When you’ll get your first payment

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

What you need to do before you get paid

You’ll need to complete your initial tasks and report your income before we can make your first payment. Read about new to JobSeeker Payment.

When you’ll get paid

You’ll get your first JobSeeker Payment around 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, or you stop getting another payment from us. This way there may be less time between your last payment from your employer and your first payment from us. If you’re having trouble getting the information to submit your claim, call us on the Centrelink employment services line.

We have tips and tools for budgeting and managing your money during this time.

If your Centrelink online account is linked to myGov, you can check your completed claim online. Sign in now to find out:

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

Sign in to myGov

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

Why you may have to wait

Some 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 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.

Page last updated: 23 May 2023.
QC 54056