Advance Payment of Benefit

An Advance Payment of Benefit is a one-off payment to help you pay an essential or emergency cost if you can't pay it another way.


There's a temporary increase to income limits until 30 June 2022.

To qualify for this payment you need to be getting a main benefit (eg, Jobseeker Support), a pension or Orphan's or Unsupported Child's Benefit and you will have to pay the money back.

  • Who can get it

    You may be able to get an Advance Payment of Benefit if you:

    • are getting a main benefit (eg, Jobseeker Support), Orphan's or Unsupported Child's Benefit, NZ Super or Veteran's Pension
    • have an essential or emergency cost you can't pay for.

    It also depends on:

    • how much you and your partner earn
    • any money or assets you and your partner have.

    Income limits

    If you are: Weekly income before tax is less than Weekly income limit (before tax) from 1 November 2021 until 30 June 2022
    single, 16-17 years $514.41 $678.07
    single, 18+ years $591.20 $847.59
    married, civil union or de facto couple (with or without children) $858.72 $1695.18
    sole parent (1 child) $717.40 $1165.44
    sole parent (2+ children) $755.82 $1483.29

    Asset limits

    These don't include what you need for day-to-day living, eg your home or your car. They do include money in the bank, or things like a caravan or a second property.

    If you are: Your assets are worth less than
    single $1,193.21
    married, civil union or de facto couple (with or without children) or sole parent $1,988.20
  • What you can get

    How much you get depends on your situation and what you need help with.

    Examples of costs we can help with are:

    • ambulance subscription fees
    • appliances and furniture
    • attendance at funerals and tangihanga
    • bedding
    • beds, chairs and tables
    • bonds and rents
    • car repairs
    • child carseat
    • clothing
    • costs to end your tenancy early, or sublet or assign your tenancy
    • dental treatment
    • dentures and hearing aids
    • electricity, gas and water
    • essential home repairs
    • fire loss or burglary
    • fridges, freezers and washing machines
    • glasses
    • laser therapy to remove birthmarks
    • safety footware
    • school costs
    • school stationery
    • school uniforms
    • tenancy tribunal fees
    • travel if you're stranded.

    If you're not sure whether we can help, talk with us about your situation.

  • How to apply

    You need to call us on 0800 559 009

    We'll talk with you to understand your situation and how we can help. We'll let you know what information you need to provide and how to get this to us.

  • What happens next

    If your application is approved, we'll give you a payment card (if you don't already have one) and load the money onto it. We'll talk to you about how we get this to you.

    You have 7 days to spend the money before it expires.

    Using your payment card

    A payment card is like an Eftpos card and you can use it at any supermarket or store that accepts them.

    You can login to MyMSD to see how much you have left on your payment card and when it expires.

    Once you've used your payment card, keep it. You can use it again if you need help from us in the future.


This information is a guide only.

Contact us to talk about your individual circumstances.