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.
Rural Assistance Payments
Rural Assistance Payments can help farmers during or after an adverse event, eg. a flood or drought.
Financial assistance and other support for farmers and growers affected by Cyclone Gabrielle is available from the Ministry of Primary Industries.
Rural Assistance Payments are not currently available for these events.
Rural Assistance Payments are paid during or after an adverse event. They're paid to help farmers with essential living costs.
Adverse events are climatic events, natural disasters or biosecurity issues. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) classifies these as either localised events, or medium- or large- scale events.
If it's a medium or large scale event, the Government then decides what sort of assistance will be provided.
Find out how adverse events are classified on the Ministry for Primary Industries' website:
You may be able to get a Rural Assistance Payment if:
- you're finding it difficult to meet your essential living costs through your farming business because of an adverse event.
- your farm is your main source of income, eg:
- meat or poultry farming
- dairy products
- arable farming
- an orchard
- herb or flower growing
- a market garden.
It also depends on:
- how much you and your partner earn (not including your farming business), and
- any money or off-farm assets you and your partner have.
2021 South Island drought
Rural Assistance Payments are still available for the 2021 South Island drought. Areas that have access to this funding:
- Marlborough District Council
- Tasman District Council
- Buller District Council
- Grey District Council
- Westland District Council
- Kaikoura District Council
- Hurunui District Council
- Selwyn District Council
- Waimakariri District Council
- Christchurch City Council
- Ashburton District Council
- Timaru District Council
- Mackenzie District Council
- Waimate District Council
- Waitaki District Council
- Central Otago District Council
- Queenstown Lakes District Council
- Dunedin City Council
- Clutha District Council
- Chatham Islands District Council
If you have other income other than your farming business, this may affect how much Rural Assistance Payment you get.
You and your partner can earn up to $160 a week (before tax) combined before this affects your payments. If you earn more than this, you may still get a Rural Assistance Payment, but at a lower rate.
To get this payment, any cash or off-farm assets you have must be under a certain amount. This doesn't include farm or orchard assets, such as shares in dairy, meat or fertiliser companies.
If you are:
Your assets must be less than:
a couple (with or without children) or a sole parent
Payments are equivalent to the current rate of the Jobseeker Support benefit at the time of the event.
You or your partner can earn up to $160.00 per week (before tax) before your Rural Assistance Payments are affected. If you're earning more than this, you may still be able to get Rural Assistance Payments at a reduced rate, which will be paid weekly.
Tax is automatically deducted at 'M' rate.
Rural Assistance Payments are generally paid in a lump sum covering 4 weeks. If you need the payment for longer than this, you'll need to reapply every 4 weeks.
You can apply for Rural Assistance Payments for:
- up to one year from the date you apply, or
- a set length of time, which is approved by the Minister for Social Development.
You'll get paid for whichever is the shortest of these options.
You need to:
- fill out the 'Rural Assistance Payment Application' form (your local Rural Support Trust can help you fill this out)
- print the form
- get the declaration form signed by either:
- an Agri-recovery Facilitator, or
- a Rural Support Trust coordinator
- call us to talk about how to get this to us.
Complete the application form
We may be able to help you in other ways, for example if you've had to stop work or need help to pay unexpected costs. You can use our online tool to find out what support you might be eligible for, and how to apply for this.