Communities and Justice

Staying on Allowance

We want to support carers to continue providing a safe and stable home for young people after they turn 18 years of age, if the young person wishes to stay on. 

If you are the carer of a young person who has been in statutory care for more than a total of 12 months when they turn 18 years of age, and that young person stays living in your home after they turn 18, you will be eligible for the new Staying on Allowance.

This is a fortnightly payment, available from when the young person turns 18 years. This payment ends when the young person turns 21 years of age.

For current allowance rates, refer to DCJ Care Allowances fact sheet.

Can I apply?

As a carer you are eligible for the Staying on Allowance if:

  • you continue to look after a young person who was in your care when they turned 18 years of age
  • the young person in your care was in out-of-home care for at least 12 months before they turned 18 years
  • the young person has not been adopted, restored to their birth family or received a guardianship order before their 18th birthday
  • the young person consents to you receiving the Staying on Allowance.

You may not be eligible if:

  • you are a new carer, a friend or family member, or a previous carer of the young person
  • the young person is already receiving the Independent Living Allowance (you can only claim one of the two allowances)
  • you also receive Post Care Education Financial Support (PCEFS) allowance.

You can access the Staying on Allowance once the PCEFS allowance ends.

When do I apply?

Applications open on 1 February 2023

How do I apply?

The application can be done by the young person or the carer, and we will need both their details. In both cases, the young person must consent to the application. 

The application is a three step process. If both parties meet the eligibility criteria, begin the application by completing step one, listed below. You will need to complete all steps to receive the payment. 

Step 1: Online application

Fill in this short application form online. After completing the application, both you (the carer) and the young person in your care will receive a confirmation email with a reference number. Please save the number in case you need to contact us about your application.

Step 2: Further information and ID check

After we receive your application form, our team will call both you and the young person in your care to discuss your application. We will ask you both a few more questions about your current situation to assess your eligibility. The young person will need to give consent for you (the carer) to receive the payment. 

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 may ask you to send us your bank statement.

Step 3: Bank account verification

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.

Payment

Once all three 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.

Can I apply if I am not yet 18 years of age?

If you haven’t yet turned 18 years of age, your caseworker will talk to you about your options and will include them in your leaving care plan. 

If the Staying on Allowance has not been included in your leaving care plan before you turned 18 years, you can return to this page to get the latest information on how to apply for the Staying on Allowance.

How long can a carer receive the Staying on Allowance for?

The allowance is in place until the young person turns 21 years of age or until they leave the carer’s home, whichever is first. We will review this allowance eligibility every year. If the young person decides to live independently at any point after they turn 18, their carer will stop receiving the Staying on Allowance. Instead, the young person may be able to claim the Independent Living Allowance, which will be paid directly to them.

What can I use the allowance for?

There are no rules on how you spend your allowance. This is an ongoing payment to help with the rising cost of living and help you provide a good quality care to the young person you are looking for. This payment may help with expenses such as rent or mortgage payment, groceries, gas or electricity, transport, education and other essential living expenses.

Other supports and contacts

Young people can access support and financial assistance until they turn 25 years of age, 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

Last updated:

14 Feb 2024