Job seekers help centre

Answers to questions if you're a job seeker.

Am I able to get JobSeeker Payment if I have superannuation?

If you have superannuation you can also claim JobSeeker Payment. To get this you need to meet some rules, including:

If you earn too much you may still be able to get a concession card.

Am I eligible for JobSeeker Payment?

To get JobSeeker Payment you'll need to meet some rules. You must be between 22 and age pension age. You can't be getting another income support payment.

Read more about who can get it.

Can I claim JobSeeker Payment online?

You can claim JobSeeker Payment online.

To claim online you need a myGov account linked to a Centrelink online account. If you don't have these you'll need to set them up.

We may ask you for documents to help us with your claim. Read more about self service.

Can I do casual work if I am on JobSeeker Payment?

If you get JobSeeker Payment you may be able to do casual work and still get a payment. Depending on how much you earn, it may reduce your payment.

If you're working you need to tell us.

Read more about reporting income and the income test.

Can I get an advance on JobSeeker Payment?

If you are getting JobSeeker Payment you can ask us for an advance on your payment.

Can I get an advance on Sickness Allowance?

If you get Sickness Allowance you can't get an advance on your payment.

Can I get JobSeeker Payment when overseas?

We may pay you JobSeeker Payment while you're outside Australia for up to 6 weeks under some circumstances.

You must tell us before you travel.

Read more about Payments while outside Australia.

Can I get other benefits while I get JobSeeker Payment?

If you get JobSeeker Payment there may be other services we can help you with.

You can use our Payment and Service Finder to see what you may be able to get.

You can do most claims online.

Read more about self service.

Can I get supplements with JobSeeker Payment?

If you get JobSeeker Payment you might also get supplement payments.

You can use our Payment and Service Finder to see what other payments you can get.

Can I update my asset details online for JobSeeker Payment?

You can update some asset details online. You need a myGov account linked to your Centrelink online account.

Read more about self service.

Can I update my income details online for JobSeeker Payment?

You can update some income details online. You need a myGov account linked to your Centrelink online account.

Read more about self service.

Can my partner get JobSeeker Payment if I do?

If you have a partner you may both get JobSeeker Payment.

You'll both need to meet some rules.

Read more about who can get it.

Do I have mutual obligations if I get JobSeeker Payment?

Do I need to apply for JobSeeker Payment if I'm on Newstart payment?

If you get Newstart you don't need to apply for JobSeeker Payment.

On 20 March 2020 your payment will change to JobSeeker Payment. If you have mutual obligation requirements, keep meeting them.

The way you report won't change.

Do I need to apply for JobSeeker Payment if I'm on Sickness Allowance?

If you get Sickness Allowance you don't need to apply forJobSeeker Payment.

You will keep getting Sickness Allowance until your medical certificate expires.

We'll tell you if you need to have a transition appointment. If you have mutual obligation requirements, keep meeting them.

The way you report won't change.

Do I need to report my income if I get JobSeeker Payment?

If you get JobSeeker Payment and get any other income you'll need to tell us. This includes any income you get from overseas.

If you don't report your income we may pay you too much. You'll need to pay it back.

Do I need to report when I move to JobSeeker Payment?

If you get an income support payment and have to report, you need to report to get JobSeeker Payment.

If you have mutual obligation requirements, you need to keep meeting them.

How can I get a paper copy of the JobSeeker Payment claim form?

The easiest way to claim JobSeeker Payment is online. If you can't do it online you can download the Claim for JobSeeker Payment form.

If you can't access the form, please call the JobSeeker Payment Line. We can help you access, complete and submit the form. You can also go into a Service Centre.

We may ask you for documents to help us with your claim.

How can I pay back a JobSeeker Payment debt?

If you have a JobSeeker Payment debt, you'll need to pay it back.

You can do this several ways, including:

  • a lump sum payment
  • an ongoing payment arrangement
  • withholding an amount from your payment.

You can call us on the Centrelink debt line to talk about which repayment option is best for you.

Read more about owing money.

How do I claim JobSeeker Payment?

The easiest way to claim JobSeeker Payment is online.

You'll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink online account. If you haven't already got these, you'll need to set them up. If you can't claim online, you can either:

We may ask you for documents to help us with your claim.

Read more about self service.

How do I claim JobSeeker Payment?

The easiest way to claim JobSeeker Payment is online.

You'll need a myGov account linked to Centrelink online account. If you haven't already got these, you'll need to set them up. If you can't claim online, you can either:

We may ask you for documents to help us with your claim.

Read more about self service.

How do I report my income for JobSeeker Payment?

You can report your income for JobSeeker Payment online.

You can use your myGov account linked to a Centrelink online account. use your Centrelink online account through. We'll tell you when to report.

If you don't report your income we may pay you too much. You'll need to pay it back.

How do I request urgent processing of my application for JobSeeker Payment when experiencing financial hardship?

You can ask for urgent processing of your JobSeeker Payment claim if you're in severe financial hardship.

