The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. TheĀ 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. Special RA rules for young single people


In general, young single people living in the principal home of a parent are not eligible to receive RA. The age that income support recipients cannot receive RA when living with their parents varies according to their primary payment.

This section covers:

  • the principal home of a parent
  • JSP recipients
  • DSP recipients
  • YA recipients, and
  • ABSTUDY recipients.

Young single income support recipients who are living in the principal home of a parent and due to these special rules cannot receive RA are considered 'recipient children' for the purposes of assessing sharer's rates.

Act reference: SSAct section 5A(6)-'recipient child'

Policy reference: SS Guide Sharers provisions for RA

Principal home of parent

An RA applicant is considered to be living in the principal home of a parent when living in the same home that at least 1 of their parents is residing in. This does not include:

  • the parent's investment property
  • a fully self-contained flat attached to or detached from the parent's home
  • a fully self-contained caravan in the backyard of the parent's home, or
  • a separate fully self-contained house on the same block of land as the parent's home.

Explanation: Fully self-contained accommodation is where the accommodation includes a kitchen, bathroom and other facilities that do not require the child to use the parent's home on a regular basis.

Note 1: These rules may differ for assets testing of parents' family home.

Note 2: To be eligible for RA, a YA recipient must still meet the away from home criteria for YA.

Act reference: SSAct section 11A(1) Principal home

Policy reference: SS Guide Rules that determine the need to live away from home for YA

JSP recipient

Single JSP recipients under the age of 25 years are not eligible to receive RA if living in the principal home of a parent. Those aged 25 years and over can receive RA when living with their parents.

Act reference: SSAct section 1070H(2)(a) Specific requirement (Austudy, mature age allowance under Part 2.12B, JSP, PA or WA)

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.1 JSP - qualification & payability

DSP recipient

Single DSP recipients under the age of 18 who live in the principal home of a parent/s would qualify for RA if they are independent and otherwise meet all the common requirements for RA. Those who have turned 18 and are under 21 do not qualify for RA.

Single DSP recipients aged 21 years and over can receive RA when living in the principal home of a parent/s.

Act reference: SSAct section 1070F(2)(b) and section 1070F(3)(b) Specific requirement (certain DSPs)

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.6.1 DSP - qualification & payability, DSP - current rates

YA recipient

A YA recipient can receive RA if they are:

Example: The following YA recipients can receive RA:

  • dependent YA recipients who are approved for the away from home rate and live away from the parent's principal home (
  • independent YA recipients who live away from the parent's principal home (
  • independent YA recipients who were previously a member of a YA couple (1.1.M.130), or had a natural or adoptive child and live either in or away from the parent's principal home.

If a dependent YA recipient is partnered with a JSP recipient, the JSP recipient may be entitled to RA at the rate payable to a member of a couple whose partner is not entitled to RA.

If a YA recipient is eligible for RA when at boarding school or attending an educational institution they will usually cease to be eligible when returning home during the end of year (Christmas) vacation period. They remain eligible during the shorter vacation or lecture-free periods throughout the year.

Note: Young people who maintain their residence away from the family home during a period of absence, while still meeting mutual obligation or full-time study requirements, continue to qualify for the away from home rate of YA and for RA.

Act reference: SSAct section 1067A When a person is regarded as independent, section 1070Q Rate of YA ā€¦

Policy reference: SS Guide 3.2.3 YA - qualification & payability, 3.2.5 YA & DSP for independent young people, 3.2.6 YA at the away from home rate, YA - current rates, 1.1.D.70 Dependent child


ABSTUDY recipients living in the principal home of a parent/s may be eligible for RA. ABSTUDY living allowances and related entitlements such as RA, RAA and PhA are aligned with YA with the exception of Indigenous students aged 22 years or over. These students, who make up a sizeable demographic group of ABSTUDY students, receive the rates payable under JSP as an incentive to continue with or take up education rather than enter or remain in unemployment.

Policy reference: ABSTUDY Policy Manual 76.6 Student living in parental home

Last reviewed: