a Youth Allowance recipient who is under 22 years and has established that they only have partial capacity to work due to illness.
A young person under 18 who has not completed Year 12 will usually have to participate in full-time education or training to qualify for Youth Allowance, but it is possible to seek an exemption in some circumstances.
If a young person is under 16, a full-time student and not living with a parent or guardian, they may be able to access a special benefit subject to satisfying Centrelink’s eligibility criteria.