Newstart Allowance

When you'll get your first payment

There may be one or more waiting periods that apply before you get your first Newstart Allowance payment.

When you’ll get paid

Newstart Allowance is a fortnightly payment. You’ll get your first payment two weeks after your last waiting period ends.

We calculate the waiting periods that apply to you when we assess your claim. You can expect to hear from us within 21 days of lodging your claim. The time it takes us to assess your claim doesn’t affect your waiting period.

It’s best to submit your claim as soon as possible after your work ends. This way there may be less time between your last payment from your employer and your first payment from us. We have tips and tools for budgeting and managing your money during this time.

Once you’ve completed your claim check your Centrelink online account. It will tell you:

  • when we’ve accepted your claim
  • when your payment will start, and
  • when your first income report is due

You’ll need to start reporting before we can make your first payment.

We’ll give you more information during your phone appointment with us.

Why you may have to wait

Most people will have a one week ordinary waiting period. In some circumstances, you may have to wait longer than this.

You have savings or other money

If you or your partner have readily available funds over certain limits you may have to wait 1 – 13 weeks. Read more about liquid assets waiting periods.

You got a lump sum payment when you finished work

If your employer paid you a lump sum such as annual leave or redundancy when you left, you may have to wait a period relative to the lump sum payment. Read more about income maintenance periods.

You left your job voluntarily or lost it due to misconduct

If you chose to leave your job or you lost it due to misconduct you may have to wait 8 or 12 weeks, depending on the circumstances. Read more about the unemployment non-payment period.

You recently finished seasonal or contract work

If you or your partner finished seasonal, contract or intermittent work in the 6 months before claiming, you may have to wait a period relative to the earnings from this job. Read more about the seasonal work preclusion period.

You recently became a resident of Australia

If you’re a new resident of Australia you may have to wait 104 weeks. Read more about the newly arrived residents waiting period.

You recently moved and it reduced your chances of finding work

If you moved in the 6 months before claiming and it reduced your chances of getting a job you may have to wait 26 weeks. Read more about the moving to an area of lower employment prospects exclusion period.

You’ve had a compensation payment

If you’ve had a lump sum compensation payment you may have to wait a period relative to your lump sum payment. Use our estimator or contact us for information about your compensation preclusion period.

Page last updated: 24 November 2017