Stand-down periods

Information about stand-down periods and how long they are.

What a stand-down is

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.

Example

  • Your application is approved from Monday 6 August 2018
  • You have a 2 week stand-down period
  • Your payments start from Monday 20 August 2018.

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 still need to wait up to 13 weeks before your payments start.

This 13 week period is a non-entitlement period, not a stand-down.

When your payments start

Your payments will start from the date after your stand-down finishes. If you've been working recently, your payments may take longer to start, it depends on your situation.

Once your payments start, you won't get any money in the first week. This is because we pay you for the week that's just been. This is called arrears.

When you don't have a stand-down

You won't have a stand-down if:

  • you transfer from one benefit to another
  • your benefit is suspended and then resumed again
  • your benefit is cancelled because you find a job and then you go back on a benefit within 26 weeks.

You also won't have a stand-down if you get New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension.

Important information

If you need money during your stand-down period to pay for urgent or unexpected costs, we might be able to help.

Urgent or unexpected costs

Work out how long your stand-down is

How long your stand-down is depends on:

  • your average weekly income (before tax) in the last 26 or 52 weeks, and
  • the number of children you have.

If you have a partner, we'll base the stand-down on whoever has the highest income in the last 26 or 52 weeks. We'll only use one income to work out the stand-down period.

  • You're single

    Number of children

    Average weekly income

    Initial stand-down

    None

    $0 - $1,254.38 1 week
    $1,254.39 and over 2 weeks

    One

    $0 - $1,334.38 1 week
    $1,334.39 and over 2 weeks

    Two

    $0 - $1,414.38 1 week
    $1,414.39 and over 2 weeks

    Three

    $0 - $1,494.38 1 week
    $1,494.39 and over 2 weeks

    Four

    $0 - $1,574.38 1 week
    $1,574.39 and over 2 weeks

    Five

    $0 - $1,654.38 1 week
    $1,654.39 and over 2 weeks
  • You have a partner

    Number of children

    Average weekly income

    Initial stand-down

    None

    $0 - $1,334.38 1 week
    $1,334.39 and over 2 weeks

    One

    $0 - $1,414.38 1 week
    $1,414.39 and over 2 weeks

    Two

    $0 - $1,494.38 1 week
    $1,494.39 and over 2 weeks

    Three

    $0 - $1,574.38 1 week
    $1,574.39 2 weeks

    Four

    $0 - $1,654.38 1 week
    $1,654.39 2 weeks

    Five

    $0 - $1,734.38 1 week
    $1,734.39 and over 2 weeks
  • You have more than 5 children

    If you have more than 5 children, you need to:

    • go to the tables under the 'You're single' or 'You have a partner' headings above
    • add $80 for each extra child to the average weekly income amount for the 5th child.

    For example

    • You have a partner and 7 children.
    • You need to add $160 to the average weekly income amount for the 5th child in the table under the 'You have a partner' heading.
    • So this is $1,734.38 + $160, which totals $1,894.38

    This means that if your average weekly income is:

    • $0-$1,894.38 you will have a 1 week stand-down
    • $1,894.39 and over, you will have a 2 week stand-down.