Waiting periods

You may have to wait before your payments start.

Why you have to wait

We may apply waiting periods when you claim a payment from us. The time you need to wait depends on:

  • the payment you’re claiming
  • how much money you have
  • the reasons you don’t have a job.

What the waiting periods are

There are different waiting periods that may apply before your payment starts.

Ordinary waiting period

You may need to wait 1 week for your payments to start. We call this an ordinary waiting period.

Read more about the ordinary waiting period.

Liquid assets waiting period

Your waiting period may be longer if you and your partner have enough money to live on for a while. This includes money in bank accounts, financial investments and term deposits.

Read more about the liquid assets waiting period.

Income maintenance period

If you or your partner have left or lost a job, an income maintenance period may apply.

Read more about the income maintenance period.

Seasonal work preclusion period

This may apply if you submit a claim within 6 months of you or your partner finishing any:

  • seasonal work
  • contract work
  • intermittent work.

Read more about the seasonal work preclusion period.

Moving to an area of lower employment prospects non-payment period

If you move to an area with fewer jobs, a 26 week non-payment period may apply.

Newly arrived resident's waiting period

If you’ve recently arrived as a resident in Australia, you may have to wait to get payments or concession cards.

Read more about the newly arrived resident's waiting period.

What other factors may affect your start date

If you’re applying for a job seeker payment, there are other reasons you may have to wait for your payment.

For example, you won’t get a payment for at least 4 weeks if you either:

  • choose to leave a job without a good reason
  • lose your job due to misconduct.

Read about:

When you can appeal a waiting period decision

You have the right to appeal a waiting period decision if you think we got your waiting period wrong.

Read about reviews and appeals.

Page last updated: 23 March 2021