Part time work or earnings for rural and remote students

You may be independent through work for Youth Allowance if you’re a student from a rural or remote area.

Use the Student Regional Area Search service to check if your family home qualifies as one of the following:

  • inner regional
  • outer regional
  • remote
  • very remote.

You may be independent if you meet all the following criteria:

  • your parental home is in an inner regional, outer regional, remote or very remote area
  • you need to move away from your parental home to study
  • you’ve worked since leaving secondary school
  • your parents or guardians meet the parental income test for rural and remote areas.

Since leaving secondary school, you need to have either:

You can’t include hours worked and income earned while still in secondary school.

You need to give us proof of your work.

Impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19)

We recognise that COVID-19 affected work in 2020. When you claim Youth Allowance, we’ll consider you fulfilled your work requirements for 6 months. This means you include the period of 25 March 2020 to 24 September 2020 in the time you worked. Because we do this automatically, you don’t need to tell us and you won’t need to provide proof.

For example, Max went to secondary school in Oatlands in Tasmania. Hea finished high school in 2018 and started working part time in a shop straight away. COVID-19 meant he lost his job in March 2020. Max is studying construction management in February 2021. We count the period from 25 March 2020 to 24 September 2020 as time that Max worked. We do this even though COVID-19 meant he couldn’t work for that period. Max is independent because he worked at least 15 hours a week for at least 2 years.

Parental income test for rural and remote areas

Your parents or guardians can have a combined parental income of $160,000 per year. There’s also an extra $10,000 added to the parental income limit for each of your eligible siblings. If your parents’ or guardians’ income is over the limit you might not get Youth Allowance.

Your parents or guardians will need to complete the Parent(s)/Guardian(s) additional details for Youth Allowance, Special Benefit or ABSTUDY customers form.

For example, Luke lives with his mum and dad and his 2 school-aged sisters. His sisters are eligible siblings so the combined parental income limit cut-off is $180,000.

Eligible siblings are any of your siblings under 22, unless they are one of the following:

  • living away from home and are, or have been, a member of a couple
  • living away from home and have, or have had, a dependent child
  • getting Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY or Disability Support Pension as an independent person because it’s unreasonable for them to live at home
  • in state care.

You can pick which financial year you use to calculate parental income. You can choose from 1 of 3 financial years, whichever is most beneficial for you. It can be any one of these, the financial year:

  • before you take a gap year, referred to as pre-gap year
  • of your gap year, referred to as base year
  • following your gap year, referred to as post base year.

Page last updated: 3 March 2022