Social Security Act NZ

13481 data points of experiment with law

Source: https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2018/00
Notes: Notes excluded…

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

Title

This Act is the Social Security Act 2018.

Commencement

This Act comes into force on 26 November 2018.

However, the following specified provisions come into force on the day after the date on which this Act receives the Royal assent:

  1. section 7 (directions):
  2. sections 99 to 102 (notices):
  3. section 372 (directions):
  4. section 380 (orders):
  5. sections 418 to 454 (regulations, directions, notices, and orders):
  6. clause 54 of Schedule 1 (orders):
  7. clause 68 of Schedule 1 (regulations):
  8. clauses 15 and 17 of Schedule 3 (rules):
  9. clauses 10(3) and 18 of Schedule 6 (regulations and orders).

A power that is conferred by those specified provisions, and that is exercised on or after the day after the date on which this Act receives the Royal assent and before 26 November 2018, may be exercised only with effect on or after 26 November 2018.

If subsections (2) and (3) are to be, or have been, relied on to exercise a power,—

  1. all other enactments relevant to the power’s exercise, and that have not yet commenced, must be treated as if they had commenced; and
  2. a legal position that would be conferred or imposed by an enactment relevant to the power’s exercise, and that has not yet commenced, must be treated as if it has accrued or been imposed.

This section does not affect the application of the Interpretation Act 1999 to this Act.

However, the following specified provisions (which relate to 2016 youth services amendments) come into force on a date that is, or is after, 26 November 2018, and is appointed by the Governor-General by Order in Council:

  1. sections 109(2)(h) and (j), 165, 168, 275, and 276:
  2. the cross-heading above section 165:
  3. paragraph (c) of the definition of young person obligation in section 268:
  4. section 431(1)(e)(v):
  5. clauses 69 to 76 of Schedule 1.

One or more orders may be made under subsection (6) bringing different provisions into force on different dates.

An order under subsection (6) is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Part 1

General provisions

Purpose of this Act

The purpose of this Act is—

  1. to enable the provision of financial and other support as appropriate—
    1. to help people to support themselves and their dependants while not in paid employment; and
    2. to help people to find or retain paid employment; and
    3. to help people for whom work is not currently appropriate—because of sickness, injury, disability, or caring responsibilities—to support themselves and their dependants:
  2. to enable in certain circumstances the provision of financial support to people to help alleviate hardship:
  3. to ensure that the financial support referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) is provided to people taking into account—
    1. that, where appropriate, they should use the resources available to them before seeking financial support under this Act; and
    2. any financial support that they are eligible for or already receive, otherwise than under this Act, from publicly funded sources:
  4. to provide services to encourage and help young people to move to or remain in education, training, and employment, rather than receiving financial support under this Act:
  5. to impose, on the following specified people or young people, the following specified requirements or obligations:
    1. on people seeking or receiving financial support under this Act, administrative and, where appropriate, work-related requirements; and
    2. on young people who are seeking or receiving financial support under this Act, educational, budget management, and (where appropriate) parenting requirements; and
    3. on people receiving certain financial support under this Act, obligations relating to the education and primary health care of their dependent children.
Principles

Every person performing or exercising a duty, function, or power under this Act must have regard to the following general principles:

  1. work in paid employment offers the best opportunity for people to achieve social and economic well-being:
  2. the priority for people of working age should be to find and retain work:
  3. people for whom work may not currently be an appropriate outcome should be assisted to prepare for work in the future and develop employment-focused skills:
  4. people for whom work is not appropriate should be supported in accordance with this Act.
Guide to this Act
General provisions

Part 1 contains general provisions (for example, on definitions).

Assistance

Part 2 contains provisions on assistance, as follows:

Main assistance
  1. jobseeker support:
  2. sole parent support:
  3. supported living payment—
    1. on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness; or
    2. on the ground of caring for another person:
  4. orphan’s benefit:
  5. unsupported child’s benefit:
  6. youth payment:
  7. young parent payment:
  8. emergency benefit:
Supplementary assistance
  1. accommodation supplement:
  2. winter energy payment:
  3. childcare assistance:
  4. child disability allowance:
  5. disability allowance:
  6. funeral grants:
Hardship assistance
  1. temporary additional support:
Special assistance
  1. special assistance for visitors affected by overseas epidemics:
  2. approved special assistance programmes (see the guide in section 15).
Obligations

Part 3 contains provisions on obligations (for example, MSD’s obligations, and each beneficiary’s obligations—see the guide in section 104).

Factors affecting benefits

Part 4 contains provisions on factors affecting benefits (for example, insurance, entitlement to overseas pensions, shared care of a dependent child, hospitalisation, being in custody in prison or on remand, and absence from New Zealand—see the guide in section 183).

Enforcement, sanctions, and offences

Part 5 contains provisions on enforcement, sanctions, and offences (for example, sanctions for failing to meet obligations—see the guide in section 231).

Administration

Part 6 contains provisions on administration (for example, on applications for and granting of benefits, reviews of entitlement, when benefits commence and end or expire, how benefits are paid, tax on benefits, debts and deductions, notices and communications, and reciprocity agreements with other countries—see the guide in section 296).

Reviews and appeals

Part 7 contains provisions on reviews and appeals (reviews by benefits review committees and appeals to the appeal authority, to the courts, or to the medical board—see the guide in section 390).

Other provisions

Part 8 contains other provisions (for example, on powers to make regulations or orders, repeals and revocations, and consequential amendments—see the guide in section 416).

Definitions appear in dictionary

Schedule 2 lists all terms defined for purposes of this Act, and sets out, or indicates where to find, the definitions.

Act is generally former 1964 and 1990 Acts in rewritten form

The provisions of this Act, as section 9 indicates, are generally—

  1. the provisions of specified former 1964 and 1990 enactments in rewritten form; and
  2. intended to have the same effect as the corresponding provisions of those former enactments.

Subsection (10) is overridden by section 9(6) (which relates to identified changes in legislation that are specified in Schedule 11, and to amendments to this Act that are made after the beginning of 26 November 2018).

Definitions are in dictionary in Schedule 2

The dictionary in Schedule 2 defines terms used in this Act.

Minister may give MSD binding directions

The Minister may give MSD general or special written directions about MSD’s performing or exercising any duties, functions, or powers of MSD under enactments in, or made under, either or both of this Act and the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001.

Directions given under this section cannot do what is done by the following kinds of directions:

  1. preferred suppliers: transitional or savings provisions directions given under section 372:
  2. debt recovery directions given under regulations made under section 444 (see section 444(1), (2)(c), and (3)).

MSD must, in performing or exercising a duty, function, or power, comply with all relevant current directions given under this section.

A direction under this section is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

[Repealed]

Determinations person is single or in de facto relationship

This section applies to a decision by MSD so far as the decision does all or any of the following:

  1. determines (that is, grants, or refuses to grant, on any basis) an application for a benefit:
  2. reviews (and suspends, cancels, or varies, from a date determined by MSD) a benefit already granted:
  3. determines the rate of benefit (from a date, or dates, determined by MSD):
  4. grants, or refuses to grant, on any basis, a payment of a funeral grant (see section 90):
  5. grants or refuses to grant, on any basis, a payment under an approved special assistance programme.

MSD may make a determination to regard as single, for the purposes of the decision, an applicant or a beneficiary who is married or in a civil union with the applicant’s or beneficiary’s spouse or partner, but—

  1. is living apart from the applicant’s or beneficiary’s spouse or partner; and
  2. is not in a de facto relationship.

A determination under subsection (2) may include a date, determined by MSD, on which the spouses or partners must be taken for the purposes of the decision to have commenced to live apart.

MSD may make a determination to regard as a party to a de facto relationship, for the purposes of the decision, any 2 people who, not being legally married or in a civil union, have entered into a de facto relationship.

A determination under subsection (4), for the purposes of the decision, may include either or both of the following dates:

  1. a date, determined by MSD, on which the 2 people must be taken as having entered into the de facto relationship:
  2. a date, determined by MSD, on which the de facto relationship of the 2 people must be taken to have ended.

Every determination under this section also applies for the purposes of every debt-recovery or offence provision in or under this Act.

Interpretation: references to old law, and using it as a guide

A reference in an enactment or a document to the following former enactments or to a provision of them, is to be interpreted as a reference to this Act, or to the corresponding provision of this Act, to the extent necessary to reflect sensibly the intent of the enactment or document:

  1. the Social Security Act 1964 (except sections 69FA and 132D, Part 4, and Schedules 27 and 30, which are provisions rewritten and replaced by the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018):
  2. the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990 (except Part 3 and Schedule 3, which are provisions rewritten and replaced by the Artificial Limb Service Act 2018).

Subsection (1) is subject to the consequential amendments in Schedule 10.

The provisions of this Act—

  1. are the provisions of those former enactments in rewritten form; and
  2. are intended to have the same effect as the corresponding provisions of those former enactments.

Subsection (3) is subject to subsections (5) and (6) and section 11.

If the meaning of a provision of this Act that comes into force under section 2 (the new law) is unclear or gives rise to absurdity, the wording of a law that is repealed by section 455 or 456 and that corresponds to the new law (the old law) must be used to ascertain the meaning of the new law.

Subsections (3) to (5) do not apply—

  1. to a new law listed in Schedule 11 (identified changes in legislation); or
  2. if a new law is affected by an amendment made after the new law’s commencement under section 2, to that new law after the amendment commences.
Comparative tables of old and new provisions

Schedule 12 (comparative tables of old and rewritten provisions) sets out corresponding provisions in the following former enactments and this Act as at the beginning of 26 November 2018:

  1. the Social Security Act 1964 (except sections 69FA and 132D, Part 4, and Schedules 27 and 30, which are provisions rewritten and replaced by the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018):
  2. the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990 (except Part 3 and Schedule 3, which are provisions rewritten and replaced by the Artificial Limb Service Act 2018).

Schedule 12 has the following 3 parts:

  1. Part A lists each provision in the Social Security Act 1964 and—
    1. indicates the corresponding provision in this Act or the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018; or
    2. states that the provision has been omitted:
  2. Part B lists each provision in the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990 and—
    1. indicates the corresponding provision in this Act or the Artificial Limb Service Act 2018; or
    2. states that the provision has been omitted:
  3. Part C lists each provision in this Act and the corresponding provision in those former enactments, or states that the provision is new.

Schedule 12

  1. is provided to assist readers to identify corresponding provisions; but
  2. must not be interpreted as a definitive guide to the correspondence of provisions.
Transitional, savings, and related provisions

The transitional, savings, and related provisions set out in Schedule 1 have effect according to their terms.

Act binds the Crown

This Act binds the Crown.

Status of guides or outlines

All guides or outlines in this Act are by way of explanation only. They do not affect the provisions specified in them.

Status of examples

An example used in an enactment in or made under this Act is only illustrative of the provisions to which it relates. It does not limit those provisions.

If an example and a provision to which it relates are inconsistent, the provision prevails.

Part 2

Assistance

Subpart 1 — Introduction

What this Part does

This Part—

  1. sets out the various types of assistance through which MSD provides people with financial support; and
  2. specifies the requirements for each type of assistance.
Residential requirement

This section sets out the residential requirement that must be met by applicants for certain types of assistance under this Part.

A person (P) meets the residential requirement if—

  1. P is a New Zealand citizen or holds a residence class visa under the Immigration Act 2009, and is ordinarily resident in New Zealand when P first applies for the benefit, and—
    1. has resided continuously in New Zealand for a period of at least 2 years at any one time after becoming a citizen or resident; or
    2. is recognised as a refugee or a protected person in New Zealand under the Immigration Act 2009; or
  2. P is ordinarily resident in a country with which New Zealand has a reciprocity agreement, and P has resided continuously in New Zealand for a period of at least 2 years before applying for the benefit or before a decision on P’s claim for the benefit is made.

For the purposes of subsection (2)(b), New Zealand has a reciprocity agreement with another country if there is in force under section 380 an order declaring that the provisions contained in an agreement (for example, a convention) signed by New Zealand and the Government of that country set out in a schedule of the order have force and effect so far as they relate to New Zealand.

This section does not limit section 204 (MSD may refuse or cancel benefit if person not ordinarily resident in New Zealand), and is subject to section 205 (refugee or protected person status).

This section is also subject to any regulations made under section 421 that specify circumstances in which a person—

  1. is taken to meet the residential requirement; or
  2. must be treated, for the purposes of satisfying the residential requirement, as being resident and present in New Zealand; or
  3. must not be required to comply with the residential requirement.
Rates

Assistance granted under this Part must be paid at the appropriate rate specified in Schedule 4.

Subsection (1) does not apply to the following assistance granted under this Part:

  1. an emergency benefit under section 63:
  2. childcare assistance under section 77:
  3. funeral grants under section 90:
  4. temporary additional support under section 96:
  5. special assistance under subpart 17.

Subsection (1) is subject to the provisions of this Act that provide for the reduction, suspension, or cancellation of assistance in certain circumstances.

Guide to specified abatement exemptions

In this section, the specified abatement exemptions means—

  1. section 17(3) of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; and
  2. section 173(3) of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014.

The specified abatement exemptions ensure that a benefit (for example, an accommodation supplement) payable to a community spouse or partner (CSP) is not subject to abatement in respect of any income of the CSP that has been included in a means assessment—

  1. of the CSP’s spouse or partner; and
  2. under the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018.
General limitation on receiving more than 1 benefit

A person is not entitled to receive at the same time, in his or her own right,—

  1. more than 1 main benefit under this Act; or
  2. a main benefit under this Act and New Zealand superannuation; or
  3. a main benefit under this Act and a veteran’s pension.
General limitation on receiving benefit: persons unlawfully resident or present in New Zealand and persons holding temporary entry class visa

A person is not entitled or eligible to receive a benefit if the person is—

  1. unlawfully resident or present in New Zealand; or
  2. lawfully resident or present in New Zealand but only by virtue of holding a temporary entry class visa.

This section is subject to section 205.

Subpart 2 — Jobseeker support

Jobseeker support: requirements

A person is entitled to jobseeker support if the person—

  1. has a work gap; and
  2. is available for work; and
  3. meets the age requirement; and
  4. meets the residential requirement; and
  5. has no or minimum income.
What is work gap

A person (P) has a work gap if—

  1. P is not in full-time employment; or
  2. P is in employment but is losing earnings through a health condition or injury (for example, is not working at all or is working reduced hours).

For the purposes of subsection (1)(b), P may treat as a loss of P’s earnings a payment made to any other person who acts as P’s substitute during the period of P’s health condition or injury.

Despite subsection (1)(a), P still has a work gap if—

  1. P is receiving jobseeker support at the rate in clause 1(c), (e), or (f) of Part 1 of Schedule 4; and
  2. during a temporary period, P engages in full-time employment; and
  3. the income from that employment and P’s other income (if any) when calculated over a 52-week period is less than the amount that would, under the appropriate income test, reduce the applicable rate of jobseeker support to zero.
When person is available for work

A person (P) is available for work if P—

  1. is available for and seeking full-time employment and—
    1. is willing and able to undertake it; and
    2. has taken reasonable steps to find it; or
  2. would satisfy paragraph (a) were it not for circumstances that would qualify P for an exemption under the regulations referred to in section 157 from some or all of the work-test obligations; or
  3. is willing and able to undertake full-time employment but, because of a health condition, injury, or disability, is limited in P’s capacity to seek, undertake, or be available for it.
Jobseeker support: age requirement

An applicant for jobseeker support meets the age requirement if the applicant is—

  1. at least 18 years old, in the case of an applicant without a dependent child:
  2. at least 20 years old, in any other case.
Jobseeker support: no or minimum income

In this subpart, a person (P) has no or minimum income if P has—

  1. no income; or
  2. income of less than the amount that would reduce the applicable rate of jobseeker support to zero.

If, during a temporary period, P has enough income to reduce the applicable rate of jobseeker support to zero, but P otherwise meets the requirements for jobseeker support, P’s entitlement to jobseeker support is not affected by that income.

Jobseeker support: discretionary grant on ground of hardship

MSD may grant jobseeker support to a person (P) who is eligible under subsection (2), (3), or (4) if P—

  1. is in hardship; and
  2. is not entitled or eligible to receive any other main benefit under this Act or New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension; and
  3. is unable to earn enough income to support P and P’s spouse or partner (if any) and dependent children (if any).

P is eligible under this subsection if P meets the requirements in section 20(a), (b), and (c).

P is eligible under this subsection, during the period between the end of one academic year and the start of the next, if P is a full-time student and meets the requirements in section 20(c) and (d).

P is eligible under this subsection, during the period between the end of one academic year and the start of the next, if P is a full-time student who is aged 16 or 17 years and MSD is satisfied that—

  1. P has a parental support gap (as defined in section 52(1)(a), (b), or (c), but not as defined in section 52(1)(d)); or
  2. P is in a relationship.
Jobseeker support: ineligibility

A person (P) is not entitled to, or eligible to be granted, jobseeker support if—

  1. P is a full-time student (unless P is eligible under section 25); or
  2. P is unemployed because of P’s participation, or participation by fellow members of the same union at the same place of employment, in a strike; or
  3. MSD reasonably believes that P became unemployed or took leave with or without pay from P’s employment for the purpose of undertaking employment-related training.
Jobseeker support: on ground of health condition, injury, or disability: application must include certificate

An applicant (A) for jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability must include in the application a certificate that complies with this section.

The certificate must be given by a prescribed health practitioner.

The certificate must—

  1. certify that A’s capacity for work is affected by health condition, injury, or disability; and
  2. indicate the nature of the health condition, injury, or disability, the extent to which A’s capacity for work is affected by it, and the length of time that effect is likely to last; and
  3. contain any other information that MSD may require.
Jobseeker support: on ground of health condition, injury, or disability: medical examination

MSD may at any time require an applicant for, or a person receiving, jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury or disability (P) to undergo an examination by a prescribed health practitioner.

The prescribed health practitioner must be agreed for the purpose between P and MSD or, failing agreement, must be nominated by MSD.

The prescribed health practitioner must prepare, and must send MSD a copy of, a report that indicates—

  1. whether P’s capacity for work is affected by health condition, injury, or disability; and
  2. the extent to which that capacity is so affected; and
  3. how long that capacity is likely to continue to be affected.

