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Turning 18 is an important milestone for any young person as they start their adult life. Young people in long-term statutory out-of-home care will need support to navigate this time in their lives, just like any other young person.
From 1 February 2023, young people who have recently left out-of-home care, can access the new Independent Living Allowance. This is a $250 fortnightly payment to help with your accommodation and essential living expenses.
You are eligible for the Independent Living Allowance if you:
You are still eligible even if you:
You may not qualify if you:
Applications open on 1 February 2023 at 9:00am.
The application is a 3-step process. If you meet the eligibility criteria, begin your application by completing step 1 listed below. You will need to complete all steps to receive the payment.
Fill in this short application form online. After completing the application, you will receive a confirmation email with a reference number. Please save this reference number in case you need to contact us about your application.
After we receive your application form, our team will call you to discuss your application. We will ask you a few more questions about your current situation to assess your eligibility. We will also check your identity over the phone. You will need a Medicare card, drivers licence or passport number to do that.
Finally, we will ask you to send us your bank statement.
Email us a bank statement with your name and bank details. This helps us ensure the payment goes to you and that no one else claims this allowance on your behalf.
Once all 3 steps have been completed, we will organise your payment.
We will do our best to process all applications as quickly as possible, however there may be delays.
If you want to follow up your application, or would like to let us know any changes, please email the Care Leavers Line at CareleaversLine@facs.nsw.gov.au and quote your reference number.
If you haven’t turned 18 yet, your caseworker will talk to you about your options and will include them in your leaving care plan. If you choose to stay with your carer, your carer may qualify for the Staying on Allowance.
If the Independent Living Allowance has not been included in your leaving care plan before you turn 18, you can return to this page to get the latest information on how to apply for the Independent Living Allowance.
There are no rules on how you spend your allowance. This is an ongoing payment to help with the rising cost of living such as rent, gas and electricity, groceries, transport and other essential living expenses.
You can access support and financial assistance until you turn 25, through the After Care Allowance and other programs. Learn more on the Youth Hub website, speak to your caseworker, or contact the Department of Communities and Justice Care Leavers Line at CareleaversLine@facs.nsw.gov.au
25 Jan 2023