There have been many recent changes to Centrelink payments following the COVID-19 outbreak. If you would like up-to-date information on recent changes to all Centrelink payments and additional $ support go to the information produced by the community legal centres who specialise in social security law at:

If you or your family or partner have lost a job or if you just need financial support then you might now consider applying for a student payment if you don’t already receive one. If you are a full-time student (¾ load – 18 credit points or more) and not currently on a Centrelink payment (such as Youth Allowance/student, Austudy or Abstudy) then do investigate if you might be eligible. Start by going to the SRC information at: 

A number of changes in rules or your circumstances might now make you eligible. These include:

If you are considered ‘dependent’ and your parents’ income has changed then Centrelink can look at their current financial year income for the ‘parental income test’.

If one of your parent’s starts receiving a Centrelink income support payment that might also help when they look at the parent income test.

There have also been a temporary suspension of the Newly Arrived Residents Waiting Period and changes to the Liquid Asset Waiting Period.

Always – If in doubt apply. Do so as soon as possible as payments can only be backdated to the time you apply. If you have any questions email the SRCs caseworkers at

To remain eligible for a student payment (such as Youth Allowance/student, Austudy or Abstudy) you normally need to be enrolled full-time (with a ¾ load of 18 credit points or more). If you are ill you may be exempt from the ‘full-time’ requirement for the semester due to having a ‘Temporary Incapacity’. This needs to backed up by a medical certificate. If there are other Covid 19 related reasons (such as accommodation problems or caring duties) then recent changes allow for some relaxation of the Activity Test. We await more information on this. Seek advice from a caseworker at the SRC if staying full-time is not possible.