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You’re a teenage parent (Young Parent Payment)

Social Security Act 2018, ss 17, 56, 57, 59, 60–62, Sched 4

If you’re under 20 and have a child, you may qualify for the Young Parent Payment. You will usually have to be in full-time education or training (or be available for it).

Do I qualify for the Young Parent Payment?

Social Security Act 2018, ss 56, 57, 59

If you’re a single parent, you must meet the activity requirements for this benefit (see below) and you must also be:

  • aged 18 or 19, or
  • aged 16 or 17, and:
    • you are (or were) married, in a civil union or in a de facto relationship with your parents’ permission, or
    • you’re living with, or being supported financially by your parents, but they earn under a certain amount, or
    • you’re not living with your parents, and in “exceptional circumstances” – for example, your relationship with your parents has broken down. The same rules apply here as for the Youth Payment (see: “Showing ‘exceptional circumstances’ if you’re single), or
  • aged 20, in some limited circumstances. You can still get the Young Parent payment if you either:
    • haven’t been getting the Young Parent Payment for at least 6 months. To be eligible for a main benefit, you need to have received the Young Parent Payment for at least 6 months, in this case you will continue to get the payment until you have received it for 6 months and then be eligible to apply for a main benefit (the exception to the 6 month rule is if you are on a Supported Living Payment on the ground of having a health condition, injury or disability), or
    • remain in education, training, or work-based learning. For example, if you are 20 and enrolled in a training course, you can continue to receive the Young Parent Payment until your course is finished.

If you’re married, or in a civil union, or in a de facto relationship with your parents’ permission, you can’t get the Young Parent Payment if:

  • your partner is working, and the two of you together earn over a certain amount, or
  • your partner is receiving Jobseeker Support, the Supported Living Payment for sickness, injury or disability, or the Emergency Benefit. However, your partner can still include you as their partner in their benefit.

Note: If you’re 18 or 19, you can receive Jobseeker Support during your pregnancy. Once your baby is born, you’ll qualify for the Young Parent Payment. When you turn 20, you’ll qualify for Sole Parent Support if you’re single or Jobseeker Support if you have a partner.

To qualify for the Young Parent Payment, you must be taking part in (or be available for), full-time study or training training, leading to an NCEA level 2 qualification or an equivalent or higher qualification.

However, this requirement doesn’t apply if:

  • you have a medical deferral due to a health condition,
  • your child is less than six months old, or
  • your child is between six and 12 months old and there isn’t a suitable place available for you in a school established specifically for young parents (“a teen parent unit”).

What other obligations will I have?

Social Security Act 2018, ss 105, 110, 162–164, 169

You might also have to:

  • attend a budgeting programme,
  • go to interviews with Work and Income or Youth Service provider organisations, and/or
  • cooperate with Work and Income or Youth Service providers in managing how your benefit is spent – this means, in particular, attending budgeting discussions and providing information about your finances and spending.

As a parent on a benefit, you’re also required to meet a number of “social” obligations, such as making sure that from age three your children attend pre-school or school, see: “What are “social obligations”?.

Will I receive the Young Parent Payment directly?

Social Security Act 2018, s 341

The Young Parent Payment is subject to the same “money management” system as the Youth Payment. Under this system, most of the benefit is not paid to you directly. Instead of getting money directly into your bank account, your Youth Service provider will pay your key costs on your behalf, this includes rent/board, power and phone. You’ll receive up to $50 a week directly into your bank account (your “in-hand allowance”) and any money left over is placed on a payment card, which you can use to buy food and other groceries from approved suppliers (for example, supermarkets, pharmacies or butchers).

Special “incentive payments” on the Young Parent Payment

Social Security Regulations 2018, regs 12–14 Social Security Act 2018, Sched 4, Pt 6

While you’re receiving the Young Parent Payment, you may also qualify for all of the following incentive payments:

  • You’ll receive an extra $10 a week if you complete six months’ successful participation in education, training or work-based learning.
  • You’ll receive an extra $10 a week if you complete an approved budgeting course and if, for three continuous months, you’ve also been attending budgeting discussions with Work and Income or a Youth Service provider.
  • You’ll receive an extra $10 a week if you complete a parenting education course and meet other related requirements.

If you’ve met the relevant requirements, you’ll continue to receive the incentive payment for as long as you’re on the Young Parent Payment.

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: buwtcs@xtra.co.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

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