How to use this service

In estimating your possible entitlement to a Centrelink payment or benefit or Family Assistance payment you will be asked to provide some information. The more information you give and the more correct the information you provide is, then the more accurate the estimate will be.

Only enter information relevant to your circumstances. Once you have entered all the required details you will be given a results page displaying your (and your partner's) possible entitlements, together with the information that you entered. You can then make changes to the estimate, begin another estimate, print the results or return to the main menu by selecting one of the buttons at the bottom of the screen.

For privacy reasons, once you start using this service, you will be "timed out" if you do not continue to use it by clicking on a field, entering information or scrolling up or down the page at least once every five minutes.


Do you have a current partner?

You are considered to be a single (i.e. not partnered) person if:

You are considered to be a member of a couple (i.e. partnered) if:

If you are in receipt of Youth Allowance then you are generally considered to be a member of a 'Youth Allowance' couple if you are or were:

If you have recently separated or divorced, you should let us know, please contact us as you may be able to get extra help.


What type of accommodation do you live in?

Accommodation is the term used to describe your living arrangements. The types of accommodation to choose from are:


ABSTUDY

ABSTUDY is a payment issued to eligible Indigenous secondary and tertiary students and full-time Australian Apprentices (apprentices or trainees) which comprises a means-tested living allowance and other supplementary benefits. Centrelink on behalf of the Department of Education administers the payment of ABSTUDY.

The independent rate of ABSTUDY

An ABSTUDY Allowance customer is regarded as being independent if:

If you are an independent customer who lives away from your parental home you can receive the away from home rate of payment without needing a reason to live away from home. Independent customers under the age of 21 who live in the parental home may only qualify for the 'at home' rate of payment.

Parental Income

The Parental Income Test is a test which is applied to a dependent customer on Youth Allowance, ABSTUDY (living allowance) or Assistance for Isolated Children (additional boarding allowance). The taxable income of the customer's parents is taken into account to determine the customer's rate of entitlement. Other tests may also be applied to determine a dependent customer's entitlement. These tests include the Family Assets Test, and the Family Actual Means Test. They take into account the expenditure, savings and assets of all assessable family members.

Do you need to live away from home to study?

The away From Home rate is a higher rate of payment that is available for eligible ABSTUDY customers who are required to live away from the parental home in order to study. The higher rate is intended to assist with the higher costs associated with living away from home. Dependent customers will need to be approved by Centrelink to live away from the parental home to study in order to access the higher rate of payment. Independent customers who live away from the parental home can receive the away from home rate without needing a reason to live away from home.


Youth Allowance

Youth Allowance provides assistance for people aged 16 to 24 who are studying full-time, undertaking a full-time Australian Apprenticeship (apprenticeship or traineeship) or people aged 16 to 24 who are undertaking training and/or looking for work. It may also provide assistance for young people who are ill or temporarily incapacitated. Youth Allowance customers aged 15 are also eligible for payment if they are considered to be independent.

There are a number of different rates of Youth Allowance available, depending your situation, including:

If you are in receipt of Youth Allowance, your payment will be income tested against your parents' income, unless Centrelink assesses you as 'independent'.

Do you need to live away from home to work or study?

The Away From Home rate is a higher rate of payment that is available for eligible Youth Allowance customers who have been approved to live away from the parental home in order to study, for training, to undertake an approved activity, or look for work. The higher rate is intended to assist with the higher costs associated with living away from home. Youth Allowance customers considered to be independent are not required to prove the need to live away from home.

Independence

A Youth Allowance customer is regarded as being independent if:

Youth Allowance Couple

A person is generally considered to be a member of a Youth Allowance couple if you are or were:

Parental Means Test

If you are considered to be dependent on your parent(s), the Parental Means Test is used to measure if your parents can financially support you while you are a student or looking for work. The Parental Means Test has three parts:

Family Assets Test - the value of the family's possessions. (Eg. furniture, white goods, cars, boats, real estate). The family home is not included.

Parental Income Test - includes taxable income, maintenance, fringe benefits, overseas income, net investment losses and reportable superannuation contributions.

Family Actual Means Test - only applies to parents who are self employed, have a business loss or an interest in a trust or company, are business migrants or have overseas income and assets worth $2500 or more. This test measures the savings and expenditure of a family.

