If you are thinking of applying for Youth Allowance or already receiving Youth Allowance, there’s good news for you. The Australian government is pledging a bigger budget for Youth Allowance recipients. This leads to two extra supplementary payments per year on top of the current payments.
What is Youth Allowance?
The Youth Allowance payments, administered by the Centrelink, are designed to help Australian full-time students and apprentices financially. Youth Allowance payments allow the recipients to focus on their study or apprenticeship.
Can I get Youth Allowance?
You may be able to get Youth Allowance if you’re an Australian under 25 years of age. You have to be either a full-time student or apprentice if you’re between 16 and 24 years of age.
If you’re under 22, you can apply for Youth Allowance even if you’re not studying or undergoing apprenticeship. However, you have to show that you’re actively looking for work. You may have to prove a minimum number of job applications or interviews to qualify for Youth Allowance.
How Much Will I Receive in Youth Allowance?
If you qualify for Youth Allowance, you will get the payments every two weeks. The exact amount depends on several factors, including your income, asset value, level of dependence on parents, marital status and number of dependents. For March 2012 to March 2013, the maximum fortnightly payment amount varies between $220.40 and $663.70.
If you run into financial emergencies, you could apply for an advance payment. You can only get one advance payment in a 12-month period and the amount has to be between $250 and $500. You have to repay any advance payment back to Centrelink by taking a reduction on your regular payments.
How Does the Budget Change Affect Youth Allowance?
The budget change will kick in on 20 March 2013. It will affect Youth Allowance and several other government benefit programs.
If you’re a Youth Allowance recipient, you will get two payments of Supplementary Allowance every year. The amount is $210 per year if you’re single or $175 if you have a partner. This amount will increase over time to keep up with inflation. Supplementary Payment will not be taxed.
If you’re eligible for Youth Allowance, you will automatically start getting the Supplementary Payment from 20 March 2013. You will not have to fill out any extra form or do anything to get it. And there also won’t be any changes in your Youth Allowance reporting requirements.