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.

    This benefit:

    • 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.

    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.

  • How to apply

    You can apply online through MyMSD. We'll also check to see if you can get any other help from us, based on the answers you give in your application.

  • What happens next

    Once you've submitted your online form, we'll call you if there's anything else you need to do.

    Apply for child support

    If you get Sole Parent Support, you need to fill in a Child Support application form. This helps Inland Revenue collect child support payments from the other parent of your child.

    There are some situations when you don't need to apply. Everyone's situation is different.

    We'll contact you when we process your application and let you know what you need to do.

    If your application's approved

    • We'll let you know when your payments will start.
    • We'll also send you a Community Services Card to help with the costs of prescriptions and going to the doctor.
    • You may also get a Family Tax Credit from Inland Revenue.
  • Something changes

    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

    Usually, you would need to reapply for Sole Parent Support after you've been getting it for 12 months.

    In response to COVID-19, you don't need to reapply. We'll continue to pay you if you get it for longer than 12 months.

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