Can I stop my payments?
You may be able to stop paying child support if you are in a hospital or a drug rehabilitation centre for at least 13 weeks, and:
- you earn no income while you're a patient, or
- your income is only from investments and averages less than the minimum weekly child support amount, or
- your only income is a reduced benefit from Work and Income (if you receive a full benefit for part of the time you may still qualify).
|If you're paying child support under a voluntary agreement or a court order, your income from investments should not be more than $10 a week on average.|
How do I apply to stop my payments?
To apply to have your payments stopped, you need to:
- fill in our Application for exemption from child support payments (IR105) form, and
- ask a doctor at the hospital where you are staying to sign the form, and
- send the form to your nearest Child Support office.
What if I don't qualify?
If you don't qualify to have your payments stopped, we may still be able to reduce your payments.
How do I qualify to have my payments reduced?
If your income for the current year ending 31 March is less than the income we used to work out your child support payments, you may be able to reduce your payments. Your income needs to be at least 15% less to qualify.
For example, if we originally used an income of $30,000 per year to work out your payments, and the income you expect to get for the whole year has fallen by at least $4,500 (15%), we can reduce your payments.
How do I apply to reduce my payments?
To apply to reduce your payments, you need to do one of the following:
- Fill in an Estimation of income for child support online or an Estimate of income for child support assessment (IR104) form for the relevant year, and
- Send us a letter telling us how much you expect to earn for the current year (including what you earned before you went into hospital), and
- provide evidence of your estimation - such as payslips, a letter from Work and Income or, if you are self-employed, a letter from your accountant.
What if I already owe child support?
You are still liable for any child support you owe before your payments are stopped or reduced.
What happens to penalties on my account while I'm in hospital?
We may be able to help you with penalties while you are in hospital. Please phone us on 0800 221 221.
What do I do when I leave hospital?
You need to contact us as soon as possible after you leave hospital. We need to know:
- the date you left hospital
- your new address
- if you're receiving a benefit or, if you're working, your employer's name.
We will then make sure you pay the right amount of child support.
Date published: 03 Apr 2014