If you think this applies to you, you can call the JobSeeker Payment Line.

How do I switch from Bereavement Allowance to JobSeeker Payment?

If you already get Bereavement Allowance you will stay on it until the end of the eligibility period.

Read more about JobSeeker Payment.

How do I switch from Newstart Allowance to JobSeeker Payment?

On 20 March 2020, Newstart Allowance will end. If you get Newstart Allowance you'll transfer to JobSeeker Payment.

You don't need to do anything.

How do I switch from Partner Allowance to Age Pension?

On 1 January 2022 Partner Allowance will end. If you get Partner Allowance you'll transfer to Age Pension once you reach Age Pension age. You don't need to do anything.

How do I switch from Sickness Allowance to JobSeeker Payment?

On 20 March 2020 JobSeeker Payment replaced Sickness Allowance.

If you already get Sickness Allowance, you'll get it until your medical certificate expires.

We'll tell you if you need to have a transition appointment.

How do I switch from Widow Allowance to Age Pension?

On 1 January 2022 Widow Allowance will end. If you get Widow Allowance you'll transfer to Age Pension once you reach Age Pension age. You don't need to do anything.

How do I switch Widow B Pension to Age Pension?

On 20 March 2020 Widow B Pension ended. If you get Widow B Pension you'll transfer to Age Pension. You don't need to do anything.

How is the amount of JobSeeker Payment calculated?

The amount of JobSeeker Payment you get depends on your situation. Read more about how much you can get.

How much can I gift before my JobSeeker Payment is affected?

Gifting money or assets may reduce how much JobSeeker Payment you get.

The amount a single person or a couple combined can gift before affecting their payment is:

  • $10,000 in 1 financial year
  • $30,000 in 5 financial years - this can't include more than $10,000 in 1 financial year.

Call the JobSeeker Payment Line for information about your specific situation and what's best for you.

How much is JobSeeker Payment?

The amount of JobSeeker Payment you get will depend on your circumstances.

You'll need to meet the income test and assets test. These tests look at income and assets for both you and your partner, if you have one.

Read more about JobSeeker Payment rates.

You can also use our Payment and Service Finder to see what other payments you can get.

How will I know what my JobSeeker Payment amount will be?

You can check your account details online. You'll need a myGov account linked to a Centrelink online account.

If you don't have a myGov account or a Centrelink online account you'll need to set them up.

Read more about self service.

Is there a waiting period for JobSeeker Payment?

When you apply for JobSeeker Payment you may have an ordinary waiting period.

Other waiting periods may apply.

How long you have to wait depends on your situation. Your waiting period may be less if you have special circumstances.

What are the residence rules for JobSeeker Payment?

To get JobSeeker Payment you need to be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day you claim.

If you're a newly arrived resident, you may have to wait 2 or 4 years to get it.

Read more about residence rules.

What changes in circumstance do I need to tell you about for JobSeeker Payment?

A change in your circumstances may affect how much JobSeeker Payment you get.

You must tell us within 14 days if you have a change to any of the following:

  • contact details
  • relationship status
  • income or assets for you and your partner.

Read more about changes you need to tell us about.

If you don't tell us about a change we may pay you too much. If this happens, you'll need to pay us back.

What is JobSeeker Payment?

JobSeeker Payment is the main income support payment for people who are between 22 years and Age Pension age.

To get this you need to meet some rules, including:

If you can get another income support payment, we may ask you to claim that instead.

What is the Bereavement Allowance cut-off date?

From 20 March 2020, customers must apply for JobSeeker Payment instead of Bereavement Allowance.

If you already get Bereavement Allowance you will get it until the end of the eligibility period.

Customers whose partner dies on or after this date may get a Partner Bereavement Payment and a bereavement mutual obligation exemption.

What is the JobSeeker Payment asset test?

To get JobSeeker Payment you need to meet an assets test. This test looks at assets for you and your partner, if you have one.

We use this test to work out how much JobSeeker Payment you'll get.

What is the JobSeeker Payment income test?

To get JobSeeker Payment you need to meet an income test. This test looks at income for you and your partner, if you have one.

We use this test to work out how much JobSeeker Payment you'll get.

What is the Newstart Allowance cut-off date?

On 20 March 2020, Newstart Allowance ended. If you get Newstart Allowance you'll transfer to JobSeeker Payment.

Newstart Allowance closed to new claims from 20 March 2020.

What is the Partner Allowance cut-off date?

On 1 January 2022, Partner Allowance will end. If you get Partner Allowance you'll transfer to Age Pension once you reach Age Pension age.

What is the Sickness Allowance cut-off date?

From 20 March 2020, new customers must apply for JobSeeker Payment instead of Sickness Allowance.

If you already get Sickness Allowance, you'll get it until your medical certificate expires.

You must go to a transfer appointment before your medical certificate expires if you need more help.

What is the telephone number for JobSeeker Payment?

You can ask me general questions about JobSeeker Payment.

I can also help you find the information you need on our website.

If you still need to talk to us, you can call the JobSeeker Payment Line.

