Getting Youth Allowance depends upon:
• your age
• whether you are a full-time or part-time student
• whether you are unemployed
• where and with whom you are living.
• Tell Centrelink about any changes to your study programme.
• If you don’t tell Centrelink, you risk having a debt raised, or even prosecution.
• If you were not able to tell Centrelink and a debt is raised, you can appeal.
o The debt may be waived in some circumstances.
o Talk to your local Welfare Rights Centre.
• “Approved” courses are set out in the “Ministerial Determination of Education Institutions and Courses”.
o Ask Centrelink if your course is “approved”.
• If your course is not approved, you may still be able to get Youth Allowance, as long as you fulfil the activity test in another way.
• You must be studying or training to get Youth Allowance if:
o you are aged 15 to 21 and
o you haven’t finished year 12 or got Certificate Level II.
• Your study or training needs to:
o help you complete year 12 (or an equivalent level) or
o be part of your Employment Pathway Plan that includes full-time study or both study and other activities.
• If you are unable to study due to a temporary medical condition, you can get a “temporary medical exemption”.
o This lasts for up to 13 weeks.
• You may get an exemption from the requirement to study if:
o there is no training available
o you have special circumstances that make it unreasonable to require you to study
- Special circumstances making it unreasonable to require you to study include:
• problems with drugs or alcohol
• family breakdown
• other problems.
- If Centrelink does not consider your situation “special”, you can appeal.
o you don’t have the capacity to undertake the training
- for example, if you have a disability or a learning disability.
• There are rules about making “satisfactory progress” and time allowed to complete your studies.
• You may be able to get an extension of the allowed time if there are circumstances beyond your control.
• Tell Centrelink about what is happening with your studies.
o If you don’t, you risk a debt and even prosecution.