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Ka taea anōtia e au te whiwhi Working for Families? Can I get Working for Families?


Am I eligible?

To get Working for Families you will: 

  • have a dependent child or children in your care under the age of 18 (or between 18 and 19 and still at school or a tertiary institution)
  • be the principal caregiver
  • be aged 16 or older
  • need to meet the residency requirements.

Residency requirements

  • You're a New Zealand resident and have been in New Zealand continuously for at least 12 months at any time. You must be both a tax resident and resident in New Zealand when you apply for your payments.
  • The child or children you're claiming for are both resident and present in New Zealand.

Children born in New Zealand before 1 January 2006 are residents. 

For children born in New Zealand on or after 1 January 2006 to qualify as a New Zealand resident, at least one of the parents must meet one of the following conditions:

  • The parent is a New Zealand citizen.
  • The parent has permanent residency and has been in New Zealand continuously for at least 12 months since the residency was granted.
  • The parent is entitled to reside indefinitely in the Cook Islands, Tokelau or Niue.

Children born in New Zealand up to 31 December 2005 are considered NZ residents, so the parents may apply for Working for Families for that child and will qualify from the date of birth.

Australian citizens and residents qualify immediately if they are also a New Zealand tax resident. 

If you or your child are in New Zealand unlawfully, or hold only a temporary permit of visa, you are not entitled to receive Working for Families payments.

How much can I get?

Working for Families payments are based on your family income and the number of children in your care. In each child's first year you will get $60 a week Best Start regardless of your family income.

Use our calculator to estimate how much your Working for Families payments could be.

Our Working for Families Tax Credits 2020 - IR271 - shows the weekly payments you might be able to get for the family tax credit and in-work tax credit. This depends on your annual income and the number of children you have.