You can apply for most benefits online. In most cases you’ll need to meet with a case manager before your application is accepted and you start being paid.
If you're getting a benefit, NZ Superannuation or a Veteran's Pension from Work and Income, you must let them know if your contact details or circumstances change.
When you apply to Work and Income for a benefit or allowance, and while you're receiving it, you need to tell them if you get other income — either regular payments or a one-off.
Work and Income can advance up to 6 weeks’ benefit or pension to help pay for essential costs that crop up. Anyone on a low income, who gets a benefit or pension from Work and Income, can apply. It’s repaid in instalments.
A Community Services Card can reduce healthcare costs. Anyone on a low income who is aged 16 or over, a NZ citizen or permanent resident and normally lives here, can apply.
If you can't support yourself and you're not able to get any other help from Work and Income, you can apply for the Emergency Benefit.
A Recoverable Assistance Payment can help with urgent costs that you can’t afford. Anyone on a low income who isn’t receiving a benefit or pension from Work and Income can apply.
A Special Needs Grant from Work and Income can help you cover essential or emergency costs that you can't afford. Anyone on a low income can apply and you don’t usually have to repay it.
If you can't pay for what you need you can apply to Work and Income for Temporary Additional Support. This is a weekly payment that can last for up to 13 weeks and you don't have to be on a benefit.
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Page last updated: 27 April 2017
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