Subpart 3 — Sole parent support

Sole parent support: requirements

A person is entitled to sole parent support if the person—

  1. meets the sole parent requirement; and
  2. either—
    1. is not in a situation of split care (see section 32); or
    2. is in a situation of split care and is the 1 parent who is entitled to sole parent support (see section 32); and
  3. meets the residential requirement; and
  4. is aged 20 years or over.
What is sole parent requirement

A person (P) meets the sole parent requirement if P is the mother or father of, and caring for, at least 1 dependent child aged under 14 years and—

  1. P is single; or
  2. P’s spouse or partner has died; or
  3. P’s marriage or civil union has been dissolved; or
  4. P is living apart from, and has lost the support of or is being inadequately maintained by, P’s spouse or partner; or
  5. P has lost the regular support of P’s spouse or partner because that spouse or partner—
    1. is subject to a sentence of imprisonment and is serving the sentence in a prison or is subject to release conditions that prevent that spouse or partner from undertaking employment; or
    2. is subject to a sentence of supervision, intensive supervision, or home detention and is subject to conditions (including post-detention conditions of a sentence of home detention) that prevent that spouse or partner from undertaking employment.
When dependent child may be regarded as applicant’s child

For the purposes of this subpart, MSD may regard a dependent child as being a child of an applicant (A), and A as being the mother or father of the child, if—

  1. the child is being maintained by A and was at any time maintained by A’s spouse or partner; or
  2. neither an orphan’s benefit nor an unsupported child’s benefit is payable in respect of the child, but—
    1. section 43(2) is complied with for each of the child’s parents (as that term is defined in section 43(3)); or
    2. section 46(1) and (2) is complied with for each of the child’s parents (as that term is defined in section 46(3)) for care for the child and full provision for the child’s support; or
  3. the child’s parents are unwilling to support the child because of circumstances MSD considers exceptional.
Sole parent support: situation of split care

This section applies to the parents of 2 or more dependent children if—

  1. the parents are living apart; and
  2. each parent is the principal caregiver of 1 or more of the children; and
  3. but for this section, both parents would be entitled to sole parent support.

Only 1 of the 2 parents is entitled to sole parent support, and the parent who is entitled to sole parent support must be—

  1. the parent who is already receiving sole parent support in respect of any of the children; or
  2. if no parent is already receiving sole parent support in respect of any of the children, the parent who MSD considers was the principal caregiver in respect of the children immediately before the parents began living apart; or
  3. if neither parent was the principal caregiver in respect of the children before they began living apart, or MSD is unable to ascertain which parent was the principal caregiver in respect of the children immediately before they began living apart, the parent who is the principal caregiver in respect of the youngest child.

This section does not apply if each parent has become the principal caregiver in respect of at least 1 child under 1 or more orders—

  1. made by a court of competent jurisdiction; and
  2. about the role of providing day-to-day care for children.

In this section, child means a dependent child of the parents—

  1. born of their relationship; or
  2. adopted by the parents, or by 1 of the parents, during their relationship.
Expiry of sole parent support, and replacement with jobseeker support, when youngest dependent child turns 14 years old

This section applies to a person (P) who is receiving sole parent support.

On the date that the youngest dependent child in P’s care turns 14, P’s sole parent support expires and is replaced with jobseeker support that commences on that date and is taken to be granted to P as if P had applied for it.

However, if MSD reasonably believes that on that date P would not meet the conditions of entitlement to jobseeker support,—

  1. P’s sole parent support expires but is not replaced under subsection (2) by jobseeker support; and
  2. MSD must instead invite P to apply for jobseeker support.

Obligations or exemptions that apply to P immediately before the expiry of P’s sole parent support continue after that expiry in respect of the jobseeker support to which P is transferred under subsection (2) if those obligations or exemptions are any of the following:

  1. the obligation to work with contracted service providers:
  2. work-preparation obligations:
  3. social obligations of certain assistance recipients with dependent children:
  4. the obligation to undergo a work ability assessment:
  5. work-test obligations:
  6. an exemption from work-test obligations or from obligations to prepare for employment (other than any exemption that, under regulations made under section 431, is not available to a person receiving jobseeker support).

This section does not preclude a review under subpart 3 of Part 6 (review of entitlement to, or rate of, benefit granted) of whether P satisfies the conditions of entitlement to jobseeker support.

Subpart 4 — Supported living payment

Supported living payment on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness

Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: requirements

A person is entitled to the supported living payment if the person—

  1. has restricted work capacity or is totally blind; and
  2. meets the residential requirement; and
  3. is aged 16 years or over.
When person has restricted work capacity

A person (P) has restricted work capacity if P is permanently and severely restricted in P’s capacity for work because of a health condition, or because of injury or disability arising (in either case) from an accident or existing from birth.

P is permanently restricted in P’s capacity for work if MSD is satisfied that—

  1. the restricting health condition, injury, or disability is expected to continue for at least the period set out in regulations made under section 418(1)(b); or
  2. P is not expected to live for that period because P’s condition is terminal.

P is severely restricted in P’s capacity for work if MSD is satisfied that P is incapable of regularly working at least 15 hours a week in open employment.

Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: ineligibility

A person (P) must not be granted a supported living payment if MSD is satisfied that P’s restricted capacity for work or total blindness was self-inflicted and brought about by P with a view to qualifying for a benefit.

Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: medical examination

This section applies to a person (P) who is an applicant for, or who is receiving, a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness.

MSD may at any time require P to undergo an examination by a prescribed health practitioner.

The prescribed health practitioner must be agreed for the purpose between P and MSD or, failing agreement, must be nominated by MSD.

The prescribed health practitioner must prepare, and must send MSD a copy of, a report that indicates—

  1. whether P is (or whether there is doubt about whether P is)—
    1. permanently and severely restricted in P’s capacity for work; or
    2. totally blind; and
  2. the grounds on which the opinion given in paragraph (a) is based.

The report must, in the case of doubt referred to in subsection (4)(a), and may, in any other case, indicate a date for review of the permanency or severity, or both, of P’s health condition, injury, or disability.

Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: payment not apportioned in specified cases

This section applies to a person (P) who is in a relationship and who—

  1. is receiving long-term residential care in a hospital or rest home because P has a disability; and
  2. has not been means assessed under Part 6 of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018.

A supported living payment payable to P is not apportioned and must be paid at half of the appropriate rate in Part 3 of Schedule 4.

A supported living payment payable to P’s spouse or partner (S) (if S is not receiving long-term residential care in a hospital or rest home) is not apportioned and must be paid at the rate in Part 3 of Schedule 4 that would be appropriate if S were entitled to a supported living payment in S’s own right and were single.

Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity: encouraging open employment

The purpose of this section is to encourage specified recipients of a supported living payment to undertake open employment in order to establish whether they can sustain that employment and cease receiving that benefit.

This section applies to a person (P) who—

  1. is receiving a supported living payment granted on the ground of permanent and severe restriction of capacity for work; but
  2. is with MSD’s agreement undertaking open employment for a period agreed with MSD in order to establish whether P can sustain open employment.

The period of open employment agreed with MSD must not exceed 26 weeks (even if that employment is, or is expected to be, for a period that is longer than the agreed period).

P does not lose P’s entitlement to a supported living payment by reason only of working 15 or more hours a week in open employment during the agreed period.

Supported living payment on ground of caring for another person

Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: requirements

A person (C) is entitled to the supported living payment if—

  1. MSD is satisfied that C is required to give full-time care and attention at home to a person (P) who would otherwise have to receive institutional care (and who is not C’s spouse or partner); and
  2. C meets the residential requirement; and
  3. C is aged—
    1. at least 18 years, in the case of an applicant without a dependent child; or
    2. at least 20 years, in any other case.

MSD may continue a payment granted under this section for a period of not more than 28 days even though P was not during that period in the full-time care of C.

In this subpart, institutional care means care that is, or is equivalent to,—

  1. hospital care, rest home care, or residential disability care, as defined in section 4(1) of the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001; or
  2. care of the kind referred to in section 141 of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989 (which relates to care of severely disabled children and young persons).
Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: application must include certificate

A person (C) who applies for a supported living payment on the ground of caring for another person (P) must include in the application a certificate that complies with this section.

The certificate must be given by a prescribed health practitioner and must certify—

  1. that P requires C’s full-time care and attention; and
  2. that, were it not for that care and attention, P would have to receive institutional care.
Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: medical examination

When considering an application for, or reviewing under subpart 3 of Part 6, a supported living payment on the ground of caring for another person, MSD may require that the person being cared for be examined by a prescribed health practitioner nominated for the purpose by MSD.

A prescribed health practitioner nominated under subsection (1) must assess whether the person would, were it not for the applicant’s full-time care and attention, have to receive institutional care.

Subpart 5 — Orphan’s benefit

Orphan’s benefit: requirements

This section applies if, because of the circumstances specified in subsection (2), a child has no parent (as defined in subsection (3)) who is able to care for the child.

The circumstances are that each of the child’s parents (as defined in subsection (3))—

  1. is dead; or
  2. is missing; or
  3. has a long-term serious disablement.

A parent, in relation to a child, and for the purposes only of this subpart and section 31(b)(i), means a natural parent or an adoptive parent (and so excludes, for those purposes, a step-parent) of the child.

A person (P) is entitled to an orphan’s benefit for the child if—

  1. P is an eligible caregiver of the child; and
  2. either—
    1. the child is both resident and present in New Zealand; or
    2. P has been both resident and present in New Zealand for a continuous period of 12 months at any time.
Who is eligible caregiver

A person (P) is an eligible caregiver of a child if—

  1. P is aged 18 years or over; and
  2. P is not a parent (as defined in section 43(3)) of the child; and
  3. the child is a dependent child of P; and
  4. P is a principal caregiver or principal temporary caregiver of the child.
  5. [Repealed]
Orphan’s benefit to be used for benefit of child

The purpose of the orphan’s benefit is to provide financial support for the cost of caring for a child who is not the caregiver’s own.

A caregiver who is granted an orphan’s benefit must use the benefit for the benefit of the child in respect of whom it was granted, including the child’s maintenance and education.

Subpart 6 — Unsupported child’s benefit

Unsupported child’s benefit: requirements

This section applies if, because of the circumstances specified in subsection (2), a child has no parent (as defined in subsection (3)) who is able to—

  1. care for the child; or
  2. provide fully for the child’s support.

The circumstances are that there has been a breakdown in the child’s family.

A parent, in relation to a child, and for the purposes only of this subpart and section 31(b)(ii), means a natural parent, an adoptive parent, or a step-parent of the child.

A person (P) is entitled to an unsupported child’s benefit for the child if—

  1. P is an eligible caregiver of the child; and
  2. either—
    1. the child is both resident and present in New Zealand; or
    2. P has been both resident and present in New Zealand for a continuous period of 12 months at any time.
Who is eligible caregiver

A person (P) is an eligible caregiver of a child if—

  1. P is aged 18 years or over; and
  2. P is not a parent (as defined in section 46(3)) of the child; and
  3. the child is a dependent child of P; and
  4. P is a principal caregiver or principal temporary caregiver of the child.
  5. [Repealed]
Unsupported child’s benefit to be used for benefit of child

The purpose of the unsupported child’s benefit is to provide financial support for the cost of caring for a child who is not the caregiver’s own.

A caregiver who is granted an unsupported child’s benefit must use the benefit for the benefit of the child in respect of whom it was granted, including the child’s maintenance and education.

Subpart 7 — Youth payment

Youth payment: requirements

A person (P) is entitled to a youth payment if—

  1. P is aged 16 or 17 years; and
  2. P is study ready; and
  3. P has no dependent children; and
  4. P meets the residential requirement; and
  5. P has no or minimum income; and
  6. either—
    1. P has never been in a relationship and has a parental support gap; or
    2. P is or has been in a relationship, but is not currently in a relationship with a specified beneficiary.
When person is study ready

In this subpart, a person is study ready if the person—

  1. is undertaking or is available for full-time education or training leading to—
    1. NCEA level 2; or
    2. an equivalent (in MSD’s opinion) or higher qualification; or
  2. would be available for full-time education or training were it not for circumstances that would qualify the person for an exemption under the regulations referred to in section 157 from the obligation to undertake education or training.
Youth payment: no or minimum income

In this subpart, a person (P) has no or minimum income if P has—

  1. no income; or
  2. income of less than the amount that would reduce the applicable rate of youth payment to zero.

If, during a temporary period, P has enough income to reduce the applicable rate of youth payment to zero, but P otherwise meets the requirements for a youth payment, P’s entitlement to a youth payment is not affected by that income.

When person has parental support gap

In this subpart, a person (P) has a parental support gap if—

  1. none of P’s parents (and guardians (if any)) is able to support P financially; or
  2. P’s relationship with P’s parents (and guardians (if any)) has broken down, and none of them is prepared to support P financially; or
  3. P was, but is no longer, subject to a CYPFA order or agreement; or
  4. MSD is otherwise satisfied that P cannot reasonably be expected to be financially dependent on P’s parents or any other person.

However, P does not have a parental support gap if—

  1. P has the option of living with a parent or guardian but chooses not to; and
  2. MSD is not satisfied that there are good and sufficient reasons for P’s choice.
Youth payment: discretionary grant on ground of hardship

MSD may grant a youth payment to a young person (P) who meets all of the requirements in section 49 except for the residential requirement if P—

  1. is in hardship; and
  2. is not entitled or eligible to receive any other main benefit under this Act or New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension; and
  3. is unable to earn enough income to support P and P’s spouse or partner (if any).
Youth payment: continuation after turning 18 years old

This section sets out the circumstances in which, despite section 49(a), a youth payment granted to a person (P) continues (if P is otherwise entitled to it) after P turns 18.

If a youth payment begins less than 6 months before P turns 18, the payment continues until the close of the day that is 6 months after it began.

If P is continuing in a course of education or training or approved work-based learning when P turns 18, P’s youth payment continues until,—

  1. if the course is a course of secondary education or if the course ends in December, the close of the following 31 March:
  2. in any other case, the close of the day that the course ends.

If subsections (2) and (3) both apply to P, P’s youth payment continues until the later of the 2 dates that apply under those subsections.

While a youth payment continues under subsection (2), P is not eligible to be granted—

  1. sole parent support; or
  2. an emergency benefit; or
  3. jobseeker support; or
  4. supported living payment on the ground of caring for another person.
Youth payment: incentive payments

If a young person to whom a youth payment is payable meets the criteria prescribed for the purposes of this section by regulations made under section 418(1)(c), the person is also entitled to be paid the appropriate incentive payment stated in subpart 3 of Part 6 of Schedule 4.

The entitlement in subsection (1) is subject to sections 288 and 289.

Subpart 8 — Young parent payment

Young parent payment: requirements

A person (P) is entitled to a young parent payment if—

  1. P is a parent or step-parent of at least 1 dependent child; and
  2. P is study ready; and
  3. P meets the residential requirement; and
  4. P has no or minimum income; and
  5. P falls into 1 of the following categories:
    1. P is aged 16 or 17 years, has never been in a relationship, and has a parental support gap:
    2. P is aged 18 or 19 years and has never been in a relationship:
    3. P is aged 16 to 19 years and is or has been in a relationship, but is not currently in a relationship with a specified beneficiary.

For the purposes of subsection (1)(a), a dependent child of a young person’s spouse or partner must also be treated as a dependent child of the young person.

When person is study ready

In this subpart, a person is study ready if the person—

  1. is undertaking or is available for full-time education or training leading to—
    1. NCEA level 2; or
    2. an equivalent (in MSD’s opinion) or higher qualification; or
  2. would be available for full-time education or training were it not for circumstances—
    1. under which the obligation to undertake education or training does not, under section 163, for the time being apply to the young person; or
    2. that would qualify the person for an exemption under the regulations referred to in section 157 from the obligation to undertake education or training.
Young parent payment: no or minimum income

In this subpart, a person (P) has no or minimum income if P has—

  1. no income; or
  2. income of less than the amount that would reduce the applicable rate of young parent payment to zero.

If, during a brief period, P has enough income to reduce the applicable rate of young parent payment to zero, but P otherwise meets the requirements for a young parent payment, P’s entitlement to a young parent payment is not affected by that income.

When person has parental support gap

In this subpart, a person (P) has a parental support gap if—

  1. P is not living with a parent or guardian and—
    1. none of P’s parents (and guardians (if any)) is able to support P financially; or
    2. P’s relationship with P’s parents (and guardians (if any)) has broken down and none of them is prepared to support P financially; or
    3. P was, but is no longer, subject to a CYPFA order or agreement; or
    4. MSD is satisfied that P cannot reasonably be expected to be financially dependent on P’s parents or any other person; or
  2. P is living with or being financially supported by a parent or guardian (F) and the family scheme income (within the meaning of the Income Tax Act 2007) of F and the spouse or partner of F is less than the amount that would, under sections MD 1 and MD 13 of that Act, reduce the amount of F’s family tax credit entitlement under that Act to zero.
Young parent payment: discretionary grant on ground of hardship

MSD may grant a young parent payment to a young person (P) who meets all of the requirements in section 56 except for the residential requirement if P—

  1. is in hardship; and
  2. is not entitled or eligible to receive any other main benefit under this Act or New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension; and
  3. is unable to earn enough income to support P and P’s spouse or partner (if any) and dependent children.
Young parent payment: continuation after turning 20 years old

This section sets out the circumstances in which, despite section 56(1)(e), a young parent payment granted to a person (P) continues (if P is otherwise entitled to it) after P turns 20.

If a young parent payment begins less than 6 months before P turns 20, the payment continues until the close of the day that is 6 months after it began.

If P is continuing in a course of education or training or work-based learning when P turns 20, P’s young parent payment continues until,—

  1. if the course is a course of secondary education or if the course ends in December, the close of the following 31 March:
  2. in any other case, the close of the day that the course ends.

If subsections (2) and (3) both apply to P, P’s young parent payment continues until the later of the 2 dates that apply under those subsections.

