Orphan’s Benefit is a weekly payment which helps carers supporting a child or young person whose parents have died or can't be found, or can’t look after them because they have a long-term illness or incapacity.
Who can get it
You may get the Orphan’s Benefit if the child or young person you care for is:
- 18 years old or younger
- financially dependent on you.
You must also:
- be 18 or older and the main carer of the child or young person
- expect to care for the child or young person for 12 months or more
- be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
- not be the child or young person's natural or adoptive parent.
You or the child or young person must normally live in New Zealand. If you are working and are granted the Orphans Benefit, you may also qualify for the In-work tax credit from Inland Revenue
This information is a guide only. Contact us to talk about your individual circumstances.
How much you can get
This depends on the child or young person’s age and any income they have.
For more information
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How to apply
How long do I have to complete my application?
You have 20 working days from when you first contacted us. You'll need to provide us with any supporting documentation required for your application within this time. If you don't do this, you may have to reapply.
If you can't complete your application within 20 working days for any reason contact us.
We recognise that you can face financial pressure when you’re caring for someone else’s child and, as part of the Children’s Action Plan, two new payments and a special fund are being introduced to help with this.
School and Year Start-up Payment
From 13 January 2014, if you get the Unsupported Child’s Benefit or Orphan’s Benefit you’ll be able to apply for the School and Year Start-up Payment to help with the costs that mostly happen at the beginning of the year, in particular pre-school and school-related costs such as clothing, school fees and stationery.
From 13 January 2014, when you get the Unsupported Child’s Benefit or Orphan’s Benefit, you will automatically receive a one-off grant of $350 for each child. This is to help you with the costs when a child first comes into your care, such as a bed, bedding and clothing.
Extraordinary Care Fund
Later in 2014, if you get the Unsupported Child’s Benefit or Orphan’s Benefit you’ll be able to apply for additional financial assistance in special circumstances from the Extraordinary Care Fund. The fund is designed to assist with costs for children who are either experiencing difficulties that impact on their development or who are showing promise. More information will be available about this closer to the time.