Changes to how we work

We're making changes to the way we're working during COVID-19, taking into account the health and safety of our clients and each other.

Alert levels

All of New Zealand is currently at Alert Level 1. We'll continue to help over the phone and online where we can. Our service centres are open and if we need to meet with you in person, we'll make an appointment with you.

  • Our service centres

    We can do a lot to help you over the phone or on MyMSD so you don't need to come and see us. Rather than dropping in, please call us on 0800 559 009.

    Our service centres are open and if we need to meet with you in person, we'll make an appointment with you.

    We'll talk with you about booking one at a time that suits you.

    • You'll be greeted by one of our security staff who will check your name and let us know you've arrived.
    • If you need to bring in someone from your whānau, your kids or a support person, that's okay.

    If you have an appointment but start feeling unwell, please stay home and call us instead.

    If you need to contact us urgently you can use MyMSD or contact us.

  • Medical certificates, reviews and re-applications

    We are:

    • deferring the need to provide subsequent medical certificates for clients already getting Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support and Supported Living Payment until 1 August 2021
    • deferring any Disability Allowance reviews for the time being. Also, people applying for Disability Allowance, or clients with new or increased costs, will not need to provide receipts or invoices until further notice
    • delaying Annual Reviews (including all annual reviews of income, confirming your circumstances (CYC) and annual circumstances letters (ACL), social housing reviews, and life certificates)
    • re-starting Temporary Additional Support reapplications, Special Benefit reviews, Child Disability Allowance reviews, from late September
    • clearing any 52-week reapplications for clients getting Jobseeker Support or Sole Parent Support until 30 March 2021.
  • Benefits increase

    Winter Energy Payment rates have doubled for 2020

    Single people with no dependent children $40.91 a week
    Couples, and people with dependent children $63.64 a week

    The period it is paid for isn't changing (1 May - 1 October)

    Main benefits increased

    From 1 April 2020 all main benefits increased by $25 per week.

    This increase to the after-tax rate applied to:

    • Jobseeker Support
    • Sole Parent Support
    • Supported Living Payment
    • Young Parent Payment
    • Youth Payment

    This was in addition to the already announced 1 April rate changes.

    This increase in your benefit payment may have affected some of your other payments such as Temporary Additional Support, Accommodation Supplement and Childcare Assistance - but generally people are better off because of these changes.

    In-work Tax Credit

    The hours test for In-work Tax Credit will be removed from 1 July 2020. We'll have more information about what this means for low income, working families with children in the next few weeks.

  • Stand-down if you apply for a benefit

    Most weekly benefits have a stand-down. This is a period of time where you can't get any money from us. It's usually 1 or 2 weeks after your application is approved.

    The Government has decided to remove stand-downs as part of its response to COVID-19. If you're eligible for a benefit between 23 March 2020 and 24 July 2021 (extended from 23 November 2020), you won't have a stand-down.

    You'll start getting your payments the week after your application is approved. This is because we pay you for the week that's just been. This is called arrears. We'll let you know when this happens.

    We'll also talk with you about ways we may be able to help until you get your first benefit payment.

    Left your job voluntarily or fired for misconduct

    If you've left your job without a good reason or have been fired for misconduct, you may need to wait up to 13 weeks before your payments start.

    If this happens, there are a number of ways we may still be able to help.

    Please contact us to talk about your situation.