Recoverable Assistance Payment
What you get
A Recoverable Assistance Payment can help with urgent costs that you can’t afford. Anyone on a low income who isn’t receiving a benefit or pension from Work and Income can apply. It's paid back in instalments and it’s interest free.
Recoverable Assistance Payments are one-off payments to help cover essential expenses. The money is usually paid directly to the business.
What a Recoverable Assistance payment can help with
These are some of the things you may be able to cover with a Recoverable Assistance Payment:
- paying bonds and rent
- buying a fridge, freezer or washing machine
- paying for electricity, gas or water
- getting dentures, glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids
- car repairs
- school uniforms
- house repairs or maintenance.
Who can get it
You can apply for a Recoverable Assistance Payment if you:
- urgently have to pay for something that is essential
- have no other way to pay for it
- aren’t getting a benefit or pension
- are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, and
- normally live in New Zealand.
Work and Income will consider:
- what your other options are for paying for what you need
- your ability to pay it back
- how much you and your partner earn
- any money or assets you and your partner have.
Before you apply
To apply for a Recoverable Assistance Payment, you need to have:
- a quote from a business for the goods or services you need
- a plan to repay it within 2 years
- proof that you (and your partner, if you have one) can’t pay for what you need, eg your bank statements, payslips and receipts to show where your income has been spent.
How you apply
To apply, call Work and Income and say ‘recoverable assistance’ at the voice prompt.
- If you are 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 a payment over the phone.
If you need to apply in person, you need to bring with you:
- the quote from a business for the goods or services you need
- the plan to repay it
- information about your income and assets
- proof that you (and your partner, if you have one) can't pay for what you need, eg your bank statement, payslips and receipts to show where your income has been spent.
How long it takes
If you provide all the information they need, Work and Income usually let you know within 1 working day if you can get a payment.
Once you have the payment
Recoverable Assistance Payments have to be paid back to Work and Income. If you need to, you can arrange to pay them back in instalments.
At the interview, the case manager will talk about options for repaying the payment. These options can include automatic, internet or cash payments, or having regular amounts taken out of your wages.
If you often need to apply for help, you may need to show what you have done to manage your budget yourself.