You may have to wait before your payments start.
We have information in different languages about Waiting periods
Call our Multilingual Phone Service to speak with us in your language about your Centrelink payments and services.
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.
There are different waiting periods that may apply before your payment starts.
Ordinary waiting period
You may need to wait for 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.
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.
Unemployment non-payment period
Your waiting time may be longer if:
- you chose to leave your job
- misconduct was the reason why you lost your job.
Read more about the unemployment non-payment period.
Moving to an area of lower employment prospects non-payment period
If you move to an area with less jobs, a 26 week non-payment period may apply.
Read more about moving to an area of lower employment prospects.
Waiting time if you’re a new resident
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 residents waiting period.
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: 27 November 2019