Eligibility for TILA

Young people leaving formal care

If you are preparing to leave, or have left formal care you may be eligible to receive the Transition to Independent Living Allowance (TILA) to help you transition to independent living. You can be moving out to your own place or still living with your care family.

Formal care is where a child or young person is placed in out-of-home care or state care by a legal court order as they can no longer live in their family home. Formal care can include non-parent care, kinship care, residential care and community or other care in line with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Placement Child Principle.

TILA can be used for a range of support services as well as training and education materials. You can access TILA as a one-off lump sum payment of $1,500.00, or as up to six instalments of a minimum of $250.00 as agreed with your caseworker. Your caseworker will help you apply for TILA.

To be eligible for TILA you must:

  • be an Australian citizen or permanent Australian resident who resides in Australia at the time of application for TILA
  • be aged from 15 to 25 years when the application is submitted
  • either have been in, or currently be in, formal care on a court order
  • have left the care of the state or territory statutory department after the age of 15 years and was last in the department’s care for a continuous period of at least 6 months
  • either be approaching to leave formal care (within twelve weeks of applying), in the process of leaving formal care, or have left formal care
  • have a transition to independence plan
  • has not received the full amount of TILA assistance previously (i.e. can only receive up to a total of $1,500)

Unaccompanied Humanitarian Minors (UHM) are eligible for TILA.

The TILA – Guide for Young People will step you through the process of applying for TILA, and the What can TILA be used for factsheet provides information on the different goods and services you can use TILA for.

You might also be able to access other Australia Government services and support to assist in your transition to adulthood and independence.

Young people leaving informal care

Young people leaving informal care are not eligible for TILA.

Informal care is where a young person is in the care and custody of someone who is not their parent and where there is no court order in place.

Typically, the carer of a young person in informal care is not reimbursed by the state/territory for their care. This does not include where a financial payment/reimbursement has been offered to the carer by the state/territory for their care but has been declined by the carer.

Examples of informal care include, informal out-of-home care (e.g. refuge, homeless, supported accommodation, staying with friends/relatives not their parents).

There is a range of government programs and community organisations that provide support services and useful information to help them transition to independent living. For more information refer to Support services for young people moving to independent living.

Contact DSS at TILA@dss.gov.au if you have any questions regarding TILA.

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