Living at home – Financial Support

There are a multitude of situations that can cause you to need to access some extra financial support while living at home. It is important to be aware of things that you might be entitled to. For example not everyone has funds at the ready to pay for dental treatment, repairs if your roof springs a leak, emergency medical care, etc. If you meet eligibility criteria, you may be able to get extra assistance from Work and Income. This assistance may include:

  • Accommodation Supplement – For help towards the cost of rent, board or the cost of owning a home. This is income and asset tested. Additional criteria and other factors are also considered. People living in social housing (Housing NZ and government approved community housing) don’t qualify.
  • Advance Payment of Benefit – If you urgently need something you can’t afford to pay for right now, you may be able to get some of your NZ Super/Veteran’s Pension payment paid ahead of time. For example essential house repairs, dental treatment or household appliances. Income and asset tested.It has to be paid back, but you may be able to do this in installments.
  • Disability Allowance – For extra expenses due to a health condition or disability that is likely to last at least 6 months (e.g. transport costs, special dietary requirements, medications, doctor’s visits, gardening, personal alarm, etc.). A doctor’s certificate is required as part of the application. The maximum you can currently claim is $64.29 per week (as at 1 April 2019). Income tested. Keep relevant receipts if you plan to apply for this allowance. You will need them at the time of application/re-application.
  • Special Needs Grant (SNG) – This is a one-off payment to help with urgent things you’ve no other way to pay for, like food, bedding and emergency medical care. You won’t usually have to pay this grant back. Income and assets are considered and there are other conditions.
  • Recoverable Assistance Payment – If you’re not receiving NZ Super or another benefit and you need something you can’t afford to pay for right now (such as appliances) you may be able to get this payment. You need to pay it back (usually by installments) and there are other conditions.
  • Temporary Additional Support – A weekly payment for those who cannot meet their essential costs from their income or other sources. Paid for up to 13 weeks. Determined by your cash assets and other factors. Income and asset tested.
  • Emergency Benefit – Assistance that may be paid to people who cannot support themselves and who do not qualify for any other payments.
  • Funeral Grant – This grant may be available to help pay for funeral costs. The maximum payable is $2,093.31 (as at 1 April 2019). Income and asset testing of the deceased, partner, and parent or guardian applies.

For those people caring for children, grandchildren, their spouse or partner, parents, or friends there are a number of benefits available to you. These include but are not limited to:

  • Orphans Benefit and Unsupported Child’s Benefit this provides help for caregivers of dependent (grand)children. A range of support may be available and may include a Childcare Subsidy and Establishment Grant. 
  • Supported Living Payment – For those caring full-time for someone (but not their spouse or partner) who is at home but would otherwise be in residential care or a hospital. Individual circumstances are considered.
  • Carer Support Subsidy – This subsidy is designed to look after your carer. It allows them to pay someone to care for you while they get a break. ‘Carer Support’ days are allocated depending on the need identified in an assessment. Spouses, partners and others who live with you cannot be paid to ‘fill in’ for your carer. Contact your local NASC/CCC team to find out current rates for your area.

Contact Work and Income for more information about these, and other financial assistance.

About Eve Williams

Eve Williams is the Content Developer and Social Media Administration for Eldernet. She is currently studying towards her Masters at the University of Canterbury. She has a passion for learning new things.