Paid employment

Paid employment includes:

Restrictions apply to the following two criterions. Contact Centrelink for further advice.


Pharmaceutical Allowance

Pharmaceutical Allowance is payable to:

The amount of Pharmaceutical Allowance is included with each payment and assists with the costs of prescription medicines.


Dependent children / How many children do you and your partner have together?

A dependent child is any child you or your partner (if you have one) has in your care. The number of dependent children to enter in this field is the total number in your current family situation e.g. a total of yours and your partner's children.


Principal Carer/Are you the principal carer for any of these children?

A Principal Carer is a person who provides ongoing daily care for a dependent child or children under sixteen years either solely or for the majority of the time, in order to qualify for relevant social welfare payments, supplementary payments or concession cards. Under Social Security and Family Assistance law, only one parent or guardian may be the Principal Carer.


Employment Income

Employment income is payment you receive in return for personal effort or exertion (e.g. wages) and includes self-employment income. This includes wages, salaries, stipends, commission, honoraria, bonuses, penalty rates, overtime and voluntary superannuation contributions (i.e. the amount contributed into superannuation by your employer above the superannuation guarantee levy or industry award). To calculate income, the gross rate of earnings is used, before taxation or any personal deductions. Please enter the per-fortnight amount.


Income Stream income

An income stream is a regular series of payments made to you directly from accumulated superannuation contributions or purchased using savings or lump sum superannuation entitlements.


Real estate income

You may receive various types of income from real estate, such as leasing or rent. Expenses related to this income (such as interest payments, rates and maintenance costs) are deducted from the gross income to work out the current net income. You are required to provide your latest tax return for Centrelink to determine the net income you receive from your real estate investment.


Other Government payment income

This includes payments from any other Government payment, such as payments from the Department of Veteran's Affairs.


Compensation income

Compensation is any payment that you receive which makes amends for loss or damage. Social Security Law defines compensation to mean any payment for personal injury (including illness or disease) that is at least part for lost earnings or capacity to earn, regardless of whether it is paid inside or outside Australia. Compensation includes workers compensation, traffic accident compensation, payments under sickness and accident insurance policies and many court damages claims.


Direct deduction income

If you receive income from compensation or an International agreement this may be deemed as Direct Deduction Income.


Income Bank

The Income Bank scheme allows you to build up credits in fortnights that you have little or no employment income. The amount shown or entered is the balance at the beginning of the fortnight estimated. When you have income from employment, you can draw on your Income Bank to reduce the effect of that income on your Income Support Payment. Only income from employment can be used in this way.

For Income Bank, the maximum amount you can accrue is 10,000 credits. More information on Income Bank can be found on the Centrelink website, or you can check your Income Bank balance using the 'View Student Income Bank Balance' Online service.

Your estimated rate will be different when you have used up your Income Bank credits, so use the Centrelink / Family Assistance / Child Support Estimator again then to determine your new estimate.


Work Bonus

Pensioners of Age Pension age are credited with a Work bonus amount of $250 each fortnight. This is used to discount employment income before the application of the Income Test.

The Work Bonus Balance is a way of saving the unused fortnightly Work bonus to discount employment income earned later. If employment income is less than $250 in a particular fortnight, the part of the Work Bonus that pensioners do not use to reduce their earning to nil is banked, up to a maximum of $6500. Then, if employment income exceeds $250 in a later fortnight, it is discounted by as much as is required to reduce the amount to nil unless the bank is exhausted first.


Working Credit

The Working Credit scheme allows you to build up credits in fortnights that you have little or no employment income. The amount shown or entered is the balance at the beginning of the fortnight estimated. When you have income from employment, you can draw on your Working Credits to reduce the effect of that income on your Income Support Payment. Only income from employment can be used in this way.

For Working Credit, the maximum amount you can accrue is 1,000 credits, or 3,500 credits for Youth Allowance (job seeker) customers who are not full-time students or Australian Apprentices.

Your estimated rate will be different when you have used up your Working Credit, so use the Centrelink / Family Assistance / Child Support Estimator again then to determine your new estimate.

More information on Working Credit can be found on the Centrelink website, or you can check your Working Credit balance using the 'View Working Credit Balance' Online service.


