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RoEire

Wait Times for Benefits

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Hello! I know earlier in the year, the rules were changed to introduce wait times for newly granted PR recipients before they could claim certain benefits from Centrelink. We've been in Australia for over 4 years now, with PR for 1, so unfortunately are still unable to claim Centrelink for another year.

With all that is happening with Corona Virus at the minute, there's a very real possibility that we're facing redundancy, or at a minimum being asked to take 3 weeks unpaid leave. Our business is really struggling for cash, as I'm sure others are too. 

Do you think there will be any waiver from the Government on these wait times, assuming that the situation for everyone gets even more serious in the coming months? It's a serious source of worry for us at the moment! If we are let go, naturally we'll be trying to find new jobs asap, but with things as they are, jobs being advertised are few and far between at the moment.

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Occupation: Corporate Services Manager
State: VIC
Birth Country: LR
Stream: 457 - 186 TRT
Number of applicants: 2
Nomination & Application Submitted: 13th of November 2018

Nomination approved on the 14 May 2019 

Visa Approved on : 14 May 2019
IMMI Status: Finalised 

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On 17/03/2020 at 12:56, RoEire said:

Hello! I know earlier in the year, the rules were changed to introduce wait times for newly granted PR recipients before they could claim certain benefits from Centrelink. We've been in Australia for over 4 years now, with PR for 1, so unfortunately are still unable to claim Centrelink for another year.

With all that is happening with Corona Virus at the minute, there's a very real possibility that we're facing redundancy, or at a minimum being asked to take 3 weeks unpaid leave. Our business is really struggling for cash, as I'm sure others are too. 

Do you think there will be any waiver from the Government on these wait times, assuming that the situation for everyone gets even more serious in the coming months? It's a serious source of worry for us at the moment! If we are let go, naturally we'll be trying to find new jobs asap, but with things as they are, jobs being advertised are few and far between at the moment.

Hello!

My understanding is they waivered wait times. My husband and I only received residency on 3/3/2020 and have been advised we qualify for jobseekers. We do not qualify for jobkeepers because we missed out by 2 days (the ATO website reads that you have to have held a permanent residency visa as of 1/3/2020). So I would 100% say you qualify for help. If you haven't done so already log onto your myGov account and register your intent to claim jobkeepers ASAP as it will be backdated.

Good luck


IELTS 09/05/15 reading 9.0 writing 9.0 listening 9.0 speaking 8.5

+ve skills assessment 30/07/15 EOI 10/08/15 invite 11/08/15 Application sent 17/08/15 Application accepted 05/11/15 visa lodged 16/11/15 police checks submitted 01/12/15 case officer allocated 02/12/15 medicals 04/12/15 form 80s uploaded 14/12/15 Australian police check uploaded 12/01/16 Visa granted 18/01/16

Permanent residency application submitted 21/11/2018

PR granted 03/03/2020

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I hope someone can help please?

I cannot find any information on Jobseekers payment for anyone who arrives in Australia  (WA) on a Partner Visa 309/100 (permanent resident with both) and myself (Australian Citizen) whilst we look for work.

We will be looking for work immediately and are worried there may be wait times.

We will be staying with family on a temporary basis until we find somewhere to live.

I have read some information about the fornightly payments, but there is so much information its actually mind boggling!!  Do we have to register with Centrelink on our arrival?

Any help would be greatly appreciated,  thank you.

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3 hours ago, Aussiebird said:

I cannot find any information on Jobseekers payment for anyone who arrives in Australia  (WA) on a Partner Visa 309/100 (permanent resident with both) and myself (Australian Citizen) whilst we look for work.

We will be looking for work immediately and are worried there may be wait times.

I don't know what the current rules are, but I can tell you that in over 35 years in Australia, I've never been able to claim any kind of benefits when I was unemployed, even for extended periods.  Benefits are means-tested, so if you have money in the bank (which I assume you will, since you'll have sold your house), you won't be eligibie. 

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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5 hours ago, Aussiebird said:

I hope someone can help please?

I cannot find any information on Jobseekers payment for anyone who arrives in Australia  (WA) on a Partner Visa 309/100 (permanent resident with both) and myself (Australian Citizen) whilst we look for work.

We will be looking for work immediately and are worried there may be wait times.

