Civil Defence payment

If you and your family are affected by an emergency event, you may be able to get a Civil Defence payment.

Information

You can only apply for this payment during a Civil Defence emergency.

  • You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify for a Civil Defence payment.
  • In most cases it doesn't matter what your income is or what assets you have.

Who can get it

You may be able to get a Civil Defence Payment if either:

  • a Civil Defence emergency has been declared, or
  • the event meets the guidelines for a Civil Defence emergency.

You must be in one of these situations because of the emergency:

  • you had to leave your home (eg, you've been evacuated or you're on stand-by)
  • you were away from your home at the time of the emergency and can't return
  • you need help with food, bedding or clothing
  • you can't go to work.

You must also:

  • not be able to cover your costs from insurance (or you haven't been paid yet)
  • not have access to any other help, eg:
    • public donations
    • other government relief funds
    • charitable relief funds.

If you're not sure whether insurance will cover your costs, you may still qualify for a Civil Defence Payment. However if you get a Civil Defence Payment and then your insurance pays for any costs covered by this, you'll need to pay us back.

What you can get depends on your circumstances. You can apply for help with more than one type of cost.

What you can get if you:

  • Had to leave your home

    We can help cover the costs of somewhere to stay if you:

    • have to leave your home because of the emergency, or
    • were away from your home at the time of the emergency and can't return. How much you get depends on your situation and where you're staying.

    Staying in temporary accommodation

    If you're staying in temporary accommodation, eg. hotel or motel, we may be able to pay for your accommodation costs. We'll pay this to your accommodation supplier.

    If you are:

    Maximum weekly payment

    Maximum daily payment

    Single

    $956

    $136.57

    A couple, without children

    $1,008

    $144

    A couple, or sole parent, with children

    $1,187

    $169.57

    Staying in hosted accommodation

    If you're staying in hosted or billeted accommodation, for example with friends or family or in another private home, we may be able to pay for your accommodation costs.

    If you are:

    Maximum weekly payment

    Maximum daily payment

    Single

    $191

    $27.29

    Sole parent

    $191, plus $95.50 for each dependent child

    $27.29, plus $13.64 for each dependent child

    A couple, without children

    $322

    $46

    A couple, with children

    $322, plus $95.50 for each dependent child

    $46, plus $13.64 for each dependent child

  • Need help with food, bedding or clothing

    We can help cover the costs of food, bedding and clothing.

    How much you get depends on your situation. We'll make this payment to you or the supplier, depending on your circumstances.

    If you are:

    Maximum amount available

    Single

    $400

    A couple

    $600

    A couple or sole parent, with 1-2 children

    $900

    A couple or sole parent, with 3+ children

    $1,110

  • Lost income because you can't work

    We can help cover the costs of loss of income if you either:

    • can't go to work and you've lost income because:
      • you can't get to work
      • your workplace is closed
      • you need to stay with your family or whānau, or
    • are self-employed and have lost income because you can't work.

    How much you get depends on whether you're staying in hosted or billeted accommodation (eg, with friends or family), or in a hotel or motel. We'll make this payment directly to you.

    If you're staying in hosted accommodation

    If you are:

    Maximum weekly payment:

    Single 18-24 $159.83
    Single 25+ $188.06
    A couple without children $300.90
    A couple with children $321.05
    Sole parent, 1+ children $281.38

    If you're not staying in hosted accommodation

    If you are:

    Maximum weekly payment:

    Single 18-24 $213.10
    Single 25+ $250.74
    A couple without children $401.20
    A couple with children $428.06
    Sole parent, 1+ children $375.17

How to apply

You can apply for a Civil Defence payment using our online form. This form is only available during a Civil Defence emergency.

When you fill in the form you'll need to tell us your:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • contact number
  • normal home address
  • current address (if you've had to evacuate your home).

If you're applying because you've lost income due to the emergency, you'll also need to tell us your:

  • IRD number
  • bank account number
  • details of any income you've lost so far
  • employer's:
    • name
    • address
    • contact person's name and address.

If we need any further information we'll contact you.

After you've applied

We'll process your application within 2 working days. Once we've processed it, we'll contact you to let you know the outcome.

We may also need to contact your employer about your application if you're applying because you've lost income.

How it's paid

We'll pay the Civil Defence Payment either to you or to your supplier, depending on what you need help with.

If you're applying because you:

We'll pay the Civil Defence Payment to:

Need to replace food, bedding or clothing

Generally onto a Work an Income payment card (green card), so you can pay this to the supplier or shop. In some circumstances we can pay this direct to you.

Had to leave your home

Generally paid to your accommodation supplier or host. They'll need to be registered with us as a supplier to receive this. If they haven't already registered, they can do this here: Register as a Work and Income supplier

In some circumstances we can pay this directly to you, for example if your accommodation supplier is unable to register with us due to the emergency.

Lost income

Your bank account

linksContact us

This information is a guide only. Even if you can't get a Civil Defence payment, you may be able to get other help.

Contact us to talk about this.