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Communtity Law Manual | Work & Income | When your payments will start

Applying and qualifying for benefits

When your payments will start

When will my benefit start?

Social Security Act 2018, Sched 2 (definitions of “ceased” employment, and “non-entitlement period”), ss 297(1), 438(2)(e), 311, 313, 314, 315, 316, 440

Your benefit will start on the latest of the following dates:

  • when you become entitled to the benefit
  • when you finished work (if you were working), or
  • when Work and Income received your application.

However, there will usually be a “stand-down” period of either one or two weeks before your payments start.

If the written application process begins within 20 working days after you first contacted Work and Income (for example, by phoning them on the 0800 559 009 line), your application will be treated as if it had been received on the date of that first contact.

To calculate when you finished work, Work and Income will take into account any holiday pay, any pay given instead of notice, and any accumulated leave you were paid out for. You’ll be taken to have finished work at the end of the period covered by those payments.

If you quit your job, or were fired for some form of “misconduct”, you’ll have to wait an additional 13 weeks (a “non-entitlement period”).

Note: You should check Work and Income’s calculations for when you’re taken to have finished work, to make sure no mistakes have been made.

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