There used to be a standard wait time of several weeks - 6 weeks when I worked in the system but that was many years ago - but several of the normal operating rules have been changed in the current Covid 19 situation - including the assets test mentioned above.  (It was temporarily suspended for new claims from 23 March but no indication when it will be reintroduced:  more information here) - https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/jobseeker-payment/how-much-you-can-get/income-and-asset-limits#a2

I would definitely visit a Centrelink office and check the current situation when you arrive. Have you seen this Payment and Service Finder?  It may answer some of your questions:

https://www.centrelink.gov.au/custsite_pfe/pymtfinderest/paymentFinderPage.jsf?wec-appid=pymtfinderest&wec-locale=en_US#stay

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You usually can’t get JobSeeker Payment if you have income or assets over a certain amount.  Here is a fact sheet.

https://www.australianunity.com.au/wealth/~/media/publicsite/documents/financial advice/factsheets/supperannuation_retirement/centrelink.ashx?la=en

it says JobSeeker payments will not be payable if assets exceed $605,000 for non-homeowners.  That doesn't seem right????

Edited by Toots

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2 hours ago, Marisawright said:

I don't know what the current rules are, but I can tell you that in over 35 years in Australia, I've never been able to claim any kind of benefits when I was unemployed, even for extended periods.  Benefits are means-tested, so if you have money in the bank (which I assume you will, since you'll have sold your house), you won't be eligibie. 

When JobSeeker was announced in March they removed all Assets Test and Waiting periods for new applicants.

The only test in place at the moment is the income test.

I took advantage of this myself. I had been living off my savings having left a job in October but quickly applied when they announced that.

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16 minutes ago, Toots said:

You usually can’t get JobSeeker Payment if you have income or assets over a certain amount.  Here is a fact sheet.

https://www.australianunity.com.au/wealth/~/media/publicsite/documents/financial advice/factsheets/supperannuation_retirement/centrelink.ashx?la=en

it says JobSeeker payments will not be payable if assets exceed $605,000 for non-homeowners.  That doesn't seem right????

That is in "normal times".  The Services Australia link I gave above says:

"Asset limits

We’re waiving the JobSeeker Payment asset limit for new claims from 23 March 2020. The income limit will still apply.

When the asset test is reinstated, your payment would cancel when your assets are more than the following amounts...."  then details the respective limits.   

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2 hours ago, Marisawright said:

I don't know what the current rules are, but I can tell you that in over 35 years in Australia, I've never been able to claim any kind of benefits when I was unemployed, even for extended periods.  Benefits are means-tested, so if you have money in the bank (which I assume you will, since you'll have sold your house), you won't be eligibie. 

You should apply for jobseeker if you are unemployed now and not yet at pension age.

They expect you to look for a job but you will get $1150 per fortnight, plus i got the one-off $750. 

Edited by Parley
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1 minute ago, Parley said:

When JobSeeker was announced in March they removed all Assets Test and Waiting periods for new applicants.

The only test in place at the moment is the income test.

I took advantage of this myself. I had been living off my savings having left a job in October but quickly applied when they announced that.

Exactly this. We wouldn't have qualified previously because you had to be on PR for two years before you could apply, but with the current pandemic, they waived the wait period which made us eligible. Thankfully with JobKeeper we didn't need to in the end. 

I don't know how long that they'll stay waived, but hopefully for the considerable future anyway until the job market becomes a little more stable.


Occupation: Corporate Services Manager
State: VIC
Birth Country: LR
Stream: 457 - 186 TRT
Number of applicants: 2
Nomination & Application Submitted: 13th of November 2018

Nomination approved on the 14 May 2019 

Visa Approved on : 14 May 2019
IMMI Status: Finalised 

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5 hours ago, Marisawright said:

I don't know what the current rules are, but I can tell you that in over 35 years in Australia, I've never been able to claim any kind of benefits when I was unemployed, even for extended periods.  Benefits are means-tested, so if you have money in the bank (which I assume you will, since you'll have sold your house), you won't be eligibie. 

Thank you for the reply.  So if no savings at all, for example, you still wouldnt be able to claim Job Seekers payment whilst looking for work?  How are you meant to live? So are people saying if newly arrived in Australia, you have to have a huge lump sum to support yourself? Is this referring to me as a Citizen or to my husband with the Partner Visa?  Also, would we not qualify for Medicare either?

TIA x

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46 minutes ago, Aussiebird said:

So are people saying if newly arrived in Australia, you have to have a huge lump sum to support yourself?

Yes, we always warn people about that when they come to these forums asking about migration.  As there are no benefits available to new migrants, we  tell them they need to bring enough money for living expenses for three to six months, just in case they struggle to find work.  It's just one of the costs of migrating.   

Some of the state visas require you to prove you've got the money.

Tax and benefits are based on residency, not citizenship (the same goes for the UK).   So I don't think being a citizen will help.    Currently, the waiting periods have been waived - but if you're not arriving til the emergency dies down, by that time they'll have reinstated them all, so that won't help you.  Currently they're saying they'll be reinstated in September.    