While a young parent payment continues under subsection (2), P is not eligible to be granted—

  1. sole parent support; or
  2. an emergency benefit; or
  3. jobseeker support; or
  4. a supported living payment on the ground of caring for another person.
Young parent payment: incentive payments

If a young person to whom a young parent payment is payable meets the criteria prescribed for the purposes of this section by regulations made under section 418(1)(d), the person is also entitled to be paid the appropriate incentive payment stated in subpart 3 of Part 6 of Schedule 4.

The entitlement in subsection (1) is subject to sections 288 and 289.

Subpart 9 — Emergency benefit

Emergency benefit: discretionary grant on ground of hardship

MSD may grant an emergency benefit on the ground of hardship to a person (P)—

  1. who is unable to earn enough income for P or P’s dependants (if any); and
  2. who is not entitled to a main benefit under this Act (other than an emergency benefit) or to New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension; and
  3. to whom MSD has determined not to grant 1 of the following benefits on ground of hardship: jobseeker support, youth payment, or young parent payment.

Despite subsection (1)(b), MSD may grant an emergency benefit to a person (P) instead of or in substitution for a supported living payment, sole parent support, or jobseeker support.

The rate of an emergency benefit is at the discretion of MSD.

However, the rate of an emergency benefit must not exceed the rate of the equivalent benefit, that is, the main benefit under this Act (other than an emergency benefit) that MSD would grant to a person entitled to the benefit in circumstances similar to P’s.

MSD may, on a case-by-case basis, make the grant of an emergency benefit subject to any conditions imposed by MSD.

Emergency benefit: grant during epidemic in New Zealand

This section applies while a domestic epidemic management notice is in force, and for any period notified under subsection (3A).

When this section applies, MSD may, with the written approval of the Minister, grant emergency benefits to people who would not otherwise be entitled to be granted emergency benefits.

Payments made under a benefit granted under subsection (2) are subject to regulations made under section 442(2)(d).

The Minister may, by notice, apply this section for any further period after a domestic epidemic management notice expires that the Minister thinks reasonable.

A notice under subsection (3A) is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

This section overrides every other provision of this Act.

Subpart 10 — Accommodation supplement

Accommodation supplement: discretionary grant

MSD may grant a person (P), for the period that MSD determines, an accommodation supplement if—

  1. P has accommodation costs; and
  2. P meets the assets requirement (as set out in regulations made under section 423); and
  3. P is not excluded on either of the following grounds:
    1. the social housing exclusion:
    2. the other funding exclusion.

In this subpart, unless the context otherwise requires,—

accommodation costs, in relation to any person for any given period, means,—

  1. in relation to premises rented by the person, the amount payable by the person for rent of the premises, excluding any service costs included in that rent and any arrears:
  2. in relation to premises that are owned by the person, the total amount of all payments (including essential repairs and maintenance, local authority rates, and house insurance premiums, but excluding any service costs and any arrears) that,—
    1. subject to clause 18 of Schedule 3, are required to be made under any mortgage security for money advanced under that security to acquire the premises, or to repay advances similarly secured; or
    2. MSD is satisfied are reasonably required to be made:
  3. in relation to a person who is a boarder or lodger in any premises, 62% of the amount paid for board or lodging (excluding any arrears):
  4. if a person is a joint tenant of, or an owner in common of, any premises with another person or other persons living in the premises, that applicant’s accommodation costs are the share of the total accommodation costs of the jointly tenanted, or commonly owned, premises that MSD is satisfied the person is paying

service costs, in relation to any premises,—

  1. means the cost as reasonably determined by MSD of any services (for example, electricity supply, gas supply, telephone network connection, or broadband Internet connection) provided to or in connection with the premises for consumption or use by the occupants of the premises; but
  2. does not include the cost of water supplied to the premises.
Social housing exclusion

A person is ineligible for an accommodation supplement (on the ground of the social housing exclusion) if the person’s accommodation costs (as defined in section 65) include—

  1. rent paid in respect of premises let by or on behalf of Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities; or
  2. rent paid in respect of premises let by or on behalf of a registered community housing provider (but only if that person has been allocated those premises as social housing); or
  3. payments, required to be made under a mortgage security to Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities or the Crown in right of Te Puni Kōkiri, that MSD believes are required to be made at a concessionary rate.

In this section,—

Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities means Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities established by the Kāinga Ora–Homes and Communities Act 2019

registered community housing provider has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Public and Community Housing Management Act 1992

social housing has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Public and Community Housing Management Act 1992.

In this section and section 68,—

premises, in relation to a person,—

  1. means the place that the person occupies as a home; and
  2. if the person is a boarder or lodger, includes a room, or other accommodation, that the person occupies as a home

tenant, in relation to rented premises, includes a person who pays rent, whether or not the person is a party to the tenancy agreement or lease of the premises.

Other funding exclusion

A person (P) is ineligible for an accommodation supplement (on the ground of the other funding exclusion) if—

  1. P is the spouse or partner of a person who is already receiving an accommodation supplement (except as provided in section 68); or
  2. P—
    1. is receiving a basic grant or an independent circumstances grant under the Student Allowances Regulations 1998 (or under other regulations made under section 645 of the Education and Training Act 2020); or
    2. would be eligible to receive one of those grants if P were to apply for the grant; or
    3. would be eligible to receive one of those grants were it not for the level of income of P or of P’s parent or parents or spouse or partner; or
  3. P is a resident assessed as requiring care in respect of whom a funder is paying some or all of the cost of contracted care services under section 54, 55, 56, 57, or 58 of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018; or
  4. P has a psychiatric, intellectual, physical, or sensory disability, and—
    1. P’s accommodation costs are wholly or partly funded under the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022; or
    2. P’s care (other than care in P’s own home) is funded wholly or partly under that Act; or
  5. P is receiving New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension and—
    1. if P is not a community spouse or partner (as defined in Schedule 2), the total income of P and P’s spouse or partner (if any) is more than the applicable amount specified in Part 2 of Schedule 5; or
    2. if P is a community spouse or partner (as so defined), the total income of P alone (disregarding any income of P’s spouse or partner who is receiving long-term residential care in a hospital or rest home) is more than the applicable amount specified in Part 2 of Schedule 5.
Accommodation supplement: special rules for joint tenants who are in relationship

If premises are occupied by 2 or more joint tenants that include 1 or more couples who are in a relationship, then, for the purposes of determining the rate of an accommodation supplement,—

  1. each couple is treated as 1 joint tenant; and
  2. despite the definition of accommodation costs in section 65, the accommodation costs of that 1 joint tenant are the total of the accommodation costs of both members of the couple; and
  3. the cash assets and income of that 1 joint tenant are the total of the cash assets and income respectively of both members of the couple.

In this section, cash assets

  1. means—
    1. money saved with a bank or other institution, money invested with a bank or other institution, or money banked with a bank or other institution:
    2. money invested in securities, bonds, or debentures, or advanced on mortgage:
    3. money withdrawn from a KiwiSaver scheme registered under subpart 2 of Part 4 of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013:
    4. money invested in shares in a partnership or limited liability company or other incorporated or unincorporated body; but
  2. does not include any contributions to, or any member’s interest in, any KiwiSaver scheme that is registered under subpart 2 of Part 4 of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013; and
  3. does not include any item or kind of cash assets or any amount of cash assets exempted by regulations made under section 423(1)(b).
Accommodation supplement: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances

If MSD is satisfied that an applicant for an accommodation supplement (A), or A’s spouse or partner, has not realised any assets available for A’s personal use, MSD may—

  1. refuse to grant an accommodation supplement; or
  2. reduce the rate of any accommodation supplement already granted; or
  3. cancel any accommodation supplement already granted.

For the purposes of this section and the assets requirement in regulations made under section 423 (see section 65(1)(b)), the assets of A include the assets of A’s spouse or partner, if any.

Subsection (2) applies, without limitation, even if—

  1. A is a community spouse or partner (as defined in Schedule 2); and
  2. A’s spouse or partner is receiving long-term residential care in a hospital or rest home.

However, subsection (2) does not limit section 67(c), under which a person (P, who may, or may not, be A’s spouse or partner) is ineligible for an accommodation supplement if P is a resident assessed as requiring care in respect of whom a funder is paying some or all of the cost of contracted care services under section 54, 55, 56, 57, or 58 of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018.

For the period of 12 months after A or A’s spouse or partner receives a specified lump sum payment, subsection (1) does not apply to that specified lump sum payment.

This section does not limit MSD’s discretion to refuse to grant, to reduce the rate of, or to cancel an accommodation supplement in accordance with the other provisions of this Act.

In this section, specified lump sum payment means—

  1. a payment of an impairment lump sum under Schedule 1 of the Accident Compensation Act 2001; or
  2. a lump sum payment of an independence allowance under Part 4 of Schedule 1 of the Accident Insurance Act 1998.

Subpart 11 — Winter energy payment

Winter energy payment: purpose

The purpose of the winter energy payment is to provide targeted financial assistance to help certain people meet their household heating costs during the winter period.

Winter energy payment: interpretation

In this subpart, section 220, and Part 8 of Schedule 4, unless the context otherwise requires,—

qualifying benefit means—

  1. a main benefit under this Act; or
  2. New Zealand superannuation; or
  3. veteran’s pension

relevant payment date, for a person who is receiving a qualifying benefit (or a portion of it), either as the person granted that benefit or as the spouse or partner of that person, for 1 or more days during the winter period, means the date on which the person is paid a weekly or fortnightly instalment of the person’s qualifying benefit (or a portion of it) for those days

winter period, for a calendar year, means the 22-week period starting on 1 May.

Winter energy payment: requirements

A person is entitled to a winter energy payment for 1 or more days during the winter period if, for those days,—

  1. the person is receiving a qualifying benefit (or a portion of it), either as the person granted that benefit or as the spouse or partner of that person; and
  2. the qualifying benefit (or a portion of it) is payable to the person; and
  3. the person is not disqualified under subsection (2).

However, the person is not entitled to a winter energy payment for 1 or more days during the winter period if, for those days,—

  1. the qualifying benefit is payable at a rate prescribed in respect of a person who is in a relationship, and MSD has determined under subsection (3) that the person’s spouse or partner is entitled to a winter energy payment; or
  2. the rate of the person’s qualifying benefit is required by section 206(2) to be reduced to the rate payable to long-term hospital patients, and the payment has been reviewed under section 304 and terminated under section 75 (see also section 309); or
  3. the person is aged 65 years or over, is a qualifying person as defined in section 12 of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018, and must under section 17 of that Act pay a contribution based on income towards the cost of that person’s LTR contracted care that is less than the maximum contribution (as defined in section 15(2) of that Act); or
  4. the person is aged 50 to 64 years, is a 50+ single person as defined in section 21 of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018, and is under section 22 of that Act liable to make a contribution based on income towards the cost of the person’s LTR contracted care that is less than the maximum contribution (as defined in section 15(2) of that Act); or
  5. neither paragraph (c) nor paragraph (ca) applies to the person, and the person is—
    1. receiving, in relation to the person’s disability or long-term chronic health condition, residential care services that are partly funded under the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022; and
    2. contributing to the cost of those services by a payment redirected under section 339(1)(a) or (c)(i), or sections 341 and 344, of this Act; or
  6. the person has made, and not revoked, an election not to receive the payment (see section 73).

If the qualifying benefit is payable at a rate prescribed in respect of a person who is in a relationship, MSD must determine which 1 of the spouses or partners is (as only 1 of them can be) entitled to a winter energy payment.

Winter energy payment: election not to receive

A person entitled to a winter energy payment may make an election not to receive the payment.

If the payment would be payable at a rate prescribed in respect of a person who is in a relationship, MSD must be satisfied that the election has been made by both spouses or partners.

The election must be made, and may be revoked, in a form and manner approved by MSD.

Unless it is revoked, the election stops the person from being entitled to the payment for any days after the election is made.

Winter energy payment: instalments, rates, and payment

A winter energy payment is payable,—

  1. if the person’s qualifying benefit is a main benefit under this Act, in 22 weekly instalments; or
  2. if the person’s qualifying benefit is New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension, in 11 fortnightly instalments.

The amount of an instalment is ascertained by dividing the appropriate rate per winter period set out in Part 8 of Schedule 4,—

  1. for recipients of a main benefit under this Act, by 22; or
  2. for recipients of New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension, by 11.

However, the amount ascertained under subsection (2) must be rounded up to the nearest whole cent, and then reduced to reflect any 1 or more days of the week or fortnight covered by the instalment that are days for which—

  1. the person is not entitled to the payment; or
  2. the payment is not payable (for example, under section 220).

An instalment must be paid on the relevant payment date.

This section overrides sections 297, 311(1), and 338.

Winter energy payment: termination on review

MSD may terminate a winter energy payment if satisfied, after reviewing the payment under section 304 (see also section 309), that—

  1. the rate of the beneficiary’s qualifying benefit (under section 72(1)(a)) is required by section 206 to be reduced to the rate payable to long-term hospital patients (even if MSD pays a higher rate under section 206(2)); and
  2. continuing the payment is not consistent with the purpose stated in section 70.

Subpart 12 — Childcare assistance

Childcare assistance: purpose

The purpose of childcare assistance is to provide targeted financial assistance to help certain people meet the costs of childcare.

Childcare assistance: eligibility

The principal caregiver or temporary OB or UCB caregiver of a dependent child is eligible for childcare assistance at the prescribed rate if that caregiver meets the criteria and other requirements set out in regulations made under section 424.

Subpart 13 — Child disability allowance

Child disability allowance: discretionary grant

MSD may grant a child disability allowance for a child (C) if C—

  1. is a child with a serious disability; and
  2. is being cared for—
    1. in the home of C’s principal caregiver or temporary OB or UCB caregiver; or
    2. in approved weekly accommodation (and the child is cared for by C’s parent or guardian during school holidays or weekends).

In subsection (1), approved weekly accommodation means accommodation—

  1. that is operated by an approved voluntary organisation; and
  2. the cost of which C’s parent or guardian is required to contribute to.
Meaning of child with a serious disability

In this subpart, child with a serious disability means a dependent child who—

  1. has a disability; and
  2. because of that disability needs constant care and attention; and
  3. is likely to need such care and attention permanently or for a period exceeding 12 months.

In determining for subsection (1)(b) whether a child needs constant care and attention, MSD must consider whether the child (C) requires from another person—

  1. frequent attention in connection with C’s bodily functions; or
  2. substantially more attention and supervision than is normally required by a child of the same age and sex; or
  3. regular supervision in order to avoid substantial danger to C or to others.
Child disability allowance: MSD may require medical certificate

MSD may require that an application for a child disability allowance be supported by a medical certificate that certifies whether or not, in the opinion of a prescribed health practitioner, the child is a child with a serious disability within the meaning of section 79.

Child disability allowance: MSD may require medical examination

Before granting a child disability allowance, MSD may require the child to be examined by a prescribed health practitioner nominated for the purpose by MSD.

Child disability allowance: payment

MSD may pay a child disability allowance granted under section 78(1) to the principal caregiver or temporary OB or UCB caregiver for the child or, if there is no such person, to the person for the time being having the care and control of the child.

Child disability allowance: not payable with other assistance or pension

A child disability allowance is not payable in addition to—

  1. any benefit granted to the child under this Act (except an orphan’s benefit, an unsupported child’s benefit, or a disability allowance):
  2. any pension or allowance granted to the child under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 (except a children’s pension):
  3. weekly compensation payable to the child under the Accident Compensation Act 2001.

Subpart 14 — Disability allowance

Meaning of disability

In this subpart, disability has the same meaning as in section 21(1)(h) of the Human Rights Act 1993.

Disability allowance: discretionary grant

MSD may grant a disability allowance to or on account of a person who—

  1. meets the criteria for eligibility in subsection (2) (or to the dependent spouse or dependent child of that person); or
  2. falls into a special category of eligibility specified in regulations made under section 425.

The criteria for eligibility are that—

  1. the person has a disability that has resulted in a reduction of the person’s independent function to the extent that the person requires—
    1. ongoing support to undertake the everyday functions of life; or
    2. ongoing supervision or treatment by a health practitioner; and
  2. the disability is likely to continue for at least 6 months; and
  3. either—
    1. the person is receiving a main benefit under this Act; or
    2. the person’s income (including the income of the person’s spouse or partner and any New Zealand superannuation or veteran’s pension payable to the person or the person’s spouse or partner) is less than the appropriate amount in Part 3 of Schedule 5; and
  4. the person has additional expenses of an ongoing kind arising from the person’s disability (subject to clause 19 of Schedule 3) and the assistance towards those expenses available under this Act or any other enactment is insufficient to meet them.

Regulations made under section 425 may override subsection (1) of this section by requiring MSD to grant a disability allowance to or on account of a person who falls into a special category of eligibility specified in those regulations.

In this section, health practitioner

  1. has the same meaning as in section 5(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003; and
  2. includes a person who is receiving training or gaining experience under the supervision of a health practitioner.
Disability allowance: excluded expenses

A disability allowance is not payable in respect of—

  1. expenses arising from the disability of a person who is a resident assessed as requiring care in respect of whom a funder is paying some or all of the cost of contracted care services under section 54, 55, 56, 57, or 58 of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018; or
  2. expenses arising from the disability of a person that are costs of residential care services provided to the person if—
    1. the person has a psychiatric, intellectual, physical, or sensory disability; and
    2. the person’s accommodation costs or care (other than care in the person’s own home) is wholly or partly funded under the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022.

Regulations made under section 426 (use of disability allowance to fund specified expenses) must not be inconsistent with this section.

Disability allowance: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances

Despite anything to the contrary in section 85, MSD may refuse to grant a disability allowance or may cancel a disability allowance or may grant a disability allowance at a reduced rate if, in respect of a disability that gives rise to an application for a disability allowance, the applicant is receiving—

  1. a disablement pension under Part 3, or an entitlement under Part 4, of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014; or
  2. an entitlement under the Accident Compensation Act 2001; or
  3. a pension, or a periodical allowance, that—
    1. is granted elsewhere than in New Zealand; and
    2. is analogous to an entitlement to medical treatment or rehabilitation or other cost of disability-related items under Part 5 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 or under the Accident Compensation Act 2001; or
    3. is otherwise analogous to a disability allowance.
Disability allowance: medical examination

Before granting a disability allowance, MSD may require the applicant (or the spouse or partner or child of the applicant, whichever applies) to be examined by a prescribed health practitioner appointed by MSD.

