Sole Parent Support
Sole Parent Support is a weekly payment that helps single parents find part-time work or get ready for future work.
Who can get it
You may get Sole Parent Support if you are:
- aged 20 or older
- a single parent or caregiver with one or more dependent children under 14
- not in a relationship
- without adequate financial support
- a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident who has been here for at least two years at any one time since becoming a citizen or permanent resident, and who normally lives here.
If you meet all the above criteria except for the one about how long you’ve lived in New Zealand, talk to us.
Only one parent or caregiver can get Sole Parent Support. Shared care of your child could affect your payments.
- helps you get ready for future work (if your youngest child is younger than 3)
- supports you to find part-time work (if your youngest child is 3 years or over)
- may mean you can get help with education and training.
This information is a guide only. For more detail about who can get it, read:
You may not qualify for Sole Parent Support if:
- your youngest child is 14 years or over, you won’t qualify for Sole Parent Support but you may qualify for another benefit, such as Jobseeker Support
- you’re a sole parent aged 19 or younger, please visit www.youthservice.govt.nz or pick up the Youth Service brochure from your nearest Service Centre.
If you’re a sole parent aged 19 or younger, see:
Check if you can get Sole Parent Support
To find out if you could get Sole Parent Support and what else you might qualify for, use our 'Check what you might get' tool.
What you can get
Sole Parent Support is paid weekly. How much you get depends on your situation and how much you earn.
Identifying the other parent
If you don't legally identify the other parent or apply for Child Support, your benefit payment may be reduced.
A parent is legally identified when their name is on the child's birth certificate. If their name isn't on there, you can legally identify them in other ways, known as ‘establishing paternity’. We can help you with this, or you can contact your local Family Court, your local Community Law Centre, a lawyer, or the Ministry of Justice.
There may be some situations where you don't need to do this, eg, you or your child would be at risk of violence. Contact us if you're not sure.
How to apply
You can complete and submit your application form online. We'll also check to see if you can get any other help from us, based on the answers you give in your form.
What happens next
Once you've submitted your online form, there are a number of things you'll need to do to complete the application process. These could include:
- read and agree to obligations
- fill out a Jobseeker profile
- gather supporting documents
- book an appointment or seminar
We'll let you know what you need to do once you've submitted your application form.
If your application's approved
If you're getting Sole Parent Support, you need to keep us up-to-date with any changes that might affect how much you get paid, eg, having another child, travelling overseas, earning income, etc.
Getting Sole Parent Support for more than 12 months
If you're getting Sole Parent Support and you still need it after a year, you have to re-apply.
For more information contact us