When you don't meet your obligations

While you're receiving a benefit or payment from us, there are things you and your partner need to do. If you don't do them and you don't have a good and sufficient reason, you may get a debt or your benefit could reduce or stop.

Information

If there's any reason why you or your partner can't meet your obligations, talk to us straight away.

What happens if you or your partner don't:

  • Tell us if something changes

    If you or your partner don't tell us about changes in your life that might affect your benefit entitlement, or rate, then:

    • your benefit may be reviewed and cancelled
    • you may have to pay back the total amount of any overpayment that you've received
    • we may impose a penalty (up to 3 times the value of the overpayment)
    • you may be prosecuted and fined and/or imprisoned.

    Going overseas

    If you or your partner intend to travel overseas and don't let us know before you leave New Zealand, your benefit will be stopped the day after you leave New Zealand.

  • Find or prepare for work

    If you and your partner (if required) do not meet your full-time, part-time or work preparation obligations without a good and sufficient reason:

    • for the the first time, your benefit will be reduced by 50% for 4 weeks
    • for the second time, your benefit will continue to be paid at 50% (if you have dependent children), or stop (if you don't have dependent children), for 13 weeks. Your benefit will restart if you undertake the activity you failed to do.
    • for the third time, your benefit will continue to be paid at 50% (if you have dependent children), or stop (if you don't have dependent children), for 13 weeks. Your benefit will be increased or restarted if you agree to take part in an approved activity for least 6 weeks and you're still entitled to your benefit.

    Don't take and pass a drug test

    If you and your partner (if required) don't take and pass a drug test when required by a potential employer or training provider without a good and sufficient reason, then:

    • the first time you do this, you will have to agree to stop using drugs so that you can pass a drug test
    • the second time you do this, you will have to agree to take and pass a drug test within 25 working days.

    If you don't take and pass a drug test within 25 working days, your benefit will be reduced by 50% (if you have dependent children), or stopped (if you don't have dependent children), for 13 weeks. If your benefit has been reduced or stopped and you agree to take part in an approved activity for at least 6 weeks, and you're still entitled to your benefit, it will be increased or restarted.

    If you fail a pre-employment drug test with a potential employer you will need to pay for the test from your benefit.

    If you have to take and pass a drug test within 25 working days, you'll need to pay for the test.

  • Meet your obligations when you have children

    If you and your partner (if required) do not meet your obligations when you have dependent children without a good and sufficient reason:

    • for the the first time, your benefit will be reduced by 50% for 4 weeks
    • for the second time, your benefit will continue to be paid at 50% for 13 weeks. Your benefit will restart if you undertake the activity you failed to do.
    • for the third time, your benefit will continue to be paid at 50% for 13 weeks. Your benefit will be increased or restarted if you agree to take part in an approved activity for least 6 weeks and you're still entitled to your benefit.
  • Meet work ability assessment obligations

    If you and your partner (if required) do not meet your work ability assessment obligations without a good and sufficient reason:

    • for the the first time, your benefit will be reduced by 50% for 4 weeks
    • for the second time, your benefit will continue to be paid at 50% (if you have dependent children), or stop (if you don't have dependent children), for 13 weeks. Your benefit will restart if you undertake the activity you failed to do.
    • for the third time, your benefit will continue to be paid at 50% (if you have dependent children), or stop (if you don't have dependent children), for 13 weeks. Your benefit will be increased or restarted if you agree to take part in an approved activity for least 6 weeks and you're still entitled to your benefit.
  • Complete activities with contracted service provider

    If you and your partner (if required) do not complete your activities with your contracted service provider without a good and sufficient reason:

    • for the the first time, your benefit will be reduced by 50% for 4 weeks
    • for the second time, your benefit will continue to be paid at 50% (if you have dependent children), or stop (if you don't have dependent children), for 13 weeks. Your benefit will restart if you undertake the activity you failed to do.
    • for the third time, your benefit will continue to be paid at 50% (if you have dependent children), or stop (if you don't have dependent children), for 13 weeks. Your benefit will be increased or restarted if you agree to take part in an approved activity for least 6 weeks and you're still entitled to your benefit.
  • If your partner has youth activities

    If your partner doesn't complete their youth activities (if required) without a good and sufficient reason:

    • for the the first time, your benefit will be reduced by 50% for 4 weeks
    • for the second time, your benefit will continue to be paid at 50% (if you have dependent children), or stop (if you don't have dependent children), for 13 weeks. Your benefit will restart if your partner undertakes the activity they failed to do.
    • for the third time, your benefit will continue to be paid at 50% (if you have dependent children), or stop (if you don't have dependent children), for 13 weeks. Your benefit will be increased or restarted if your partner agrees to take part in an approved activity for at least 6 weeks and you're still entitled to your benefit.
  • If you disagree with our decision

    If you want to dispute or discuss our decision, you have five working days to contact us after we've advised you that you've failed your obligations before your benefit payments are affected.

    If you still disagree with our decision after discussing it with us you are entitled to: