Going into or leaving hospital

If you're going into hospital or have just left, you need to tell us.

How to tell us

You need to contact us as soon as you can. If you don't tell us we may not pay you enough. Or we may pay you too much and you'll have to pay the debt back.

Payments may be affected

Your benefit or payment will keep being paid for the first 13 weeks you're in hospital.

Then your payments will change to our hospital rate of $46.03 a week (after tax), unless you either:

  • have a partner and a child, or
  • are a veteran.

The hospital rate covers the cost of personal items you need to get while you're in hospital.

Get Supported Living Payment

You may get the Supported Living Payment because you're caring for someone.

If you, or the person you're caring for, is in hospital, your benefit will keep being paid for the first 4 weeks. Then it will stop.

If you're in hospital for longer than 4 weeks, we'll need to check if there are other payments you could qualify for.

  • You have a partner and no child

    Once you get the hospital rate, we'll review any benefit or payment your partner gets from us. This is so we can make sure they're getting all the help they qualify for while you're in hospital.

    They may also be able to get a Special Disability Allowance to help cover the costs of visiting you in hospital. If they qualify for this, we'll pay it to them automatically once you start getting the hospital rate.

  • Hospital rate won't cover costs

    If the hospital rate isn't enough to cover your costs, we may be able to pay more. This will depend on what expenses and income you have while you're in hospital.

    What you need to do

    You need to fill out an 'Increased payment while you're in hospital' form. You can drop it off to one of our service centres, or post it to us.

    If you can't download and print the form, ask the hospital. They may have some on site. The hospital staff may also be able to help you fill it out and send it.

    What happens next

    Once we've processed your form, we'll send you a letter and give you a call to let you know if it's approved.