Saving/bank account

This is your share of the total current balance of all funds held in bank accounts (such as cheque or savings accounts, term deposits or cash management accounts, including those held in a Credit Union or Building Society). For example, if you have a half share in three accounts totalling $5000 credit with your partner, your share of that would be $2,500.

Financial investments are subject to the deeming provisions.


Shares

This is your share of the current balance of all shares and securities that you have ownership (or part ownership) of. For example, if you have a half share with a family member of a share to the current value of $2000, your share would be $1000.


Managed investments

Managed investments are assessed as financial investments and are subject to the deeming provisions Enter the current balance of any managed investments that you (or your partner) own. This is your share of the current balance of all managed investments that you have ownership (or part ownership) of. For example, if you have a half share with a family member of a managed investment to the current value of $2000, your share would be $1000.


Real Estate assets

Any real estate apart from your principal home or house and curtilage is an assessable asset under the Assets Test.

The Australian Valuation Office (AVO) provides information to Centrelink to assist in obtaining the asset value of your property.


Other assets

All assets owned by you are treated as assessable assets and included when calculating the rate of payment unless specifically exempted under a provision of the Act. Section 11 of the Social Security Act 1991 defines an asset as 'property'. Property is not defined in the Act, but has an established common law meaning - any possession, belongings or property owned solely or partly, including beneficial interests, and/or debts owed to a person. Some assets are exempt under the Social Security Act 1991, section 1118.


Foreign assets

Foreign assets are assets you hold outside Australia such as real estate in a foreign country.


Income Support Payment

An Income Support Payment (ISP) is a pension or benefit, like Youth Allowance, Newstart Allowance or Age Pension, paid by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans Affairs. Income Support Payments do not include payments from the Family Assistance Office (for example Family Tax Benefit Part A, Family Tax Benefit Part B or Child Care Benefit).

Income Support Payment may include the following:

Social Security Benefits:

(taxable)

Social Security Pensions:

(taxable)

Service Pensions:

(non-taxable)

Education Support Payment:

Parent/Guardian(s)

A parent/guardian is a natural or adoptive parent, or a person granted legal guardianship under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law.


Taxable Income

Your taxable income is the amount of assessable income you receive (commonly called gross income) less allowable deductions. Your taxable income is your income as assessed by the Australian Taxation Office and is shown on the Tax Notice of Assessment you receive from the Australian Taxation Office each year. You can easily find your taxable income figure for the relevant income year from your Tax Notice of Assessment.


Fringe Benefits

An employer provided benefit (fringe benefit) is any right, privilege, service, in-kind payment or facility you receive, or sign over to someone else, from your employment.

Your employer must include the total amount of any employer provided benefits over $1000.00 on your Group Certificate. These can include a car, school fees, health insurance, loan, salary sacrifice, housing, expense or financial investment benefits, but do not include exempt benefits like free accommodation.


Foreign income

You need to include income you and your partner earn, derive or get from a source outside Australia for which you do not pay Australian tax.

If you need to convert to Australian dollars, use the exchange rate as at 1 July of the current financial year. You can find more information about conversion rates on the Family Assistance Office website at www.familyassist.gov.au.


Net Investment Loss

Your net investment loss for a tax year is the difference between:


Reportable Superannuation Contributions (yearly amount)

Any reportable superannuation contributions are included as income and used to work out your family assistance. Reportable superannuation contributions include:

Reportable superannuation contributions do not include compulsory employer contributions. If you have reportable superannuation contributions, you need to ensure this income is declared to the Family Assistance Office as part of your Family Income Estimate.

If you do not know if this applies to you, contact your employer, financial adviser or the Australian Taxation Office.


Maintenance

Maintenance is any payment or the value of a benefit you receive to maintain your Family Tax Benefit child from either your child's parent or your partner or former partner.


Maintenance Received

Maintenance income received is included in combined parental income for the Youth Allowance parental income test. All amounts of maintenance received by either parent for the upkeep of any child in care are included, as is spousal maintenance.


Maintenance paid

Maintenance paid out is deducted from combined parental income for the Youth Allowance parental income test. Any amounts of maintenance paid out for the upkeep of a child are deducted, as is spousal maintenance.


