If you're on a low income or benefit we may be able to help pay towards the cost of dental treatment, especially if it’s urgent.
- We may not be able to cover the full cost of treatment.
- You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify for this help.
- You may have to pay some of the money back depending on your situation.
Who can get it
You may be able to get help for dental treatment for you or a child, if whoever needs it is in serious pain and the dentist has said that urgent work needs to be done.
We may also be able to help pay for other essential dental work that needs to be done.
Whatever your situation, to apply you need to:
- be 16 or over (if you're 16-19 and have a Youth Service provider, contact Youth Services)
- be 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 and asset limits usually apply:
If you are: Weekly income before tax is less than Annual income before tax is less than single, 16-17 years $485.32 $25,236.64 single, 18+ years $557.78 $29,004.56 married, civil union or de facto couple (with or without children) $810.15 $42,127.80 sole parent (1 child) $676.84 $35,195.68 sole parent (2+ children) $713.09 $37,080.68
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 $1,062.51 married, civil union or de facto couple (with or without children) or sole parent $1,770.44
Other help available
If you need dental treatment because of an injury, you may able to get help through ACC
If you're under 18, you may be able to get free dental treatment through Ministry of Health
What you can get
Urgent dental treatment
If you need help with urgent dental treatment, we generally pay up to $300. We may be able to pay more depending on your situation.
We generally only make one payment for urgent dental treatment in a year.
Essential dental treatment
How much you get depends on your situation.
Community Services Card
If you have a Community Services Card, you may be able to get dental treatment through your local hospital.
Talk to your doctor or dentist about this.
How to apply
You need to get a quote from your dentist for the treatment you need. Tell them you're applying through Work and Income and they'll fill out an 'Emergency dental treatment information' form which will have the quote on it.
You may be able to apply for dental treatment in MyMSD or it will tell you to book an appointment to come in and see us. If you can apply, you'll need to upload the form from the dentist. If your payment's approved, we'll send you a text or email to confirm.
If you can’t use MyMSD you can call us and we’ll book you an appointment to come in and see us. We’ll tell you what you need to bring.
What happens next
We’ll give you a payment card (if you don’t already have one) and load the money onto it.
You have 3 working days to pay the dentist before it expires.
You'll pay the dentist with your payment card (much like an Eftpos card). Check with your dentist to see if they accept them. If they don't, they can register online as a supplier.
You can also login to MyMSD to see how much you have left on your payment card and when the grant expires.