Families in Aotearoa New Zealand are eligible to receive government support in the form of tax credits and other payments to help with the cost of raising children.

There is a range of financial support and support varies depending on your situation. 

Some of the financial support single-parent families may be eligible for is listed below. For a full list of support that you may be eligible for, including eligibility criteria, please see the Work and Income website. You can also 
contact your local Birthright to talk about financial support and how to access it. 

Accommodation Supplement

If you need help covering the cost of your rent, board, mortgage or other accommodation-related costs, the Accommodation Supplement can support you. The amount that you are eligible to receive is calculated based on your own individual circumstances.

Childcare Subsidy

For pre-school children, the Childcare Subsidy can help families with the cost of pre-school childcare.

Older children may be eligible for the OSCAR Subsidy to provide out-of-school care. This is childcare that is available before and after school and during school holidays. OSCAR programmes are guaranteed to be properly run in an environment that is safe for children.

Child Disability Allowance

Child Disability Allowance is a fortnightly payment made to the main carer of a child or young person with a serious disability. It is paid in recognition of the extra care and attention needed for that child.

Disability Allowance

Disability Allowance is a weekly payment for people who have regular, ongoing costs because of a disability, such as visits to the doctor or hospital, medicines, extra clothing or travel.

Home Help

If you are a parent or carer you may be able to get help with the cost of home help to complete household tasks or training in parenting skills. 

For more information, check the information about Home Help on the Work and Income website.

Orphan’s Benefit

Orphan’s Benefit is a weekly payment which helps carers supporting a child or young person whose parents have died or can't be found, or can’t look after them because they have a long-term health condition or incapacity.

Sole Parent Support

Sole Parent Support is a weekly payment that helps single parents find part-time work or get ready for future work.

You may get Sole Parent Support if you are:

  • aged 20 or older
  • a single parent or caregiver with one or more dependent children under 14
  • not in a relationship
  • without adequate financial support
  • a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident who has been here for at least two years at any one time since becoming a citizen or permanent resident, and who normally lives here.

If you meet all the above criteria except for the one about how long you’ve lived in New Zealand, 
talk to Work and Income.

Only one parent or caregiver can get Sole Parent Support. Shared care of your child could affect your payments.

You may not qualify for Sole Parent Support if:

  • your youngest child is 14 years or over, you won’t qualify for Sole Parent Support but you may qualify for another benefit, such as Jobseeker Support
  • you’re a sole parent aged 19 or younger, please visit www.youthservice.govt.nz.

If you’re a sole parent aged 19 or younger, see Young Parent Payment.

For more information about Sole Parent Support, including eligibility criteria, please see the 
Work and Income website

Unsupported Child’s Benefit

Unsupported Child’s Benefit is a weekly payment which helps carers supporting a child or young person whose parents can't care for them because of a family breakdown.

Working for Families

The government provides tax credit payments to parents raising families in Aotearoa New Zealand through Inland Revenue's Working for Families. These payments are for families with dependent children aged 18 and under. Entitlement is based on your yearly income and individual family circumstances.

You can use their online calculator tool to estimate Working for Families Tax Credits you may be eligible for.

You can also find out about shared care of a child and getting Working for Families on the
Inland Revenue website.

Watch this video from Inland Revenue about Working for Families Tax Credits (YouTube, 4:00 mins)

Young Parent Payment

If you are a young parent aged 16-19 years old, you might be eligible for the Young Parent Payment. Entitlement is based on your individual circumstances and there are certain criteria that you must meet to be eligible.