Residence rules

On the day you claim Sickness Allowance, you must be an Australian resident and in Australia.

Sickness Allowance closed to new claims on 20 March 2020. If you’re sick or injured and can’t do your usual work or study you can apply for JobSeeker Payment.

Newly arrived residents may have to wait 2 or 4 years before getting this payment, with some exemptions.

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

You may be able to get Sickness Allowance for up to 6 months, if both of the following apply. You:

  • hold a non-protected Special Category visa (SCV)
  • have lived continuously in Australia for at least 10 years immediately before claiming.

Non-protected SCV holders may only get Sickness Allowance for a single period up to 6 months.

If you qualify this way, the newly arrived resident’s waiting period won’t apply.

Page last updated: 20 March 2020