How to apply online
You can apply online for most benefits or other payments. You’ll answer questions about your situation to work out the types of payments you might get.
1. What you’ll need
To log in you'll need:
- a RealMe login
How to set up RealMe
When filling out the form you'll need to provide a lot of information about you and your family, including:
- all income details for last 52 weeks (eg wages, ACC, child support, dividends, rentals etc)
- anything that could earn you money in the next 52 weeks (eg rental income, dividends, ACC, child support, overseas payments)
- your expenses (eg housing, childcare, medical costs and hire purchase)
- IRD numbers
- bank account details
- a phone number we can contact you on.
If you or your partner were not born in New Zealand, you’ll need to tell us your or their:
- country of birth and the date left
- date arrived in NZ
- date citizenship or permanent residence was granted.
If you’re a student on a study break and can’t find work, contact StudyLink
- a RealMe login
2. Fill in the form
Please note: The form is only counted as a request once it’s been submitted as we don’t receive any information until then.
Once you've followed the steps to create your RealMe, select Applications on the left hand menu to start.
- Your answers are saved as you go.
- You can save a partly completed form and come back to it later.
- If you stay on the same page for more than 5 minutes you’ll be logged out.
- When you log in to return to your form you’ll start from your last completed page.
- Your form will be deleted after 60 days if you don't complete and submit it.
Once you’ve filled in all your details and selected the submit button you’ll get a page which shows:
- your application reference number - make a note of this
- the types of financial help you may be able to get
- any activities you'll need to do before you can get your benefit
- the supporting documents you need to provide
- what you need to do next, (eg book an appointment or print and post your form). We'll email this to you if you’ve given us an email address.
- If you’re 16-17 or under 19 with a dependent child, we’ll contact you to discuss your application. If we haven't called within 2 working days call us on 0800 559 009 (Monday Friday 7am-6pm, Saturday 8am-1pm). When asked why you’re calling say “apply”.
You can print or save a copy of your form.
Once you've submitted your form you can't view or change it.
If something changes after you submit your form, let us know at your appointment.
4. When your payment starts
In most cases, you’ll get your first payment within 5 days of completing the application process (this includes giving us all the documents we need and completing any activities you need to do before you can get a benefit).
You may have to wait longer if you have:
- a 1 to 2 week stand-down
- recently been working, and:
- got holiday pay or another payment at the end of your job
- are getting sick pay from your employer
- left your job without a good reason
- lost your job because of misconduct.