Youth Allowance and Austudy – Whats the Difference?

Difference between youth Allowance and AustudyCentrelink has two main benefits that are offered to eligible students. These are known as Youth Allowance and AusStudy.

Essentially the way it works is, an eligible student will receive a sum of money into their bank account every fortnight without any obligation to pay it back.

How Much do Students Receive?

The amount depends on a few things such as, if you live at “home” with your parents, relationship status, if you have children just to name a few. For example a single student living away from home in 2012 might receive up to $402.70 this figure will change so its always best to look at the Centrelink website for accurate figures or talk to someone at Centrelink.

Payments will also be affected by other things such as how much you earn with a part time job and if someone “gifts” you money. In many circumstances Centrelink will reduce the fortnightly payment if they can see your getting too much money from other places.

So what is the difference between Youth Allowance and AusStudy?

Firstly AusStudy is for students over the age of 25 and it’s a lot easier to become eligible.

Youth Allowance is for students 24 years and younger. It  has additional criteria called the “Independence Test” that needs to be met in order to receive payments. This Independence test means that students need to prove that either they are independent from their parents or that their parents earn below a specified level of income.

For more information on how to be eligable for Youth Allowance click here and for Austudy click here

Other Benefits – Students on Youth Allowance or Austudy are eligable for:

Youth Allowance and Austudy are only two of the benefits that students can be eligible for, others such as Abstudy for Indigenous Australians are available.

In addition to Youth Allowance and Austudy students may also be eligible for:

– Rent Assistance
– Concession Cards
Relocation scholarship
– Telephone Allowance
Student Start-up scholarship

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About the Author: Andrew

  • Robyne

    Thanks for this information. You explain the different sources of student finance clearly and concisely. Do you think it is better to wait until you are older to study so that you can get Austudy?

  • Thanks for the comment Robyn!

    I have heard of some students who have taken some time off after school to work and earn some money, this enabled them to be classified as independent and avoid having to meet the parental means test.

    Its best to contact Centrelink to find out your options as everyone’s circumstances are very different.

  • Jason

    Thanks. However, you write “In addition to Youth Allowance and Austudy students may also be eligible for:

    – Rent Assistance
    – Concession Cards”

    My question is how/where does an Austudy recipient apply for a concession card? Thanks.

    • Hi Jason

      Usually you can apply for a concession with your tertiary institution. So your university or the institution you study with.