Steps to Freedom Grant

If you've been released from prison, we may be able to help you get set up in the community with a 'Steps to Freedom' grant.

Who can get it

You may be able to get a 'Steps to Freedom' grant if:

  • you've been in prison for 31 days or more and
  • have now been released, or released on home detention.

If you've been released into a residential care facility, you may be able to get the grant for any costs that aren't paid for by the facility.

If you have a spouse or partner, they must:

  • earn less than $848.92 gross per week
  • not have any money or assets worth more than $1,855.15.
  • How much you can get

    You can get up to $350. If you had any money when you were released from prison, this will be taken off the amount of the grant.

    What you get it for

    It can help pay for any initial costs you have when you’re trying to set yourself up in the community, such as:

    • housing, bond or rent in advance
    • beds and bedding
    • essential appliances, eg a kettle or toaster
    • power, gas or connecting a phone in your home
    • food
    • clothing and toiletry items, eg a toothbrush or toothpaste
  • How to apply

    In prison

    You can apply if you're in prison and about to be released. You need to arrange an appointment with the Work and Income Prisoner Reintegration Coordinator.

    Not in prison

    If you've recently been released from prison, you'll need to call us to talk about this.

    We'll tell you what documents you'll need. You'll also need to provide a release form if you've been in prison in New Zealand, or any deportation documents if you've been in prison overseas, showing proof of any money you had when you were released and how many days you spent in prison.

  • Payment

    Once you've been granted a Steps to Freedom grant, we'll pay this to you through:

    • your bank account (if you have one)
    • a Steps to Freedom Card
    • a cheque.

    A Steps to Freedom card is a Westpac debit card, which is pre-loaded with your grant payment.