Advance Payment of Benefit
What you get
Work and Income can advance up to 6 weeks’ benefit or pension to help pay for essential costs that crop up. Anyone on a low income, who gets a benefit or pension from Work and Income, can apply. It’s repaid in instalments.
An Advance payment of your benefit or pension is an extra one-off payment to help cover essential expenses. The money is usually paid directly to the business.
What an Advance payment of benefit can help with
These are things you may be able to cover with an advance payment:
- paying bonds and rent
- dentures, glasses and hearing aids
- school-related costs for a child
- buying a fridge, freezer or washing machine
- car repairs
- paying for electricity, gas or water
- buying beds, or tables and chairs.
Who can get it
You can apply for an Advance payment of benefit if you:
- urgently have to pay for something that is essential
- have no other way to pay for it
- are getting a benefit or pension
- are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and
- normally live in New Zealand.
Work and Income will take into account:
- your ability to pay back the money
- how much you and your partner earn
- any money or assets you and your partner have.
Before you apply
Before applying for an Advance Payment of Benefit, you need to have a quote from a business for the goods or services you need.
If you have a partner, provide income and asset information for them.
How you apply
To apply, call Work and Income and say ‘advance payment of benefit’ at the voice prompt.
- If you're 65 or older, phone 0800 552 002.
- If you're under 65, phone 0800 559 009.
When you call, Work and Income tells you if you need to apply in person or if you can arrange an advance over the phone
How long it takes
If you provide all the information they need, Work and Income usually let you know within 5 working days if you can get an advance.
Once you have the advance
Advance payment of benefits have to be repaid to Work and Income.
Regular amounts will be taken out of your benefit or pension payments to repay the advance.
If you regularly need to apply for help, you may need to show what you have done to manage your budget yourself.