Youth Payment

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
    • normally live in New Zealand and intend to stay here.

    You must also:

    • be in, or available for either:
      • full time education
      • training
      • 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.

    We know you may not be able to do some of these things due to COVID-19. We'll talk to you about this when you apply.

    You're single

    If you're single, you may get Youth Payment if you:

    • have a parental support gap, or
    • are divorced, or your civil union has been dissolved or you have separated from your de-facto partner.

    You're in a relationship

    If you're 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

    A Family Court Judge must consent to your relationship. You'll need to show us the court order from the Family Court Judge.

    Before 14 August 2018, we accepted written consent from the parents of the 16-17 year old. If you've already given the parents' consent to us before then, we can still use it. You don't need to get consent from a Family Court Judge.


    Parental support gap

    You are considered to have a parental support gap 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 have a parental support gap if you have the option of living with a parent or guardian but choose not to without a good and sufficient reason.


    Parent/caregiver involvement

    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 apply, we'll call you to talk about what education or training you'll 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

    You can apply online through MyMSD. We'll check to see if you can get any other help from us based on the answers you give in your application.

  • On a benefit