Work Bonus

If you're on a benefit and choose to work even though you don't have work obligations, you may be able to get a Work Bonus.

Who can get it

You may be able to get Work Bonus if you're getting either:

  • Sole Parent Support, and your youngest child is under 3
  • Emergency Maintenance Allowance, and your youngest child is under 3
  • Supported Living Payment, because you've got a health condition, injury or disability, or
  • Emergency Benefit instead of Supported Living Payment because you don't have New Zealand residency.

You also need to:

  • be coming off one of these benefits to start work
  • be starting work in New Zealand
  • tell us you want to stop your benefit within 14 days of starting work.

Who can't get Work Bonus

You can't get Work Bonus if:

  • you're coming off your benefit to start self-employed work, or
  • you have work obligations while you're on your benefit.

What you can get

Work Bonus is paid weekly. The first week's payment will be at the full rate of the benefit you're on. This doesn't include any other payments you get, eg, Accommodation Supplement or Disability Allowance. It then reduces by $100 a week until it runs out.

You can only get one Work Bonus a year.

It's not taxed and it's not counted as income (including for Working for Families Tax Credits) or as an asset.

How to apply

Call us on 0800 559 009 to let us know you've found a job. If you qualify for Work Bonus, we'll pay this to you automatically. It will start the week after you get your last benefit payment.