What your commitments are

There are things you must do to keep getting your Youth Allowance as a job seeker payment.

Mutual obligation requirements

Mutual obligation requirements are tasks and activities you agree to while getting Youth Allowance for job seekers payment from us.

Job seekers in Victoria

If you live in Victoria, you should continue to meet the limited requirements introduced on 9 June. This means you should continue to engage with your employment services provider online or over the phone. No penalties or suspensions will apply if you can’t. We’ll let you know when this changes.

Job seekers in other states and territories

We’re slowly reintroducing mutual obligation requirements.

From 4 August 2020, you need to agree to do the tasks and activities in your Job Plan. This may include job searches. These were previously paused due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you’re in online employment services, you need to do the tasks on your dashboard.

You must also attend all appointments, either online or over the phone. This applies whether we manage you, or you’re with an employment services provider.

Read about mutual obligation requirements.


From 4 August, your payment may be cancelled for at least 4 weeks if you refuse suitable work without a reasonable excuse.
This is called a work refusal failure. You’ll get one if you either:

  • don’t accept a suitable job offer
  • don’t start a job you’ve accepted.

You must accept suitable work if it’s offered, even if it’s not the kind of work you used to do, or prefer.

If your payment is cancelled for refusing suitable work, you won’t be able to get a payment again for at least 4 weeks.

This doesn’t apply if you’re in the Community Development Program or ParentsNext.

Keep in mind, there are no penalties if you live in Victoria.

Read more about when penalties apply.


You may be exempt from mutual obligation requirements in certain circumstances. This includes if you’re impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you get JobKeeper Payment

If you get JobKeeper Payment you don’t have to meet mutual obligation requirements. We’ll let you know if this changes.

If you’re referred to an employment services provider, phone us on your regular payment line. We’ll tell you if you’re exempt or not.

Read about what exemptions may apply.

Report employment income

How much you and your partner earn affects your payment. To pay you the right amount we need to know what you both earn every 2 weeks, even if it’s $0.

You can report your income every 2 weeks:

Read about income reporting.

Change of circumstances

You must tell us if things change as it may affect your Youth Allowance for job seekers payment.

You can tell us using the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app or your Centrelink online account through myGov.

Read about what you need to tell us.

Next: How to claim

Complete the following steps to claim Youth Allowance for job seekers. Before you start, check if you can get it.

Page last updated: 14 August 2020