Who can get it

You need to meet some rules to get Youth Allowance as a job seeker.

Eligibility rules

The rules you need to meet to get Youth Allowance as a job seeker depend on your situation.

You must be between 16 and 21 and meet both of these:

You also need to meet rules for 1 of these situations:

  • You meet our definition of unemployed and you’re looking for work.
  • You’re sick or injured and are unable to do your usual work or study for a short time.

Temporary changes to eligibility rules during coronavirus (COVID-19)

You may be able to get Youth Allowance as a job seeker if your work situation changes because of COVID 19. The change in your work situation can be for 1 of the following reasons. You’re:

  • a sole trader, self-employed, a casual or contract worker and your income has reduced
  • caring for someone who’s affected by coronavirus.

Read about upcoming changes for job seekers because of COVID-19.

Unemployed and you’re looking for work

If you’re unemployed, or you’re not in full time work, you may get Youth Allowance as a job seeker. This can include if you’re doing part time or casual work.

If you get Youth Allowance and you earn income over a certain amount, it will affect how much you get. Read more about personal income test.

If you're dependent and get Youth Allowance, we may need your parents’ or guardians’ income details each year.

You can use our Payment and Service Finder to help check if you can get a payment. You can also check what you can get if you’re affected by COVID-19.

Sick or injured and can’t do your usual work or study

You may be sick or injured, which stops you from doing your usual work or study for a short time. In this case, you may get Youth Allowance as a job seeker. You’ll need to meet certain rules and give us a medical certificate.

If you can’t work or study because of COVID-19 you won’t need to give us a medical certificate.

If you’re 24 or younger and a full time student or Australian Apprentice, read about Youth Allowance for students and apprentices. This may be a better payment for your situation.

JobKeeper Payment

If you were getting JobKeeper Payment, you need to report it as income if you get an income support payment. Read more about what happens if you got JobKeeper Payment.

Next: How much you can get

We use income and assets tests to work out how much Youth Allowance for job seekers you get. These are the maximum rates.

Page last updated: 29 March 2021