How To Adult | Comprehend Centrelink

What is Centrelink? 

Centrelink provides benefits to eligible students. If you are eligible, it's important to apply ASAP to ensure you receive what you are entitled to.

Types of Programs

There are different programs depending on your age and background. These include:

  • Youth Allowance 

  • Austudy 

  • Abstudy 

Youth Allowance 

  • To receive Youth Allowance you must be between 18 and 24 years old and an Australian resident.

  • Must be a full time student (minimum 18 UoC per semester) 

If you need a letter from UNSW to confirm your enrollment you can apply online here: 


  • To be eligible for Austudy, you must be over the age 25 and a resident in Australia, or lived in Australia for at least 2 years 

  • Must be undertaking an 'approved' course at an 'approved' institution

There are 4 criteria that effect rates of payment for Austudy and Youth Allowance 

  • Whether or not you are living at home 

  • Whether or not you are required to live away from home 

  • Whether or not you are considered independent 

  • Whether or not you are independent with dependent children 


  • Abstudy is a group of payments for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students or apprentices

  • There are only 2 types of payment criteria: independent or dependent 

How can income and assets effect your benefits? 

Your income and assets effect your benefits. If you are dependent, then your parent’s income and assets can affect your benefits.

The 'Income' Rules: 

  • Payments from work 

  • Gifts of cash 

  • Share/bond income 

  • Scholarship income 

  • Rental Payments 

The 'Assets' Rules:

  • Real Estate 

  • Motors Vehicles 

  • Household Contents 

  • Businesses and Farms 

  • Liquid Assets (cash in the bank) 

Breaches and Overpayment 

You must report all changes to Centrelink within 14 days, these include:

  • Non-personal changes such as reducing your study load, changing jobs, an increase in income, etc. 

  • Personal changes such as falling seriously ill, getting married, the death of a close relative, etc.