The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Ordinary waiting period


An OWP is a period of one week that recipients are required to serve unless exempted. An OWP is to be served after certain other relevant waiting periods or preclusion periods have ended.

Payments the OWP applies to

The OWP applies to the following payments:

  • jobseeker payment
  • YA (applies to YA jobseekers only), AND
  • parenting payment.

Act reference: SSAct section 500WA Ordinary waiting period (PP), section 549CA Ordinary waiting period (YA), section 620 Ordinary waiting period (JSP)

Duration of OWP

The duration of the OWP is explained in the following table:

If the recipient is … then the OWP lasts one week and starts on …
NOT subject to a LAWP the recipient's start day.
subject to a LAWP the day after the LAWP ends.
subject to an IMP when the person's rate of payment becomes payable at a rate greater than nil (unless one or more other waiting periods still apply).

For JSP incapacitated the start date may be earlier than the date of claim.

Policy reference: SS Guide Backdated start days - general provisions

Instances when recipients do not serve an OWP

A person may be exempted from the OWP as explained in

Policy reference: SS Guide Exemptions from waiting periods

Last reviewed: