Failing the Independence Test

Many students find that they are not eligible to receive Youth Allowance because their Parents earn too much money. Essentially what has happened to cause this is Centrelink has what’s called a “Independence test” where students must prove they are not dependent on their parents, and if their parents earn too much money often students will not be eligible for Youth Allowance.

This test is a set criterion that is applied on Students seeking to start Youth Allowance to determine if they are dependent or Independent from their Parents. If they are independent then they may be eligible where as students dependent on their parents need to prove that their Parents don’t have the money (Assets and Income) to support them otherwise they will not be eligible for Youth Allowance.

For many this creates a serious problem as while Centrelink might see you as dependent on your parents in reality many parents are not that generous. This means that they might find themselves in a situation where it genuinely may not be affordable to go to University. Well at least straight away.

Now before you create a serious family breakdown (one of the criteria for independence) through shouting abuse at your parents. It’s probably a good idea to think of alternatives. Some students including myself decide not to study straight after finishing high school. In fact students who move out of home and work for 18 months full time will find that they have met the criteria to pass the independence test. So not only could you earn lots of money in this period and have lots of fun but you would become eligible for Youth Allowance. In fact you may actually save up some money to help you through University.

Now I know I speak from bias when I talk about the benefits of taking time off after school before starting Uni. It can give you a real opportunity to really understand what it is you want to with your life after Uni just doing a period of work. Realistically there is actually a huge number of students who start studying something just because they don’t know what it is that they want to do. I almost enrolled to do a Bachelor in art major in History, but I am glad that I didn’t because although I enjoy history its not really what I want to do. Having worked in call centers for many number of years I can say there is many students who find that there is not actually that much work for people with a some of the major offer in an Art’s degree compared to say Accounting, which also pays considerably better. But don’t let that put you off, if you really want to study History do it! I almost did. I guess the point I am trying to make is that taking some time off after Uni and working not only will help you become eligible for Youth Allowance but help you get focus with your study.

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About the Author: Andrew