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Youth Allowance provides financial help for young people while they are studying. The financial assistance is based on:
- Your child’s age and their dependency status.
- Making sure they are doing an approved course.
- Your/their income and assets
- Status/details of residence.
- An income and assets test
The Youth Allowance starting age is 16 except where your child is studying full time, and then the age is 18. If your child is considered independent then your wage and assets are not taken into consideration. If they are over 22, then they are automatically considered independent.
If your taxable income for the 2013-2014 financial year is $50,151 or less, their payments will not be affected by the income test. The rate of payment is reduced by 20 cents for every dollar over the threshold. If your income is over $150,000 as a couple, then your child will not qualify.
Your home is not included in the assets test but the evaluated assets will include business, farm and personal assets. It is less any debts or amounts owing. After taking off what you owe, the business and farm assets are further discounted by 75%. Your child cannot receive Youth Allowance if your total assets exceed the threshold of $661,250.
They can still work
If they are independent they can earn an income before their Youth Allowance is affected. As a student or Australian Apprentice on Youth Allowance, they can earn up to $427 before tax per fortnight before their payment is affected The payment is reduced in a tiered fashion. For example if their payment is between $428 and $512 per fortnight, their Youth Allowance is reduced by 50c in the dollar.
They must be an Australian resident at the time you lodge your claim and during when getting paid. They will need to prove your identity when claiming.
There are more things that affect the ability to get Youth Allowance, such as:
- Working Credits
- Business Losses
- Income Bank
- Being a job seeker
- Being in a de facto relationship and getting Youth Allowance
- Students from regional areas
Austudy is provided for people who are 25 or more and are studying in an approved course/ educational centre or doing an apprenticeship. The amount of Austudy received will be affect by how many units of study your son or daughter are doing, where one subject is usually considered 1 unit. If you’re doing less than 8 units this is considered less than full time and your payment for Austudy will be reduced accordingly.
How much will your son or daughter receive?
The amount they will receive per fortnight is a minimum of $426.80. They can also earn money before their payment is affected. They can earn up to $427 per fortnight before tax, before the payment is affected. Like Youth Allowance, the payment is reduced in a tiered fashion. For example if your payment is between $428 and $512, it reduces your fortnightly payment by 50 cents in the dollar.
If they have money sitting in a bank account or liquid assets equal or exceed $5,500 for a single or $11,000 for a couple or single with dependants, this will affect the Austudy payment.
There is some relief for those who don’t have a great income. If you are a student and receive Austudy you may qualify for a Low Income Health Care Card.
You must be an Australian Resident and be physically in Australia when you lodge your claim. If you travel overseas, payments will cease.
There are other considerations, which will affect the Austudy amount and these are:
- Long Term Unemployed.
- Dependent children.
- What Centrelink call “an income bank”
As stated in the Youth Allowance section, this is a simple summary. The best thing you can do, is give us a call and we can make a time to go through this with you and or your child and provide some help and clarification. We can ensure that you will make the most of any benefits your siblings may be entitled to.