Special disability allowance: entitlement in special circumstances

This section applies to a person who—

  1. is in a relationship; and
  2. is receiving—
    1. New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension; or
    2. a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness; or
    3. jobseeker support; or
    4. a related emergency benefit; and
  3. has a spouse or partner who is—
    1. a patient in a hospital and receiving a reduced benefit under section 19 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 or under section 206; or
    2. a qualifying person or a special case person, and in respect of whom a funder is paying some or all of the cost of contracted care services under section 18, 24, 26, 54, or 55 of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018.

MSD must grant a special disability allowance at the rate specified in clause 3 in Part 9 of Schedule 4 to a person to whom this section applies for the purpose of assisting with expenses arising from the hospitalisation of the person’s spouse or partner.

In this section, qualifying person and special case person have the same meanings as in section 5 of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018.

Subpart 15 — Funeral grants

Funeral grant: general eligibility and definitions

MSD may pay a funeral grant in respect of a deceased person if the person meets the criteria in section 91, 92, or 93.

In this subpart, unless the context otherwise requires,—

assessable estate means the estate of a deceased person, including a deceased child; but does not include—

  1. any asset that MSD considers is impracticable to realise; or
  2. any administration expenses; or
  3. any non-assessable assets, if section 91 or 93 applies

child includes a still-born child as defined in section 4 of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 2021

non-assessable assets, in relation to a deceased person, a spouse or partner, or the parents or any other person who was liable in law to maintain a deceased child on the date of death, are—

  1. that person’s estate or interest, on the date of death of the deceased, in the person’s own principal place of residence, including any estate or interest in the land on which it is erected, and any other buildings or improvements on that land that are used mainly for the purposes of that person’s household; and
  2. chattels that the person owned or that were in the person’s possession under a hire purchase agreement, a conditional sale agreement, or an agreement for lease or hire, on the date of death of the deceased, and that are—
    1. furniture, appliances, tools, ornaments, or other articles used mainly for the purposes of the deceased’s household; or
    2. motor vehicles, caravans, trailers, or boats used mainly for family purposes; and
  3. any undivided beneficial interest in common in Māori land.

In sections 91 and 93, the annual income of any person is that person’s estimated income for the 52-week period commencing on the day following the date of death of the deceased in respect of whom the application is made.

This section is subject to section 94 (restrictions on payments).

Funeral grant: eligibility if deceased person has dependants

A deceased person meets the criteria in this section if—

  1. the person is survived by—
    1. a spouse or partner; or
    2. a child or children whom the person is liable in law to maintain; or
    3. any other dependent child or dependent children (whether dependent on the deceased or any other person) aged 16 years or 17 years of whom the deceased person was the parent; and
  2. the person’s funeral expenses cannot be paid from the total of—
    1. the person’s assessable estate before the payment of any other debts; and
    2. the assets, other than non-assessable assets, of any spouse or partner who survives the deceased person in excess of the amount in clause 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 5; and
  3. the annual income of any spouse or partner who survives the deceased person is less than 52 times the appropriate amount in Part 2 of Schedule 5.
Funeral grant: eligibility if deceased person has no dependants

A deceased person meets the criteria in this section if—

  1. the person is not a child; and
  2. the person’s funeral expenses cannot be paid from the person’s assessable estate before the payment of any other debts.
Funeral grant: eligibility if deceased person is child

A deceased person meets the criteria in this section if—

  1. the person is a child; and
  2. the person’s funeral expenses cannot be paid from the total of—
    1. the deceased person’s assessable estate before the payment of any other debts; and
    2. the combined assets, other than non-assessable assets, of the person’s parents, or of any other person or persons, who were liable in law to maintain the deceased person on the date of death in excess of the amount in clause 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 5; and
  3. the combined annual income of the person’s parents, or any other person or persons, who were liable in law to maintain the deceased child on the date of death is less than 52 times the appropriate amount in Part 2 of Schedule 5.
Funeral grant: restrictions on payment

A funeral grant is not payable under section 90 if—

  1. clause 64 of Schedule 1 of the Accident Compensation Act 2001 or subpart 8 of Part 5 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 applies in respect of the deceased person; or
  2. a payment under section 174 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 is payable in respect of the deceased person; or
  3. a payment under Part 5 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 is payable in respect of the deceased person; or
  4. the deceased person, including a deceased child, was not ordinarily resident in New Zealand on the date of death.

Subpart 16 — Hardship assistance

Temporary additional support: purpose

The purpose of temporary additional support is to provide temporary financial assistance as a last resort to alleviate the financial hardship of people whose essential costs cannot be met from their chargeable income and other resources, while ensuring that people seeking or granted that assistance take reasonable steps to reduce their costs or increase their chargeable incomes.

Temporary additional support: requirements

A person (P) is entitled to temporary additional support if—

  1. P’s chargeable income is less than P’s essential costs; and
  2. P has cash assets of not more than the prescribed amount; and
  3. P meets any prescribed criteria and any other requirements set out in regulations made under section 428.

However, temporary additional support must not be granted in respect of the cost of residential care services supplied to a person who has a psychiatric, intellectual, physical, or sensory disability if—

  1. the person’s accommodation costs are wholly or partly funded under the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022; or
  2. the person’s care (other than care in the person’s own home) is wholly or partly funded under the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022.

Temporary additional support granted under subsection (1) must be granted in the prescribed amount and for the prescribed period.

This section is subject to clause 20 (how commitments for temporary additional support may be affected by debt, or health or disability, insurance payment) of Schedule 3.

Temporary additional support: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances

This section applies in respect of an applicant for temporary additional support if MSD is at any time satisfied that a person who is the applicant, or the applicant’s spouse or partner, has—

  1. arranged that person’s financial affairs in order to qualify for temporary additional support; or
  2. failed to take reasonable steps to reduce that person’s costs or increase that person’s chargeable income; or
  3. failed to take all necessary steps to obtain any assistance towards that person’s essential costs from any other source from which that person may be entitled to assistance.

If this section applies, MSD may—

  1. refuse to grant temporary additional support; or
  2. grant temporary additional support at a reduced rate; or
  3. reduce the rate of temporary additional support already granted; or
  4. cancel any temporary additional support already granted.
Interpretation

In this subpart and in section 428,—

allowable costs has the meaning prescribed in regulations made under section 428, but does not include standard costs

applicant includes a recipient of temporary additional support

cash assets has the meaning prescribed in regulations made under section 428

chargeable income has the meaning prescribed in regulations made under section 428

essential costs means the sum of a person’s allowable costs and standard costs

standard costs has the same meaning as in section 428(2)(b)

tax credit means a credit of tax, or an amount, received under—

  1. subparts MA to MG and MZ of the Income Tax Act 2007; or
  2. subpart KD of the Income Tax Act 2004; or
  3. subpart KD of the Income Tax Act 1994.

Subpart 17 — Special assistance

Overseas epidemics affecting visitors to New Zealand: Minister may give overseas epidemic management notice

The Minister may, by written notice, declare that the effects of an outbreak outside New Zealand of a stated quarantinable disease are likely to cause hardship to people temporarily in New Zealand by preventing or hindering their prompt return to stated places.

The notice comes into force on its commencement, and expires on the earliest of the following:

  1. the day 3 months after its commencement:
  2. a day stated in the notice:
  3. a day stated by the Minister by further written notice.

Before or after the notice expires, the Minister can give a new notice in respect of the same disease.

The Minister must not give the notice except on, and after considering, the written recommendation of the chief executive of the Ministry of Health.

In subsection (1), quarantinable disease has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Health Act 1956.

A notice under this section is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Special assistance for visitors affected by overseas epidemics

The Minister may, in respect of any period for which an overseas epidemic management notice is in force, by written notice establish programmes of special assistance for visitors to New Zealand who are prevented or hindered from returning promptly to places stated in the notice by the outbreak outside New Zealand of the disease stated in the notice.

The notice must state—

  1. the criteria for determining which people are given assistance; and
  2. any maximum amounts of assistance to be given; and
  3. if different amounts of assistance may be given to different people, the criteria for determining how much assistance people are given; and
  4. for how long assistance may be given; and
  5. any conditions subject to which assistance is to be given.

The programme, and the matters stated in the notice establishing it, override every other provision of this Act.

The Crown may incur, without further appropriation than this subsection, expenses or capital expenditure for the purpose of providing special assistance under this section.

A notice under this section is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Approved special assistance programmes

The Minister may from time to time, by written notice, approve and establish welfare programmes for the purpose of granting special assistance.

A welfare programme approved and established by the Minister under subsection (1)—

  1. must be administered by MSD; and
  2. may provide for any specified provision of this Act to apply to the programme and to any specified class or classes of person as if the special assistance authorised by the programme were a benefit under this Act.

This section is subject to clause 21 (how costs, etc, for approved programme of special assistance may be affected by debt, or health or disability, insurance payment) of Schedule 3.

A notice under this section is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Special assistance: status of, and access to, notices

[Repealed]

Subpart 18 — Extended payment of benefits for children aged 18 years or over who continue education

Provisions relating to children aged 18 years or over who continue education

This section applies where a child (C) aged 18 years—

  1. is not financially independent; and
  2. is attending school or a tertiary educational establishment.

Despite C being 18, MSD may for such period as MSD determines (expiring not later than the pay day immediately after 31 December in the year in which C turns 18)—

  1. grant or continue to pay an orphan’s benefit or unsupported child’s benefit in respect of C:
  2. pay any other benefit at the appropriate rate that includes C as a dependent child of the beneficiary.

Part 3

Obligations

Subpart 1 — Introduction

Guide to this Part

What this Part does

This Part sets out the obligations of—

  1. MSD:
  2. beneficiaries and their partners.
Failure to comply with obligation under this Part

A person who is subject to an obligation under this Part and who fails to comply with that obligation without good and sufficient reason is liable to a sanction under Part 5.

Subsection (1) does not apply to MSD.

Subpart 2 — MSD’s obligations

Steps to make people affected aware of their obligations, etc

MSD must make people affected aware of their obligations, consequences of non-compliance, and their review and appeal rights

MSD must take reasonable and appropriate steps to make a person to whom an obligation under this Part applies—

  1. aware of that obligation; and
  2. aware of the consequences of failure to comply with that obligation and, in particular, the sanctions that may be imposed under Part 5; and
  3. aware of that person’s rights under sections 391 and 397 to review and appeal decisions relating to the obligation.

Steps to explain overseas absence rules

MSD must explain rules relating to absence from New Zealand

MSD must take reasonable and appropriate steps to explain, to every person who is, or appears to MSD to be likely to be, affected by them,—

  1. the rules about absence from New Zealand contained in the following provisions:
    1. section 219 (general rule: benefit not payable while beneficiary absent from New Zealand):
    2. regulations made under section 436 (regulations that contain exceptions, and other contrary or related provisions); and
  2. how those rules do or may affect payment of benefits.

Steps to assist compliance with overseas pensions obligations

MSD must assist in relation to obtaining overseas pension, etc

MSD must take all reasonable steps to assist any person to comply with that person’s obligations under sections 173 and 177.

Subpart 3 — Beneficiaries’ obligations

Beneficiaries: general and specific obligations

Outline of beneficiary’s general and specific obligations

The general obligations of a beneficiary, that is, obligations that apply to all beneficiaries, are the following:

  1. the obligation to hold, and give MSD details of, a bank account (see section 111):
  2. the obligation to supply a tax file number (see section 112):
  3. the obligation to notify a change of circumstances (see section 113).

The specific obligations that apply to some beneficiaries only, are the following:

  1. the obligation to notify absence from New Zealand (see section 114):
  2. the obligation to undergo work ability assessments (see sections 115 to 119):
  3. work-preparation obligations (see sections 120 to 126):
  4. obligations in relation to dependent children (see sections 127 to 137):
  5. work-test obligations (see sections 138 to 156):
  6. youth payment obligations (see sections 162 and 163):
  7. young parent obligations (see sections 164 and 169):
  8. obligations under section 165(7) of a young person aged 18 or 19 years who is receiving jobseeker support, who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency (see sections 165 and 169), and who is required under section 165(2) to receive youth services:
  9. obligations (including relating to instruction, education, training, or learning) of a young person who is the spouse or partner of a beneficiary (see sections 166, 167, and 169):
  10. obligations (including relating to youth services) of a young person who is the spouse or partner of a beneficiary (see sections 168 and 169):
  11. the obligation to work with contracted service providers (see sections 170 and 171):
  12. obligations in relation to overseas pensions (see sections 172 to 180).
When obligations apply

An obligation applies from the time that the benefit in question is paid, except in the case of—

  1. the applicant’s or beneficiary’s obligation to hold, and give MSD details of, a bank account (see section 111); and
  2. the section 162(1)(a) education or training obligation of a young parent who is the principal caregiver of that young parent’s youngest dependent child who is under 12 months old (see section 163(2)).

General obligations: holding, and giving details of, bank account

Beneficiary must hold, and give MSD details of, bank account

It is a condition of every benefit, unless MSD in a particular case determines otherwise, that the applicant or beneficiary must, by the deadline (specified by regulations made under section 438(2)(a)(ii)) for receipt by MSD of any supporting evidence reasonably required by MSD,—

  1. give MSD details of an existing suitable bank account held by the applicant or beneficiary; or
  2. open a bank account, if the applicant or beneficiary does not hold one, and give MSD details of it.

Bank account, in this section, means an account with a bank that is a registered bank (as defined in section 2(1) of the Banking (Prudential Supervision) Act 1989), a private savings bank, a credit union, a building society, or a non-bank deposit taker (as defined in section 5 of the Non-bank Deposit Takers Act 2013).

General obligations: supplying tax file number

Beneficiary must supply tax file number

MSD may in writing request an applicant for a benefit or a beneficiary to provide evidence, to the satisfaction of MSD, of the tax file number of the applicant or beneficiary.

MSD may refuse to grant a benefit and must suspend payment of a benefit if satisfactory evidence of the tax file number of the applicant or the beneficiary is not received within 10 working days after the date on which the request is made (the deadline).

MSD may in writing extend the deadline if an applicant or a beneficiary provides a reasonable explanation for not providing the evidence within the deadline.

This section does not apply to a beneficiary who is unable to provide satisfactory evidence of the beneficiary’s tax file number within the deadline or extended deadline specified because of any health condition, injury, or disability.

In this section, tax file number has the same meaning as in section YA 1 of the Income Tax Act 2007.

General obligations: notification of change of circumstances

Beneficiary must notify change of circumstances
Obligation to notify without delay change of circumstances

A beneficiary must without delay notify MSD of a change in the beneficiary’s circumstances if—

  1. the change affects the beneficiary’s entitlement to receive a benefit; or
  2. the change affects the rate of a benefit the beneficiary receives.
Examples of change of circumstances

Examples of a change in a beneficiary’s circumstances include—

  1. a change in the beneficiary’s relationship status, number of children, income, accommodation, or employment:
  2. a change in the relationship status, income, accommodation, or employment of the beneficiary’s spouse or partner:
  3. the beneficiary or his or her spouse or partner becoming entitled to an overseas pension.
Meaning of change in beneficiary’s relationship status

In subsection (2)(a), a change in the beneficiary’s relationship status means the beneficiary’s—

  1. entering into a marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship; or
  2. ceasing to live together with, or separating from, a spouse or civil union partner; or
  3. ceasing to live together (as a couple in a relationship in the nature of marriage or civil union) with, or separating from, a de facto partner; or
  4. ceasing to be in a marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship, because it has ended by reason of an event not specified in paragraph (b) or (c) (for example, by dissolution, or on a spouse’s or partner’s death).
How subsection (1) is satisfied for information share child support payment

Subsection (1) is satisfied for a change in a beneficiary’s circumstances that is an information share child support payment made to a beneficiary if the payment is disclosed to MSD under a specified approved information sharing agreement.

In this section,—

information share child support payment

  1. has the meaning given to it in Schedule 2; and therefore
  2. excludes a general provisions child support payment (as that term is defined in Schedule 2)

specified approved information sharing agreement has the meaning given to it in Schedule 2.

Exception if person does not notify without delay change that is review ground

However, subsection (4) does not apply if—

  1. MSD has in some way notified the beneficiary of the income charging of the payment under Schedule 3 (see the examples given in subsection (7)); and
  2. the beneficiary does not notify MSD without delay of a change in the beneficiary’s circumstances that relates to the payment and that is or may be all or any of the review grounds specified in section 304A(1)(a) to (g).
Examples of MSD notifying beneficiary of income charging of payment

For the purposes of subsection (6)(a), examples of MSD in some way notifying the beneficiary of the income charging under Schedule 3 of the payment include MSD notifying the beneficiary—

  1. that information share child support payments are, or will be, charged as income of the beneficiary under Schedule 3; or
  2. of a change in amounts or timing of information share child support payments; or
  3. of a change in how information share child support payments are charged as income of the beneficiary under Schedule 3.
Review grounds include any additional grounds prescribed by regulations

For the purposes of subsection (6)(b), the review grounds specified in section 304A(1)(a) to (g) include, without limitation, any 1 or more additional grounds prescribed by regulations made under section 418(1)(ja).

Specific obligations: notification of absence from New Zealand

Obligation to notify absence from New Zealand

A beneficiary who intends to be absent from New Zealand must before leaving New Zealand notify MSD of the beneficiary’s intended absence.

However, subsection (1) does not apply to a person who receives a benefit payable under—

  1. subpart 11 of Part 2 (winter energy payment); or
  2. sections 21 to 35 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; or
  3. sections 176 to 196 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014; or
  4. any reciprocity agreement with another country adopted by an order made under section 380.

Specific obligations: work ability assessment

Obligation to undergo work ability assessment

Sections 116 to 119 set out the obligation of a person to undergo a work ability assessment.

