Centrelink Waiting period for newly arrived residents

Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period for Benefits from Centrelink

Waiting Period for Welfare Payments for New Migrants Since 1 January 2019

Waiting times for new migrants to access certain Australian welfare payments have changed. Most migrants granted permanent residency from 1 January 2019 must wait the relevant amount of time before they can access certain welfare payments and concession cards. Potential migrants should make sure they have enough money to support themselves when they come to Australia on a permanent visa.

Some migrants may not need to wait before accessing welfare payments and concession cards. This includes those on certain types of visas and those who have had a substantial change of circumstance.

A Four Year Waiting Period Applies To

New start Allowance, Youth Allowance, Austudy, Parenting Payment, Mobility Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Bereavement Allowance, Special Benefit, Pensioner Education Supplement, Farm Household Allowance, Low Income Health Care Card and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

A Two Year Waiting Period Applies To

Parental Leave Pay, Dad and Partner Pay and Carer Payment.

A One Year Waiting Period Applies To

Carer Allowance and Family Tax Benefit Part A.

There is no waiting period for Family Tax Benefit Part B. This means that new permanent migrant families where only one person earns an income, including single parent families, can access this support immediately if they are eligible.

Who is Affected

These rules apply to skilled and family migrants granted a permanent visa on or after 1 January 2019. Migrants who have a baby born between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2019 can still access Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay for that baby, subject to meeting eligibility requirements for the payment.

Those granted a permanent visa before 1 January 2019 are subject to the old rules. They can access Family Tax Benefit Part A, Parental Leave Pay, Dad and Partner Pay and Carer Allowance immediately, if they are eligible. They will have to wait two years for most other payments.

In addition, people on certain visa types are also subject to the old rules, even if the visa is granted from 1 January 2019. Depending on their visa type, these visa holders can access Family Tax Benefit Part A, Parental Leave Pay, Dad and Partner Pay and Carer Allowance immediately if they are eligible but will have to wait two years for certain other payments. 

These visas include New Zealand citizens on a Special Category Visa (Subclass 444), Orphan Relative visas (Subclasses 117 and 837), Remaining Relative Visas (Subclasses 115 and 835). 

Exemptions From the Waiting Period

Some migrants do not need to wait before accessing some or all payments where eligible or they can have their waiting period shortened.This is called an exemption.

Humanitarian entrants and their families have an exemption from the waiting periods for all payments. Migrants who become a lone parent after being granted a permanent visa may be able to get an exemption for payments such as Parenting Payment or Newstart Allowance. Other migrants who experience a substantial change of circumstances during their waiting period,and are in financial hardship, may be able to get an exemption for Special Benefit. People granted one of these exemptions can access Family Tax Benefit if they have dependent children.

People can contact the Department of Human Services to find out if they are eligible for an exemption from the waiting period.

Other support

New migrants can access other government services during the waiting period, such as health services like Medicare. They may also be eligible for help paying for childcare.

Proposed changes to the Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period from 1 January 2022

Announced in the 2021-22 Budget, subject to the passage of legislation, migrants granted a relevant permanent or temporary visa (see below) on or after 1 January 2022 will have a Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period of four years before they can access carer payments and family payments. This applies a consistent four-year waiting period for these payments with the existing four-year waiting period for working age payments, such as Job Seeker Payment.

From 1 January 2022, the changes will:

· Increase the existing waiting period for Carer Payment, Parental Leave Pay, and Dad and Partner Pay from two years (104 weeks) to four years (208 weeks).

· Increase the existing waiting period for Carer Allowance and Family Tax Benefit Part A from one year (52 weeks) to four years (208 weeks).

· Introduce a new waiting period of four years (208 weeks) for Family Tax Benefit Part B.

The measure will also ensure the existing four-year waiting period for concession cards is applied consistently to relevant temporary visa holders, in line with permanent visa holders.

Those granted are Levant permanent or temporary visa before 1 January 2022 are not affected by these changes and remain subject to the rules that applied when they were granted their visa (see below for rules introduced in 2019). 

The relevant permanent and temporary visas are

1. For Carer Payment and Carer Allowance - all Permanent Skilled, Family and Special Eligibility visas under the Migration Program Except:

Orphan Relative Subclass 115 Visa

Orphan Relative Subclass 835 Visa

Remaining Relative Subclasses 117 Visa

Remaining Relative Subclass 837 Visa

2. For Family Tax Benefit, Parental Leave Pay and Dad and Partner Pay - all permanent skilled, family and special eligibility visas under the Migration Program Except:

Orphan Relative Subclass 115 Visa

Orphan Relative Subclass 835 Visa

Remaining Relative Subclasses 117 Visa

Remaining Relative Subclass 837 Visa

Partner Subclass 309 Visa

Partner Subclass 820 Visa

3. For the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card and Low Income Health Care Card - Special Category Visas (subclass 444) and temporary partner visas (Subclasses 309 and820). 

Existing exemptions from the waiting period will continue to apply, including for humanitarian entrants and their families, and people who experience a substantial change in circumstances and are in financial hardship.

More information Visit www.humanservices.gov.au/newresidentswaiting

For more information in your language: call the Department of Human Services Multilingual Phone Service on 131 202 or go to www.humanservices.gov.au/yourlanguage.

 

Disclaimer: ‘Atlantis International Pty Ltd’ and its associates are independent consulting entities which are not associated in anyway with the Australian ‘Department of Home Affairs’ (DOHA). Information on this website does not constitute personal migration advice. For a customized migration advice based on your personal circumstances, please call and talk to one of our Immigration Consultants or register your interest with our Associates.