How to access the Transition to Independent Living Allowance - Step by step guide for young people

What is TILA?

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.

Step 1: Find out if you are 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
  • decided to stay on at home with your foster carers after your care order expires.

Step 2: Talk to your case worker

Talk to your case worker if you think you might be eligible as only a case worker can apply for TILA on your behalf.

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

  • 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

If you have moved interstate, contact the child protection department in the state or territory department where you now live.

Step 3: Create a transition to independence plan

To receive TILA you will need to have a transition to independence plan. This plan is a record of your goals and the support needed to achieve these goals.

The transition to independence plan will consider your housing, financial security, health, life skills, education/employment/training, identity and culture, legal matters and social relationships/support networks.

Your case worker will work with you to develop your transition to independence plan.

Step 4: Apply for TILA

If you are eligible your case worker will apply for TILA on your behalf and manage the payment for you.

Your case worker must also verify your eligibility by:

  • sighting your birth certificate or Australian citizenship certificate
  • confirming that you have been, or currently are in formal care.

Your case worker will help you decide on what the payment will be used for and when and help you to purchase items 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.

Once the application has been processed you will receive a letter which will be sent to the address you provided to your case worker.

Step 5. Receive TILA payment

TILA will be paid as a lump sum ($1,500) or in up to six instalments (minimum of $250 per application) as agreed between you and your case worker.

A young person does not directly receive a TILA payment.

The TILA payment will be electronically transferred to your case worker organisation’s bank account or to the department. Your case worker’s organisation or the department will make the purchases on your behalf.

More information

You can find more information on TILA and other Support services for young people moving to independent living at www.dss.gov.au/TILA.

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