Overview and key words

Key words

Abatement – The reduction in the amount of your benefit due to your income. The rate of abatement varies depending on how much you earn and your circumstances.

Cash assets – Money in the bank or other assets that can easily be converted into cash.

The house that you live in is not considered an asset, even if you own it. However, it may include a house or flat that you own but are not using as your home (because that property could be sold and converted to cash).

Dependent child – A young person under 18 who is a member of your family and is under the responsibility of you (and your partner) to look after and financially support, or an individual over 18 years old who is still financially dependent on you and attending school or tertiary study.

Discretion/Discretionary – Discretion is often expressed in law by the use of the word “may” as opposed to the use of “shall” or “must”. Discretion provides Work and Income with the ability to be reasonable and consider your wider circumstances when making a decision. The extent of the discretion available depends on the particular wording of the law. Discretion is not available for all decisions that Work and Income make.

Full time work – 30 hours or more per week.

Good and sufficient reason – A ‘good and sufficient reason’ depends on what reasonable when considering your wider life circumstances.

Hardship payments – One off or short-term payments to meet an immediate and essential need. Depending on what the payment is for, you may need to pay the money back to Work and Income (this is called a ‘recoverable’ payment).

Health practitioner – A person who is registered with an authority as a practitioner of a particular health profession. Health practitioners include medical practitioners (such as doctors, dentists, and specialists), and nurse practitioners.

Income – Generally defined as any money you receive that is not a one-off capital payment (e.g., a gift, a donation, a sale of an asset, an inheritance).

Main benefits – include:

  • Jobseeker Support
  • Sole Parent Support
  • Supported Living Payment
  • Emergency Benefit
  • Youth Payment
  • Young Parent Payment

Open employment – Employment that isn’t “sheltered” employment.

Part time work – 15 hours or more per week.

Principal caregiver – The person who has the main responsibility for the day-to-day care of the child.

Sheltered employment – Employment conditions that have been specifically designed to cater for the needs of severely disabled employees.

Suitable employment – What is considered “suitable employment” is a discretionary decision. This means it will be decided on a case by case basis depending on your current life circumstances. For example, whether it is reasonable for you to accept a job will depend on level of expertise, and the availability of childcare and transport options.

Working age –  18 years old to 64 years old.

Did this answer your question?

Dealing with Work and Income

Where to go for more support

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres

Ministry of Social Development – Work and Income (WINZ)

See Work and Income’s website for information on whether you qualify for a benefit and how to apply for them.

Website: www.workandincome.govt.nz
Phone:  0800 559 009

Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP)

AAAP is a free nationwide advocacy service for people dealing with Work and Income.

Website: www.aaap.org.nz
Email: advocates@aaap.org.nz
Instagram: www.instagram.com/aucklandactionagainstpoverty
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AAAPNZ/

Helpful resources for beneficiaries: www.aaap.org.nz/resources

Beneficiaries Advocacy and Information Services (BAIS)

BAIS provides free advocacy and support for beneficiaries and low-income families in Auckland’s North Shore, Rodney and Hibiscus Coast districts.

Website: www.bais.org.nz
Phone: 09 444 9543
Instagram: www.instagram.com/bais.northshoreandrodney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BAISnorthshoreandrodey   

Hutt Valley Benefit Education Service Trust (HV BEST)

The HV BEST provides information and support to beneficiaries in the Hutt Valley. 

Website: www.hvbest.co.nz
Email: hvbest@xtra.co.nz
Phone: 04 529 8108

Beneficiaries & Unwaged Workers Trust (BUWT)

BUWT provides information, advice and support to people on low incomes in Nelson.

Website: www.buwt.wordpress.com
Email: info@buwt.org.nz
Phone: 03 548 8171
Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/282105670089970/?locale=pt_PT

Beneficiary Advisory Service (BAS)

The BAS provides information and support to beneficiaries in Christchurch.

Website: www.bas.org.nz
Email: bas.cprc@gmail.com
Phone: 0800 00 00 43
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BeneficiaryAdvisoryService

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)

CAB provides free, confidential and independent information and advice. See CAB’s website for valuable information on a range of topics.

Website: www.cab.org.nz
Phone: 0800 367 222
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/citizensadvicenz

Find your local CAB office: www.cab.org.nz/find-a-cab

Zero Data

Zero Data is a new digital support that allows anyone with a mobile device, phone or tablet to access essential Government information for free. No data is used.

Website: www.zero.govt.nz

What do I need do I need for it to work?

  •  The device is on.
  •  The device is connected to Spark, Skinny One NZ, 2Degrees, Slingshot or Orcon.

You can access information from the following agencies:

  • Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora | Ministry of Social Development
  • Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education
  • Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs
  • Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand
  • Kāinga Ora | Homes & Communities
  • Te Tāhū o te Ture | Ministry of Justice
  • Te Kaporeihana Āwhina Hunga Whara | Accident Compensation Corporation

Also available as a book

The Community Law Manual

The Manual contains over 1000 pages of easy-to-read legal info and comprehensive answers to common legal questions. From ACC to family law, health & disability, jobs, benefits & flats, Tāonga Māori, immigration and refugee law and much more, the Manual covers just about every area of community and personal life.

Buy The Community Law Manual

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