Supported Living Payment

Supported Living Payment is a weekly payment to help you if you have, or are caring for someone with a significant health condition, injury or disability meaning that suitable work is unlikely within the next 2 years.

  • Who can get it

    To get Supported Living Payment you generally must:

    • be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and
    • normally live here, and
    • have lived here for at least two years at one time since becoming a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

    If this doesn’t apply to you, you may not be able to get Supported Living Payment, however we may be able to help you in other ways. Call us to talk about your situation.

    There are other criteria. They depend on if you're applying because of a health condition, injury, or disability, or because you're caring full-time for someone.

    Have a health condition, injury or disability

    You may be able to get the Supported Living Payment if you are:

    • 16 years or older
    • totally blind
    • permanently and severely restricted in your ability to work because of a health condition, injury or disability

    This means you:

    • have a condition affecting your capacity to work for more than 2 years, OR
    • have a life expectancy of less than 2 years AND
    • can't regularly work 15 hours or more a week in open employment

    As part of your application for Supported Living Payment we'll need you to give us information that confirms your condition and the impact it has on your ability to work. We'll let you know what's needed and how to get this to us.

    Full-time carer

    You may be able to get the Supported Living Payment if you give full-time care at home to someone, and are either:

    • 18 years or older and do not have a dependent child, or
    • 20 years or older with a dependent child.

    The person can be:

    • your child
    • a family member (other than your partner or spouse)
    • a member of your community.

    The person you're caring for must otherwise need to receive hospital or residential-level care. Examples of this level of care are:

    • rest home care
    • residential disability care
    • extended care services for severely disabled children and young people
    • inpatient or residential hospital care.

    As part of the application process we'll need to see medical information from the health practitioner of the person you're caring for. We'll let you know what's needed and how to get this to us.

    There is an income limit for this assistance.

    Other assistance

    Health condition, injury or disability

    If your partner or spouse is caring for you full-time, your partner can't be included in your Supported Living Payment. Talk to us if they need financial assistance.

    Full-time partner carer

    If you are caring full-time for your partner or spouse you are not eligible for the Supported Living Payment, but you may qualify for other financial assistance.

    Check if you can get Supported Living Payment

    To find out if you could get Supported Living Payment and what else you might qualify for, use our 'Check what you might get' tool.

  • What you can get

    Supported Living Payment is paid weekly.

    Caring for someone

    If you're caring for someone, how much you get depends on:

    • your situation, and
    • how much you and your partner (if you have one) earn.

    Not caring for someone

    If you're not caring for someone, how much you get depends on:

    • your situation and
    • how much you earn (in some cases we may not count all of your income).

    If you're totally blind, we won't take any of your income into account. If you have a partner, their income will be taken into account (unless they are totally blind as well).

    More information

  • How to apply

    How you apply depends on whether you're already getting a benefit or not.

    Not getting a benefit

    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. MyMSD will tell you what you’ll need to provide, including a medical certificate from your health practitioner.

    Already getting a benefit

    If you are on another benefit (eg Jobseeker), call us. We'll let you know what you need to do.

  • What happens next

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

    Apply for child support if you're a sole parent

    If you get Supported Living Payment and you're a sole parent, 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.
    • If you have dependent children under 18, you'll also get a Family Tax Credit from Inland Revenue.

    The health and disability support system may also be able to help, eg, time off for caregivers or home support services. Visit the Ministry of Health website for more information.

  • While you're getting Supported Living Payment

    Something changes

    If you're getting Supported Living Payment, you need to:

    • Tell us if something changes
    • Review your circumstances every year – to check if your expenses etc have changed
    • You may also need to update us with information about your health condition every two years.

    Tell us if something changes

    You need to keep us up-to-date with any changes that might affect how much you get paid, eg, travelling or moving overseas, earning income, etc.

    Review your circumstances

    Each year we need to make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to and that we’re paying you the right amount.

    Review of circumstances - How a review of your circumstances works

    Update us with information about your health condition

    Every two years we may ask you for updated medical information. This is to check how your health condition or disability currently impacts on your capacity to work.

    This will help us understand what support you need from us, and whether you’re able to work right now or in the future. We may ask for this even if your health condition or disability is permanent or hasn’t changed.

    We’ll write to you if you need to complete a Supported Living Payment review. We’ll ask you to show us a recently completed Work Capacity Medical Certificate completed by a health practitioner. If we need further information, we’ll let you know.

    If you can’t provide this information, or you want to see one of our designated doctors, call us to let us know.

    We won't ask you to complete a Supported Living Payment review if you:

    • are totally blind
    • are terminally ill
    • have a severe intellectual or cognitive impairment
    • have a disorder that severely impacts on your ability to function and care for yourself and is unlikely to improve.
  • Working while you’re getting Supported Living Payment

    You can still work while you’re getting a Supported Living Payment, even if it’s just a few hours a week. We can help you prepare for work, find a job or study.

    Want to work while getting Supported Living Payment

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Contact us for more information.