Youth Allowance is a Social Security payment for young people based on the family’s means, which is paid through Centrelink, a federal body. Centrelink’s policy is that to be eligible a young person under 18 normally needs to be a full-time student in approved education at an approved institution.
Home educated students may be deemed to meet the educational requirements if the relevant State Authority has given specific approval for the student to undertake home study and the authority confirms that the study is full-time and conforms with, and will be accredited towards, the secondary qualification accredited by that authority.
For Victorian home educators there is a problem in that Centrelink do not count registration with the VRQA as fully satisfying the eligibility criteria (registered with a recognised institution and working towards a recognised qualification). Centrelink say that registration with the VRQA satisfies their first criterion but not the second, and that Victorian home ed students are therefore ineligible.
To avoid this problem, some home ed students look at alternatives to VCE (see our Older Students section). Others have successfully entered ‘home education’ as a ‘short course’ for a short term solution although the acceptance of home education as a short course is at the discretion of each Centrelink office.