Waiting periods

You may have to wait before your payments start.

You may need to wait longer depending on:

  • how much money you have
  • why you don’t have a job

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.

Longer waiting periods

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 you have in bank accounts, financial investments and term deposits.

Depending on how much money you have, the waiting period can be from 1 to 13 weeks. We call this a liquid assets waiting period.

Read more about the liquid assets waiting period.

Income maintenance period

We can’t pay you when you have received some other form of payment from your former employer when that job ended. This could be a payment for sick leave, annual leave, termination of employment or redundancy.

Read more about the income maintenance period.

Seasonal work preclusion period

Your waiting time may be longer if you or your partner finished seasonal, contract or intermittent work 6 months or less before you claimed a payment from us.

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 where you’re less likely to find a job, you may need to wait for 26 weeks until we can pay you.

Read more about the moving to an area of lower employment prospects waiting period.

Waiting time if you’re a new resident

After you start living in Australia as a resident you normally need to wait for 104 weeks before you can get most kinds of payments from us.

Family assistance payments have different rules.

Read more about the newly arrived residents waiting period.

If you think we got your waiting periods wrong

You have the right to appeal any decision we make.

Read about reviews and appeals.

Page last updated: 7 September 2017