Dear Abe,

I’ve applied for Centrelink Youth Allowance, but they said I can’t have it because my parents earn too much money. My parents don’t give me any money, so I think I should be able to get the payment. What should I do?


Dear Independent,

Unfortunately, Centrelink don’t care about your actual circumstances. They will only consider you independent if you:

  • are 22 years or older
  • have special circumstances (e.g., you’re an orphan, or parents are in prison)
  • have worked an average of 30 hours a week
  • are married, or in a marriage-like relationship

You might be eligible for a Low Income Health Care Card that won’t give you an income, but may help with any health costs you have. Talk to the Uni’s scholarships office to see what they can offer you. For more details about Centrelink go to the SRC’s Caseworker Help page.


For more information see our page on qualifying as Independent for Centrelink

We also have professional caseworkers who can help.
Make an appointment by calling 9660 5222, or if you prefer, email your questions to