Families in need get more financial support

01 April 2016.

Changes to the way we support families.

More support for low-income families

From 1 April 2016 benefit rates for families with dependent children are increasing by $25 a week after tax. As well, additional Childcare Assistance is available to help parents work or take up education and training.

What this means

  • The exact increase will depend on any other assistance a client receives, such as Accommodation Supplement or Temporary Additional Support.
  • Student Allowance rates for families with children will also increase by $25 a week. The exact amount will depend on the student’s tax code and any other income.
  • Low-income families will be eligible for a higher rate of Childcare Assistance ($5 an hour) for pre-school and out-of-school care.
  • Sole parents or partners of a beneficiary whose youngest child has turned three, are expected to find part-time work.
  • Part-time work is now defined as 20 hours a week.
  • Clients on Sole Parent Support now need re-apply for it each year.

Working for Families Tax Credits

  • There are also increases to the in-work tax credit and the minimum family tax credit to support low-income working families. To find out more go to ird.govt.nz (search keywords: iwtc, minimum family tax credit)

Increases to benefit, Student Allowance payments and Childcare Assistance will be automatic. Clients affected by the change won’t have to do anything.

After 1 April 2016 you’ll be able to check what your new payment is online using MyMSD or ring 0800 559 009 and say ‘payment’.

We’re letting all clients with children know about these changes and how it affects them. All clients who will have a change to their work obligations are also being sent a letter telling them what this means for them.

If you haven’t received a letter and think these changes affect you then please talk with your case manager or give us a call.