Ordinary waiting period

You may have to wait for a week before your payment starts.

When you have to wait

The 1 week ordinary waiting period applies if you claim:

Other waiting periods may also apply. We calculate which waiting periods apply to you when we assess your claim. We’ll let you know how long you have to wait.

When you don’t have to wait

Depending on your situation, you may not have to wait the 1 week waiting period.

We’re waiving the 1 week waiting period in response to coronavirus. This change currently applies to new claims submitted from 12 March 2020 for the following payments:

The Department of Health coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert has more information about the coronavirus situation.

If you reclaim a payment

If you reclaim a payment within 13 weeks of your last payment you may not have to wait. This may apply if your last payment was 1 of these:

  • an income support payment from us
  • a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Service Pension
  • a Veteran Payment
  • an Income Support Supplement.

If your partner has recently died

This waiting period may not apply if you’re recently widowed and both of these apply:

  • you’re claiming either JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance with a bereavement period ending on or after 20 March 2020
  • you submitted your claim within 14 weeks of your partner’s death.

If you were pregnant at the time of your partner’s death, you must have submitted the claim before either:

  • the birth of your child
  • end of the pregnancy.

If you’re a job seeker who needs more support

You may also not have to wait if we’ve assessed you as needing more support from an employment services provider.

If you get a severe financial hardship waiver

We may waive the waiting period if you’re in severe financial hardship. Your hardship must be due to a personal financial crisis that has happened in the past 4 weeks. We may ask you for evidence.

A personal financial crisis includes:

  • unavoidable or reasonable expenses
  • domestic or family violence
  • being in prison or psychiatric confinement
  • entering Australia on a qualifying humanitarian visa
  • losing your home, or damages to your home, due to extreme circumstances.

How to tell us if you’re in severe financial hardship

You can tell us as part of your phone appointment with us. You can also call us on your regular payment line. You can do this anytime during your waiting period.

Page last updated: 19 May 2020