Sole Parent Support obligations

There are things you need to do when you're getting a Sole Parent Support benefit. If you don't do them, your benefit could reduce or stop.

  • Tell us if something changes

    You must tell us or your Contracted Service Provider (where you have one assigned to you) immediately if you:

    • have a change in work situation, eg, starting part-time, casual or full-time work, whether paid or unpaid
    • become self-employed/start to run a business
    • have changes to your income or financial circumstances
    • intend to travel overseas
    • start/finish part-time or full-time study
    • have changes to personal details, eg:
      • name
      • address
      • contact details
      • bank account number
    • have changes to your living situation, eg:
      • marriage or separation
      • starting or ending a civil union
      • starting or ending a de facto relationship with someone of the same or opposite sex
      • change in the number of children supported
      • change in accommodation costs
    • are imprisoned/held in custody on remand
    • are admitted to or discharged from hospital
    • have been granted an overseas pension
    • have any other change that may affect your benefit entitlement or rate.
  • Find or prepare for work

    Part-time work obligations

    If your youngest child is aged 3 to 13 (including any child you get Orphan's or Unsupported Child's Benefit for), you have the following part-time work obligations:

    • be available for and take reasonable steps to get a suitable part-time job
    • take any offer of suitable part-time or temporary work, or work that is seasonal or subsidised
    • attend and take part in any suitable job interviews we ask you to
    • take and pass any drug test potential employers or training providers require
    • attend and take part in interviews with us as required
    • work with us to plan how you'll find a suitable job
    • take part in any other activities that we refer you to, such as attend any job training courses, seminars, work experience or work assessments (including rehabilitation, but not medical treatment) that will improve your work readiness or help you get work
    • let us know how you're meeting your work obligations as often as we reasonably require.

    Work preparation obligations

    You have work preparation obligations if:

    • your youngest child is under 3 (including any child you get Orphan's or Unsupported Child's Benefit for)
    • you can't currently work because of a good and sufficient reason (eg, you have a health condition, injury or disability).

    To meet your work preparation obligations you need to:

    • take reasonable steps to prepare and plan for work
    • attend and take part in work preparation interviews, where we ask you to
    • attend and take part in work related activities or programmes such as a work assessment, a programme or seminar to increase particular skills or enhance motivation where we ask you to
    • attend and take part in any other activity that we require you to (including rehabilitation but not medical treatment, voluntary work or activity in the community).
  • Take part in work ability assessments

    When it has been agreed, you have an obligation to attend and participate in a work ability assessment.

  • Take part in activities with our service providers

    When it has been agreed that you will work with a Contracted Service Provider, you have an obligation to co-operate with them and to:

    • attend and participate in any interview with them
    • report to them on how you're meeting your obligations
    • complete assessments with them.
  • When taking care of dependent children

    You're expected to take reasonable steps to meet social obligations as a parent or a caregiver. These are to ensure your dependent child(ren) (including any child you get Orphan's or Unsupported Child's Benefit for) are:

    • enrolled with a health practitioner or a medical practice that's part of a Primary Health Organisation (PHO)
    • enrolled in and attending one of the following from the age of 3 until they start school:
      • an approved early childhood education programme, eg,
        • Kohanga Reo, Punanga Reo, Aoga and other programmes with a language and culture focus
        • parenting and early childhood home education programmes
        • kindergartens
        • preschools
        • childcare centres
        • playcentres
        • home-based care services, or
      • Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu - The Correspondence School, or
      • another approved parenting and early childhood home education programme
    • up to date with core Well Child/Tamariki Ora checks if aged under 5, at a Well Child/Tamariki Ora provider, eg:
      • Plunket
      • Maori health provider
      • Pacific health provider
    • enrolled in and attending school from the age of 5 or 6 (depending on when they start school).

    You may be required to meet with us to discuss how you're meeting your obligations as a parent or a caregiver.

  • If you don't meet your obligations

    If there's any reason why you can't meet your obligations, talk to us straight away. If you don't meet your obligations without good and sufficient reason, your benefit could be reduced or stopped.