Locked out of Youth Allowance: Student poverty + Centrelink in Australia
Over 450,000 students are being locked out of our social security system
Our research found that social security systems are keeping students in poverty:
The majority of students aged 18-21 (over 450,000) are excluded from Youth Allowance payments due to the Age of Independence being set at 22.
Young people aged 18-21 who do receive Youth Allowance are mostly paid at less than $182 per week.26 per day.
18 to 21 year olds paid at a higher Youth Allowance rate because they are considered independent are still paid $273 per week below the poverty line.
Youth Allowance payments are indexed at lower rates and less frequently than other social security payments like the Age Pension or Disability Support Pension, creating significant disparities in payment rates based on age.
Commonwealth Rent Assistance payments do not match the realities of renting in Australia. Analysis of 45,000 rental properties in 2022 found that 0% were affordable for people on Youth Allowance.