Change of circumstances

You must tell us if things change when you’re getting Youth Allowance as it may affect your payment.

Tell us within 14 days

You need to tell us about any changes to your and your family’s circumstances within 14 days. This includes changes for your parents or guardians, as well as your partner and your dependent children.

You can tell us about most changes in any of the following ways:

If you don’t tell us, it may affect your payment. You may need to pay back money we’ve paid you. If you’re dishonest in order to get a payment, you’re committing welfare fraud. Read more about how to avoid committing fraud.

Here are some examples of changes you must tell us about.

Study changes

You need to tell us about any changes to your study. This includes if you:

  • don’t stay enrolled in your course
  • stop studying and don’t plan to return to study
  • stop being a full time Australian Apprentice
  • don’t start your course within 2 weeks of the course start date
  • change your course
  • start studying at a different institution
  • reduce your study or training workload.

Employment and income changes

You need to tell us about any changes to your employment or income. This includes if you:

  • change your work hours
  • start or stop work
  • change jobs
  • get compensation, leave or redundancy payments
  • have a change in income or assets
  • get income from outside Australia
  • start or stop getting other financial help to complete your course or apprenticeship
  • change your bank details, including opening or closing a bank account
  • have a change to you or your partner’s income or financial assets of more than $2,000
  • buy or sell a car, house or other assets.

Living situation changes

You need to tell us about any changes to your living situation. This includes if you:

  • change your address or accommodation details
  • move back to your parents’ or guardians’ home
  • change the parent you’re living with
  • move into or out of long term care, like a nursing home or hostel, due to injury or disability
  • start sharing your accommodation with a non family member who’s 16 or older if you’re single
  • are leaving the country, for a short time, or to live somewhere else
  • go into lawful custody.

If you get Rent Assistance, you also need to tell us if any of these happen. You:

  • stop paying rent, or the amount of rent you pay changes
  • start or stop sharing accommodation
  • start paying rent to a state, territory or Commonwealth Housing Authority
  • move in with your parent or guardian.

Personal situation changes

You need to tell us about changes to your personal situation. This includes if you:

  • marry or start living with your partner
  • separate from your partner
  • are sick, injured or unable to do your usual mutual obligation requirements, work or study for a short time
  • start or stop getting a pension, benefit or allowance.

You can also update your gender identity if you choose to do so.

Changing or correcting your name

It’s important to tell us if you change your legal name.

To change or correct your legal name, we’ll need:

  • an original document issued by a state or territory Births, Deaths and Marriages registry
  • your consent to verify the document.

You need to bring your document to a service centre so we can update our records.

Family changes

You need to tell us about changes to your family situation within 14 days. This includes if an immediate family member dies.

Recognising this will be a difficult time for you, we have advice and help on what to do when a loved one dies.

Changes to your parents’ or guardians’ situation

You need to tell us if your parents or guardians do any of the following:

  • change their address
  • marry or start living with their partner
  • separate from their partner
  • have changes to their income
  • have a dependent child who leaves their care or comes into their care
  • are, or are no longer, in custody, in a psychiatric institution, nursing home or similar.

Changes about your partner

You need to tell us if your partner does any of the following:

  • start or stop working
  • have income or assets change
  • get ABSTUDY, a pension, benefit or allowance.

Changes about a child

You need to tell us if any of these happen:

  • you have a child or take care of a dependent child who is 16 years of age or younger
  • your dependent child dies
  • your dependent child who is 16 years of age or younger leaves home, or gets a pension, benefit or allowance
  • your dependent child is in custody on remand, in a psychiatric institution or in prison.
Page last updated: 19 December 2022.