Persons subject to work ability assessment

The following persons must comply with a requirement under section 118 by MSD that they undergo a work ability assessment:

  1. a person who receives any of the following benefits: jobseeker support, sole parent support, a supported living payment (except as provided in section 117), or an emergency benefit; or
  2. the spouse or partner of a person listed in paragraph (a).
Persons not subject to work ability assessment

MSD must not require a person who receives a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity to undergo a work ability assessment if, in MSD’s opinion, that person—

  1. is terminally ill; or
  2. has little or no capacity for work, and the person's condition is deteriorating or not likely to improve.
Work ability assessment

MSD may at any time require a person to whom this section applies to attend and participate in a work ability assessment to determine, or help determine, all or any of the following matters:

  1. whether the person is entitled to a benefit and, if so, what kind of benefit:
  2. if a person granted jobseeker support is subject to a work-test obligation, whether that obligation should be deferred:
  3. if a person is granted jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability, whether that person has the capacity for part-time work:
  4. whether the person should be exempted from a work-preparation or work-test obligation:
  5. whether the person has the capacity to comply with a work-preparation or work-test obligation:
  6. what is suitable employment for the person for the purposes of section 145:
  7. what are suitable activities for the person for the purposes of section 125(d) or 146(1)(d):
  8. what assistance and supports are necessary for the person to obtain employment.

The assessment must be made in accordance with the procedure determined by MSD.

A person who has been assessed under subsection (1) may be required by MSD to undergo a reassessment under that subsection as MSD thinks appropriate.

Person who fails to comply with requirement to undergo work ability assessment is subject to sanction

A person (P) is subject to a sanction under section 236, 237, or 238 if MSD is satisfied that P has, without a good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a requirement under section 118 to attend and participate in a work ability assessment or reassessment.

Specific obligations: work preparation

Work-preparation obligations

Sections 121 to 126 set out a person’s work-preparation obligations.

Those obligations are intended—

  1. to facilitate the movement into ongoing employment (as their parenting responsibilities and individual circumstances allow) of beneficiaries to whom those obligations apply; and
  2. to provide opportunities for them to improve their capabilities and preparation for employment; and
  3. to improve social and economic outcomes for them and their dependent children.
Persons subject to work-preparation obligations

The following persons must comply with section 124 and may be required to do any of the things set out in section 125:

  1. a person who receives sole parent support and whose youngest dependent child is under the age of 3 years:
  2. [Repealed]
  3. a person who is a work-tested beneficiary and who has been granted under regulations made under section 431 a deferral of that person’s work-test obligations:
  4. a person who—
    1. is the spouse or partner of a person who—
      1. receives an emergency benefit or jobseeker support paid at a work-test couple rate; and
      2. has a youngest dependent child aged under 3 years; and
    2. is not the spouse or partner of a young person to whom section 166 or 167 applies:
  5. the spouse or partner of a person who—
    1. receives a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness; and
    2. has a youngest dependent child aged under 3 years:
  6. a person under the age of 65 granted an emergency benefit under section 17(2)(c) of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Act 2001.
Persons not subject to work-preparation obligations

The following persons are not required to comply with section 124 and must not be required to do any of the things set out in section 125:

  1. a person who is a work-tested beneficiary:
  2. a person who is currently exempted under section 158(1) from all the person’s work-test obligations.
Persons subject to work-preparation obligations if sufficient capacity to comply

The following persons are not required to comply with section 124 but may be required to do any of the things set out in section 125 if MSD decides that the person is capable of complying with the obligation in question:

  1. a person who receives a benefit under section 34 (supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness):
  2. a person who receives a benefit under section 40 (supported living payment on the ground of caring for another person).

A person referred to in subsection (1)(a) or (b) may be required to attend and participate in an interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD for the purpose of helping MSD decide whether the person is capable of complying with any of the work-preparation obligations set out in section 125.

General obligation to take all steps to prepare for employment

A person to whom this section applies must take all steps that are reasonably practicable in the person’s circumstances to prepare for employment.

Work-preparation obligations as required by MSD

A person to whom this section applies must, as required by MSD from time to time,—

  1. undertake planning for employment:
  2. attend and participate in an interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD:
  3. report to MSD or a person on behalf of MSD on the person’s compliance with the work-preparation obligations set out in this section, and must do so as often as, and in the manner that, MSD reasonably requires:
  4. participate in or undertake any of the following activities specified by MSD that MSD considers suitable for improving the person’s work-readiness or prospects for employment:
    1. a work assessment:
    2. a programme or seminar to increase particular skills or enhance motivation:
    3. a work-experience or work-exploration activity:
    4. employment-related training:
    5. an education programme:
    6. any other activity (including rehabilitation) other than medical treatment, recognised voluntary work, or activity in the community.
Person who fails to comply with work-preparation obligation subject to sanction

A person (P) is subject to a sanction under section 236, 237, or 238 if MSD is satisfied that P has, without a good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a work-preparation obligation.

Specific obligations: social obligations in relation to dependent children

Obligations in relation to dependent children

Sections 128 to 135 set out obligations in relation to the dependent children of—

  1. a beneficiary receiving certain main benefits under this Act; and
  2. the beneficiary’s spouse or partner.
Obligations of beneficiary in relation to dependent children

A beneficiary is subject to the obligations set out in sections 131 to 135 in relation to the beneficiary’s dependent children or the dependent children of the beneficiary’s spouse or partner if the beneficiary—

  1. receives jobseeker support, sole parent support, a supported living payment, or an emergency benefit; and
  2. is not a young person subject to the obligations set out in section 164.
Obligations of spouse or partner of beneficiary in relation to dependent children of beneficiary

The spouse or partner of a beneficiary is subject to the obligations set out in sections 131 to 135 in relation to each dependent child of the beneficiary if—

  1. the beneficiary receives jobseeker support, sole parent support, a supported living payment, or an emergency benefit; and
  2. the spouse or partner is not a young person subject to the obligations set out in section 166 or 167.

Subsection (1) applies whether or not—

  1. the dependent child of the beneficiary is also the dependent child of the spouse or partner:
  2. the spouse or partner receives all or any of the benefit instead of, or as well as, the beneficiary.
Obligations of spouse or partner of beneficiary in relation to dependent children of spouse or partner

The spouse or partner of a beneficiary is subject to the obligations set out in sections 131 to 135 in relation to each dependent child of the spouse or partner if—

  1. the beneficiary receives jobseeker support, sole parent support, a supported living payment, or an emergency benefit; and
  2. the spouse or partner is not a young person subject to the obligations set out in section 166 or 167.

Subsection (1) applies whether or not—

  1. the dependent child of the spouse or partner is also the dependent child of the beneficiary:
  2. the spouse or partner receives all or any of the benefit instead of, or as well as, the beneficiary.
Attendance of dependent child aged 3 to 5 years at early childhood education programme

A person to whom this section applies must take all reasonable steps to ensure that each dependent child aged 3 to 5 years—

  1. is enrolled in an approved early childhood education programme (as that term is defined in regulations made under section 430); and
  2. attends that programme in the manner and to the minimum extent prescribed by regulations made under section 430.

This section does not apply if the dependent child is enrolled at and regularly attends a registered school (as defined in regulations made under section 430).

Attendance of dependent child aged 5 or 6 years at early childhood education programme or registered school

A person to whom this section applies (A) must take all reasonable steps to ensure that each dependent child aged 5 or 6 years either—

  1. is enrolled in an approved early childhood education programme (as defined in regulations made under section 430) and attends that programme in the manner and to the minimum extent prescribed by regulations made under section 430; or
  2. is enrolled at and regularly attends a registered school (as defined in regulations made under section 430).

This section does not apply if A qualifies for an exemption from his or her work-test obligations on the active teaching out of school grounds specified by—

  1. regulation 6(2)(c) of the Social Security (Exemptions under Section 105) Regulations 1998 (as saved by clause 27 of Schedule 1); or
  2. any regulations made under section 431(1)(e).
Attendance of dependent child aged 6 to 15 years at registered school

A person to whom this section applies must take all reasonable steps to ensure that each dependent child aged 6 to 15 years is enrolled at and regularly attends a registered school (as defined by regulations made under section 430).

This section does not apply if the child is exempted under section 38, 39, or 41 of the Education and Training Act 2020 from enrolment at a registered school.

Health care enrolment and compliance with core health checks

A person to whom this section applies must take all reasonable steps to ensure that each dependent child is enrolled with a primary health care provider (for example, a primary health organisation, or a prescribed health practitioner who is a provider of primary health care).

A person to whom this section applies must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a dependent child under the age of 5 years is up to date with core checks under—

  1. the programme that immediately before 15 July 2013 was known as Well Child; or
  2. any similar programme established in its place.
Interviews and reporting

A person to whom this section applies must, as required by MSD,—

  1. attend and participate in an interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD:
  2. report to MSD or a person on behalf of MSD on the person’s compliance with the obligations in relation to dependent children set out in sections 131 to 134, and must do so as often as, and in the manner that, MSD reasonably requires.
Person who fails to comply with obligations in relation to dependent children is subject to sanction

A person (P) is subject to a sanction under section 236, 237, or 238 if MSD is satisfied that P has, without a good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with an obligation in relation to dependent children under sections 131 to 135.

However, P is not subject to a sanction under section 233(c) if imposition of a sanction is precluded by section 243 or 255.

Definitions and attendance: regulations made under section 430

Regulations made under section 430 may prescribe, for the purposes of sections 131 to 134, the meaning of the following terms:

  1. approved early childhood education programme:
  2. core check:
  3. registered school.

Regulations made under section 430 that prescribe, for the purposes of sections 131(1)(b) and 132(1)(a), the minimum extent of, or other required manner of, attending an approved early childhood education programme may, without limitation,—

  1. prescribe, for all or any approved early childhood programmes, target numbers of hours of attendance:
  2. prescribe different minimum numbers of hours of attendance for all or any different approved early childhood programmes.

Specific obligations: work-test obligations

Work-test obligations

Sections 140 to 154 set out the work-test obligations.

Purpose of sections 140 to 154

The purpose of sections 140 to 154 is—

  1. to ensure that work-tested beneficiaries maintain an unrelenting focus on entering, retaining, or returning to, employment; and
  2. to reinforce the continuing obligation of work-tested beneficiaries to take reasonable steps to support themselves and their families; and
  3. to identify the activities that work-tested beneficiaries may be required to undertake to meet their obligations arising from work-tested benefits being paid in respect of them; and
  4. to provide a work test structure applying to all work-tested beneficiaries that is sufficiently flexible to take account of an individual beneficiary's circumstances.
Persons subject to work-test obligations

The following persons must comply with section 144 and may be required to do any of the things set out in section 146:

  1. a person who receives jobseeker support (other than jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability):
  2. a person who receives jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability, if MSD has determined under section 141(1) that the person has the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work:
  3. a person who—
    1. is the work-tested spouse or partner of a person who receives jobseeker support; and
    2. is not the spouse or partner of a young person to whom section 166 or 167 applies:
  4. a work-tested sole parent support beneficiary:
  5. the work-tested spouse or partner of a person granted an emergency benefit or a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness at a work-test couple rate:
  6. a person under the age of 65 years granted an emergency benefit under section 17(2)(c) of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001, if that person is a work-tested spouse or partner.

MSD may, by notice in writing, require the spouse or partner of a person granted an emergency benefit at a work-test couple rate to comply with the work test if MSD is satisfied that it is appropriate and reasonable to require that spouse or partner to seek, undertake, and be available for—

  1. part-time work, in the case of a spouse or partner whose youngest dependent child is aged 3 years or older but under 14 years; or
  2. full-time employment, in any other case.
Jobseeker support: work capacity determination and work test

MSD makes every determination under this subsection whether a person granted jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability has, while receiving that benefit, the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work (as defined in Schedule 2).

MSD—

  1. must make a determination under subsection (1) promptly after granting the person that benefit; and
  2. may make a determination under subsection (1) at any later time.

A determination under subsection (1) must be made after having had regard to—

  1. the relevant certificate given under section 27, and any relevant report obtained under section 28; and
  2. any relevant work ability assessment under sections 115 to 119.

The consequence of a determination under subsection (1) that the person has, while receiving that benefit, the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work is that the person is required to comply with the work test on and after a date specified in a written notice (of the determination’s making and effects) that MSD must give the person.

The date specified in a written notice given under subsection (4),—

  1. in the case of a new grant of jobseeker support, may be the date on which that benefit is first paid; but
  2. in any case, must not be a date before the date on which MSD reasonably considers the person will receive the notice.

MSD may at any time, whether on the application of the person or otherwise, review a determination under subsection (1) and may confirm, amend, revoke, or replace it and any related written notice given under subsection (4).

Person not subject to work-test obligations

A person (P) who is otherwise subject to a work-test obligation is not subject to that obligation if—

  1. the obligation has been deferred under regulations made under section 431; or
  2. P has been exempted from the obligation under section 158; or
  3. MSD is satisfied that P is undertaking employment of the kind required to satisfy the work test for P.
Time when work-test obligation applies

An obligation set out in section 144 or 146 applies on—

  1. a day that is a day between Monday and Friday (inclusive); or
  2. a prescribed day of the week (see section 418(1)(e)).

An obligation set out in section 144 or 146 applies,—

  1. in the case of a person who receives jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability, from the date specified in MSD’s notice given under section 141(4) that the person has the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work:
  2. in any other case, from the date on which the relevant benefit is first paid.
General obligation to be available for suitable employment, etc

A person to whom this section applies must—

  1. be available for, and take reasonable steps to obtain, suitable employment; and
  2. accept any offer of suitable employment, including temporary employment or employment that is seasonal or subsidised; and
  3. attend and participate in an interview for any opportunity of suitable employment to which the beneficiary is referred by MSD.
Meaning of suitable employment

In section 144, suitable employment, in relation to a person (P), means employment that MSD is satisfied is suitable for P to undertake for a specific number of hours per week that MSD determines, having regard to the employment required to satisfy the work test for P.

Work-test obligations as required by MSD

A person to whom this section applies must, as required by MSD from time to time,—

  1. undertake planning for employment:
  2. attend and participate in an interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD:
  3. report to MSD or a person on behalf of MSD on the person’s compliance with the work-test obligations set out in this section or sections 144 and 147, and must do so as often as, and in the manner that, MSD reasonably requires:
  4. participate in or undertake any of the following activities specified by MSD that MSD considers suitable for improving the person’s work-readiness or prospects for employment:
    1. a work assessment:
    2. a programme or seminar to increase particular skills or enhance motivation:
    3. a work-experience or work-exploration activity:
    4. employment-related training:
    5. any other activity (including rehabilitation) other than medical treatment, recognised voluntary work, or activity in the community:
  5. undertake and pass a drug test in accordance with sections 147 to 151.

Subsection (1)(d) applies whether or not a person is subject to a sanction for failing to comply with a work-test obligation.

If MSD requires a person to undertake an activity under subsection (1)(d), MSD must take reasonable steps to arrange for the person to undertake that activity.

Obligation to undertake and pass drug test

A person to whom an obligation under section 144(a), 144(c), 146(1)(d)(ii), or 146(1)(d)(iv) applies must undertake and pass a drug test by a specified date if—

  1. a potential employer or training provider requests the drug test; and
  2. the drug test is lawfully requested and undertaken; and
  3. the drug test is a compliant drug test (see section 148).

The obligation under subsection (1) to undertake and pass a drug test is included in, forms part of, and does not arise apart from, the obligation under section 144(a), 144(c), 146(1)(d)(ii), or 146(1)(d)(iv).

A drug test is lawfully requested and undertaken if it is requested and undertaken for a lawful purpose (for example, for a lawful health or safety purpose), and it does not matter that the employer or provider requesting the drug test is not authorised or required by or under this Act to compel the person to undertake it.

A drug test under this section is presumed to be lawfully requested and undertaken unless the contrary is proved.

Compliant drug test defined

A compliant drug test is a drug test that complies with the requirements prescribed by regulations made under section 431.

Failing drug test

For the purposes of this Act, a person is taken to have failed an evidential drug test requested under section 257 if the person fails a screening test and waives the right to an associated evidential drug test.

A potential employer or training provider may disclose, or authorise the drug test provider to disclose, to MSD that a person who has undertaken a drug test under section 147 has failed the drug test.

MSD may act on the information disclosed under subsection (2) unless MSD has reason to believe that it is not reliable (for example, MSD may have evidence to the contrary).

Consent of a person who has undertaken a drug test under section 147 to disclosure under subsection (2) is not required.

Use of drug test result

MSD may, in accordance with regulations made under section 431, use the result of a drug test undertaken under section 147 and disclosed to MSD under section 149.

Costs of drug test

MSD may, in accordance with regulations made under section 431(1)(c), reimburse a potential employer for the costs of a drug test undertaken by a person under section 147 requested by that employer.

Subsection (1) does not apply to the costs of an evidential drug test if the person waives the right to the evidential drug test in the situation specified in section 149(1).

Definitions for drug-testing provisions

In this section and in sections 147 to 151, unless the context otherwise requires,—

controlled drug has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975

drug test, for a person, means a test to detect the presence in the person’s body of 1 or more controlled drugs

evidential drug test, for a person, means a drug test that, when undertaken by the person, complies with a standard that is—

  1. a standard for drug tests for evidential purposes; and
  2. a New Zealand standard, joint Australian/New Zealand standard, or other national or international standard; and
  3. prescribed (whether under sections 29 to 32 of the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015 or otherwise) in regulations made under section 418(1)(f)

fail, for a person and a drug test, means—

  1. if the drug test is a screening drug test or an evidential drug test, not to pass the drug test; or
  2. if the drug test is an evidential drug test, to waive the right to that test in the situation specified in section 149(1), and so under that section be taken for the purposes of this Act to have failed that test

pass, for a person and a drug test, means to undertake the drug test with the consequence that the drug test produces a valid result that,—

  1. if the drug test is a screening drug test, does not indicate the presence in the person’s body of 1 or more controlled drugs at or above the minimum level identified in the standard (prescribed in regulations made under section 418(1)(g)) with which the test complies; and
  2. if the drug test is an evidential drug test, does not detect for evidential purposes the presence in the person’s body of 1 or more controlled drugs at or above the minimum level identified in the standard (prescribed in regulations made under section 418(1)(g)) with which the test complies

screening drug test, for a person, means a drug test that—

  1. may indicate the presence in the person’s body of 1 or more controlled drugs; and
  2. is quicker, less formal, and less expensive than, and is designed for use in conjunction with, an evidential drug test; and
  3. complies with a standard that is—
    1. a standard for drug tests for evidential purposes; and
    2. a New Zealand standard, joint Australian/New Zealand standard, or other national or international standard; and
    3. prescribed (whether under sections 29 to 32 of the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015, or otherwise) in regulations made under section 418(1)(h).
Person who fails to comply with work-test obligations is subject to sanction

A person is subject to a sanction (see section 233(d)) for a breach of a work-test obligation under section 144 or 146 if MSD is satisfied that the person—

  1. has failed without a good and sufficient reason to comply with the obligation; or
  2. is under section 154 deemed to have failed without a good and sufficient reason to comply with the obligation.
Deemed failure to comply with work-test obligation

A person (P) is deemed to have failed without a good and sufficient reason to comply with a work-test obligation under section 144 or 146 if—

  1. P, without a good and sufficient reason, fails to apply for suitable employment that requires candidates to undertake drug tests; or
  2. P is a full-time work-tested beneficiary and leaves, without a good and sufficient reason, or is dismissed for misconduct from, part-time work or employment averaging less than part-time work; or
  3. P is a part-time work-tested beneficiary who leaves, without a good and sufficient reason, or is dismissed for misconduct from, employment averaging less than part-time work.

