Benefits and payments homepage
Take a look at the range of benefits and payments we have available.
Redundancy, health condition or disability or another reason you can’t work
Food, school costs, power, accommodation or other living expenses you need help with
You’ve had a relationship break-up, family breakdown or violent relationship end
Health and Disability
Counselling, prescription and GP costs, medical alarms and other costs we can help with
Travelling overseas, how to apply, payment rates and dates, overseas pensions, income and other info for Seniors
Caring for someone else’s child or someone with a health condition, injury or disability
Urgent or unexpected costs
Dental, glasses, car repairs, fridge, washing machine, funeral or other urgent costs you need help with
Childcare, school uniforms, stationery, having a baby and other costs if you have children
Fixing issues with Accommodation Supplement, Special Benefit and other payments we’ve made
16-19 year olds
Education, training, work and benefit help for 16-19 year olds
Benefits and forms
A-Z list of benefits, forms, benefit rates
Find out what services we can offer to help you find work and when you start a new job.
Looking for work
We have jobs available now in various industries and you can search on our job websites.
Help with your job search
From advice on making a plan, to tips on where to look and following up leads.
Training and experience
Our programmes can help you get ready for work with training and work experience.
Job Connect on Facebook
Find out how we can help you get ready to work, find work, and support available while you're working.
CVs and cover letters
We’ve got great templates and advice for writing your CV or cover letter, and filling out job applications.
Help with work costs
Get help to pay for the things you need to start work
Job support and advice
Get all the support and advice you need to stay in work.
Health and disability
If you want to work, we can support you to find the right job for you.
Start your own business
We can help you get your business up and running.
Get advice about how to prepare for and deliver a great interview.
Help for 16-19 year olds
We’ve got extra support for young people to get ready for work and find a job.
On a benefit homepage
Check out what you need to do when you're getting a benefit or other payment from us.
Address, contact details, overseas travel, childcare, relationship or anything else that’s changed.
Declare income, wages deduction calculator and tables
Change in your childcare situation, continue childcare payments, cohort entry schools and other childcare information
Re-apply for Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Temporary Additional Support and more
Check or stop your payments, payment cards and other information
Check your debt, repayments and other debt information
Rights and responsibilities
Our commitment to you, obligations, complaints, benefit fraud and more
Find out how we can help you with housing.
Nowhere to stay
Get help if you have nowhere to stay right now.
Find a house
Find out where to look for private housing, or apply for public (social) housing.
Living in your home
Get help with accommodation costs, and advice on any housing issues and public housing tenancies.
Find out how we can help if you’re moving house.
The Special Banking Option
The Special Banking Option (SBO) enables you to receive overseas and New Zealand benefits or pension payments as one regular payment.
The Special Banking Option is only available to people who receive pensions from certain countries.
The Special Banking Option (SBO) is currently available to those who receive benefits or pensions from:
- United Kingdom
- The Netherlands
- Republic of Ireland
It is suitable for people who would otherwise receive an overseas benefit or pension and part payment of New Zealand Superannuation or benefit.
The advantage of the SBO over direct payment
- SBO ensures your combined benefit or pension payments from overseas and from New Zealand is paid at the same rate as the full rate of New Zealand Superannuation or benefit.
It is not suitable for people who:
- are going overseas for more than 26 weeks, or
- are receiving an overseas pension that exceeds the New Zealand benefit or pension or is likely to exceed if the exchange rate changes, or
- are un-discharged bankrupts, or
- have been granted a New Zealand Superannuation or benefit using the Australian social security agreement, lived in New Zealand for less than 10 years, receive an Australian pension and a pension from a third country, or have residence in a third country that may entitle them to a third country pension
- have a voluntary or non-deductible component to their overseas pension (excluding Netherlands holiday pay), or
- have an outstanding overseas pension debt with the overseas agency, or
- have previously chosen to transfer back to receiving their overseas pension directly while still residing in New Zealand, or
- have previously had their Special Banking Option account closed because they breached the Special Banking Option rules.
You can generally only opt for the Special Banking Option once for each country. In most circumstances, if you chose to close your Special Banking Option account and receive your overseas benefit or pension directly, you cannot rejoin the Special Banking Option.
If your spouse or partner also receives an overseas pension or benefit:
- You must both use the same payment option, either by direct payment or SBO.
- The SBO option allows your overseas benefit or pension to be paid directly into a special Westpac bank account here in New Zealand.
- This account is held in your name but only accessible by the Ministry of Social Development. The account does not incur bank fees nor earn any interest.
- You will receive regular payment equal to the full rate of New Zealand Superannuation or benefit, regardless of how much your overseas pension is.
Fluctuations in the exchange rate will not affect your payments as they would if you were receiving the overseas payment directly.
- Once your overseas pension is paid into the SBO, you don’t need to pay New Zealand tax separately on your overseas pension.
- You will need to pay tax on any other payments that you receive directly.
- For any other tax questions please contact Inland Revenue on 0800 227 774 (please have your IRD number handy) or visit:
To apply for the Special Banking Option you'll need to complete an application pack.
If you can't print the forms out, you can call International Services on 0800 777 227 to get an application form sent to you.
Once you've completed the forms, you'll need to drop them off to one of our service centres, or you can post them to:
Ministry of Social Development
PO Box 27178
Senior Services International help you get paid the right amount of New Zealand Benefit or pension whether you live in New Zealand or overseas
Contact Senior Services International