Youth Payment helps young people aged 16 or 17 who can't live with their parents or guardian and aren't supported by them or anyone else.
Who can get it
You may get Youth Payment if you:
- are 16 or 17
- have no dependent children
- are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
If you are single, you may get Youth Payment if you:
- are in exceptional circumstances or
- are divorced, or your civil union has been dissolved or you have separated from your de-facto partner.
If you are married, in a civil union or de facto relationship, you may get Youth Payment as long as you're not in a relationship with a specified beneficiary
You must also:
- be in, or available for, full time education, training or work-based learning leading towards an NCEA level 2 qualification, or an equivalent or higher qualification
- work with a Youth Service provider who will help you manage your money
- attend a budgeting course.
You should also normally live in New Zealand and intend to stay here.
This information is a guide only.
You are considered to be in exceptional circumstances if:
- you have left the care of Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children, or
- your parents or guardian can't support you. This could be because they are in prison, in hospital, deceased, or overseas, or
- your relationship with your parents or guardians has broken down and no one can support you financially, or
- there is a good reason why you can no longer live with your parents or guardian, or be supported by them or anyone else.
You would not be considered to be in exceptional circumstances if you have the option of living with a parent or guardian but choose not to without a good and sufficient reason.
When you apply for a Youth Payment we usually discuss your situation with your parents or caregivers. There are some circumstances when this won't happen, eg if you are married or in a civil union.
Education & Training
Most young people are better off if they finish their education or are in training for future work. When you meet with a Youth Service provider or specialist case worker to discuss your application, they will focus their conversations on what education or training you will return to, start or continue doing.
How much you can get
This depends on your current circumstances.
When you get Youth Payment we'll automatically pay you the Winter Energy Payment for heating your home over the winter months.
Are you eligible?
Find out if you might get this benefit, and what other financial assistance may be available to you.
How to apply
Complete your application form for financial assistance online.
You can also go to any Work and Income Service Centre and use one of our self service kiosks to complete the online application.
We can grant you the financial assistance you’re entitled to from the date you first contact us if you complete your application within 20 working days of that date.
On a benefit