Deferral of work-test obligations

Deferral of work-test obligations

MSD may defer a person’s work-test obligations in accordance with regulations made under section 431 permitting it to do so.

MSD must defer a person’s work-test obligations in accordance with regulations made under section 431 requiring it to do so.

Effect of deferral of work-test obligations

A person’s work-test obligations are deferred for the period specified in MSD’s notice of deferral and sections 106 and 138 to 146 apply to that person as if he or she were not a person subject to work-test obligations.

A person whose work-test obligations are deferred in accordance with regulations made under section 431 must notify MSD as soon as practicable of any change in the person's circumstances that may affect the person’s entitlement to the deferral.

Exemptions: work-preparation, work-test, and other obligations

Regulations may specify categories of exempt persons and grounds for exemption

Regulations made under section 431 may specify—

  1. categories of persons who may be exempted from some or all of a work-preparation obligation, a work-test obligation, or an obligation under section 162, 164, 166, or 167; and
  2. the grounds, and any required circumstances, for the grant of an exemption.
MSD may grant exemption from work-preparation, work-test, or other obligation

A person may apply to MSD for an exemption from some or all of the person’s work-preparation obligations, work-test obligations, or obligations under section 162, 164, 166, or 167 and MSD may grant the exemption if satisfied that the person qualifies for an exemption under regulations made under section 431.

MSD may grant the exemption for a period set by MSD, and may make the exemption subject to conditions set by MSD.

A person granted an exemption under subsection (1) must notify MSD as soon as practicable of any change in the person's circumstances that may affect the person’s entitlement to the exemption.

MSD may from time to time require a person granted an exemption under subsection (1) to attend an interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD.

Donors of qualifying organs exempt from work-preparation, work-test, or other obligation while recuperating

Sections 158, 160, and 411 are subject to sections 14 and 15 of the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Act 2016.

Procedure for grant of exemption

The procedure for the granting of an exemption under section 158, including the review, extension, variation, or revocation of the exemption, is prescribed in regulations made under section 431.

Person who fails to comply with requirement to attend interview is subject to sanction

A person (P) is subject to a sanction (see section 233(e)) if MSD is satisfied that P has failed, without a good and sufficient reason, to comply with a requirement under section 158(4) to attend an interview.

However, P is not subject to a sanction under section 233(e) if P is a young person to whom subpart 3 of Part 5 applies.

Specific obligations: young person granted youth support payment

Obligations of young person granted youth support payment

A young person who has been granted a youth support payment must do the following things:

  1. be enrolled in and undertake to MSD’s satisfaction, or be available for, a full-time course of secondary instruction or tertiary education or approved training or work-based learning leading to—
    1. NCEA level 2; or
    2. a qualification that in MSD’s opinion is equivalent to NCEA level 2; or
    3. a higher qualification:
  2. as required by MSD, participate in and complete a budgeting programme approved by MSD for the purpose:
  3. as required by MSD, attend and participate in any interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD:
  4. as required by a contracted service provider assigned to the person, attend and participate in any interview with that provider:
  5. as required by MSD or a contracted service provider assigned to the person, report to MSD or the service provider on the person’s compliance with the obligations set out in paragraphs (a) to (d):
  6. co-operate with MSD or a contracted service provider assigned to the person, in managing the spending of the young person’s youth payments or young parent payments:
  7. attend and participate in regular discussions on budgeting with an MSD employee or a contracted service provider:
  8. at budgeting discussions and otherwise as required by MSD, provide details of—
    1. the young person’s accommodation costs, service costs, and other lawful debts and liabilities:
    2. how the young person has spent the young person’s youth support payments and, if applicable, young parent payments:
  9. give to MSD or to a contracted service provider assigned to the young person (within 20 working days starting on the day after the date on which MSD informs the young person of the requirement) the following information:
    1. details of the young person’s accommodation costs and service costs and other lawful debts and liabilities; and
    2. any other information reasonably required by MSD to effect money management under section 341.

In this section,—

accommodation costs, in relation to any young person, has the same meaning as in section 65 except that, in relation to a person who is a boarder or lodger in any premises, it means 100% of the amount paid for board or lodging

service costs has the same meaning as in section 65.

In this section and in sections 166 and 167,—

approved training means an employment-related training course approved by MSD

full-time course has the same meaning as in—

  1. regulation 2(1) of the Student Allowances Regulations 1998; or
  2. the corresponding provision of replacement regulations made under all or any of sections 645 and 646 and clause 3 of Schedule 9 of the Education and Training Act 2020.

In this section and in sections 164 to 167 and 200, work-based learning, in relation to any person, means a course or programme undertaken (or to be undertaken), in the course of or by virtue of his or her employment, that comprises, or includes a component of, practical or on-the-job vocational learning (for example, an industry training programme or apprenticeship).

A failure without good and sufficient reason to comply with obligations under this section is subject to sanctions, as provided in Part 5.

When education obligation or training obligation begins for young parent

This section applies to a young person—

  1. who receives a young parent payment; and
  2. who is principal caregiver of the young person’s youngest dependent child.

The obligation set out in section 162(1)(a) begins to apply to the young person only on the earlier of the following days:

  1. the first day on which—
    1. the child is at least 6 months old; and
    2. a suitable place is available for the young person in a teen parent unit; and
    3. MSD is satisfied that there are no special circumstances justifying the obligation's beginning to apply later:
  2. the day on which the child becomes 12 months old.

In this section, teen parent unit means an educational facility for teenage parents attached to a State school (within the meaning of the Education and Training Act 2020).

Specific obligations: social obligations of young person granted young parent payment

Obligations of young person granted young parent payment

A young person who has been granted a young parent payment must also do the following things:

  1. as required by MSD, participate to MSD’s satisfaction in a parenting education programme approved by MSD for the purpose:
  2. enrol each dependent child with a primary health care provider (for example, a primary health organisation, or a prescribed health practitioner who is a provider of primary health care):
  3. take all reasonable steps to ensure that each dependent child under the age of 5 years is up to date with core checks under—
    1. the programme that immediately before 15 July 2013 was known as Well Child; or
    2. any similar programme established in its place:
  4. ensure that each dependent child under the age of 5 years attends an approved early childhood education programme or other suitable childcare while the young person is in education, training, work-based learning, or part-time work.

A failure without good and sufficient reason to comply with obligations under this section is subject to sanctions, as provided in Part 5.

Specific obligations: young person aged 18 or 19 years who is receiving jobseeker support and who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency

Young person aged 18 or 19 years who is receiving jobseeker support in young person’s own right and who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency

This section applies to a young person (P) aged 18 or 19 years without dependent children who is receiving jobseeker support under sections 20 to 24 in the young person’s own right.

If MSD determines that P is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency (as that risk is defined in subsection (9)), MSD may require P to receive services of a kind referred to in section 373(1)(a) (youth services).

In exercising the discretion under subsection (2), MSD may consider factors that affect MSD’s ability to provide the young person with youth services (for example, funding and capacity to provide the services in the young person’s area).

However, before requiring the young person to receive youth services, MSD must take reasonable steps to consult the young person about—

  1. the young person’s risk of long-term welfare dependency (as that risk is defined in subsection (9)); and
  2. the proposal to require the young person to receive youth services.

A requirement under subsection (2) that is placed on a young person who is aged 19 years at the time the requirement is made continues—

  1. until the close of the day that is 6 months after the date on which the requirement was placed on the young person, even if the young person turns 20 during that 6-month period; or
  2. in the case of a young person who, on the day on which he or she turns 20, is continuing in a course of education, training, or work-based learning, until,—
    1. if the course is a course of secondary instruction or if the course ends in December, the close of the following 31 March:
    2. in any other case, the close of the day on which the course ends.

If paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (5) both apply to the young person, the requirement continues until the later of the 2 dates that apply under those paragraphs.

The following apply to a young person who is required to receive youth services under subsection (2) as if the person’s jobseeker support, or the portion of the jobseeker support or the specified beneficiary’s benefit payable to the young person under section 337, were a youth payment:

  1. the obligations in section 162(1)(b) to (i) in addition to the young person’s work-test obligations or obligations under sections 121 to 125:
  2. sections 55 and 289 as if the appropriate incentive payments were those set out in clauses 8 and 9 in subpart 3 of Part 6 of Schedule 4:
  3. section 288:
  4. sections 341 and 378:
  5. regulations 4 and 5 and Part 2 of the Social Security (Criteria for Incentive Payments and Money Management) Regulations 2012 (as saved by clauses 12 and 41(3) of Schedule 1), or regulations made under section 418(1)(c), (d), (k), and (l).

MSD may from time to time review a requirement placed on a young person under subsection (2) and may confirm or revoke it.

In this section, risk of long-term welfare dependency, in relation to a person, means the risk, determined using risk factors set by the Minister for the purposes of this section and section 168 by direction under section 7, that the person will, for an indefinite period, not be able to obtain full-time employment and will be likely to remain wholly or largely dependent for the person’s financial support on all or part of a main benefit under this Act.

Obligations of, and incentives for, young person who is spouse or partner of beneficiary

Young person aged 16 or 17 years who has no dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary

This section applies to a young person (P) who—

  1. is 16 or 17 years old; and
  2. is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary; and
  3. has no dependent children.

P must do the following things:

  1. be enrolled in and undertake to MSD’s satisfaction, or be available for, a full-time course of secondary instruction or tertiary education or approved training or work-based learning leading to—
    1. NCEA level 2; or
    2. a qualification that in MSD’s opinion is equivalent to NCEA level 2; or
    3. a higher qualification:
  2. as required by MSD, participate in and complete a budgeting programme approved by MSD for the purpose:
  3. as required by MSD, attend and participate in any interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD:
  4. as required by a contracted service provider assigned to the person, attend and participate in any interview with that provider:
  5. as required by MSD or a contracted service provider assigned to P, report to MSD or the service provider on P’s compliance with the obligations set out in paragraphs (a) to (d):
  6. co-operate with MSD, or a contracted service provider assigned to P, in managing the spending of the benefit received by P, as if that benefit were a youth support benefit:
  7. attend and participate in regular discussions on budgeting with an MSD employee or a contracted service provider.

If P meets the criteria prescribed in regulations made for the purposes of section 55 under section 418(1)(c), P is entitled to receive the appropriate incentive payment (if any) stated in subpart 3 of Part 6 of Schedule 4 as if he or she were receiving a youth payment.

P is not subject to the work test, or to work-preparation obligations.

If P is aged under 18 years when the obligations in subsection (2) start to apply to him or her, those obligations continue—

  1. until the close of the day that is 6 months after the date on which the obligations start to apply to P, even if he or she turns 18 during that 6-month period; or
  2. if P, on the day when he or she turns 18, is continuing in a course of education, training, or work-based learning, until,—
    1. if the course is a course of secondary instruction or if the course ends in December, the close of the following 31 March; or
    2. in any other case, the close of the day on which the course ends.

If paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (5) both apply to P, those obligations continue until the later of the 2 dates that apply under those paragraphs.

While P is subject to obligations under subsection (2) (being obligations to which P became subject on or after 25 October 2016), sections 341 and 342 and the obligation in section 162(1)(i) apply to P as if he or she were receiving a youth support payment.

Young person aged 16 to 19 years who has dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary

This section applies to a young person (P) who—

  1. is 16 to 19 years old; and
  2. is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary; and
  3. has 1 or more dependent children.

P must do the following things:

  1. be enrolled in and undertake to MSD’s satisfaction, or be available for, a full-time course of secondary instruction or tertiary education or approved training or work-based learning leading to—
    1. NCEA level 2; or
    2. a qualification that in MSD’s opinion is equivalent to NCEA level 2; or
    3. a higher qualification:
  2. as required by MSD, participate in and complete a budgeting programme approved by MSD for the purpose:
  3. as required by MSD, attend and participate in any interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD:
  4. as required by a contracted service provider assigned to the person, attend and participate in any interview with that provider:
  5. as required by MSD or a contracted service provider assigned to the person, report to MSD or the service provider on the person’s compliance with the obligations set out in paragraphs (a) to (d):
  6. co-operate with MSD, or a contracted service provider assigned to the person, in managing the spending of the benefit received by the person, as if that benefit were a youth support benefit:
  7. attend and participate in regular discussions on budgeting with an MSD employee or a contracted service provider.

P must also—

  1. as required by MSD, participate to MSD’s satisfaction in a parenting education programme approved by MSD for the purpose:
  2. enrol each dependent child with a primary health care provider (for example, a primary health organisation, or a prescribed health practitioner who is a provider of primary health care):
  3. take all reasonable steps to ensure that each dependent child under the age of 5 years is up to date with core checks under—
    1. the programme that immediately before 15 July 2013 was known as Well Child; or
    2. any similar programme established in its place:
  4. ensure that each dependent child under the age of 5 years attends an approved early childhood education programme or other suitable childcare while the young person is in education, training, work-based learning, or part-time work.

If P meets the criteria prescribed in regulations made for the purposes of section 62 under section 418(1)(d), P is entitled to receive the appropriate incentive payment (if any) stated in subpart 3 of Part 6 of Schedule 4 as if he or she were receiving a young parent payment.

P is not subject to the work test, or to work-preparation obligations.

If P is aged under 20 years when the obligations in subsections (2) and (3) start to apply to P, those obligations continue—

  1. until the close of the day that is 6 months after the date on which the obligations started to apply to P, even if he or she turns 20 during that 6-month period; or
  2. if P, on the day on which he or she turns 20, is continuing in a course of education, training, or work-based learning, until,—
    1. if the course is a course of secondary instruction or if the course ends in December, the close of the following 31 March; or
    2. in any other case, the close of the day on which the course ends.

If paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (6) both apply to P, those obligations continue until the later of the 2 dates that apply under those paragraphs.

While P is subject to obligations under subsection (2) or (3) (being obligations to which P became subject on or after 25 October 2016), sections 341 and 342 and the obligation in section 162(1)(i) apply to P as if he or she were receiving a youth support payment.

Young person aged 18 or 19 years, who is receiving jobseeker support as spouse or partner of person granted that benefit, or who is work-tested spouse or partner of specified beneficiary, and who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency

This section applies to a young person (P) aged 18 or 19 years without dependent children who—

  1. is receiving jobseeker support under sections 20 to 24 as the spouse or partner of the person granted the benefit; or
  2. is the work-tested spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary (other than a spouse or partner described in paragraph (a)).

If MSD determines that P is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency (as that risk is defined in subsection (8)), MSD may require P to receive services of a kind referred to in section 373(1)(a) (youth services).

In exercising the discretion under subsection (2), MSD may consider factors that affect MSD’s ability to provide the young person with youth services (for example, funding and capacity to provide the services in the young person’s area).

However, before requiring the young person to receive youth services, MSD must take reasonable steps to consult the young person about—

  1. the young person’s risk of long-term welfare dependency (as that risk is defined in subsection (8)); and
  2. the proposal to require the young person to receive youth services.

A requirement under subsection (2) that is placed on a young person who is aged 19 years at the time the requirement is made continues—

  1. until the close of the day that is 6 months after the date on which the requirement was placed on the young person, even if the young person turns 20 during that 6-month period; or
  2. in the case of a young person who, on the day on which he or she turns 20, is continuing in a course of education, training, or work-based learning, until,—
    1. if the course is a course of secondary instruction or if the course ends in December, the close of the following 31 March:
    2. in any other case, the close of the day on which the course ends.

The following apply to a young person who is required to receive youth services under subsection (2) as if the person’s jobseeker support, or the portion of the jobseeker support or the specified beneficiary’s benefit payable to the young person under section 337, were a youth payment:

  1. the obligations in section 162(1)(b) to (i) in addition to the young person’s work-test obligations or obligations under sections 124 and 125:
  2. sections 55 and 289 as if the appropriate incentive payments were those set out in clauses 8 and 9 in subpart 3 of Part 6 of Schedule 4:
  3. section 288:
  4. sections 339, 340, 341, and 378:
  5. regulations 4 and 5 and Part 2 of the Social Security (Criteria for Incentive Payments and Money Management) Regulations 2012 (as saved by clauses 12 and 41(3) of Schedule 1), or replacement regulations made under section 418(1)(c), (d), (l), and (m).

MSD may from time to time review a requirement placed on a young person under subsection (2) and may confirm or revoke it.

In this section, risk of long-term welfare dependency, in relation to a person, means the risk, determined using risk factors set by the Minister for the purposes of section 165 and this section by direction under section 7, that the person will, for an indefinite period, not be able to obtain full-time employment and will be likely to remain wholly or largely dependent for the person’s financial support on all or part of a main benefit under this Act.

Interpretation

In sections 164 to 167,—

approved early childhood education programme means an early childhood education programme approved by regulations made under section 424

core check means a check of a child's health and well-being that is—

  1. done under, and identified in contract or funding arrangements as an essential part of, the programme in question; and
  2. funded, directly or indirectly, through Vote Health

specified beneficiary means a person who is in a relationship and receives in his or her own right—

  1. an emergency benefit, supported living payment under section 34, or jobseeker support; or
  2. New Zealand superannuation paid at a rate specified in clause 1 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; or
  3. a veteran’s pension at the relationship (partner not receiving superannuation or pension) rate specified in regulations referred to in section 169 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014.

