Work and income support

Work and income support

  • For New Zealanders needing job search support, financial assistance and in-work support.
  • Information from the Ministry of Social Development and Work & Income NZ.
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Advance on benefit

If there is something you need and you can't afford to pay for it right now, like an overdue power bill or a heater for your home, you may be able to get some of your benefit paid ahead of time. You will need to pay this back and there are conditions, so please discuss this with your case manager.

Special needs grant

This payment can help with urgent things that you really don't have any other way to pay for, like emergency medical care, bedding, or food bills. You won't usually have to pay this back but there are conditions so please discuss this with your case manager.

Temporary additional support

If you are suffering hardship and need help with your essential living costs, like power bills or accommodation costs, and you have no other way of meeting those costs, please talk to us. This support is time limited and has conditions.

Recoverable assistance payment

This is for people not receiving a main benefit. If you need something but can't afford to pay for it right now, like a heater or overdue power bill, you may be able to get this assistance. You will need to pay it back and there are conditions.

Disability allowance

This allowance can help with extra costs that you, your partner, or child may have because of a disability. It can help pay for things like regular visits to the doctor, medicines, or extra heating for your home.

Accommodation supplement

This payment can help you with rent, board, or the cost of owning a home. You may be able to get it if your income and cash assets are lower than a certain amount, but not if you are renting a property from Housing New Zealand.

To find out more visit the Work and Income website(external link).

Try these green tips that won't break the bank:

  • Install eco-friendly bulbs. These bulbs can last for many years and they use 80 per cent less power than standard light bulbs.
  • Get an energy efficient showerhead. This can use up to 50 per cent less hot water than a standard one. Consider installing one yourself, or ask your landlord if one can be fitted.
  • Check the seals on your fridge to make sure they are still working. If they stop working or become less effective, warm air will enter your fridge, making it work harder and use more power. To test your seals, put a piece of paper in the door and close it. If the paper can be easily pulled out, you may need to have the seals replaced. Do the same with your oven, as it could be losing precious heat energy whenever you cook. Companies that will replace the seals are listed in the yellow Pages under fridges and freezers - Servicing, or Ovens and stoves.
  • Double glaze your windows. This is an effective way of controlling heat loss and condensation, but can be very costly. A cheaper alternative is to buy a window insulator kit, which involves fitting plastic film to the inside of wooden windows. This can be done easily, and will make your windows 90 per cent more energy efficient. These can be purchased in the South Island from Community Energy Action(external link), 198 Armagh Street, Christchurch, or email: or in the North island from Negawatt Resources(external link), email: or phone 04-939 0313.
  • If you are replacing an appliance, try to ensure the replacement appliance is as energy efficient as possible. The higher initial cost will benefit you in the long run through savings made to your power bills.

To discover more about keeping warm and healthy during winter check out winter - how to keep your home warm in winter.(external link)

Credits: Ministry of social development, June 2015. Healthify editorial team.Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.