COVID-19 response

If you are looking for the latest legal information relating current Coronavirus laws in New Zealand, check out our new section: Coronavirus and the Law.

Communtity Law Manual | Jobs, benefits & flats | Work & Income | Benefits and other income support

Benefits and other income support

Overview of the benefit system

In New Zealand, income support is available to working-age adults (18 and older) if they:

  • are legally resident in New Zealand
  • do not have sufficient income, and
  • are available for and looking for work, or are exempted from this requirement (for example, because they have a child under three) or are unable to work because of an illness, injury or disability.

Income support is also available to 16- and 17-year-olds in some situations. People over 65 qualify for New Zealand Superannuation regardless of their income if they meet residency requirements.

The benefit system is administered by Work and Income, which is part of the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). Work and Income has about 150 service centres (now called “Community Link”) throughout the country. It also has several 0800 enquiry numbers, the main one being 0800 559 009.

Note: Several kinds of secondary assistance, such as the Accommodation Supplement and Special Needs Grants, are available to people who are working and who are not receiving a main benefit such as Jobseeker Support (see “Coming off a benefit” in this chapter).

back to top

Check out Frequently Asked Questions and Answers related to COVID-19 on our website here

Community Law Centres in the Auckland region will be operating remotely. Centres across the rest of New Zealand continue to operate face-to-face, with some restrictions.

Find the contact details of your nearest Community Law Centre here

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support