Specific obligations: obligation to work with contracted service providers

Obligation to work with contracted service providers

This section applies to a person (P) who receives 1 of the following benefits, whether in P’s own right or on behalf of P’s spouse or partner:

  1. jobseeker support:
  2. sole parent support:
  3. a supported living payment:
  4. an emergency benefit.

P must, when required by MSD,—

  1. attend and participate in any interview with a contracted service provider specified by MSD:
  2. attend and participate in any assessment of P undertaken on behalf of MSD by a contracted service provider specified by MSD:
  3. co-operate with a contracted service provider specified by MSD in facilitating the provision of the services that the provider has been contracted to provide in relation to P’s obligations under all or any of the following:
    1. conditions of an emergency benefit that MSD imposes or determines under section 63(5):
    2. work-preparation obligations (see sections 124 and 125):
    3. obligations in relation to dependent children (see sections 131 to 135):
    4. work-test obligations (see sections 144 and 146):
  4. report to a contracted service provider specified by MSD on P's compliance with P's obligations under this Act as often as, and in the manner that, the provider reasonably requires.
Person who fails to comply with requirement under section 170(2) subject to sanction

A person (P) is subject to a sanction (see section 233(f)) if MSD is satisfied that P has, without a good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a requirement to take any of the steps listed in section 170(2).

General obligations: obligations in relation to overseas pensions

Interpretation

In sections 173 to 180,—

NZ benefits legislation means all or any of the following enactments:

  1. this Act:
  2. the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001:
  3. Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014

overseas pension has the same meaning given to it by section 187 for the purposes of sections 187 to 190.

Applicant for benefit, etc, to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension

This section applies if—

  1. a person (A) is an applicant for a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation; and
  2. 1 or more of the following persons may be entitled to an overseas pension or may be granted an overseas pension:
    1. A:
    2. A’s spouse or partner:
    3. A’s dependant.

If this section applies,—

  1. A and A’s spouse or partner must take all reasonable steps to obtain the overseas pension to which either or both of them may be entitled or that may be granted to either or both of them; and
  2. A must take all reasonable steps to obtain the overseas pension to which A’s dependant may be entitled or that may be granted to A’s dependant.
MSD may give notice requiring person to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension

MSD may give a notice to any of the following persons requiring that person to take all reasonable steps to obtain an overseas pension to which that person may be entitled or which that person may be granted:

  1. an applicant (A) for a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation:
  2. a recipient (R) of a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation:
  3. the spouse or partner of A or R.

The notice must—

  1. be in writing; and
  2. specify that the person to whom the notice is given must take all reasonable steps to obtain the overseas pension for that person; and
  3. specify the period during which the person must take the necessary steps.
MSD may give notice requiring person to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension for dependant

MSD may give a notice to any of the following persons requiring that person to take all reasonable steps to obtain an overseas pension to which his or her dependant may be entitled or which his or her dependant may be granted:

  1. an applicant for a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation:
  2. a recipient of a benefit under any of those enactments.

The notice must—

  1. be in writing; and
  2. specify that the person to whom the notice is given must take all reasonable steps to obtain the overseas pension for his or her dependant; and
  3. specify the period during which the person must take the necessary steps.
Failure to comply with MSD’s notice given under section 174 or 175

This section applies if a person to whom a notice has been given under section 174 or 175 fails to comply with that notice.

MSD may—

  1. in the case of an applicant for a benefit, refuse to grant the benefit:
  2. in the case of a beneficiary or his or her spouse or partner, suspend the benefit.

A benefit suspended under subsection (2)(b) remains suspended until—

  1. the beneficiary or his or her spouse or partner satisfies MSD that he or she has taken all reasonable steps to obtain the overseas pension; or
  2. MSD cancels the benefit under subsection (4).

MSD may, not less than 40 working days after suspension of a benefit under subsection (2)(b), cancel the benefit from the date that MSD determines.

Applicant for benefit must provide information as to rate of overseas pension

This section applies if a person (A) applies for a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation.

A must provide MSD with information establishing to MSD’s satisfaction the rate of any overseas pension that is received by any of the following persons:

  1. A:
  2. A’s spouse or partner:
  3. A’s dependant.

MSD may refuse to grant a benefit to an applicant who has not complied with subsection (2) within 10 working days after applying for the benefit.

MSD may give notice requiring beneficiary to provide information as to rate of overseas pension

This section applies if a person (P) receives a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation.

MSD may give P a written notice requiring P to provide MSD with information establishing to MSD’s satisfaction the rate of any overseas pension that is received by any of the following persons:

  1. P:
  2. P’s spouse or partner:
  3. P’s dependant.
Failure to comply with MSD’s notice given under section 178

This section applies if a person to whom a notice has been given under section 178 fails to comply with that notice within 10 working days after the notice has been given.

MSD may suspend the benefit, which remains suspended until—

  1. the beneficiary establishes to MSD’s satisfaction the rate of the overseas pension; or
  2. MSD cancels the benefit under subsection (3).

MSD may, not less than 40 working days after suspension of a benefit under subsection (2), cancel the benefit from the date that MSD determines.

Meaning of rate

In sections 177 to 179, rate, in relation to an overseas pension, means the rate of that pension in the currency of the country paying that pension.

Miscellaneous

Application of health and safety legislation, etc

This section applies if a person (P)—

  1. is doing work as part of a job search activity in accordance with P’s work-test obligations or under section 261 or 324; or
  2. is a beneficiary and is doing work as part of an employment-related activity or activity in the community arranged by MSD.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and the Human Rights Act 1993 apply to P, and to the person (B) providing the work that person P is doing, as if P were—

  1. a worker in B’s business or undertaking; or
  2. B’s employee.

Except as provided in subsection (2), nothing in this Part creates or implies an employment relationship between P and B.

Obligations suspended where MSD has exercised discretion to pay benefit while beneficiary overseas

This section applies if MSD has exercised its discretion under any regulations made under section 436 to pay a benefit to a person (P) for a period of absence by P from New Zealand.

During the period of absence for which the benefit is paid, P is not required to comply with his or her work-test or work-preparation obligations or young person or young parent obligations.

Part 4

Factors affecting benefits

Subpart 1 — Guide to this Part

What this Part does

This Part sets out the factors that may affect a benefit.

The factors affecting a benefit are:

  1. pre-benefit activities:
  2. insurance recovery:
  3. entitlement to an overseas pension:
  4. [Repealed]
  5. shared care of a dependent child:
  6. compensation or damages:
  7. the grant of a veteran’s entitlement:
  8. a personal benefit excluding a benefit on behalf of a spouse or partner:
  9. a maintenance claim:
  10. a family protection claim:
  11. not being ordinarily resident in New Zealand:
  12. refugee or protected person status:
  13. hospitalisation:
  14. alcohol and drug treatment:
  15. the issue of a warrant for a beneficiary’s arrest:
  16. custody in prison or on remand:
  17. absence from New Zealand:
  18. [Repealed]
  19. voluntary unemployment or loss of employment through misconduct, etc:
  20. a non-entitlement period, stand down, or 100% suspension of benefit.

Subpart 2 — Factors affecting benefits

Factors affecting benefits: pre-benefit activities

Regulations may prescribe pre-benefit activities

MSD may, in accordance with regulations made under section 432,—

  1. require a person who contacts MSD requesting financial assistance under this Act or that person’s spouse or partner (if any) to undertake 1 or more pre-benefit activities; and
  2. impose consequences for non-compliance, without a good and sufficient reason, with a requirement to undertake the 1 or more pre-benefit activities.
MSD must explain requirements

MSD must take reasonable and appropriate steps to make every person on whom any requirements are placed under regulations made under section 432 (the regulations) aware of the following:

  1. the person's obligations (as set out in the regulations) in relation to the requirements; and
  2. the consequences (as set out in the regulations) of failure to comply with the requirements; and
  3. when a requirement is to be, or has been, revoked, and when the revocation takes, or took, effect.

Factors affecting benefits: insurance recovery

Benefit may be subject to repayment of insurance payment

MSD may, in accordance with regulations made under section 433, make the grant of a benefit or the rate of the benefit subject to repayment to MSD of all or part of an insurance payment of a kind or description, or that falls within a class or definition, prescribed by those regulations.

Factors reducing benefits: entitlement to overseas pensions

Interpretation

In this section and in sections 188 to 190,—

NZ benefits legislation means all or any of the following enactments:

  1. this Act:
  2. Part 1 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001:
  3. Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014

overseas pension means a benefit, pension, or periodical allowance, or any part of it, that—

  1. is granted elsewhere than in New Zealand; and
  2. is determined by MSD to be a payment that is part of a programme that—
    1. provides benefits, pensions, or periodical allowances for any of the contingencies for which benefits, pensions, or allowances may be paid under NZ benefits legislation; and
    2. is administered by or on behalf of the Government of the country from which the benefit, pension, or periodical allowance is received; and
  3. is not a Government occupational pension (as defined in Schedule 2); and
  4. is not determined by MSD to be in the nature of, and paid for similar purposes as,—
    1. compensation for injury or death for which payment could be made under the Accident Compensation Act 2001 if the injury or death had occurred in New Zealand after the commencement of that Act; or
    2. a war pension or allowance granted under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 of a type that would not affect any recipient’s entitlement to a benefit under sections 18 and 199 to 201 of this Act unless the pension or allowance is a pension or payment granted under Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014; or
    3. a disability allowance; and
  5. is not determined by MSD to be attributable to any voluntary contributions made by or on behalf of the person to whom it is granted or the person’s spouse, partner, or parent.
Persons affected by receipt of overseas pension

A person (P) is a person affected by the receipt of an overseas pension if P is a person who is qualified to receive a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation and—

  1. P is entitled to receive or receives an overseas pension in respect of any of the following persons:
    1. P:
    2. P’s spouse or partner:
    3. any dependant of P; or
  2. P’s spouse or partner is entitled to receive or receives an overseas pension; or
  3. any of P’s dependants is entitled to receive or receives an overseas pension.
Benefit of person affected is reduced by amount of overseas pension

The rate of the benefit or benefits that would otherwise be payable under the NZ benefits legislation to a person affected by the receipt of an overseas pension must be reduced by the amount of the overseas pension as determined by MSD under regulations made under section 434.

The rate of New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension that a person is qualified to receive must not be reduced under this section by any amount of an overseas pension if the New Zealand superannuation or veteran’s pension is payable to the person overseas under section 26 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 or section 182 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014.

The rate of New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension, or related winter energy payment, that a person is qualified to receive must not be reduced under this section by any amount of an overseas pension that—

  1. the person is entitled to receive or receives in respect of the person’s spouse or partner (as referred to in section 188(a)(ii)); or
  2. the person’s spouse or partner is entitled to receive or receives (as referred to in section 188(b)).

See clause 82 of Schedule 1 in relation to the application of subsection (3) to persons who are qualified to receive New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension at certain grandparented rates.

The rate of New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension, or related winter energy payment, that a person is qualified to receive must not be reduced under this section by any amount of an overseas pension that—

  1. the person is entitled to receive or receives in respect of any of the person’s dependants (as referred to in section 188(a)(iii)); or
  2. any of the person’s dependants is entitled to receive or receives (as referred to in section 188(c)).

In this section, a person is qualified to receive a related winter energy payment if the person is entitled to receive a winter energy payment under section 72 because New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension is payable to the person.

MSD may enter into arrangement with person affected by receipt of overseas pension

MSD may, in accordance with regulations made under section 434, enter into an arrangement with a person affected by the receipt of an overseas pension (P) to pay P the rate of a benefit or benefits under the NZ benefits legislation in consideration of MSD receiving an amount that is equivalent to the amount of the overseas pension in question.

Treatment of certain overseas benefits, pensions, and allowances that are not overseas pensions

This section applies to a benefit, pension, or periodical allowance, or any part of it, that—

  1. is granted elsewhere than in New Zealand; and
  2. is administered by or on behalf of the Government of the country from which the benefit, pension, or periodical allowance is received; and
  3. is determined by MSD to be in the nature of, and paid for similar purposes as,—
    1. compensation for injury or death for which payment could be made under the Accident Compensation Act 2001 if the injury or death had occurred in New Zealand after the commencement of that Act; or
    2. a war pension or allowance granted under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 of a type that would not affect any recipient’s entitlement to a benefit under sections 18 and 199 to 201 of this Act unless the pension or allowance is a pension or payment granted under Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014; or
    3. a disability allowance.

MSD must treat a benefit, pension, or periodical allowance, or any part of it, to which this section applies as if it were in fact the relevant compensation, pension, or allowance specified in subsection (1)(c) (see, for example, sections 18, 87, and 199 to 201).

Factors reducing benefits: failure to assist child support [Repealed]

MSD must reduce rates of benefits for sole parents for failure to assist child support

[Repealed]

No reduction in certain cases

[Repealed]

Additional reduction in certain cases

[Repealed]

Factors affecting eligibility for benefit: shared care of dependent child

Shared care of dependent child

This section applies if—

  1. the parents of a dependent child live apart; and
  2. both parents receive benefits; and
  3. each parent has the primary responsibility for the care of the child for at least 40% of the time.

In assessing the benefit and rate of benefit of each parent, MSD must treat the child as a dependent child in assessing the benefit and rate of the primarily responsible parent only.

In subsection (2), the primarily responsible parent is—

  1. the parent who MSD decides has the greater responsibility for the child; or
  2. if MSD is unable to make a decision under paragraph (a), the parent who MSD decides was the child’s principal caregiver immediately before the parents began living apart; or
  3. if MSD is unable to make a decision under paragraph (a) or (b), the parent who the parents agree is the primarily responsible parent.

If the primarily responsible parent cannot be identified under subsection (3), MSD must not take the child into account in assessing the benefit and rate of benefit of either parent until the parents agree who is the primarily responsible parent.

Rules for assessing which parent has greater responsibility for dependent child

For the purposes of deciding under section 195(3)(a) which parent has greater responsibility for the child, MSD must have regard primarily to the time that the child is in the care of each parent and then to the following factors:

  1. how the responsibility for decisions about the daily activities of the child is shared; and
  2. who is responsible for taking the child to and from school and supervising that child's leisure activities; and
  3. how decisions about the education or health care of the child are made; and
  4. the financial arrangements for the child's material support; and
  5. which parent pays for which expenses of the child.

Factors reducing benefits: compensation or damages

Effect of compensation or damages on application for benefit

This section applies if—

  1. a person (P) applies for a benefit; and
  2. P has been paid or has a claim for compensation or damages from any other person in respect of—
    1. any disability caused by accident or disease; or
    2. wrongful or unjustifiable dismissal.

If P has been paid compensation or damages, MSD may refuse the benefit or grant a reduced benefit for the period of disability or loss of expectation of employment for which the compensation or damages have been paid or deemed by MSD to have been paid.

If P has a claim for compensation or damages, MSD may grant the benefit on the condition that MSD may require P to repay MSD all or part of the benefit out of the compensation or damages that are paid to P as a result of the claim.

If a benefit or part of a benefit is granted on the condition set out in subsection (3), the benefit or the part of it—

  1. constitutes a charge on the compensation or damages; and
  2. is a debt due to the Crown under regulations made under section 444 from the beneficiary or any person liable for the payment of the compensation or damages; and
  3. is subject to recovery under regulations made under section 444 from the beneficiary or any person liable for the payment of the compensation or damages.

In this section, compensation or damages

  1. includes any ex gratia payment made in settlement or on account of a claim for compensation or damages; but
  2. does not include any impairment lump sum received under Schedule 1 of the Accident Compensation Act 2001.
Loss of earnings compensation under Accident Compensation Act 2001

This section applies if—

  1. a person (P) is entitled to a specified benefit as defined in subsection (3); and
  2. either of the following persons is entitled to receive or receives weekly loss of earnings compensation:
    1. P, on P’s own account or in respect of P’s spouse or partner or of P’s dependent child:
    2. P’s spouse or partner.

MSD must reduce the rate of the specified benefit payable to P by the amount of weekly loss of earnings compensation received by P or P’s spouse or partner (unless this subsection does not apply because of the exception in clause 31 of Schedule 1).

In this section,—

specified benefit means a main benefit under this Act, an orphan’s benefit, an unsupported child’s benefit, and a veteran’s pension subject to abatement under section 171 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014

weekly loss of earnings compensation means weekly compensation for loss of earnings or loss of potential earning capacity payable to a person under the Accident Compensation Act 2001.

Factors affecting benefit: veteran's entitlement

Veteran’s entitlement excludes any other benefit

A person (P) who is granted an entitlement under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 or in respect of whom an entitlement under that Act is payable is not entitled to any other benefit under this Act.

Subsection (1) is subject to section 200.

Exceptions to rule that veteran’s entitlement excludes any other benefit

Section 199(1) does not apply if the entitlement under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 is any of the following:

  1. a pension or allowance granted to P on the ground of P’s disablement:
  2. a pension or allowance under Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014:
  3. a surviving spouse or partner pension granted under Part 3 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014:
  4. an allowance for services rendered as an attendant on a disabled member of the New Zealand or any other Commonwealth forces or of the Emergency Reserve Corps or of the New Zealand mercantile marine.

Section 199(1) does not exclude a person who is paid a children’s pension under section 72 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 from eligibility for any of the following benefits:

  1. a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness:
  2. jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability:
  3. a youth payment or young parent payment granted to a person who qualifies for an exemption from the obligation to undertake education or training or work-based learning (as defined in section 162(4)) on the ground of the person’s health condition (for example, sickness), injury, or disability:
  4. a child disability allowance.

Factors affecting benefit: personal benefit excludes benefit on behalf

Personal benefit of spouse or partner excludes benefit on behalf of spouse or partner

This section applies to a part of a benefit if the part is payable in respect of a person’s (P’s) spouse or partner.

The part must not be paid for a period when a personal benefit is payable in respect of P’s spouse or partner.