Youth Allowance (Student)

Youth Allowance provides assistance for people aged 16 to 24 who are studying full-time or are undertaking a full-time Australian Apprenticeship (apprenticeship or traineeship). It may also provide assistance for young people who are ill or temporarily incapacitated. Youth Allowance customers aged 15 are also eligible for payment if they are considered to be independent.


Youth Allowance (Apprentice)

An Australian apprentice means a person who has a current Commonwealth registration number in relation to a full-time apprenticeship, traineeship or trainee apprenticeship under the scheme known as 'Australian Apprenticeships'.


Youth Allowance (Jobseeker)

Youth Allowance provides assistance for people aged 16 to 20 who are undertaking training and/or looking for work. It may also provide assistance for young people who are ill or temporarily incapacitated. Youth Allowance customers aged 15 are also eligible for payment if they are considered to be independent.


Student

A Youth Allowance student is one who is undertaking full time study. Undertaking full-time study means that the student is enrolled in an approved course of education at an approved (Australian) educational institution, and is undertaking at least 75% of the normal amount of full-time study.


Apprentice

An Australian apprentice means a person who has a current Commonwealth registration number in relation to a full-time apprenticeship, traineeship or trainee apprenticeship under the scheme known as 'Australian Apprenticeships'.


Jobseeker

A Youth Allowance job seeker is a Youth Allowance recipient who is other than a Youth Allowance full-time student or Youth Allowance Australian Apprentice.


Dependent

A dependent child generally means a natural or adoptive child where the child is wholly or substantially dependent on a person or the person's partner.


Rent Assistance

Rent Assistance is a payment provided to help you pay your rent. If you are receiving a Centrelink pension or benefit and pay rent, you may also be entitled to rent assistance, depending on your circumstances. Rent assistance rates vary depending on a number of factors, such as you have a partner or children, whether you share accommodation, and how much your rent costs. For more information contact us or refer to the Rent Assistance rates on the Centrelink Website.


Youth Disability Supplement

You may be eligible for Youth Disability Supplement if you are:

If you are receiving Disability Support Pension and you are under 22, the Youth Disability Supplement will be automatically included in your Disability Support Pension payment.

Job Capacity Assessment

A Job Capacity Assessment looks at your ability to work. For people with a disability, the assessment identifies your current and future work capacity. We will arrange a Job Capacity Assessment if you need one.


Full-time study

For secondary students, the only circumstances regarded as constituting full-time study (where full-time study is a set amount of work accepted by the school as being full-time for any given period) are:

Students undertaking competency based training/open learning courses will have varied weekly hours and the institution is best placed to determine the study load the student is undertaking during a period.

For tertiary students, full-time study is defined as at least 3/4 of the standard full-time load. The standard full-time load differs depending on whether the course is a Commonwealth supported course (previously known as a HECS course) or a fee-paying course.

For a Commonwealth supported course, full-time load is measured against the standard student study load for the course. A student is considered full-time for the period that they are undertaking study with an Equivalent Full-time Student Load (EFTSL) value of:

For a fee-paying course (or non-Commonwealth supported courses), a student is considered full-time if:

Eligibility for Scholarships

Relocation Scholarship

The Relocation Scholarship is for eligible full-time ABSTUDY and Youth Allowance students who are enrolled in a higher education or preparatory course at a higher education institution.

It is a lump sum payment paid each year to help with the costs of living away from home.

To qualify for this payment you must:

From 1 January 2015 Relocation Scholarship is only paid to students studying at a campus in a regional area. You must be:

If you are a student as above and the current home address of your parents/guardians is in a major city area, but studying at a regional campus you have to provide verification of your regional campus details to the Department to receive the Relocation Scholarship.

A regional area is one that is classified under the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) as Inner Regional, Outer Regional, Remote or Very Remote.


What is the Base Tax Year?

The Base Tax Year for a Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY payment is the tax (financial) year that ended on 30 June in the calendar year before the calendar year for which the Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY is to be paid.


Estimated taxation liability

Your 'estimated taxation liability' is the amount of tax you and/or your partner may be liable to pay per fortnight, based on the amount of income you have recorded in the estimator.

Please note - This is an estimate of your liability only. For more information you should contact the Australian Taxation Office.


Concession Card

A concession card is a card that allows discount on a range of item such as pharmaceuticals and doctors visits. There are 2 concession cards available:


Last updated 12 December 2014.

Centrelink ABN: 29 468 422 437