At Work in Sydney


Unemployment Benefits in Sydney


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You have 2 categories: you can qualify for Youth Allowance if you are 16-20 and looking for work full time or over 25 and studying full time; You may be eligible for Newstart Allowance if you are over 21 and unemployed or Austudy Payment if you are over 25 and over and starting studies.

Youth Allowance

To lodge a claim and qualify for Youth Allowance, you must be:

  • in Australia on the day you lodge your claim; and
  • an Australian resident - this means you are living in Australia on a
  • permanent basis and you are either:
    • an Australian citizen; or
    • the holder of a permanent resident visa; or
    • the holder of a Special Category Visa - someone who arrived on a NZ passport and who is not affected by the changes to residence requirements
  • AND have lived in Australia for long enough to satisfy qualifying residence periods or the newly arrived resident's waiting period (whichever applies to the payment being claimed).

In order to register and to claim form: You can telephone Centrelink on 13 2490 and ask to have a Youth Allowance claim form posted to you or you can pick up a form at any Centrelink Customer Service Centre.

Payment rates are between $160 and $360 per fortnight depending on your situation (living away from home or not) and your age (Rent Assistance may also be payable).

If you have any questions, telephone Centrelink on 13 2490, or visit your nearest Centrelink Customer Service Centre or the Local Authority.

Newstart Allowance

In order to get a Claim Form, you can telephone Centrelink on 13 2850 and ask to have a Newstart Allowance claim form posted to you or you can pick up a form at any Centrelink Customer Service Centre.

You will need to provide proof of identity. You may also be asked to provide documents proving your age, residence, income and assets. If you have worked in the last 12 months, you will need to provide an Employment Separation Certificate (called an 'SU1') from your last employer. If the employer does not give you a certificate, ask for one. Tell Centrelink if you are having trouble getting a certificate.

Payment rates are between $360 and $390 per fortnight depending on your situation. You may also receive Family Tax Benefit and/or Child Care Benefit. Allowees over 60 years of age receive Pharmaceutical Allowance after 9 months of payments.

All payments are subject to income test, and your allowance is reduced when you earn income in a fortnight.

If you have any questions, telephone Centrelink on 13 2850, or visit your nearest Centrelink Customer Service Centre or the Local Authority.

Also look at the Centrelink site: http://www.centrelink.gov.au

Update 11/11/2003


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