Centrelink payments

The Department of Human Services delivers social service payments and services to Australians through Centrelink. There are a range of options available from emergency on-off support, to long term support for Australians in need of assistance. Read below to find out more about some of the social service payments you may be eligible for, or visit the Centrelink website here.

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Youth allowance

Youth allowance provides financial assistance to young people while they are studying, undertaking training or an Australian apprenticeship and/or looking for work.  

Young people who are ill or injured may also be able to obtain Youth Allowance for the period of the illness or injury.

Can I get Youth Allowance?

Your eligibility is based on many things including:

  • Your age and whether you are doing an approved course or activity
  • If you are dependent or independent
  • Your income and assets
  • Where you live.

To find out if you are eligible for Youth allowance, or to apply you can visit the Department of Human Service’s website here.

Notifying Centrelink of changes

If your circumstances change, you must tell Centrelink within 14 days as this may change your Youth Allowance payment. For example, you must tell Centrelink if:

  • you stop studying;
  • you move from home to continue studying;
  • you start earning more or less;
  • You change universities;
  • You change the number of hours you work;
  • Change jobs;
  • Receive any compensation, leave or redundancy payments; or
  • Start or stop voluntary work.

If you don’t tell Centrelink if this changes, you may have to pay Centrelink the money back since your situation changed. Also, Centrelink can charge you a fee for giving incorrect details.

ABSTUDY—The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Study Scheme

What is ABSTUDY?

ABSTUDY is a financial support scheme which provides money to Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) students to assist them stay at school or go on to further studies.

Am I eligible to get ABSTUDY?

To find out if you can get ABSTUDY you must:

be an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian

  • an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Australian; and
  • in an approved course, Australian Apprenticeship or traineeship; and
  • not getting another payment to study or train

To find out more the eligibility requirements and to apply, you can visit the Centrelink website here.

Appealing Centrelink decisions

If you are unhappy with a decision made by Centrelink, you can have the decision reviewed. The first step is to contact Centrelink and request a review. If you are unsatisfied with that, you can ask the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. If you are still unsatisfied after appealing to the Tribunal, you can make an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (but not for ABSTUDY).

In very rare cases after all of this you can have your matter heard by a Court.

You can make an appeal to Centrelink here.

If you would like assistance in making your appeal to Centrelink, you can send us an e-mail here. Alternatively, you can contact a legal centre in your state using the National Social Security Rights Network referral system here or your local Legal Aid Office here.

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