Centrelink payments for unemployed 2024 – Check eligibility, Payment schedule and application process

Services Australia/Centrelink provides multiple support options for unemployed individuals including jobseeker payment, youth allowances.

Claiming Centrelink payments when you’re unemployed can be complex. This guide breaks down the various options and eligibility criteria to help you understand what support is available.

  • JobSeeker Payment: Financial support for those between 22 and pension age who are looking for work.
  • Youth Allowance: Assistance for job seekers aged 16 to 21.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Requirements for different payments, including age, income, and residency status.
  • Application Process: Steps to claim payments online via myGov.
  • Additional Support: Other available aids such as mental health support, concession cards, and childcare subsidies.

JobSeeker Payment

JobSeeker Payment provides financial assistance to job seekers between 22 and pension age.

  • Eligibility criteria: Must be aged 22 to pension age, meet income and assets tests, and satisfy residence rules.
  • Payment amount and frequency: Payments are made fortnightly, with amounts depending on individual circumstances, such as partner income and dependent children.
  • Impact on child support payments: JobSeeker Payment may affect the amount of child support paid or received.

Youth Allowance for Job Seekers

Youth Allowance supports young job seekers aged 16 to 21.

  • Eligibility criteria: Must be aged 16 to 21 and either looking for full-time work or temporarily unable to work or study.
  • Payment calculation: Based on income and assets tests, with rates varying depending on personal circumstances.
  • Mutual obligations and reporting requirements: Recipients must meet mutual obligations and report every 2 weeks to maintain eligibility.
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Eligibility Requirements

Centrelink payments have specific eligibility criteria.

  • Income and assets tests: Applicants must pass income and assets tests to qualify for payments.
  • Residency rules: Applicants must meet certain residency requirements.
  • Specific conditions for different payments: Each payment has unique eligibility criteria.

Application Process

Applying for Centrelink payments is done online via myGov.

  • Creating and linking a myGov account: Essential for accessing Centrelink services online.
  • Necessary supporting documents: Required for verifying eligibility and circumstances.
  • Booking and attending claim appointments: Some claims may require an appointment to finalize.

Payment Amounts

Payment amounts vary based on the type of Centrelink payment.

  • JobSeeker Payment rates: Rates are updated bi-annually and depend on individual circumstances, such as age and family situation.
  • Youth Allowance rates: Determined by income and assets tests, with different rates for those living at home versus independently.

Waiting Periods

There may be waiting periods before receiving the first payment.

  • Types of waiting periods: Include income maintenance period and liquid assets waiting period.
  • Conditions that may affect waiting periods: Circumstances like financial hardship or severe financial hardship can influence waiting periods.
  • Managing during the waiting period: Options for financial support during waiting periods.

Reporting and Obligations

Maintaining eligibility for Centrelink payments requires meeting certain obligations.

  • Bi-weekly reporting: Recipients must report their income and activities every 2 weeks.
  • Mutual obligation activities: Include job search efforts, training, and other approved activities.
  • Consequences of not meeting obligations: Payments may be reduced or suspended.

Additional Support Services

Centrelink offers additional support for unemployed individuals.

  • Mental health services and Medicare: Available for those experiencing stress or other mental health issues.
  • Concession and health care cards: Provide additional benefits, such as reduced medical costs.
  • Child care subsidies: Help with the cost of approved child care.
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Support for Specific Circumstances

Additional payments are available for those with special conditions.

  • Payments for parents and guardians: Parenting Payment and Family Tax Benefit for those caring for children.
  • Support for those who are sick or injured: Includes JobSeeker Payment for temporary incapacity and Disability Support Pension for long-term conditions.
  • Mobility Allowance and Disability Support Pension: For individuals unable to use public transport due to disability, illness, or injury.


What is the JobSeeker Payment?

JobSeeker Payment provides financial support for individuals aged 22 to pension age who are looking for work or temporarily unable to work due to illness or injury.

Who is eligible for Youth Allowance for job seekers?

Youth Allowance is available for individuals aged 16 to 21 who are looking for full-time work or temporarily unable to work or study.

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