Supported Living Payment
Supported Living Payment is assistance for people who have, or are caring for someone with a health condition, injury or disability.
Who can get it?
You may be able to get the Supported Living Payment if you are:
- permanently and severely restricted in your ability to work because of a health condition, injury or disability, OR
- totally blind, OR
- caring full-time for someone at home who would otherwise need hospital-level or residential care (or equivalent) who is not your husband, wife or partner.
You must also be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident who normally lives here, and who has lived here for at least two years at one time since becoming a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
If not, please talk to us as you may qualify for the Emergency Benefit, or we may have an agreement with the country where you’ve been living.
If you have a health condition, injury or disability
To get the Supported Living Payment because of a health condition, injury or disability, you must be:
- permanently and severely restricted in your capacity to work because of a health condition, injury or disability. This means you:
- have a condition affecting your capacity to work for more than two years, OR
- have a life expectancy of less than two years AND
- can’t regularly work 15 hours or more a week in open employment
- are totally blind.
You must also be 16 years or older.
As part of your application for Supported Living Payment we’ll need you to give us information that confirms your condition and the impact it has on your ability to work.
If you want to work
People on Supported Living Payment aren't required to look for work, but we know that many disabled people and people with health conditions are keen to work with the right support.
If employment is an option for you, all Work and Income service centres are able to provide help to people on Supported Living Payment who would like to work.
If you start work you may still be able to get financial help with costs such as accommodation and childcare. You may also qualify for Work Bonus or a Transition to Work Grant.
Transition to Work Grant is a payment which helps people with the costs of moving into a job.
Work Bonus is an incentive payment available to some people on a benefit who choose to work even though they don’t have work obligations as a condition of their benefit. We'll talk to you about this support when you contact us to tell us you've found work.
If you have a partner
If you have a partner, their situation will be considered in your application. Your partner will also need to meet a number of obligations.
If you’re a full-time carer
To get the Supported Living Payment because you're a full-time carer, you need to be caring full-time for someone at home who isn't your husband, wife or partner. The person you’re caring for must otherwise need to receive hospital or residential-level care.
Examples of this level of care are:
- rest home care
- residential disability care
- extended care services for severely disabled children and young people
- inpatient or residential hospital care.
As part of the application process we’ll need to see medical information from the doctor or specialist of the person you’re caring for.
If you have a partner
If you’re a full-time carer for someone and you have a partner, your partner can’t be included in your Supported Living Payment. Talk to us if they need financial assistance.
To get the Supported Living Payment you’ll need to meet some obligations.
These include the need to:
- tell us if there are changes to your situation – for example to your income, work, relationship, or caring responsibilities
- provide us with medical information when requested
- take reasonable steps to make sure any dependent children in your care get health checks and education
- tell us if you’re travelling overseas before you leave, no matter how long you plan to be away for or why you’re travelling
- clear any Ministry of Justice-issued arrest warrants for criminal matters.
Read more about:
Having another child
If you have another dependent child while receiving the Supported Living Payment, your partner will be expected to prepare for work before that child turns one year old.
Your partner may be required to look for work from when the child turns one, depending on the age of your next youngest child.
How much money you get depends on your situation. For example, if you go into hospital long-term you may get less.
You may also qualify for extra financial help. The Supported Living Payment application form will collect information to help determine what other help you may be able to get.
How long before you get your first payment?
Usually you receive your first payment two or three weeks after you've applied. It may be longer if you've received sick or holiday pay from an employer.
What happens to my payments if I work?
You can get up to $5,200 a year (before tax) before your benefit is affected. If you have a partner, that $5,200 applies to your combined earnings. Any income you get that’s not from Work and Income may affect extra financial help you receive from us.
If you’re totally blind we won’t make any deductions for any extra income you earn.
The health and disability support system may also provide assistance, including home support services and time off for caregivers. Contact your local Needs Assessment and Service Coordination service, Care Coordination Centre, Disability Information Advisory Service, doctor or hospital.
You can find more information on www.health.govt.nz or call 0800 855 066.
For more information
Are you eligible?
Find out if you might get this benefit, what other financial assistance may be available to you, and what pre-benefit activities you may have.
How to apply
Complete your application form for financial assistance online.
We can grant you the financial assistance you’re entitled to from the date you first contact us if you complete your application within 20 working days of that date.
Contact us for more information