Benefits and payments homepage
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
Food, school costs, power, accommodation or other living expenses you need help with
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
Caring for someone else’s child or someone with a health condition, injury or disability
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
Fixing issues with Accommodation Supplement, Special Benefit and other payments we’ve made
16-19 year olds
Education, training, work and benefit help for 16-19 year olds
Benefits and forms
A-Z list of benefits, forms, benefit rates
Find out what services we can offer to help you find work and when you start a new job.
Looking for work
We have jobs available now in various industries and you can search on our job websites.
Help with your job search
From advice on making a plan, to tips on where to look and following up leads.
Training and experience
Our programmes can help you get ready for work with training and work experience.
Job Connect on Facebook
Find out how we can help you get ready to work, find work, and support available while you're working.
CVs and cover letters
We’ve got great templates and advice for writing your CV or cover letter, and filling out job applications.
Help with work costs
Get help to pay for the things you need to start work
Job support and advice
Get all the support and advice you need to stay in work.
Health and disability
If you want to work, we can support you to find the right job for you.
Start your own business
We can help you get your business up and running.
Get advice about how to prepare for and deliver a great interview.
Help for 16-19 year olds
We’ve got extra support for young people to get ready for work and find a job.
On a benefit homepage
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, wages deduction calculator and tables
Change in your childcare situation, continue childcare payments, cohort entry schools and other childcare information
Re-apply for Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Temporary Additional Support and more
Check or stop your payments, payment cards and other information
Check your debt, repayments and other debt information
Rights and responsibilities
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.
Australian pensions in New Zealand
Australian pensions in New Zealand: common questions
Common questions and answers
Who is entitled to Australian Benefits and Pensions paid in New Zealand?
New Zealand has a social security agreement with Australia. Under the Agreement the following benefits and pensions are available to former Australian residents living in New Zealand:
- age pension
- disability support pension (this normally applies if you are severely disabled)
- carer payment in respect of the partner of a person who is in receipt of a disability support pension
Centrelink decides who can receive an Australian benefit or pension and how much will be paid. Australian benefits and pensions are income and asset tested.
For more information about the Australian income and asset test, contact:
How do I apply for an Australian benefit or pension?
If you have previously lived in Australia and you are not already getting an Australian benefit or pension, you need to complete an application form. You can contact International Services who will send you the form, or you can download it directly from the Centrelink website.
We will forward your application to Centrelink, Australia which is the government office that administers the Australian social security scheme.
Once you have submitted your application Centrelink will contact you directly to tell you their decision.
You need to provide:
- your passport
- another form of identification (birth certificate or driver licence, marriage certificate)
- your bank account details so that payments can be made to you (bank book, bank statement or deposit slip)
- proof of any income and assets you have
- any other information that you think will be helpful.
Why do I need to apply for an Australian Benefit or Pension?
You and your spouse or partner are required, under the Social Security Act 2018 (sections 173-176), to take all reasonable steps to apply for any overseas pensions for which you may be eligible. If you, or your spouse/partner, do not apply for any Australian benefit or pension for which you may be eligible, you risk losing your entitlement to New Zealand benefit or pension.
How much Australian benefit or pension will I receive in New Zealand?
Generally, the amount of Australian benefit or pension you are paid is about equal to the Australian benefit or pension you would be paid if you had lived all your life in Australia.
Centrelink decides whether you qualify for an Australian benefit or pension using Australian law and an income and asset test. Centrelink decides how much Australian benefit or pension you can be paid in New Zealand.
For more information about the Australian income and asset test, contact:
Will the amount of Australian benefit or pension be increased while I live in New Zealand?
The maximum rate of all payments from Centrelink will change from time to time. Most payments are adjusted in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) but other payments are adjusted by changes in legislation.
Your Australian benefit or pension is generally increased in March and September each year.
How often will I receive payments of my Australian benefit or pension in New Zealand?
For those clients living in New Zealand your Australian benefit or pension is paid every four weeks.
Will my Australian benefit or pension affect the amount of New Zealand benefit or pension I get?
The Social Security Act 2018 (sections 187-191) requires the rate of New Zealand benefit or pension to be reduced where an overseas pension is:
- part of a programme that provides benefits, pensions and periodical allowances for the same circumstances for which New Zealand benefits and pensions would be paid (for example old age/retirement, invalidity and survivors pensions); and
- administered by, or on behalf of, an overseas government.
The Australian Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer's payment fit within the requirements in sections 187-191 because:
- these pensions are part of the Australian social security programme which provides Australian benefits and pensions for similar types of circumstances for which New Zealand benefits and pensions would be paid, and
- Australian benefits and pensions are administered by Centrelink, an agency of the Australian government.
This means that if you are entitled to an Australian benefit or pension paid by Centrelink, it will be deducted dollar for dollar from your New Zealand benefit or pension payments.
Are there any instances where the state pension does not affect the rate of New Zealand benefit or pension?
There is no provision in New Zealand legislation that would allow the amount of the Australian benefit or pension to be disregarded when determining the amount of New Zealand benefit or pension to be paid.
However if you travel or move to a country other than New Zealand or Australia you may be entitled to a proportional amount of New Zealand benefit or pension based on the amount of time that you have lived in New Zealand. When paid this rate of New Zealand benefit or pension you can generally keep your Australian benefit or pension.
For more information about moving or travelling to a third country contact International Services.
Am I entitled to other payments in addition to a New Zealand benefit or pension?
You may also be eligible for extra help such as a Disability Allowance for medical costs and an Accommodation Supplement for accommodation expenses. Contact us to check whether you are entitled to extra help.
Does my Australian benefit or pension affect my spouse or partner's New Zealand benefit or pension?
If your partner is getting a New Zealand benefit, such as Jobseeker Support or Supported Living Payment, any excess amount from your Australian benefit or pension will be deducted from your partner’s New Zealand benefit.
If your partner is getting NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension, your Australian benefit or pension does not affect this.
If a person is included in their partner’s NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension as a non-qualified partner, the amount of Australian benefit or pension will be deducted from their payment, and the remaining NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension amount will be divided equally between the two of you.
Why can't I receive the Australian benefit or pension and the full New Zealand benefit or pension ?
The Social Security Act 2018 (sections 187-191) ensures that the combined amount you receive from your New Zealand benefit or pension and any overseas pension is equivalent to the amount you would receive if you only received New Zealand benefit or pension.
It takes 10 years before a person becomes entitled to New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's pension. So if you were to receive a partial Australian pension as well as the full amount of New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension, you would receive more state retirement pension than those superannuitants who have lived all their lives in New Zealand and who have contributed to the funding of New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran's Pension for a longer period of time through paying their taxes.
What options are available for payment of my Australian benefit or pension in New Zealand?
You can choose to have your Australian benefit or pension paid by the Direct Payment Method or the Special Banking Option.
For more information, see:
Do similar pensions from other overseas countries also affect payment of New Zealand benefit or pension?
Yes, where the requirements of the Social Security Act 2018 (sections 187-191) apply, people who have lived in other overseas countries and who are also eligible for an overseas pension will have their overseas pension deducted from their New Zealand benefit or pension in the same way.
How do I find out about my own individual situation?
The rules around international agreements are complex. You should speak with us to clarify your own individual situation.
Call us for more information