When you’ll get your first payment

There may be 1 or more waiting periods that apply before you get your first JobSeeker payment.

There are changes to claims and your obligations due to coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes changes to waiting periods, the income test, what you need to give us, and your obligations.

When you’ll get paid

JobSeeker Payment is a fortnightly payment. You’ll get your first payment 2 weeks after your last waiting period ends.

We calculate the waiting period that applies to you when we assess your claim. The time it takes us to assess your claim doesn’t affect your waiting period. You can expect to hear from us within 21 days of lodging your claim.

It’s best to submit your claim as soon as possible after your circumstances change. This way there may be less time between your last payment from your employer and your first payment from us. We have tips and tools for budgeting and managing your money during this time.

Once you’ve completed your claim check your Centrelink online account. It’ll tell you all of the following:

  • when we’ve accepted your claim
  • when your payment starts
  • when your first income report is due.

You’ll need to start reporting before we can make your first payment.

We’ll give you more information during your phone appointment with us.

Why you may have to wait

Most people will have a 1 week ordinary waiting period. In some circumstances, you may have to wait longer.

You haven’t been to your employment services provider

You’ll usually have to wait until you’ve had your first employment services provider appointment before we make your first payment. Contact your provider if you don’t have an appointment arranged.

You have savings or other money

If you or your partner have readily available funds over certain limits you may have to wait. This is from 1 to 13 weeks depending on your circumstances. Read more about liquid assets waiting periods.

You got a lump sum payment when you finished work

You may have to wait if your employer paid you a lump sum when you left. For example, if you got a lump sum of annual leave or a redundancy. The time you have to wait depends on the amount of the lump sum payment. Read more about income maintenance periods.

You left your job voluntarily or lost it due to misconduct

If you chose to leave your job or you lost it due to misconduct you may have to wait. Read more about the:

You recently finished seasonal or contract work

You may have to wait if in the 6 months before claiming you or your partner finished any of these:

  • seasonal work
  • contract work
  • intermittent work.

The time you have to wait depends on how much you or your partner earned from this job. Read more about the seasonal work preclusion period.

You recently became a resident of Australia

If you’re a new resident of Australia you may have to wait 2 or 4 years. Read more about the newly arrived residents waiting period.

You must continue to meet the residence rules for as long as you get this payment.

You recently moved and it reduced your chances of finding work

You may have to wait 26 weeks if you moved in the 6 months before claiming. This is where your move reduces your chances of getting a job. Read more about the moving to an area of lower employment prospects exclusion period.

You’ve had a compensation payment

If you’ve had a lump sum compensation payment you may have to wait. The time you have to wait depends on the amount of your lump sum payment. Use our compensation estimator or contact us for information about your compensation preclusion period.

Page last updated: 2 April 2020