Civil Defence payment
If you and your family are affected by an emergency event (eg, earthquake or flooding) and a Civil Defence emergency has been declared, or the event meets the guidelines for a Civil Defence emergency, you may be able to get a Civil Defence payment.
- 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
If a Civil Defence emergency has been declared, or the event meets the guidelines for a Civil Defence emergency, you may be able to get help if you find yourself in one of these situations:
- you were required to leave your home because of the emergency (eg you've been evacuated)
- you were away from your home at the time of the emergency and can’t return due to the emergency
- you have to remain in your home as a result of the emergency
- you can't go to work because of the emergency.
- must generally be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
- generally live in New Zealand and intend to stay here
- can't cover your costs from insurance (or you haven't been paid yet)
- don't have access to any other help (eg public donations or other government or charitable relief funds).
If you're unsure whether the costs of your immediate needs will be covered by insurance, an initial Civil Defence payment to meet your immediate needs may be made. If you get an insurance payment for any costs covered by the Civil Defence payment, you have to refund the amount paid.
In most cases it doesn’t matter what you earn or own and Civil Defence payments don’t usually affect other benefits.
Note: If you're not legally allowed to work in New Zealand, some types of assistance may not be available to you.
What you can get
We can help cover the costs of:
- somewhere to stay if you can't return to your home and there is no suitable free accommodation available
- food, bedding and clothing
- loss of income if you can't work and lose wages due to the emergency, eg:
- if you can't get to work
- your workplace is closed
- you need to remain with your family.
If you're providing a place to stay for evacuees, we may be able to reimburse you for some of their accommodation costs.
Who is the money paid to?
- Accommodation costs are paid directly to the provider.
- Food, clothing and bedding costs can be made to you or the supplier, depending on your circumstances.
Payments for loss of income are made to you.
How much can you get?
How much you get depends on your situation and what you need help with. In exceptional circumstances, you may be able to get more than the maximum rate.
No stand-down period applies to payments for loss of livelihood. Payments can start from the day following the date payment of wages or salary stopped.
Accommodation costs for evacuees Private homes, marae or community centres. Evacuee Maximum weekly payment Maximum daily payment Child $87.00 $12.43 Single adult $174.00 $24.86 Married, civil union or de facto couple (with or without children) $288.00 $41.14 Costs for evacuees in tourist accommodation Motels, hotels and other paid accommodation. Evacuee Maximum weekly payment Maximum daily payment Single adult $806.00 $115.14 Married, civil union or de facto couple without children $851.00 $121.57 Married, civil union or de facto couple, and sole parents, 1+ children $1,002.00 $143.14 Loss of income for evacuees billeted These rates are equal to 75% of the net weekly Jobseeker Support rate at 1 April 2017. Evacuee Maximum weekly payment Single 18–24 years $132.77 Single 25+ years $159.34 Married, civil union or de facto couple (without children) $265.55 Married, civil union or de facto couple (with children) $284.51 Sole parent, 1+ children $247.18 Loss of income for evacuees not billeted These rates are equal to the net weekly Jobseeker Support rate at 1 April 2016. Evacuee Maximum weekly payment Single 18–24 years $177.03 Single 25+ years $212.45 Married, civil union or de facto couple (without children) $354.06 Married, civil union or de facto couple (with children) $379.34 Sole parent, 1+ children $329.57 Additional payments for food and clothing These amounts are equal to twice the Special Needs Grant food grant limit. Evacuee Maximum amount available Single $400.00 Married, civil union or de facto couple $600.00 Married, civil union or de facto couple, and sole parents, 1 or 2 children $900.00 Married, civil union or de facto couple, and sole parents, 3+ children $1,110.00
How to apply
Use MyMSD to book an appointment to come in and see us. It will tell you what you need to bring.
If you have an urgent cost to pay within 24 hours, call us on 0800 559 009. We'll book you an appointment to come in and see us as soon as possible and tell you what you need to bring.
You also need to fill out a form
- Complete a Civil Defence Payments to Evacuees form and bring this with you when you come to meet with us.
- If you're providing temporary accommodation for evacuees, you'll need to complete the Adverse Event - Payments to hosts for accommodation form.
We appreciate that in an emergency it may not be possible to immediately provide all the information we would normally want. We will make allowances for this.
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 your individual circumstances.