School uniforms and stationery

We may be able to help you pay for school uniforms and stationery if you're on a low income or a benefit.


You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify for this help.

You'll have to pay the money back.

  • Who can get it

    You may be able to get help if you:

    • are 16 or over (if you're 16-19 and have a Youth Service provider, contact Youth Services)
    • are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
    • normally live in New Zealand and intend to stay here
    • have an immediate and essential need.

    It also depends on:

    • how much you and your partner earn
    • any money or assets you and your partner have.

    Your income will be assessed either weekly or yearly, depending on the kind of help you qualify for. These income limits usually apply:

    Income limits

    If you are: Weekly income before tax is less than Annual income before tax is less than Weekly income limit (before tax) from 1 November 2021 until 28 February 2022 Annual income limit (before tax) from 1 November 2021 until 28 February 2022
    single, 16-17 years $514.41 $26,749.32 $640.00 $33,280
    single, 18+ years $591.20 $30,742.40 $800.00 $41,600
    married, civil union or de facto couple (with or without children) $858.72 $44,653.44 $1600.00 $83,200
    sole parent (1 child) $717.40 $37,304.80 $1100.00 $57,200
    sole parent (2+ children) $755.82 $39,302.64 $1400.00 $72,800

    Asset limits

    These don't include what you need for day-to-day living, eg your home or your car. They do include money in the bank, or things like a caravan or a second property.

    If you are: Your assets are worth less than
    single $1,126.21
    married, civil union or de facto couple (with or without children) or sole parent $1,876.56
  • What you can get

    How much you get depends on your situation.

    Bring your own device

    If you need help to buy computing equipment for your child to take to school, eg, iPad, laptop or tablet, we may be able to help. You need to talk to the school first to see what options are available.

  • How to apply

    If you are a current client, you may be able to apply using MyMSD. MyMSD will tell you what information we need and if you need to talk with us.

    If you are a new client or can't use MyMSD, call us. We'll talk with you to understand your situation and how we can help, and let you know if you need to do anything else.

  • What happens next

    If your application's approved, we'll give you a payment card (if you don't already have one) and load the money onto it. We'll talk to you about how to get this to you.

    You have 7 days to spend the money before it expires.

    You can pay for school uniforms and stationery with your payment card at any store that accepts them (much like an EFTPOS card). You'll need to check with the store first to see if they accept them.

    You can login to MyMSD to see how much you have left on your payment card and when it expires.

  • If your supplier doesn't accept payment card

    If your uniform supplier doesn't accept our payment card, we will organise a direct payment to them and provide confirmation of payment for when you pick up the uniform.

  • If you're getting Unsupported Child's Benefit or Orphan's Benefit

    If you get Orphan's Benefit or Unsupported Child's Benefit, you may also be able to get a School and Year Start-up Payment. This helps with pre-school or school-related costs at the beginning of the year. It can pay for things like clothing, school fees and stationery and you don't have to pay it back.