Calculating Your Centrelink Pay Rates

Calculating Your Centrelink Pay Rates

 As a student, it could be difficult to juggle university and work to make ends meet. Depending on your particular circumstances, you may qualify for Centrelink payments to lighten your burden.

If you qualify, the amount of your Centrelink entitlements depends on a variety of different factors. It’s difficult to determine your exact payment rate because Centrelink makes decisions based on many factors that can increase or decrease your payments.

However, it is possible for you to roughly estimate the amount your Centrelink entitlements.

Maximum Centrelink Benefits

Centrelink pay rates change over time to keep up with inflation. The most updated list of maximum fortnightly payment you can receive is on the website of the Department of Human Services. While helpful, you should keep in mind that you could get less than the maximum fortnightly amount when you’re checking the list.

Dependency on Parents or Guardians

Youth Allowance has Dependancy Test and Parental Means Testto determine how dependent you are on your parents. The amount of money you receive for Youth Allowance benefits may be depends on your parents’ income and whether they have other dependents. The more you benefit from your parents’ assets and income, the less financial assistance you get from Centrelink.

Single or Partnered

Even if you’re independent, Centrelink will take into account your partner’s income and assets when determining your Centrelink pay rates. Having a partner may result in lower rates.

Personal Income

When you apply for Centrelink benefits, Centrelink will assess the amount of your income. If you earn too much, you may not be able to receive Centrelink payments. This maximum income level varies depending on your age, study load and many other factors.

Generally, the less income you earn from work, the more you get in Centrelink benefits. This makes sense because you might not need financial assistance if you’re already earning enough to support yourself.

Personal Assets

Centrelink also runs a Personal Assets Test on applicants. As is the case with the Personal Income Test, you get less Centrelink benefits if you have more assets. Also, you could lose your Centrelink entitlements if you have too much assets. Although you need to have a couple hundred thousand dollars before this becomes a problem, so its probably not relevant for the majority of students.


If you’re responsible for children, Centrelink understands that you may have more expenses and increases your pay rates accordingly. For example, as of January 2013, the Youth Allowance maximum fortnightly payment rate for a partnered recipient with no children is $407.50, while a partnered recipient with children could receive up to $447.40.

Study Load

The amount of time you spend in your role as a student affects your Centrelink pay rates. Some Centrelink benefits, like Austudy and Youth Allowance, are only available to full-time students and disabled part-time students.

 Living Arrangement

If you have to move out of your parents’ house to join an education course or apprenticeship, you may be able to claim bigger payments from Centrelink. Centrelink may also pay Rent Assistance.

 Centrelink Payment Calculator

To get a rough estimate of how much you could receive in Centrelink benefits, try the Centrelink rate estimator on the Department of Human Services website. If you submit some information about yourself, the website will calculate the approximate amount of your Centrelink pay rates.

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