The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Payability of YA


Even though a person is qualified, YA is NOT payable to the person in the circumstances listed in the following table. Where more detail about the circumstance is required, the second column indicates where you will find this.

Circumstances More detail
Specific provisions
The person is subject to RapidConnect provisions (not applicable to full-time students or Australian Apprentices). 3.11.12 Initial connection to employment services (RapidConnect)
  • The person is serving a waiting period, OR
  • the person is subject to a NARWP (1.1.N.70), unless the person has a QRE (1.1.Q.35) or NARWP exemption, OR
  • the person is subject to an employment related exclusion.
3.1.7 Seasonal work preclusion period Waiting, preclusion & exclusion periods for YA Move to area of lower employment prospects for JSP, YA & SpB recipients

Lump sum preclusion Lump Sum Preclusion Period - General
The person does not meet the requirements of the income and assets test. 4.2.8 YA means tests & limits
The person is travelling overseas. This topic
Payment provisions This topic
The person is subject to a compliance penalty. 3.11.14 Consequences for not meeting mutual obligation requirements - CDP job seeker compliance framework
Common provisions
Allowance is not payable before the commencement day. 8.3 Start days
Other common payability provisions 8.4 Payment methods
Multiple entitlement exclusion General payability provisions
Compensation preclusion period Compensation & payability

Act reference: SSAct section 23(1)-'waiting period'

Income & assets testing

The following tests may apply to YA recipients:

  • parental means test (1.1.P.45), which means the parental income test (1.1.P.40), UNLESS the person is independent
  • personal income test
  • partner income test, AND
  • personal assets test.

The effect of these tests may be to reduce the young person's rate to nil, in which case they cannot be paid.

Policy reference: SS Guide Part 4 Income & assets, 3.2.5 YA, DSP & SpB for independent young people


From 1 January 2019 changes were made to the NARWP for YA. A person who is granted a permanent visa on or after 1 January 2019 is subject to a 208 week NARWP for YA. A person who was a holder of a permanent visa before 1 January 2019 is subject to a 104 week NARWP for YA.

Note: Different payments have different waiting periods. The length of the NARWP depends on a person's situation and payment type. A person who has fully served a NARWP for one payment may still be serving a NARWP for other payments. Refer to specific payment guide topics for individual rules.

Exemptions from the NARWP

There are a number of exemptions from the NARWP for YA, and situations where a NARWP does not apply (see for details). These include:

  • Australian citizens
  • refugee, former refugee or a family member of a refugee
  • people who become a lone parent after becoming an Australian resident.

Note: A person who has a QRE for YA will receive an exemption to the NARWP for YA.

There are also other exemption specific to other payment types (, FA Guide and PPL Guide 2.4.3).

Act reference: SSAct section 549D(2) to (7) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person … (YA), section 7(6AA)(f) A person also has a qualifying residence exemption …

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.N.70 Newly arrived resident's waiting period (NARWP), Exemptions from the NARWP

FA Guide NARWP for FTB Part A

PPL Guide 2.4.3 NARWP for PLP

Employment income nil rate period - an incentive to take up work

A YA recipient (student, Australian Apprentice or job seeker) who loses payment because of ordinary income (1.1.O.30), made up entirely or partly of employment income (1.1.E.102), may qualify for an employment income nil rate period. To assess qualification for an employment income nil rate period see 3.1.12.

During the nil rate period a YA recipient can:

  • be paid certain supplementary benefits
  • retain their HCC, and
  • have their payment resumed if they report a fall in income sufficient for YA to be payable again.

Explanation: This policy provides incentives for YA recipients to take up work, particularly casual or short-term work.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(4A) Despite subsection (4) …, section 23(4AA) For the purposes of subsection (4A) …, section 1061ZMA Further extended qualification rule: loss of payment because of employment income

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.1.12 Employment income nil rate period, Qualification for HCC - automatic issue, PCC extension rules, 1.1.S.370 Student income bank (YA, Austudy), Full-time students - personal income test, limits & student income bank

Recipients travelling overseas

YA can only be paid to people travelling overseas if they are still Australian residents, AND satisfy one of the following:

  • are continuing full-time students undertaking approved overseas study as part of their course at an Australian educational institution, OR
  • are continuing full-time Australian Apprentices undertaking their Australian Apprenticeships overseas, OR
  • are seeking medical treatment which is not available in Australia (for up to 6 weeks), OR
  • to attend to an acute family crisis (for up to 6 weeks), OR
  • to attend to an approved humanitarian purpose (for up to 6 weeks) (not applicable to YA (student or apprentice)), OR
  • are attending a training camp outside Australia as a member of the
    • Australian Naval Reserve, OR
    • Naval Emergency Reserve Forces, OR
    • Australian Army Reserve, OR
    • Australian Air Force Reserve, OR
    • Army Individual Emergency Reserve.

Act reference: SSAct section 7(2) An Australian resident is …

Policy reference: SS Guide 7.1 Conditions for payment outside Australia, Application of portability rules (portability table), 7.2 Arrangements for payment outside Australia

Students/Australian Apprentices & vacation periods overseas

Full-time students and Australian Apprentices receiving YA are not eligible to continue receiving their YA while on vacation overseas.

Example: Mel has been working as an Australian Apprentice (carpentry) for 6 months. The firm Mel works for obtains a contract in Indonesia to build housing for a period of 8 months and Mel agrees to move to Indonesia to continue her Australian Apprenticeship. Mel continues to be paid YA during the 8 months she is in Indonesia undertaking her full-time Australian Apprenticeship, provided she continues to satisfy the definition of an Australian Apprentice (1.1.A.324). After 8 months Mel takes a 6 week vacation traveling in South East Asia. Mel cannot receive YA during her 6 week overseas vacation.

Payment of YA to a third party

YA for dependent young people aged 16 or 17 is ALWAYS paid to the parent/s UNLESS an alternative direction has been made.

The whole or part of a person's payment of YA can be made to someone else on behalf of the person, if directed to do so by the:

  • Secretary of the Department, OR
  • YA recipient, OR
  • parent of a dependent 16 or 17 year old claimant.

Act reference: SSAct section 5(1)-'parent'

Policy reference: SS Guide 8.4 Payment methods

Direct payment to dependent young people under 18

YA can be paid directly to the dependent young person aged 16 or 17 if the:

  • young person is
    • not benefiting from the allowance because the parent/s are using it for other purposes, OR
    • an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander who has been ceremonially admitted as an adult member of their community, OR
  • parents
    • leave Australia temporarily and the young person cannot access YA payments, OR
    • choose to have YA paid to the young person and authorises the change in writing. The parent does not have to explain their decision.

Shared custody

YA can only be paid into one account, and therefore cannot be split between separated or divorced parents or guardians. If custody is shared, YA is paid to the parent nominated by the YA applicant as the main carer. The main carer is the parent whose circumstances are assessed under the parental means test.

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