Frequently Asked Questions

We have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Young Carer Bursary.

How do I know if I am eligible?

To be eligible for the Young Carer Bursary Program, you must be:

  • providing unpaid care and support to a family member or friend with a disability, a physical or mental illness, a substance dependency, or who is aged
  • aged between 12 – 25 for the entire time you are receiving bursary
  • an Australian citizen or permanent resident living in Australia
  • studying an approved course at high school or home school, TAFE, private college, university, or other tertiary education institutes.

Young carers are not eligible if they hold an advanced diploma, bachelor’s degree or above, or if they are currently receiving another scholarship.

We will ask questions as part of the application to make sure you meet the criteria.  If you don’t meet the criteria, the application will display a message advising same.

Can my other family members, including siblings apply too?

Yes, your family members, including siblings can apply, even if you are caring for the same person.  You will not be able to register with the same email address as your sibling.  Please use or create a new/unique email address to register.

The sign up is not working for me – what should I do?

We recommend using Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge as your browser


Siblings need to register with different email addresses.

How do I register with the system

Go to the Young Carers Network page [ or click on the Home button below] and click on the Sign up button.  Follow the prompts to complete your details.


What is verify when I register and is it important?

After you register on the Young Carer Portal, you will receive an email asking you to verify your nominated email address.  If you do not receive an email, please contact us on [email protected] and we can send you it again manually. This step is very important as it protects the user’s account against security threats and will also allow you to reset your password in the future, if needed.  If you do not verify your email, you will receive an error message each time you use the Forgot Password reset option.

To fix this issue you will need to contact the Young Carer Bursary Program Administrator (either via the query form on the YCN website, or via email: [email protected]) and request a password reset link from the back end of our system.

I’ve forgotten my password and password reset is not working – what should I do?

If you forgot to verify your email address when you first registered the automatic password reset won’t work.  Email us on [email protected] and we can do this manually, along with an email verification link so it doesn’t happen again.

I’m not sure if I’ll be studying next year, can I still apply?

If you’ve not decided yet, do still apply as the application process closes in September.  You can always withdraw your application in the portal if you decide not to study next year.

I’ve applied for Uni or TAFE but don’t know if I’ll be accepted yet, can I still apply?

Yes do still apply.  If you are conditionally approved you will be asked to provide evidence of enrolment if you are accepted.  If you’re not accepted and won’t be studying you can withdraw your application in the portal.

What’s my username?

Your username is the email address you used to register on the portal.  In most cases it is the email address you are receiving notifications from us to.

Is the Bursary income tested?

No.  We do ask questions about household income as this helps the Independent Assessment Panel determine need.

Do I count as an unpaid carer if I receive Carer Allowance or Payment?

Yes.  A paid carer is someone who is paid and employed to take care of someone else by a company or if they are self-employed.

Can I apply if I’m under 18?

Yes.  We will ask for a parent or guardian consent if this is the case.  If that is difficult for you, let us know.

If you are 11 now and looking for the bursary for year 7 you can also apply.

When can I apply?

The application process for a bursary for the academic year 2024 opens on 18 July 2023 and closes on 12 September 2023.

We assess all the applications at the same time after the closing date.

To subscribe to the Young Carers Network and receive notifications about the Young Carer Bursary, as well as young carer events and opportunities, click the link below:

To subscribe to the Carers Australia newsletter and keep up to date on programs, news, and events for carers by clicking the link below:

If I’ve applied before, can I still apply again?

Yes, you can still apply as long as you are still eligible.  To be eligible, you must be: a carer, in full or part time study and not be in receipt of another Scholarship or Bursary.

I’m getting the bursary this year, do I have to apply again for next year?

Yes, you need to apply each year for a bursary and be assessed.

What will the application include?

You will be asked a series of questions, some of which have answers to select from, some will have multiple options you can choose from, and some will give you a chance to provide some free text (written) responses (please note these fields allow a maximum of 1,000 characters).

Questions are in sections and include:

  • Details about you
  • Details about the course you are going to be studying
  • Information about your caring role and who you care for

Information about the impact caring has on your, your ability to study/or attend classes.

I’m applying for a number of bursaries or scholarships at the same time but don’t know yet if I’ll be successful, can I still apply for the Young Carer Bursary?

You can still apply, however you cannot receive the Young Carer Bursary if you receive another type of bursary or scholarship.  If you are conditionally approved you will need to confirm that you won’t be receiving another bursary for your application to be processed further.

Is there a paper-based application?

Sorry, no, the process is all online through the portal as this enables us to manage the number of applications we receive.

What if I can’t access the internet?

If you don’t have access to the internet at home or on your phone there are other ways to get online to complete your application:

  • Using WiFi at school or your education institution
  • At local libraries
  • Local businesses
  • Museums
  • Youth groups or support organisations
  • Mobile hotspots
  • Shopping centres.

If you are in a rural or regional area and have issues with access, contact the Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 who will support you to connect to a local organisation.

Can someone else contact the Young Carer team on my behalf about my application?


If you are under 18, your parent or guardian can contact us on your behalf.  Make sure in the application that you have marked this and have consented.

You can also ask a support person (teacher, healthcare professional etc) to act as a support person, but we do need you to record your consent for us to talk to them.

Do I have to have my own bank account?

No, you can nominate to have the bursary paid into a parent or guardian’s bank account.  Even though the bursary is intended to be used for education purposes you don’t have to nominate a school or university to receive the funds.

I wasn’t able to lodge my application on time because of extenuating circumstances, can I still be considered?

You can ask by contacting us via email ([email protected]) and we will consider each circumstance on a case-by-case basis, however if the number of submitted applications are high, we will not be able to consider any late applications.

If I get the bursary, does this affect my Centrelink payment?

