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Additional help for families

Learn about additional help available from the Working for Families package. You may be eligible for help with housing costs or childcare.

Working for Families assistance

To be eligible to apply for any of the following, it may depend on:

  • your income
  • your financial assets, and/or
  • the number and age of your children.

Inland Revenue does not directly provide any of the benefits or entitlements listed below.

Help with housing 

Working for Families is making housing more affordable. The Accommodation Supplement is available to more working families and many people without children. Find out more about accommodation supplement.

Help with Childcare 

Subsidies for pre-school and out-of-school care have increased significantly under Working for Families and are available to more parents earning higher incomes. Find out more about Childcare assistance.

Help with health costs 

Community services card

The Community Services Card can help you and your family with the costs of health care. You'll pay less on some health services and prescriptions.

Find out more about community services cards or call the community services card centre on 0800 999 999.

High use health card

If you don't qualify for a community services card, you may be able to get a high use health card if you visit the doctor often for an on-going medical condition. Ask your doctor about this card.

Find out more about high use health cards.

Pharmaceutical Subsidy Card

You may also qualify for a Pharmaceutical Subsidy Card if you need a lot of prescriptions. Ask your pharmacist about this card.

Find out more about pharmaceutical subsidy cards.

Additional help from Work and Income 

Disability allowances

If you, your child or someone you're caring for has a disability, you may be able to get a disability allowance to help with the costs of having a disability.

  • The disability allowance is for people who have a disability and need on-going medical care and help with everyday tasks.
  • The modification grant helps with the costs of special equipment you may need at work.
  • The child disability allowance helps with the extra care needed for a child with a serious physical or intellectual disability.

Find out more about disability allowances.

Special needs grant

This is a one-off payment to help out with urgent things like food, bedding and emergency dental or medical treatment.

Find out more about special needs grants.

Temporary additional support

This is a weekly payment to help you meet your essential living costs.

Find out more about temporary additional support.

Recoverable assistance payment grant

This is a one-off payment to help you buy something essential immediately if you can't afford to pay for it right now. You may be able to get the grant for things like appliances, furniture, bedding, rent or school uniforms.

Find out more about the recoverable assistance payment grant.

Home help

This may help with your costs if you:

  • have had a multiple birth
  • have a domestic emergency, or
  • need domestic support.

Find out more about home help.

Away from home allowance

This helps with the living costs of dependent children aged 16 to 17 who have to live away from home to do tertiary study or go on a training course.

Find out more about the away from home allowance.

New employment transition grant

This helps with your costs if you lose income in your first six months of working after being on a benefit because:

  • you, your spouse or partner or child are sick, or
  • you have problems with your childcare arrangements.

Find out more about the new employment transition grant.

Transition to work grant

This is a payment to help meet the additional costs of job search, attending a job interview or entering employment for:

  • people who meet the qualifying criteria and face small gaps between jobs (up to four weeks) or who are re-entering the workforce
  • people who receive a main benefit from Work and Income, and
  • students.

Find out more about Assistance to transition into employment.

Find out more

Work and Income website