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Work and Income New Zealand - Benefits

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Independent Youth Benefit:

For people under 18 who are orphaned or cut off from their family due to family breakdown.

Unemployment benefit:

This is for people who are looking for work. To receive this benefit you have to be actively looking for and available to start work.


Sickness Benefit:

This is available for people who have had to stop work or reduce work because of injury or illness.


Invalids benefit:

For people with an illness or injury that is long term.


Domestic Purposes Benefit:

For single parents/caregivers of children.


Extra Help:

There are also extra supplements available. You may qualify for some of these even if you are not on a benefit but may be on a low income.


Accommodation Supplement:

Help to pay rent, board or a mortgage.


Disability allowance:

Help to pay for ongoing medical costs related to a disability. This can also cover counselling costs. The application for this allowance must be supported by your doctor.

Community Services Card:

For people with low incomes, gives discounts on doctors and prescription fees and even at the movies.


Young Parent Childcare Payment:

Extra help with childcare for parents under 18.


Work Start Grant:

If you are about to start work (15 hours a week or more) and need help with things related to starting work.



Other Help:

Sometimes Work and Income can assist with immediate and essential needs, such as food, emergency dental or medical payments, help with bond for a flat, or essential items like a washing machine or fridge. Some of this needs to be paid back to Work and Income, and is assessed based on your level of need. The assessment generally covers a cash asset test (you need to show from your bank statements that you do not have the money and are on a low income), an assessment on how much you have contributed to your situation (e.g. if you ask for help with food because you have spent all your money on going to a concert you may not get the support) and whether the item or thing is immediate and essential and whether you have tried all other options to support yourself (e.g. asking family).  There is a limit to how much other help you are allowed in a year.