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ATO Community

Re: 17 year old student casual who turns 18 in July

Community Manager

Replies 23

Hi @VB3 the eligibility of a 16/17 year old will depend on the JobKeeper fortnights the employer is claiming for.


If the employer is claiming for the first three JobKeeper fortnights (up to and including 10 May 2020)

On 1 March 2020, your employee needs to have been at least 16 years old.


If the employer is claiming for later JobKeeper fortnights (on/after 11 May 2020)

On 1 March 2020, your employee needs to have been at least 16 years old and either:

  • 'independent' within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991
  • not a 'full time student' within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991


Generally they are considered 'independent' if they:

  • have supported themselves through work with long term full or part-time employment broadly for a two year period
  • are, or have been, married or are in a registered relationship
  • live in a de facto relationship as a member of a couple for at least 12 months
  • have, or have had, a dependent child
  • are a job seeker assessed as unable to work over 30 hours a week
  • are unable to live at home due to extreme circumstances
  • have parents that are unable to support them
  • are a refugee and their parents do not live in Australia
  • are an orphan and have not been legally adopted
  • are in state care, including foster care


Generally, they are considered a 'full-time student' if they are enrolled in and undertaking study in a course of study at an educational institution of at least 75 per cent of the normal full-time study requirements.


Further guidance on this can be found on the Services Australia website at


Replies 2

Thank you NicolaC.

Can you tell us what happens if the young person turns 18 during the time that JobKeeper is occurring?




Replies 1

It would appear that there is no provision to "become eligible" by turning 18 during the scheme.


ATO website update includes this:

Your employee is eligible under the JobKeeper Payment scheme if they:

  • on 1 March 2020 were 18 years of age or older (if they were 16 or 17 they can also qualify for fortnights before 11 May 2020, and continue to qualify after that if they are independent or not undertaking full time study

As I read this, it seems that anyone turning 18 after 1 March will only be eligible beyond the first three fortnights payments if they are "financially independent" or NOT a full time student.


Replies 0

Thanks Milo1.

It does appear that way.

Would you believe he is so distraught by this that he is talking about leaving school when he turns 18.  Naturally we are discouraging this, but if he persists, I wonder what would happen?

If only these guidelines were clearer right from the start, he would never have been led to believe that he was eligible at all.




Replies 7

I have been following this thread with interest.  My concern is this reply hasn't been "ATO Certified".  To claim the first two fortnight's Job Keeper subsidy, we have to make the payment by 8th May and time is fast running out. If not paid and the 16/17-year-olds were eligible employees from 30/03/2020 - 11/05/2020, then the employer has not complied with the "one in all in" rule.  If on the other hand, the employer made the payment and subsidy not paid, then the employer will be out of pocket at a time when their turnover has had a severe downturn.


Replies 6

Under the transitional rules for April, there is information within the legislation to confirm that the first two fortnights will be paid - so I don't think you should have any concern with FN01 and FN02.


Agree that there are no hard and fast rules for FN03 & FN04 with regards to the 16/17yo rules, nor anything to suggest any different for an employee that turns 18 during the period.  Hopefully though, once it goes through legislation, it will become a bit clearer, and the ATO will then be able to advise further and provide more info.


Unfortunately for now, relying on the treasury documents appears to be the current option.

Most helpful response

Community Manager

Replies 5

Hi @VB3 and @DP-J4F06 


We have received some cleared technical advice about this which we can share.


If the employer is claiming for the JobKeeper payment for an eligible employee, the individual needs to have been at least 16 years old and either of the following on 1 March 2020:

  • 'independent' within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991
  • not a 'full time student' within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991

The individual will only be an eligible employee if they are ‘independent’ OR not a ‘full time student’. @NicolaATO has provided some great information above how to define independant and full-time student.


Thanks, NateH


Replies 3

Thank you NateH.

I know you are only repeating what you yourselves are being told given the information available at any one time; however what we all need is a clear answer to the question many people are asking:

"Will the young person qualify once they turn 18, if their birthday occurs while JobKeeper is in force?

That's it. 

Thank you.

Regards, VB3





Replies 2

The legislation states that the criteria must be met for the age at 1/03/2020. If you turned 18 2/03/2020 then unfortunately you are 17 for the purposes of JobKeeper. Just like if you hire a part time person 2/03/2020 they don't meet the criteria and unfortunately miss out of JobKeeper. 


Replies 1

If they turned 18 on 2/02/2020 they would be 18 on the 1st March.  Do you mean 2/03/2020?