Higher payment rates when living away from home

You may get a higher rate of Youth Allowance if you need to live away from your parents' home. This can be to study, or do your Australian Apprenticeship.

Tertiary students

If you’re dependent, you may be eligible if one of the following apply:

  • it takes longer than 90 minutes to travel from your parents' home to your place of study by public transport
  • it’s compulsory to live at your education provider while you study
  • you’re doing part of your Australian approved course at an overseas education provider.

If you’re independent, you’ll get the higher rate if you live away from your parents' home.

Secondary students

You may be eligible if one of the following apply:

  • it takes longer than 90 minutes to travel from your parents' home to your place of study by public transport
  • your parents’ home is in an isolated area, for example, at least 56 km from an appropriate government school
  • you can’t get to school because of blocked roads for 20 school days a year
  • your parents' home isn’t a suitable place to study, for example, due to family conflict or illness
  • you have a disability and your parents' home is away from facilities you need
  • you’re in Year 11 or 12 and your parents move out of the area
  • you need to live away from your parents’ home as an equivalent course isn’t available nearby.

You may get a higher rate if your local government secondary schools are limited program schools.

Check if there are limited program schools in your state or territory.

If you choose not to go to an appropriate government school in your area you won’t get a higher rate.

When exceptions to attending a local school may apply

You normally can’t get the higher rate if you’ve chosen to not attend your local school. However, you may get it if any of these exceptional reasons apply:

  • your school caters to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students where English is not their first language
  • the state or territory education department states the local school is inappropriate for your educational needs
  • the state or territory education department supports you not going to the local school
  • studying at a different school enhances your educational or employment prospects.

If any of these reasons apply to you, call us on the Youth and Students Line to discuss your circumstances. You’ll need to give us evidence to support your exceptional reason.

Australian Apprentices

You may get the higher rate if you need to live away from your parents' home to do your apprenticeship.

Affected by coronavirus

If you get the away from home rate of payment, you may be able to keep getting the higher rate. This is if you’re temporarily no longer living away from home due to coronavirus. You’ll need to meet the following conditions.

As a student, all of the following need to apply:

  • your study changes temporarily from face to face to online study
  • you remain enrolled in your course
  • you continue to maintain your term address, such as by paying rent.

As an Australian Apprentice, both of the following need to apply. You need to:

  • have a current Australian Apprenticeship Commonwealth Registration Number
  • continue to maintain your term address, such as by paying rent.

You need to let us know if both of these apply:

  • you’re getting the away from home rate of payment from us
  • you're no longer maintaining your term address.

More help

If you pay rent and get Youth Allowance as a student or Australian Apprentice, you may get Rent Assistance.

If you’re a full time student living away from home, you may get either:

Page last updated: 7 April 2021