How payments work

Information about when your payments start, pay days and when you get your first and last payment.

When your payments start

If you've applied for a benefit, you may have a stand-down of 1 or 2 weeks.

Information

The Government has decided to remove stand-downs as part of its response to COVID-19.

If you're eligible for a benefit between 23 March 2020 and 23 November 2020, you won't have a stand-down.

Your payments will start after your stand-down finishes. If you've been working recently, your payments may take longer to start.

You've been working recently

Your payments can take up to 3 months (13 weeks) to start if you've recently been in work and:

  • left your job without a good reason, or
  • lost your job because of misconduct.

Other payments you get from work

You may get other payments from work, eg:

  • holiday pay
  • sick pay
  • pay in lieu of notice
  • retirement payments.

If you get one of these, your payments from us will start once they're finished.

For example, you get 3 weeks worth of holiday pay. This means your payments from us will start 3 weeks after your stand-down finishes.

  • When you get your first payment

    Weekly payments

    Once your payments start, you won't get any money in the first week. This is because we pay you for the week that's just been. This means you're on a benefit for one week and get paid for that benefit in the next week. This is also called arrears.

    For example:

    • Your payments start on Monday - you won't get any money in this week.
    • Your first weekly payment is paid in the next week, on your pay day.

    Approved part-way through the week

    If your payments start part-way through the week, your first payment will be less than what you would normally get.

    For example:

    • Your payments start on Wednesday.
    • Your first weekly payment:
      • is paid in the next week, on your pay day, and
      • will be for 5 days (Wednesday-Sunday).

    NZ Super and Veteran's payments

    New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension are paid every fortnight on a Tuesday. These are set pay dates.

    Once your payments start, you'll get your first payment of NZ Super or Veteran's Pension on the next set pay date. In most cases if you apply:

    • before your 65th birthday, your payments will start from your birthday
    • after your 65th birthday, your payments will start from the date you apply.

    These payments are paid in arrears, so it includes the previous 13 days and the pay day. For example, the pay day Tuesday 25 June will cover the period from Wednesday 12 June to (and including) Tuesday 25 June.

    If your payments start part-way through the pay period, your first payment will be less than what you would normally get.

    Examples

    Your application is approved on Friday 12 January 2018, your first payment:

    • is paid on Tuesday 23 January
    • will be for 12 days (Friday 12 January - Tuesday 23 January).

    Your application is approved on Friday 26 October 2018, your first payment:

    • is paid on Tuesday 30 October
    • will be for 5 days (Friday 26 October - Tuesday 30 October).

    Child Disability Allowance

    Child Disability Allowance is paid every fortnight on a Wednesday. These are set pay dates (the opposite fortnights to NZ Super and Veteran's Pension payments).

    Once your application is approved, you'll get your first payment of Child Disability Allowance on the next set pay date. If your application is approved part-way through the pay period, your first payment will be less than what you would normally get.

  • Pay days

    Weekly payments

    Most benefits and payments are paid weekly. If you get a weekly payment, your official pay day is either:

    • Tuesday
    • Wednesday, or
    • Thursday.

    Once you have a pay day, it will never change. Even if you get another benefit or payment from us later on.

    You might see your payment in your account the night before, it depends on who you bank with.

    Fortnightly payments

    There are 3 payments that are paid fortnightly. These are:

    • New Zealand Superannuation
    • Veteran's Pension;
    • Child Disability Allowance.

    New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran's Pension are paid every fortnight on a Tuesday. If you get NZ Super or Veteran's Pension, most other payments you get from us, eg, Accommodation Supplement or Disability Allowance, will also be paid fortnightly.

    Child Disability Allowance is paid every fortnight on a Wednesday (the opposite fortnight to NZ Super and Veteran's Pension).

    You might see your payment in your account the night before, it depends on who you bank with.

    Find out your pay day

    Once your application is approved, we'll send you a letter letting you know the date of your first payment.

    You can also check what your pay day is in MyMSD.

  • When your benefit or payment stops

    Weekly payments

    If your benefit or payment stops, you'll get your last payment a week after the date it stops. This is because we pay you for the week that's just been. This means you're on a benefit for one week and get paid for that benefit in the next week. This is also called arrears.

    Stops part-way through the week

    If your benefit or payment stops part-way through the week, your last payment will be less than what you would normally get.

    For example:

    • Your benefit stops on Wednesday.
    • Your last weekly payment:
      • is paid in the next week, on your pay day, and
      • will be for 2 days (Monday-Tuesday).
  • Pay days on public holidays

    Sometimes your regular pay day will fall on a public holiday. When this happens, we'll always make sure you get your payments either the day before or on your regular pay day.

    For example, if you're usually paid on Wednesdays, and Wednesday is a public holiday, your payment will be available from Tuesday.

    Regional anniversary holidays

    If your regular pay day falls on a regional anniversary (eg. Wellington or Auckland anniversary), you will still be paid on your usual pay day. This is because pay dates only change when there is a national holiday for the whole country.