More New Zealanders to get hardship support

22 October 2021.

People who are struggling to meet essential costs such as rent, heating, and food may be eligible for hardship support from Work and Income.

From 1 November, anyone who meets the increased income thresholds, such as casual or part-time workers, or people who aren't already getting financial support may be eligible for assistance.

For example:

  • a single person, 18 years or older, working up to 40 hours a week on the minimum wage, and earning up to $800 a week (before tax) may be eligible for assistance.
  • a sole parent with one child, the weekly income threshold (before tax) will increase to $1,100 a week.
  • a couple’s income threshold will increase to $1,600 a week.

Find out if you’re eligible

The new income limits will be in place from 1 November.

You can check these links to see the new income limits: Special Needs Grant, Recoverable Assistance Payment or Advance Payment of Benefit.

From 1 November, you can check what you might get or call:

  • 0800 559 009 for working age
  • 0800 552 002 for over-65’s
  • 0800 88 99 00 for students

for more information. Interpreters are available to support you.

When you apply for help from us, you may need to provide documents. Here’s a list of the evidence we’ll need.

We’ll also take the opportunity to assess other support you may be eligible for, eg, Family and In-work Tax Credits and the Accommodation Supplement.

There are no changes to income limits for Emergency Housing Special Needs Grants, Transition to Work Grants and Course Participation Allowance.

The new income level limits will be in place until 28 February 2022.