Transition to Work Grant

We may be able to pay for things you need to find or start a job, such as clothes, travel, living expenses until your first pay and other things.


You don't have to pay the money back.

  • Who can get it

    To get the Transition to Work Grant you must be:

    • 18 years or older (see below if you're 16 or 17 years old)
    • looking for paid work of 30 hours or more a week, or 20 hours or more a week if you're a sole parent
    • a New Zealand citizen or resident
    • looking for or starting a job in New Zealand, not overseas
    • and either:
      • getting a main benefit (eg Jobseeker Support or Sole Parent Support), or
      • registered with us as a job seeker, or
      • registered with Student Job Search (if you get Job Seeker Student Hardship), or
      • qualify for a main benefit and have an interview or job offer, or
      • have a short gap between jobs.

    We'll also look at:

    • how much you and your partner earn
    • any cash assets you or your partner have
    • whether you've been paid a Transition to Work Grant in the last 52 weeks.

    16 and 17 years old

    You can apply if you're 16 or 17 years old and you:

    • are relying on another kind of Government assistance (eg Youth Payment), or
    • have a child or partner who is dependent on you, or
    • are in extreme hardship (eg you can't afford basic living costs like accommodation or food), or
    • have an Early Leaving Exemption (ELE) from school.

    We may also look at how much your parent or caregiver earns, and any other income or cash assets they have, if you're still their dependent child. You're not considered a dependent child if you're getting a Youth Payment or Young Parent Payment.

  • What you can get

    We may be able to help with the reasonable costs of finding work or starting a new job. For example:

    • clothing and transport for a job interview
    • interpreter fees
    • tools or clothing for work
    • relocating for work
    • living expenses between your last benefit payment and first pay (eg board or rent, food and power)
    • tattoo removal
    • childcare when you go to a job interview or first start work.

    You can get up to $1,500 (in total) for these things in a 52-week period.

    We may also be able to help with on-going childcare costs for up to 50 hours a week, depending on your circumstances.

  • How to apply

    You need to call us on 0800 559 009

    We'll talk with you to understand your situation and how we can help. We'll let you know what information you need to provide and how to get this to us.

    You may need to fill out the the 'Transition to Work Grant' application form.