Transition to Independent Living Allowance
Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA) is a one-off payment of up to $1,500 to help eligible young people cover some basic costs as they leave out-of-home care.
Young people aged between 15 to 25 years who are leaving or have already left formal out-of-home care may be eligible for the TILA. TILA is also for young people who continue to live with their foster carers after their care order expires.
The payment can be used to buy items such as a fridge or couch, pay for counselling, education and training courses, medical expenses, a drivers licence or any other eligible items or services agreed between the young person and their case worker.
Young people who are exiting, or have exited from, informal care (i.e. do not have a statutory care background) are not eligible for TILA. Information about other Australian Government services and supports can be found at:
- Services Australia for information on income support payments, support and payments for job seekers, support and payments for students, crisis and special help, and Medicare
- Support services for young people moving to independent living for information on education and training, employment, health, housing, managing money and community support
- Department of Education, Skills and Employment for information on programs to support young people disengaged or at-risk of disengaging from education, finding a job, skills and small and family business.
- Department of Health for mental health services.
Personal information is information in any form that can reasonably identify an individual, such as: a person’s contact details, details about their foster care homes, or application forms that list such details.
DSS requests that no personal information is emailed to TILA@dss.gov.au.
DSS does not accept or process TILA Applications so it does not collect the personal information of young people who are eligible or recipients of the TILA. DSS does not accept responsibility or liability for the secure storage of personal information that is sent to this mailbox.
All emails to this mailbox that contain personal information, including applications for TILA will be deleted.
You can check if you are eligible.
If you think you might be eligible, talk to your case worker or read the Frequently Asked Questions for Young People for more information.
If you are eligible, your case worker will work with you on a leaving care plan and agree on what the payment will be used for and when. Your case worker will help you buy the essential items or services you both agree on, like a fridge or a couch, counselling, education and training courses, medical expenses, or a drivers licence.
Your case worker will apply for TILA on your behalf and manage the payment for you. Our website also has 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.
You must have a case worker to apply for TILA. If you don’t have one, contact your local state or territory government department for child protection.
Some of the young people you work with may be eligible for the TILA. A full list of the eligibility requirements is available.
You will need to make TILA applications through the Unified Government Gateway (UGG) to be able to make an application for TILA, on behalf of the young person. The state or territory department responsible for child protection approves who can be registered to the UGG.
Our step-by-step guide will help you with the TILA application process.
You will need to develop a transition to independence plan with them and agree on what the payment will be used for and when and discuss whether a lump sum payment or in instalments, at a minimum of $250, is the best approach for the applicant. You can then help the young person purchase the agreed items and services.
A young person in your care who has been discharged from their care order, but continues to live at home with you, may be eligible for the TILA.
The young person will need to work with their case worker to create a leaving care plan and agree on what the payment will be used for and when.
If they need a case worker, they can contact their local state government department for child protection, as they must have a case worker to apply for TILA.
- For more information about TILA eligibility and Support services for young people visit Frequently Asked Questions.
- Application process — Step by step guide for case workers
- How to access TILA - Step by step guide for young people
- Operational Guidelines
- Review of the TILA Program (Office for Youth/Colmar Brunton)
- Review of the Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA): An analysis of the 1 January 2014 reforms to TILA (Department of Social Services)
- State and Territory Contacts for Young People - Find a Case Worker
- Support services for young people moving to independent living
- TILA application form
- Transitioning from out-of-home care to independence: A nationally consistent approach to planning