What is the Widow Allowance cut-off date?

On 1 January 2022, Widow Allowance will end. If you get Widow Allowance you'll transfer to Age Pension once you reach Age Pension age.

What is the Widow B Pension cut-off date?

From 20 March 2020, Widow B Pension ended. If you get Widow B Pension you'll transfer to Age Pension.

What is the Wife Pension cut-off date?

On 20 March 2020 most Wife Pension recipients transferred to one of the following payments:

What will happen to my JobSeeker Payment if I am getting compensation?

If you get JobSeeker Payment and get a compensation payment you need to tell us.

This could change how much we pay you.

Compensation can be a regular payment or one off amount. It might include:

  • WorkCover
  • victim of crime compensation
  • insurance
  • personal injury compensation.

What will happen to my JobSeeker Payment if I am getting money or assets from an estate

If you get JobSeeker Payment and get money or assets from an estate you need to tell us.

This could change how much we pay you. It might include:

  • a house
  • land
  • a vehicle
  • personal property
  • money.

What will happen to my JobSeeker Payment if I am gifted money or assets?

If you get JobSeeker Payment and get money or assets from any source you need to tell us.

This could change how much we pay you. It might include:

  • a house
  • land
  • a vehicle
  • personal property
  • money.

When will my application for JobSeeker Payment be processed?

We'll try to finish your claim for JobSeeker Payment as soon as we can.

You can help us by giving us all the documents we need when you apply.

If we approve your claim, we'll send a message to your myGov inbox. This will tell you:

  • when we'll pay you
  • how much we'll pay you.

Which payments are being replaced?

From 20 March 2020 we've introduce a new JobSeeker Payment as the main income support payment for people who are working age. JobSeeker Payment replaced these 5 payments:

From 1 January 2022 Age Pension will replace these 2 payments:

Why do I have a JobSeeker Payment debt?

If you have a JobSeeker Payment debt it may be because we've paid you too much.

We'll send you a letter or a message to your myGov inbox.

It'll tell you why we made the change and what you can do if you think it's wrong.

If you have a debt, you'll need to pay it back.

Why has my JobSeeker Payment been cancelled?

If we've cancelled your JobSeeker Payment it may be because we've reviewed your eligibility.

We'll send a letter or a message to your myGov inbox. It'll tell you why and what to do if you think it's wrong.

Call the JobSeeker Payment Line if you need more information.

Why has my JobSeeker Payment been suspended?

If we've suspended your JobSeeker Payment it may be because we're reviewing your eligibility.

We'll send you a letter or a message to your myGov inbox. It'll tell you what you need to do to keep getting the payment.

We may cancel your payment if you don't respond to our request.

Why is JobSeeker Payment replacing my Newstart payment?

JobSeeker Payment is the new payment for people between 22 and age pension age who are looking for work.

If you get Newstart, this will change to JobSeeker Payment from 20 March 2020. You don't need to do anything and your payment amount won't change.

Why is JobSeeker Payment replacing my Sickness Allowance?

JobSeeker Payment is the new payment for people between 22 and Age Pension age who are looking for work. It's also for people who are sick, injured, or have disability and can't work or study for a short time.

If you get Sickness Allowance, you'll get JobSeeker Payment from 20 March 2020.

Will I get a Concession Card with my JobSeeker Payment?

If you get JobSeeker Payment we'll give you a Health Care card.

You don't need to apply for this card. We'll send one to you.

You can use the card to get cheaper heath care and prescriptions. Some businesses may also give you a discount.

Read more about concessions in your state or territory.

Will I need to look for work when I change to JobSeeker Payment?

If you get an income support payment and have mutual obligation requirements, you need to keep meeting them.

If you didn't have mutual obligation requirements this won't change unless we do a review.

We'll tell you what you need to do and how to do it.

Will I still get my supplement payments on JobSeeker Payment?

If you get a supplement payment with your income support payment you'll keep getting this with JobSeeker Payment.

Will my debt repayment change when I go onto JobSeeker Payment?

If you're repaying a debt from your payment now, this will continue when you change to JobSeeker Payment.

You won't need to do anything, we'll make the usual deductions from your JobSeeker Payment.

Will my JobSeeker Payment details appear in my Express Plus App?

Your JobSeeker Payment details will show in your online account.

You can see these by using the following services linked to your myGov account:

Will my partner's income and assets affect my JobSeeker Payment?

If you have a partner, we'll look at your combined income and assets. This applies even if only 1 of you is getting JobSeeker Payment.

Will my Superannuation affect my partner's JobSeeker Payment?

Your superannuation may affect your partner's JobSeeker Payment.

Our income and assets tests look at both you and your partner's income and assets.

Read more about how your superannuation may affect payments from us.

Will the amount I get be the same when I change to JobSeeker Payment?

If we are changing you to JobSeeker Payment the amount you get won't change.

The way you report won't change. If you have mutual obligation requirements, you need to keep meeting them.

Page last updated: 26 June 2020