No.  This is exempt income.

Find information about exempt income here.

I have an NDIS plan, can I still apply for the Bursary?

Yes. The NDIS does not pay for educational expenses.

I’ve submitted my application, how do I know you have received it?

You will receive an email to let you know that we have received your application.  You can also log into the portal at any time to see the progress of your application.

How will you contact me?

Normally we use emails (but do check your junk or spam folder in case things land there).  Occasionally we may use SMS.

I’m stuck on the household income question and can’t move on.

Just use a whole number e.g. 16000.  The system won’t recognise cents or a $ sign.

What happens if I am not successful?

There are only a limited number of bursaries available, and this means that not everyone who applies will get one.  You will receive an email advising if you are successful or not and this will contain more information on other support you might be able to access.

Information we could find on educational assistance through Centrelink as follows:

Pensioner Education Supplement is a regular extra payment to help with study costs if a person gets certain income support from Services Australia.

Education Entry Payment is a once a year payment made when a person starts study if they receive certain income support.

These include Carer Payment recipients – but there are other eligibility requirements.

Other info on financial assistance can be found here at StudyAssist.

Any other enquiries regarding Centrelink will need to be directed to Centrelink/Services Australia.


How do I get into the Mid-Year Survey (MYS)?

You will receive an email when the Mid Year Survey is released with instructions on how to complete it in the portal.  This will include a deadline to submit it.

How do I get into the End of Year Survey (EOYS)?

You will receive an email when the End of Year Survey is released with instructions on how to complete it in the portal. This will include a deadline to submit it.

If I’m successful, how and when will I receive the bursary money?

If the Independent Assessment Panel conditionally approve you for a bursary you then need to provide all the evidence documents in support of your application – after all this is provided will you be fully approved.  Only then will any payments be made.

Keep an eye on your inbox for emails for you to upload these documents.  We will chase you for these.  If things have changed since you applied e.g. you are no longer going to be studying let us know in the portal and we can then offer the bursary to someone else.  If you don’t respond within 8weeks we will mark your application as closed.

Given the number of applications and payments it does take a few weeks from when you are fully approved for the money to reach your nominated bank account.

You will get your bursary in three payments – the second two rely on you submitting a survey and still meeting all the eligibility criteria.

The payment timetable is:

  • If you are fully approved – you will receive $2,500
  • In the middle of the year if you submit the survey and are still eligible – you will receive $1,000
  • At the end of the year if you submit the survey and are still eligible – you will receive the final $268.

Things have changed since I applied – what should I do and what do you need to know?

Let us know of any changes by updating your details in the portal.

If the changes are about a change in your education status, or because you are no longer caring this means you are no longer eligible for the bursary.  We won’t then chase you for items that would be due after you withdraw and you won’t receive any more payments.

If the reason you are no longer a carer is because the person you were caring for has died – let us know as we can ask the DSS if we can still make a payment to you.

Other details such as changes to email, bank account or any other personal details – simply update them in the portal.

What are the surveys and how are they used?

The surveys have two main purposes:

  • To check during the year that you are still eligible so we can still make payments to you; and
  • To provide information on whether the bursary is doing what it is meant to do – helping to keep you in education and making a difference in your life. The surveys are provided to an independent evaluator (deidentified) to help the Government to check that the bursary is working.

There are two surveys – one in the middle of the year and one at the end of the year.  Some of the questions are similar to those in your original application and others are to see how the bursary has been helping you.

What happens if I don’t submit a survey in the middle of the year or end of the year?

We will chase you to submit the survey by a closing date.  But if you don’t submit it you will be marked as withdrawn from the bursary and won’t receive the payments that were due.

What are the evidence documents and why do you need them?

This is a Government-funded program and we need to show that the young carers who receive the bursary are entitled to it.  We also need to know that the money is going to young carers.

That is why we ask for proof of things like your date of birth, whether you are a citizen or permanent resident, that you are a carer and you are enrolled on a course (as only they can get the bursary).

The system that holds this information does have size limits (for example, the free text fields have a 1,000 character limit) so please ensure your answers fall under the character limit, or you will receive an error message (the system might not recognise this as the cause.  If this happens, please review your response and try to shorten them where they are lengthy.)

We also know that getting a proof of enrolment can be difficult until the start of the academic year, but please upload this as soon as you have it.

We do provide a ‘verification pack’ that provides templates that you should use.  The more you can upload the earlier the better as this will speed up the process if you are conditionally approved.

If you don’t upload these documents it means we can’t progress your application and make any payments.

How is my application assessed?

There are usually more applications than there are bursaries and an Independent Assessment Panel reviews every application to help work out who is most in need to receive a bursary.  That’s why we ask young carers to apply each year.

They will look at all the answers and provide scores on each element based on the level of need and this is how they reach a list of those who are conditionally approved.  For 2024 we can offer 1,592 bursaries – so the highest scoring applicants will be offered a bursary.  If someone pulls out, we then offer the bursary to the next person on the list.

I’m filling in the application questions – is there a word limit?

All free text fields have a 1000 character limit, so please keep your responses below the limit.  You will receive an error message if you go above limit, which the system might not recognise as the cause.  If this happens, please review your response and try to shorten them where they are lengthy.)

Is the YCBP information webinar compulsory?

No, it isn’t compulsory. The webinar is available to anyone who wishes to attend.  For those who cannot attend at the scheduled time, a video of the webinar will be uploaded to the Young Carer Portal for viewing.

Do I need to provide receipts?

No, you do not need to provide receipts to Carers Australia. While we do encourage all recipients to spend the funds on education, we do not require proof of how you spend the funds.

Still can’t find your answer?

We hear, we’re here. Send us a message or give us a call and we’ll try our best to help answer your query.

Can’t find your answer Photo