Easier access for Youth Allowance proposed

Rebecca Gredley
(Australian Associated Press)


Proposed changes will make it easier for young Australians who move away from home for tertiary education to receive financial support, the federal government says.

The amendments would alter the criteria for a young person to be deemed independent, and qualify for Youth Allowance, by increasing the maximum amount their parents can earn to $160,000, up from $150,000.

“In addition it will introduce a $10,000 per child amount, which will increase the parental cut-off for larger families,” Social Services Minister Dan Tehan said as he introduced the bill to the lower house on Wednesday.

To be deemed “independent through work” young people also have to earn at least $25,704 over a 14-month period, or work for at least 15 hours a week over a two-year period.

Mr Tehan said a young person’s parents would be income-tested over the financial year before the applicant turned the stopwatch on their working period, to prevent unexpected increases halting their application.

“With this change, students will know before they decide to take a gap year whether their parental income will be under the cut off.”

The changes are expected to result in a 75 per cent increase in successful applicants, to more than 5300 people.

If passed, the new thresholds would apply from January 1.


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