Parental income test

We use the parental income test to assess your parents’ or guardians’ income for Youth Allowance. It’s part of the parental means test.

If you’re dependent we need to know your parents’ or guardians’ income.

If you’re claiming Youth Allowance as independent through work, we’ll also ask for your parents’ or guardians’ income. This is only if you’re independent through work though either:

Watch our video about parental income.

We look at the income of your parents or guardians you normally live with, or last lived with. This includes step parents if you normally live with them. We assess your parents’ or guardians’ income even if you don’t live with them now, but have before.

If your parents are separated, we assess the income of the parent you spend the most time living with. If you spend equal time living with each parent, we’ll assess the income of the parent you ask us to. If you don’t live with either parent now, we’ll assess the income of the parent you last lived with. If you last lived with both parents, we’ll assess the income of the parent you ask us to.

If you need to live away from their home, you may get a higher payment rate. For example, you may get a higher rate if your family home is a long way from your place of study.

We won’t assess your parents’ or guardians’ income if they get one of the following:

We’ll apply the parental income test if both of the following apply:

  • your parents or guardians get an income support payment
  • their income support payment reduces to zero for 1 fortnight or more because of how much they earn.

In 2022, we assess your parents’ or guardians’ taxable income from the 2020-21 financial year.

How your parents’ or guardians’ income for the 2020-21 financial year affects your payment

The following table shows how your parents’ or guardians’ income affects your payment. This does not include maintenance income, or the effect of other children in your family pool.

Parental income Effect on payment
$56,137 or less No change.
More than $56,137 Reduced by 20 cents for every dollar over this amount.

You can use the payment and service finder to work out how much you may get in your family situation.

Parental income includes all of the following:

  • combined parental taxable income
  • tax free pensions and benefits
  • fringe benefits
  • income from outside Australia
  • reportable superannuation contributions
  • total net investment losses such as negative gearing losses.

If your parents or guardians pay child support, we remove it from their parental income.

Your parents’ or guardians’ assets don’t affect your payment.

How the family pool works

Your family pool includes dependent children in your parent or guardians care, like your siblings. Your family pool may affect your payment rate.

When there’s another dependent child in your family pool, your payment could increase. If a dependent child leaves your family pool, your payment may decrease.

We can include dependent children in your family pool in any of these situations:

If you need to update your family details, call the youth and students line.

Page last updated: 26 May 2022