Frequently Asked Questions for Young People

What is the Transition to Independent Living Allowance?

The Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA) is a payment of up to $1,500 from the Australian Government to help eligible young people pay for basic costs involved in moving out on their own for the first time.

How do I find out if I am eligible for TILA?

You may be eligible for TILA If you:

  • are 15 to 25 years old
  • are leaving, or have already left, formal out-of-home care
  • decide to stay on at home with your foster parents after your care order expires.

Talk to your case worker if you think you might be eligible.

What is formal out-of-home care?

Formal out-of-home care is where the responsibility for a young person has been transferred to a Minister or an authorised person or agency through a court order.

This includes unaccompanied humanitarian minors where the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection is their legal guardian.

It also includes a young person in juvenile detention, who otherwise would have been in formal out-of-home care.

What is informal out-of-home care?

Informal care is when a young person is in the care and custody of someone who is not their parent and there is no court order in place. This can, for example, be your grandparent or other relative.

You are not eligible for TILA if you are leaving informal care. There are, however, other support and services available to you.

What kind of other support am I able to access?

You can access a range of Australian Government payments and services, such as Youth Allowance, Reconnect and jobactive. For more information visit Support services for young people moving to independent living.

What can TILA be used for?

You and your case worker together decide on the appropriate use of TILA as part of your transition to independence plan.

The allowance can be used for a range of support services as well as training and education materials such as:

  • housing – including connecting utilities, moving expenses and bond payment
  • essential household items – including appliances, whitegoods, furniture and consumables
  • life skills training – including financial/budgeting, nutrition/cooking and home maintenance
  • employment, education and training expenses – including books, a computer, enrolment fees, internet connection, clothing for work or interview and transport to undertake studies or employment
  • one-off transport expenses – including driving lessons and vehicle registration
  • public transport passes or other essential items that support a young person to access the above
  • counselling support – to address any issues identified in the transition to independence plan.

What is a transition to independence plan?

A transition to independence plan, for the purposes of TILA, is a record of a young person’s goals and the support needed to achieve these goals.

You will need to work with your case worker to develop your transition to independence plan. The transition to independence planning will consider your housing, financial security, health, life skills, education/employment/training, identity and culture, legal matters and social relationships/support networks.

How do I apply for TILA?

Your case worker will apply for TILA on your behalf and manage the payment for you. Your case worker will help you decide on what the payment will be used for and when. This will be recorded in your transition to independence plan.

Our step-by-step guide for young people will help you with the TILA application process.

How is TILA paid?

TILA is paid as either a lump sum ($1,500) or in up to six instalments (minimum of $250 per application) as agreed between you and your case worker. You need to make a separate application for each instalment.

Is TILA an assessable income for tax purposes?

TILA is not an assessable income for tax purposes.

What if I don’t have a case worker?

If you don’t have a case worker, contact your local state government department for child protection to be assigned a case worker to apply for TILA.

  • Australian Capital Territory (Community Services Directorate) – (02) 6207 4579
  • Northern Territory (Department of Children and Families) – (08) 8922 7097
  • New South Wales (Department of Family and Community Services) – (02) 9716 2222
  • Queensland (Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services) – (07) 3224 8045
  • South Australia (Department for Education and Child Development) – hilda.cheng@sa.gov.au – (08) 8226 6037
  • Tasmania (Department of Health and Human Services) – (03) 6233 2273
  • Victoria (Department of Human Services) – 1300 532 846
  • Western Australia (Department for Child Protection and Family Support) – (08) 9222 2658.

What happens if I have moved interstate?

You can contact the child protection department in the state or territory department where you now live.

Where can I get more information?

You can find more information on TILA at www.dss.gov.au/TILA.

You will also find links to a range of support services to help you find a place to live, get a job or find training, get financial advice, counselling or emotional support.

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