When you’ll get your first payment

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

When you’ll get paid

You’ll get your first JobSeeker Payment 2 weeks after we grant your payment, unless you have a waiting period. Once your payment starts, we’ll pay you fortnightly.

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 submitting 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 through myGov. It will tell you all of the following, when:

  • we’ve accepted your claim
  • your payment will start
  • you need to report your income
  • when your first income report is due.

You’ll need to report your income before we can make your first payment.

Why you may have to wait

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

You have savings or other money

If you or your partner have liquid assets over certain limits, you may have to wait 1 to 13 weeks. Liquid assets are any funds readily available to you or your partner. This includes money owed by your or your partner’s employer. Read 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 as either:

  • annual leave
  • a redundancy when you left.

The time you have to wait is relative to the lump sum payment. Read about income maintenance periods.

You recently finished seasonal work

If you or your partner finished seasonal, contract or intermittent work in the 6 months before claiming, you may have to wait.

The time you need to wait depends on how much you earned and how long you were working. Read about the seasonal work preclusion period.

You’re new to Australia

If you've recently arrived in Australia as a resident, you may have to wait up to 4 years to qualify. Read about the newly arrived resident’s waiting period.

You’ve moved to any area with fewer job opportunities

If you moved to an area with fewer jobs within 6 months before claiming, a 26 week non-payment period may apply. Call us on your regular payment line to find out more.

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 is relative to your lump sum payment. Use our compensation estimator or phone us on your regular payment line for information about your compensation preclusion period.

Next: How to report and manage your payment

To keep getting JobSeeker Payment you need to report your income every 2 weeks. You also need to keep meeting your mutual obligation requirements.

Page last updated: 17 June 2021