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Centrelink payments

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What is Youth Allowance?

Can I get Youth Allowance?

If I change jobs or working hours, do I have to tell Centrelink?

What is ABSTUDY?

Can I get ABSTUDY?

Centrelink has made a decision against me - can I appeal?

If you've moved out at home and you're studying, you might be able to get some help from the Government (funded by taxpayers).  This page has a brief explanation of some of these programs including Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY, and explains how you can appeal Centrelink decisions.

What is Youth Allowance?

Youth allowance provides financial assistance to young people while they are studying, undertaking training or an Australian apprenticeship and/or looking for work. 

Young people who are ill or injured may also be able to obtain YA for the period of the illness or injury.

Find out more about youth allowance in this video:



Can I get Youth Allowance?

To find out if you’re eligible, click here:

Your eligibility is based on many things including:

  • Your age and whether you are doing an approved course or activity
  • If you are dependent or independent 
  • Your income and assets
  • Where you live.


How do I get youth allowance?

You can apply online at:


If I change my work hours or move, do I have to tell Centrelink?

If your circumstances change, you must tell Centrelink within 14 days as this may change your YA payment. For example, you must tell Centrelink if:

  • you stop studying;
  • you move from home to continue studying; or
  • you start earning more or less
  • You change universities
  • You change the number of hours you work
  • Change jobs
  • Receive any compensation, leave or redundancy payments
  • Start or stop voluntary work.

For further information on what you must tell Centrelink, click here:

If you don’t tell Centrelink if this changes, you may have to pay Centrelink the money back since your situation changed. Also, Centrelink can charge you a fee for giving incorrect details.


What is ABSTUDY?

ABSTUDY is a financial support scheme which provides money to Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) students to assist them stay at school or go on to further studies.


Can I get ABSTUDY?

To find out if you can get ABSTUDY, go to,


How do I get ABSTUDY?

You can claim ABSTUDY payments in person at your nearest Centrelink Centre or by phone.  To find out where your closest Centrelink office is, and to see the right forms, go to

Once you put in your claim, Centrelink will inform you whether or not your claim has been successful and if so, how much you will get paid and when.

Centrelink has refused my application/they have made a mistake - can I appeal?

If you are unhappy with a decision made by Centrelink, you can have the decision reviewed:

  • First by Centrelink
  • If you are unsatisfied with that, you can ask the Social Security Appeals Tribunal
  • If you are unsatisfied with the Tribunal, you can ask the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (but not for ABSTUDY)
  • In rare cases after all of this you can have your matter heard by a Court

For more information on how to appeal, go to

You can also get legal advice from Welfare Rights Centres at or the Legal Aid Office in your state or territory, which you can find here:


This page was last updated 21 June 2015.