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Financial Support for Pregnant Women or Parents

In this section you will find general information about the financial assistance available for pregnant women or parents.

For up-to-date information on types of benefit, criteria and rates, contact Work & Income New Zealand on 0800 559 009.

Under 16: Does not qualify for any benefit.

Aged 16 – 18: Can apply for Independent Youth Benefit if family refuses to support the young woman and she needs to live away from home.

Over 16 & pregnant: May receive Sickness benefit from 27 weeks onwards if she has left work due to pregnancy or from 28 weeks if she has not been working. May apply earlier if

  • she has complications 
  • work is jeopardising her health or that of her baby 
  • she is participating in a recognised life skills and parenting program.

She can apply for this benefit even if living with parents. In all cases, doctor or midwife must verify gestation and any complications.

Unemployment Benefit: If a pregnant woman is claiming this type of benefit then she is expected to seek work and have regular interviews with WINZ.

Domestic Purposes Benefit: A parent may apply for this once the child is born, is in their full time care, they have no partner to support them and very limited work and income (about $80 week maximum). If a parent has a partner living with them, then that person is expected to support the parent via their wage or a benefit adjusted for having a dependent partner and child. If the partner is coming and going then WINZ have the right to interview the couple and challenge them to either live separately (and therefore qualify for a benefit) or to make a decision to live together on a shared wage or benefit.

Accommodation Supplement: Some beneficiaries will qualify for this extra help, depending on the cost of their rent or board and which region they live in.

Disability Allowance: This additional payment maybe given to people who have extra costs due to conditions such as asthma, disability, injury or a child with special needs. Will need to produce proof of costs, (e.g. receipts from taxis or chemists) or may have regular ones (e.g. lawn mowing) paid directly by WINZ.

Special Needs Grants: When a beneficiary incurs sudden expenses such as for dental work or to pay the bond for a new flat, they may bring proof of this cost and ask for a grant. Sometimes this will be taken out of their benefit in the future; other times it does not require repayment. E.g. if parent has had to use food money to pay for a weekend doctor’s visit, she may be given a food voucher that she will not have to repay, but if she wants a grant to purchase a cot or fridge, this will be paid directly to the shop then taken out of her benefit each week.

Family Support: If parents are living apart, one parent may be required to pay child support, via Inland Revenue, to the parent who has custody. This will either be incorporated into a benefit payment (paid out by WINZ) or paid directly to the parent who is working for a low wage or salary.

Community Services Card: Anyone on a limited income or benefit should apply for a C.S. card to get certain services at a reduced rate.