Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
UNEMPLOYMENT / MAR. 02, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Claim Unemployment Benefits in Australia

Australia has an extremely good benefits system. Although no benefits system is easy to navigate, hopefully this guide will make the task that little bit easier for Australian residents who have become unemployed.

What Benefits Are Available?

 In Australia, there are three main unemployment benefits available. Something to note is that the unemployment benefits in Australia do not have a time limit on them:

  • Youth Allowance
  • Newstart Allowance
  • Rent Assistance

Youth Allowance

The Youth Allowance is a means tested payment, which is designed to provide financial help to young people under the age of 25 who are in full time study, Apprenticeship, job seeking, or ill.

Eligibility:

  • 16 to 21 years old  looking for full-time work, or undertaking approved activities
  • 18 to 24 years old studying full-time
  • 16 or 17 years old and have completed year 12 or equivalent
  • 16 or 17 in full-time secondary study, who need to live away from home in order to study, or are considered independent for Youth Allowance
  • 16 to 24 years old and undertaking a full-time Australian Apprenticeship
  • You must be an Australian resident
  • You must be physically present in Australia
  • Must satisfy a means test

Claiming

  • Submit a claim
  • Provide proof of identification
  • Provide supporting documentation

Parent(s)/ Guardian(s) details ( MOD JY)

Business Details form (MOD F)

Private Trust details form (MOD PT)

Special Disability Trust form (MODSDT)

Private Company form (MOD PC)

Partner details form (Mod P)

Confirmation of Relationship (SS463)

Employment Separation Certificate form (SU001)

Real Estate form (MODR)

Seasonal, Contract and Intermittent Work Details form (SU496)

Claim for Mobility Allowance (MA001)

Parent/s or guardian/s additional details form (A2115)

 

18 and over - unreasonable to live at home

SY015

SY016

SY017

Under 18 - unreasonable to live at home (Mod Y)

Authorising a person or organisation to enquire or act on your behalf (SS313)

 

Circumstances

Maximum Fortnightly Payment

Single, with no children, under 18 years, and living at parental home

$226.80

Single, with no children, under 18 years, and required to live away from parental home to study undertake training  or look for work

$414.40

Single, with no children, 18 years or more, and living at parental  home

$272.80

Single, with no children, 18 years or more, and required to live away from parental home

$414.40

Single, with children

$542.90

Member of  a couple, with no children

$414.40

Member of a couple, with children

$455.00

Single job seeker principal carer granted an activity test exemption for either:

  • a registered and active foster carer
  • providing home schooling for your children
  • facilitating distance education for your children
  • caring for a large family (where the customer is the principal carer of four or more dependent children aged under 16, or a secondary pupil child 16 to 19 years old), or
  • caring for a child when the customer is a relative (other than a parent), as directed by a Parenting Order made through the Family Court

$699.90

Special Circumstances

These rates apply if you are more than 22 years old, commencing full time study and are:

  • Long term benefits claimant who has been claiming another income support benefit, for at least 26 out of the last 39 weeks.
  • A migrant who does not speak English but is taking government approved English classes.

Circumstances

Maximum Fortnightly Payment

Single, and living at parental home

$334.80

Single, and required to live away from parental home

$503.40

Member of a couple, with no children

$455.00

Newstart Allowance

The Newstart Allowance is designed to take the place of your income while you look for a new job. It is also designed to increase your chances of finding a new one.

Eligibility:

  • Aged 22 years or older but under Age Pension age (64 for women 65 for men)
  • Looking for suitable paid work
  • Prepared to enter into an Employment Pathway Plan and meet the requirements included in the Employment Pathway Plan(This is a plan designed to give you the best chances of getting you a job)
  • Not involved in industrial action
  • means test
  • Actively seeking employment (meet activity test requirements)
  • Meet residence requirements

Claiming

  • Registering an intent to claim
  • Submit supporting documentation (Employment Separation Certificate form) Additional forms may need to be submitted depending on your personal circumstances
  • Attend your interview
  • Your claim will be assessed and you will be informed of the outcome

Circumstances

Maximum Fortnightly Payment

Single, no children

$501.00

Single, with a dependent child or children

$542.10

Single, aged 60 or over, after nine continuous months on payment

$542.10

Partnered (each)

$452.30

Single principal carer granted activity test exemption for either:

  • foster caring
  • non-parent relative caring under a court order
  • home schooling
  • distance education
  • large family

$699.90

Rent Assistance

For people renting their accommodation, unemployment benefits are supplemented by Rent Assistance.

Eligibility:

  • Have dependent children and get more than the base rate of Family Tax Benefit
  • Have care of a child between 14 and 35 per cent of the time and are not eligible for Family Tax Benefit but do meet other Family Tax Benefit requirements or both
  • Receive an allowance or benefit (but don't have dependent children) and: are over 25; have a partner or; are under 25 and living permanently or indefinitely apart from your parents or guardians.
  • Meet Residency requirements

Payment

Rent Assistance rates if you do not have dependent children

Circumstances

Maximum Fortnightly Payment

No payment if your fortnightly rent is less than

Maximum payment if your fortnightly rent is more than

Single, with no children

$124.00

$110.00

$275.33

Single, with no children, sharer

$82.67

$110.00

$220.22

Couple, with no children

$116.60

$179.00

$334.47

One of a couple who are separated due to illness, with no children

$124.000

$110.00

$275.33

One of a couple who are temporarily separated, with no children

$116.60

$110.00

$265.47

Rent Assistance rates if you have dependent children

Circumstances

Maximum Fortnightly Payment

No payment if your fortnightly rent is less than

Maximum payment if your fortnightly rent is more than

Single, one or two children

$145.18

$144.76

$338.33

Single, three or more children

$164.22

$144.76

$363.72

Couple, one or two children

$145.18

$214.34

$407.91

Couple, three or more children

$164.22

$214.34

$433.30

Claiming

Your eligibility for rent assistance is assessed when you apply for another benefit there is no need to lodge a separate claim. You will have to complete a Rent Certificate to prove that you pay rent, if you are deemed eligible.

As can be seen Australia provides a very comprehensive unemployment benefits system. Thankfully, it is not that complex and all you have to do is fill out a few forms to assess whether or not you are eligible. Most of the work is done for you by the government. If you disagree with the government’s decision you can always appeal.

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