28 March 2023
The maximum OSCAR subsidy payment is 20 hours per week during the school term.
Parents can choose to use the OSCAR subsidy hours for teacher only days (or strike days), but may need to reduce the hours on other days.
There are no exceptions to the limit of 20 hours per week for OSCAR Subsidy payments. See:
16 March 2023
Student Allowance and Student Loans
The payment of Student Allowance for study breaks of longer than 3 weeks due to a break in tuition from an education provider, for up to 8 weeks was approved on 6 March 2023. This approval is in response to the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle.
The 'Breaks in tuition (study breaks) when Student Allowances can continue being paid' Map page in the Student Allowance manual has been updated to reflect this decision.
Approval has also been given to continue Student Loans living costs payments when a student has a break in tuition for more than 3 weeks in areas affected by Cyclone Gabrielle.
13 March 2023
Housing Support Products
Housing-related hardship assistance previously available as an Advance Payments of Benefit and Recoverable Assistance Payments is now available under the new Housing Support Products.
This is the primary assistance for one-off housing related costs for people with tenancy agreements covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.
Clients can no longer get an Advance Payment of Benefit or Recoverable Assistance Payment for costs covered under Housing Support Products.
From 13 March 2023 the Statement of Satisfactory Tenancy and Conditional Grant for Housing Assistance operational policy manuals were revoked and removed from Map.
- Bond Grant
- Moving Costs Grant
- Rent Arrears Grant
- Rent in Advance Grant
- Tenancy Costs Cover
- Transition to Alternative Housing Grant
Deskfile has also been updated with new Housing Support Products income limits and cash asset limits:
- Bond Grant income limits
- Bond Grant cash asset limits
- Moving Costs Grant income limits
- Moving Costs Grant cash asset limits
- Rent Arrears Grant income limits
- Rent Arrears Grant cash asset limits
- Rent in Advance Grant income limits
- Rent in Advance Grant cash asset limits
A new Housing Support Products welfare programme has been added, effective from 13 March 2023:
This Housing Support Assistance Programme has been revoked.
14 February 2023
Social Housing - Assessment of eligibility
When a 'specified child or young person' is placed with a parent under the care or custody of Oranga Tamariki or in approved permanent care, they can still be fast-tracked if they qualify for social housing.
However, households do not qualify to be fast-tracked for social housing if the child or young person is leaving the care or custody of Oranga Tamariki in the 12 months or less.
3 February 2023
Special Needs Grants Civil Defence Payments
In response to the North Island Floods Event, some Civil Defence Payment pages have been updated to clarify:
- payments are available to anyone with a current visa in New Zealand
- payments for food, clothing, bedding, and loss of livelihood are not limited to evacuees
- how to treat multiple applications for the same need
- payments are not available for pet-related costs
1 February 2023
Civil Defence Payments - emergency housing
Please see the Civil Defence Payment advice in the Special Needs Grants for the assistance available during emergency events.
The page under the emergency housing content for 'Civil Defence Payments for housing' has been removed.
- Civil Defence Payment
- Civil Defence Payments Billeting
Disability Allowance - Electricity, gas or heating
Clients can apply for an Advance Payment of Benefit or Recoverable Assistance Payments to meet electricity, gas or heating costs.
When we are paying Disability Allowance for power, gas and heating costs this should be considered when assessing whether the client qualifies for an Advance Payment of Benefit and Recoverable Assistance Payment for electricity, gas or water costs.
This is as the costs we are paying Disability Allowance for may overlap with the costs the client is applying for as an Advance Payment of Benefit or Recoverable Assistance Payment.
Clients cannot get payments twice for the same purpose.
Clients may still qualify for an Advance Payment of Benefit or Recoverable Assistance Payment for electricity, gas and heating but it is important that staff use discretion when the client they are assessing is also getting Disability Allowance for power, gas and heating.
- Disability Allowance Power, gas and heating costs
- Advance Payment of Benefit Electricity, gas and water
- Recoverable Assistance Payments Electricity, gas or water
Initial stand-down periods
The current initial stand-down periods have been amended in line with the adjustment to the Gross Average Ordinary Time Weekly Wage (AOTWW) as at 1 February 2023. See: