We can help you get ready to apply and find the right job for you. We can even help you while you're working.
Get ready to work
You can get training, help with CVs and cover letters, and advice for job interviews.
Find out what jobs are available, which job is best for you and how you can plan your career.
Whether you've just started a job or need some help at work, we've got your back.
Lost your job
We'll help you get ready to find a new job and support you while you're between jobs.
Start your own business
Get help to plan and set up a successful business or be a self-employed contractor.
Take a look at the range of benefits and payments we have available.
Redundancy, health condition or disability or another reason you can’t work
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You’ve had a relationship break-up, family breakdown or violent relationship end
Health and Disability
Counselling, prescription and GP costs, medical alarms and other costs we can help with
Travelling overseas, how to apply, payment rates and dates, overseas pensions, income and other info for Seniors
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Urgent or unexpected costs
Dental, glasses, car repairs, fridge, washing machine, funeral or other urgent costs you need help with
Childcare, school uniforms, stationery, having a baby and other costs if you have children
Moving to New Zealand
Payments you can get from us, settling into NZ, overseas pensions and more.
Benefits and forms
A-Z list of benefits, forms, benefit rates
Check out what you need to do when you're getting a benefit or other payment from us.
Address, contact details, overseas travel, childcare, relationship or anything else that’s changed.
Declare income and income deduction tables
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Going on holiday or going to live overseas
Re-apply for Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Temporary Additional Support and more
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Our commitment to you, obligations, complaints, benefit fraud and more
Find out how we can help you with housing.
Nowhere to stay
Get help if you have nowhere to stay right now.
Find a house
Find out where to look for private housing, or apply for public (social) housing.
Living in your home
Get help with accommodation costs, and advice on any housing issues and public housing tenancies.
Find out how we can help if you’re moving house.
Read some of our housing information in other languages.
If you're on a low income or benefit we may be able to help you with the cost of eye tests and glasses.
- You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify for this help.
- You'll have to pay the money back.
- You don't have to get a quote before you see us.
You may 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 and asset limits usually apply:
Current income limits
|If you are:
|Weekly income before tax is less than
|Single and 16 to 17 years old
|Single and 18 years old or over
|Couple (with or without children)
|Sole parent with 1 child
|Sole parent with 2 or more children
These don't include what you need for day-to-day living, e.g. your home, car, and some payments after a severe weather event. They do include things like money in the bank, or a second property.
|If you are:
|Your assets are worth less than
|Couple (with or without children) or sole parent
We can pay $280 for:
- an eye test
- lenses, including:
- single vision
- bifocals, or
- standard progressives
- prescription sunglasses, if they're part of an in-store special that includes glasses and sunglasses for under $280
- a fitting service
- a cleaning cloth and case
- a 2 year warranty on defective parts.
You'll have to pay this money back.
What's not included
We don't pay for:
- high end, expensive frames
- extras you may want, eg tinting
- lens coatings or glasses specifically for Irlen Syndrome.
You also can't 'top up' or 'up-grade' with your own money so you can obtain costlier items or extras.
You need to call us.
We'll talk with you to understand your situation and how we can help. We'll let you know what information you need to provide and how to get this to us.
Choose a supplier
We'll ask you what supplier you want to use. We have an arrangement with certain optometrists and opticians to provide optical services.
Here's a list of our preferred suppliers for glasses in your area. You can choose which one to go to.
If there's no preferred supplier in your area, we may still be able to help. Talk to us about your situation.
Step 1 - We'll give you a payment card
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 the best way to get this to you.
You'll pay the supplier with your payment card (much like an Eftpos card). You have 21 days to spend the money before it expires.
Step 2 - Book an appointment with the supplier
You need to book an appointment with the optometrist or optician that you've chosen. Take your payment card to the appointment.
They'll give you an eye examination and then advise you what you'll need. Use your payment card to pay for the frames you choose.
Assessed as having high clinical needs
We may be able to pay more than $280 if the optometrist or optician assesses you as having high clinical needs. If this happens, you need to get evidence of the amount you need to pay and call us.
Your glasses are covered by a 2 year warranty. If they're faulty, contact the optometrist or optician and they will exchange or repair them.
If you break your glasses, the optometrist or optician won't replace them or refund money to you. If you need another pair of glasses you'll need to apply for hardship assistance again.