I'd say you have two options.  One is to move while the emergency is on, so you'll be eligible for Jobseeker while you look for work (but remember, you'll lose the payment when they reinstate the waiting periods).   The other is for the main breadwinner to come over alone and live in a hostel till they find work, then find a place to rent and bring over the rest of the family.  The alternative is to wait till the emergency is over, come as a family and resign yourself to eating into the house proceeds to live on.

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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45 minutes ago, Aussiebird said:

Also, would we not qualify for Medicare either?

You will be eligible for Medicare immediately. 


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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27 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

Yes, we always warn people about that when they come to these forums asking about migration.  As there are no benefits available to new migrants, we  tell them they need to bring enough money for living expenses for three to six months, just in case they struggle to find work.  It's just one of the costs of migrating.   

Some of the state visas require you to prove you've got the money.

Tax and benefits are based on residency, not citizenship (the same goes for the UK).   So I don't think being a citizen will help.    Currently, the waiting periods have been waived - but if you're not arriving til the emergency dies down, by that time they'll have reinstated them all, so that won't help you.  Currently they're saying they'll be reinstated in September.    

I'd say you have two options.  One is to move while the emergency is on, so you'll be eligible for Jobseeker while you look for work (but remember, you'll lose the payment when they reinstate the waiting periods).   The other is for the main breadwinner to come over alone and live in a hostel till they find work, then find a place to rent and bring over the rest of the family.  The alternative is to wait till the emergency is over, come as a family and resign yourself to eating into the house proceeds to live on.

When we moved to Oz before (2012) we was both able to get help whilst we was looking for work.  We had a small amount of money that we came with and rented as soon as we got there, it didnt take us long to find jobs, and our benefits ceased as soon as we notified we had jobs.  We didn't have any savings either, so things have changed dramatically then. 

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24 minutes ago, Aussiebird said:

When we moved to Oz before (2012) we was both able to get help whilst we was looking for work.  We had a small amount of money that we came with and rented as soon as we got there, it didnt take us long to find jobs, and our benefits ceased as soon as we notified we had jobs.  We didn't have any savings either, so things have changed dramatically then. 

Did you have savings in the bank (from the sale of your house or otherwise)?


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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45 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

Yes, we always warn people about that when they come to these forums asking about migration.  As there are no benefits available to new migrants, we  tell them they need to bring enough money for living expenses for three to six months, just in case they struggle to find work.  It's just one of the costs of migrating.   

Some of the state visas require you to prove you've got the money.

Tax and benefits are based on residency, not citizenship (the same goes for the UK).   So I don't think being a citizen will help.    Currently, the waiting periods have been waived - but if you're not arriving til the emergency dies down, by that time they'll have reinstated them all, so that won't help you.  Currently they're saying they'll be reinstated in September.    

I'd say you have two options.  One is to move while the emergency is on, so you'll be eligible for Jobseeker while you look for work (but remember, you'll lose the payment when they reinstate the waiting periods).   The other is for the main breadwinner to come over alone and live in a hostel till they find work, then find a place to rent and bring over the rest of the family.  The alternative is to wait till the emergency is over, come as a family and resign yourself to eating into the house proceeds to live on.

Forgot to say if you bring enough money for 6 months and it runs out and still no jobs what happens then?  

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5 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

Did you have savings in the bank (from the sale of your house or otherwise)?

No, we didn't sell our house and had no savings. The money we had to take with us was what we had saved to make the move, we didnt have any spare savings in the bank.

Edited by Aussiebird

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1 hour ago, Aussiebird said:

No, we didn't sell our house and had no savings. The money we had to take with us was what we had saved to make the move, we didnt have any spare savings in the bank.

That’s the difference, then. Your home is excluded from the means test


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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1 hour ago, Aussiebird said:

No, we didn't sell our house and had no savings. The money we had to take with us was what we had saved to make the move, we didnt have any spare savings in the bank.

If you are a citizen i didnt think there was a wait period for job seeker benefits. If you have PR but are not a citizen there is. So maybe you could claim immeditaley but your partner couldnt. I believe rent assistance etc does not have a wait period even if your only PR so that may be worth claiming until you get on your feet too.

Cal x


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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2 hours ago, Aussiebird said:

Forgot to say if you bring enough money for 6 months and it runs out and still no jobs what happens then?  

From the history of the forums, people returned home.  I do hope you manage to get jobs quickly, but I think there will be a lot of unemployed people also competing for the same positions.

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