This section is subject to regulations made under section 442(2)(e) (regulations: payments: apportionment) for the purposes of section 337 (how benefits are paid).

Factors affecting benefit: maintenance claim

MSD may refuse or cancel benefit for failure to take reasonable steps to obtain maintenance

This section applies if MSD is satisfied an applicant has failed to take reasonable steps to obtain, or has foregone rights to, maintenance the applicant may be entitled to in respect of the applicant under the Family Proceedings Act 1980 or any other Act.

MSD may refuse to grant a benefit, cancel or reduce a benefit already granted, or grant a benefit at a reduced rate.

Factors affecting benefit: family protection claim

MSD may refuse or cancel benefit if family protection claim not pursued

This section applies if a person (P) who is a beneficiary or an applicant for a benefit, in MSD’s view,—

  1. has a tenable claim under the Family Protection Act 1955 for a share of or provision out of the estate of a deceased relative; and
  2. has failed to take reasonable steps to advance that claim, including bringing or participating in court proceedings to enforce P’s claim.

MSD may refuse to grant the benefit, grant it at a reduced rate, or cancel a benefit already granted.

MSD may intervene in court proceedings for enforcing P’s claim under the Family Protection Act 1955 and may give evidence or make submissions in support of P’s claim.

Factors affecting benefit: person not ordinarily resident in New Zealand

MSD may refuse or cancel benefit if person not ordinarily resident in New Zealand

MSD may refuse to grant a benefit, cancel or reduce a benefit already granted, or grant a benefit at a reduced rate, if MSD is satisfied that the applicant, or the spouse or partner of the applicant or any person in respect of whom the benefit or any part of the benefit is or would be payable, is not ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

This section does not apply to—

  1. New Zealand superannuation being paid overseas under section 26 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 (see section 29(4A) of that Act); or
  2. New Zealand superannuation payable to a person resident in a specified Pacific country under section 31 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 (see section 35(2) of that Act); or
  3. a veteran’s pension being paid overseas under section 182 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 (see section 189(3) of that Act); or
  4. a veteran’s pension payable to a person resident in a specified Pacific country under section 191 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 (see section 195(2) of that Act):
  5. a benefit payable under any reciprocity agreement with another country adopted by an order made under section 380.

Factors affecting benefit: refugee or protected person status

Refugee or protected person status

This section applies if MSD is satisfied that a person (P) is any of the following:

  1. a person lawfully present in New Zealand who is awaiting the outcome of the person’s claim for recognition as a refugee or a protected person:
  2. a person who is recognised as a refugee or protected person:
  3. a person applying for a residence class visa under the Immigration Act 2009 who is compelled to remain in New Zealand because of unforeseen circumstances.

MSD may grant P—

  1. an emergency benefit under section 63:
  2. temporary additional support under section 96.

This section overrides section 16 (residential requirement) and section 19 (general limitation on receiving benefit: persons unlawfully resident or present in New Zealand and persons holding temporary entry class visa).

Factors affecting benefit: hospitalisation

Hospitalisation

The main benefit under this Act of a person (P) is affected by hospitalisation if P—

  1. is in hospital for a period of more than 13 weeks; and
  2. has a spouse or partner but no dependent children or is single.

The rate of P’s benefit after the 13th week is the rate specified in Part 12 of Schedule 4 except that MSD may pay P a higher rate after taking into account P’s personal financial circumstances.

The rate of benefit that is paid to P under subsection (2) is not affected by any absence or absences from hospital of P—

  1. after the 13th week of hospitalisation; and
  2. lasting no longer than 28 days.
Benefit of spouse or partner increased after 13th week of hospitalisation

This section applies if—

  1. a person’s (P’s) main benefit under this Act is reduced under section 206; and
  2. P has a spouse or partner who is not in hospital or has been in hospital for less than 13 weeks; and
  3. a specified benefit is payable to or in respect of P’s spouse or partner.

The specified benefit of P’s spouse or partner must be increased, starting on the date on which P’s main benefit is reduced, by an amount equal to the difference between—

  1. the maximum rate of that specified benefit that is payable to a single person; and
  2. the maximum rate of that specified benefit that is payable to a person who has a spouse or partner and whose spouse or partner is receiving a main benefit of the kind reduced.

See section 19 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001, under which a spouse’s or partner’s specified benefit is similarly increased when P is the beneficiary of New Zealand superannuation that is payable, as a result of P’s hospitalisation, at a reduced rate.

Nothing in this section entitles a single person or a couple who are in a relationship to be paid a greater amount of benefit, as a result of hospitalisation, than would otherwise have been payable.

In this section, specified benefit means—

  1. a main benefit under this Act; or
  2. New Zealand superannuation; or
  3. a veteran’s pension.

Factors affecting benefit: alcohol and drug treatment

Beneficiary resident in institution for treatment of alcoholism or drug addiction

This section applies if a person (P) is—

  1. a beneficiary; and
  2. a resident of an institution for the treatment of alcoholism or drug addiction.

The rate of any benefit payable to P while a resident of the institution is determined by MSD after taking into account P’s personal financial circumstances.

In subsection (1), institution for the treatment of alcoholism or drug addiction means a treatment centre under the Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017 (the 2017 Act) (not being a psychiatric security institution within the meaning of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992) or any institution that fulfils a similar purpose to a treatment centre under the 2017 Act.

Factors affecting benefit: issue of warrant for beneficiary’s arrest

Benefit not payable to person who is subject to warrant of arrest

A benefit is not payable to a person (P) if MSD is satisfied that—

  1. P is a beneficiary who receives a main benefit under this Act, New Zealand superannuation, or a veteran’s pension; and
  2. criminal proceedings have been commenced against P in a New Zealand court for an offence; and
  3. a warrant has been issued by a New Zealand court (or judge or registrar of a New Zealand court) for P’s arrest in connection with those proceedings; and
  4. the warrant has not been resolved and at least 28 days have elapsed since the date on which the warrant was issued.

However, MSD must not stop under this section payment of P’s benefit unless MSD has first—

  1. followed the procedure set out in sections 211 and 212; and
  2. considered P’s response, if any, to the unresolved warrant notice given under section 211.

A benefit the payment of which is stopped under this section remains not payable until MSD is satisfied that P is not the subject of the warrant or that the warrant has been resolved.

Nothing in this section affects the power of MSD to suspend immediately the benefit of a person under section 213.

Beneficiary and offence defined for section 209

In section 209,—

beneficiary excludes a person who is 1 of the following:

  1. a young person (as defined in section 2(1) of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989):
  2. a person who falls within a class, description, or kind of beneficiary that is excluded from the operation of section 209 by regulations made under section 435

offence excludes an offence of a class, description, or kind excluded from the operation of section 209 by regulations made under section 435.

MSD must give beneficiary notice of unresolved warrant

As soon as practicable after MSD is notified of the issue of the warrant, MSD must give P a notice for the purposes of this section (an unresolved warrant notice) that complies with section 212.

Requirements for unresolved warrant notice

An unresolved warrant notice must—

  1. specify a period of 10 working days within which the person to whom the notice is delivered (P) may—
    1. dispute that P is the person to whom the warrant applies; or
    2. take steps to resolve the warrant; and
  2. specify the steps that P may take to dispute that P is the subject of the warrant or to resolve the warrant; and
  3. specify the consequences if P fails to resolve the warrant within the 10-working-day period.

An unresolved warrant notice that involves information supplied by the Ministry of Justice under clause 15 of Schedule 6 may be combined with a notice of adverse action given under section 181(1) of the Privacy Act 2020.

Immediate suspension of benefit at request of New Zealand Police

MSD may suspend immediately a benefit payable to a person (P) if—

  1. MSD is satisfied that—
    1. criminal proceedings have been commenced against P in a New Zealand court for an offence; and
    2. a warrant has been issued in New Zealand for P’s arrest in connection with those proceedings; and
    3. the warrant has not been resolved; and
  2. the New Zealand Police has given MSD a written notice that—
    1. states that the Commissioner of Police considers on reasonable grounds that P is a risk to public safety; and
    2. requests MSD on the ground of that risk to suspend the benefit payable to P; and
    3. is signed by the Commissioner or by a constable who occupies a position of the level of inspector or above.
Beneficiary and offence defined for section 213

In section 213,—

beneficiary excludes a person who is 1 of the following:

  1. a young person (as defined in section 2(1) of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989):
  2. a person who falls within a class, description, or kind of beneficiary that is excluded from the operation of section 213 by regulations made under section 435

offence excludes an offence of a class, description, or kind excluded from the operation of section 213 by regulations made under section 435.

MSD must give beneficiary notice of immediate suspension

This section applies if under section 213 MSD suspends immediately a benefit payable to a person (P).

As soon as reasonably practicable, MSD must give P a written notice that—

  1. states that the benefit has been suspended; and
  2. states the reason for the suspension; and
  3. specifies the steps that P may take to dispute that P is the subject of the warrant or to resolve the warrant.
Effect of non-payment or suspension of benefit

The following sections apply to a benefit (as if it had been suspended under section 232) that is not payable under section 209 or is suspended under section 213:

  1. section 230:
  2. section 245:
  3. section 246:
  4. section 248.

However, section 245 (which protects a spouse or partner) ceases to apply under subsection (1)(b) to the benefit at the close of the 28th day after the date on which it becomes not payable or is suspended.

Subsection (1)(b) does not apply if—

  1. the person whose benefit is suspended under section 213 is not receiving a main benefit under this Act; or
  2. the spouse or partner of the person whose benefit is suspended under section 213 is receiving a main benefit under this Act in the spouse’s or partner’s own right.

Factors affecting benefit: custody in prison or on remand

Benefit not payable during custody in prison or on remand

A benefit is not payable to a person (P) for any period during which P is—

  1. in custody in prison; or
  2. in custody on remand; or
  3. an escapee from custody in prison.

In this section and section 218,—

custody in prison means custody in prison under a sentence of imprisonment or preventive detention

custody on remand means custody on remand by a court pending a further appearance before a court.

For the purposes of this section,—

  1. MSD may regard as time spent in custody in prison or custody on remand time spent by a beneficiary in a hospital during a period of custody; and
  2. a person does not cease to be in custody by being released for a period of 24 hours or less for a purpose authorised by the Corrections Act 2004.
Exceptions to rule that benefit not payable during custody in prison or on remand

MSD may continue payment to a beneficiary of New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension for 2 pay days after the first day of custody in prison.

MSD may pay all or part of a benefit to—

  1. the spouse or partner of a person in custody in prison or of an escapee from that custody; or
  2. any responsible person for the benefit of—
    1. that spouse or partner; or
    2. the dependent child or children of a person in custody in prison or of an escapee from that custody.

MSD may pay all or part of a benefit to a beneficiary in custody on remand after taking into account the beneficiary’s personal financial circumstances.

Factors affecting benefit: absence from New Zealand

General rule: benefit not payable while beneficiary absent from New Zealand

For any period during which a person is absent from New Zealand, a benefit is not payable to that person.

However, this section does not apply to a benefit payable under—

  1. subpart 11 of Part 2 (winter energy payment); or
  2. sections 21 to 35 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; or
  3. sections 176 to 196 of the Veterans' Support Act 2014; or
  4. any reciprocity agreement with another country adopted by an order made under section 380.

This section is also subject to the exceptions, or other contrary or related provisions, contained in regulations made under section 436.

Special absence rule: winter energy payment

The winter energy payment is not payable for 1 or more days while a beneficiary is absent from New Zealand unless it is so payable under subsection (2).

The winter energy payment is payable to a beneficiary for up to a maximum of 28 days of any 1 or more absences (however long each absence lasts in total) of the beneficiary from New Zealand during the winter period (as defined in section 71) if—

  1. the payment would be payable to the beneficiary were it not for those days of those absences; and
  2. MSD is satisfied that those days of those absences do not affect the beneficiary’s eligibility for the payment under section 72.

Sections 219 and 436 do not apply to the winter energy payment.

Factors affecting benefit: additional dependent child [Repealed]

Purpose of sections 222 to 224

[Repealed]

Additional dependent child must not be taken into account in certain cases

[Repealed]

Extended application of additional dependent child rules

[Repealed]

Limited application of additional dependent child rules

[Repealed]

Factors affecting benefit: voluntary unemployment or loss of employment through misconduct, etc

Basic rule: no work-tested benefit for 13 weeks after leaving employment or scheme or loss of employment due to misconduct

A person is not entitled to a work-tested benefit for a period of 13 weeks after ceasing employment if MSD is satisfied that the person has—

  1. left that employment voluntarily without good and sufficient reason; or
  2. lost that employment because of misconduct as an employee.

A person is not entitled to a work-tested benefit for a period of 13 weeks after ceasing to participate in a scheme if MSD is satisfied that the person—

  1. has been receiving payments under the scheme and has voluntarily ceased to participate in the scheme without good and sufficient reason; or
  2. has ceased to participate in the scheme because of misconduct.

This section is subject to section 323.

Persons to whom basic rule applies

The basic rule applies to the following persons:

  1. a work-tested beneficiary:
  2. an applicant for a benefit who would become a work-tested beneficiary if the benefit were granted:
  3. the spouse or partner of an applicant for a couple rate of benefit who would become a work-tested spouse or partner if the benefit were granted:
  4. an applicant for jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability who has the capacity for part-time work.
What happens if basic rule applies

If the basic rule applies to a person (P),—

  1. MSD must cancel the benefit (if granted); and
  2. must not grant P the benefit in any other case; and
  3. P is not entitled, during the 13-week period, to the cancelled benefit or a work-tested benefit.

However, under section 228, MSD may decide not to apply subsection (1).

Subsection (1) is subject to sections 246 to 248, 320, 323, and 324.

MSD’s options in case of misconduct

If the basic rule applies to a person (P) because of misconduct, MSD has 2 additional options:

  1. MSD may decide that the basic rule should not apply to P; or
  2. MSD may decide that the benefit should be paid to P, or paid without reduction, subject to the condition that MSD may require P to repay the benefit or part of it if a court or person or body authorised by law to determine the matter determines the misconduct to be proved.

Any amount that MSD requires P to repay under subsection (1)(b) is a debt due to the Crown under regulations made under section 444 and may be recovered from P under regulations made under section 444.

Interpretation

For the purposes of this section and sections 225 to 228,—

basic rule means the rule set out in section 225

benefit means a work-tested benefit

employment,—

  1. in the case of an applicant for a work-tested benefit, means—
    1. full-time employment; or
    2. part-time employment if MSD is satisfied that, for a period of not less than 13 weeks preceding the termination of the employment, the income from that employment was sufficient to maintain the person; and
  2. in the case of a part-time work-tested beneficiary, means regular part-time work; and
  3. in the case of any other work-tested beneficiary, means full-time employment; but
  4. does not include redundancy

scheme means a Government-assisted scheme that MSD considers analogous to a benefit.

Factors affecting benefits: non-entitlement period, stand down, or 100% suspension of benefit

How non-entitlement period, etc, affects supplementary benefits, and spouse or partner

This section applies while a person is subject to—

  1. a non-entitlement period; or
  2. a stand down under section 316 (start and calculation of stand-down period); or
  3. a sanction of suspension of 100% of a benefit under section 237, 270, or 280.

The person is not entitled to receive—

  1. an emergency benefit; or
  2. an accommodation supplement; or
  3. temporary additional support.

However, an accommodation supplement that an applicant was receiving immediately before the applicant applied for a benefit continues, despite subsections (1)(b) and (2)(b), at the same rate for the period of non-entitlement.

If a person’s spouse or partner is under section 316 (start and calculation of stand-down period) not entitled to a benefit, then (under this subsection, and despite any contrary provision of this Act) the person is also not entitled to the benefit.

Part 5

Enforcement: sanctions and offences

Subpart 1 — Guide to this Part

What this Part does

This Part sets out—

  1. the sanctions that may be imposed for a breach of an obligation under this Act:
  2. the offences that are created by this Act.

Subpart 2 — Sanctions for breach of obligations other than young person or young parent obligations

Types of sanction

Sanctions for failure to comply with certain obligations under this Act

MSD must under this section impose a sanction if MSD considers that a person has failed without good and sufficient reason to comply with 1 or more obligations under this Act that are specified in section 233.

The sanction is 1 of the following (in accordance with section 234):

  1. reduction in a main benefit:
  2. suspension of a main benefit:
  3. cancellation of a main benefit.
Obligations that carry sanction for failure to comply

The obligations referred to in section 232(1) are the following:

  1. obligation to comply with a requirement under section 118 to attend and participate in a work ability assessment or reassessment:
  2. obligation to comply with a work-preparation obligation under section 124 or 125:
  3. obligation to comply with an obligation under sections 131 to 135 in relation to dependent children:
  4. obligation to comply with a work-test obligation under section 144 or 146:
    Example

    A work-test obligation—

    1. under section 144(a), 144(c), 146(1)(d)(ii), or 146(1)(d)(iv); and
    2. that, under section 147(2), includes the obligation under section 147(1) to undertake and pass a drug test.
  5. obligation to comply with a requirement under section 158(4) to attend an interview:
  6. obligation to comply with a requirement under section 170(2) in relation to working with contracted service providers.

Hierarchy of sanctions

Hierarchy of sanctions

The sanction that MSD must impose under section 232(1) is,—

  1. for a first failure, reduction in a main benefit:
  2. for a second failure, suspension of a main benefit:
  3. for a third failure, cancellation of a main benefit.
Failure, and first, second, and third failure, defined for obligations other than young person or young parent obligations

In this subpart,—

failure means a failure to comply with an obligation for which MSD must impose a sanction

first failure means the first failure to comply with an obligation for which MSD must impose a sanction

second failure means a failure that occurs after a person has recomplied with the obligation to which a first failure related

third failure means a failure that occurs after a person has recomplied with the obligation to which a second failure related.

Sanction for first failure: reduction in main benefit

For a first failure by a person (P), MSD must—

  1. reduce P’s main benefit by half until P recomplies; and
  2. if P fails to recomply within 4 weeks after the initial reduction takes effect, reduce P’s main benefit to zero until P complies.

This section is subject to sections 245 to 248 and 320 to 324.

Sanction for second failure: suspension of main benefit

For a second failure by a person (P), MSD must suspend P’s main benefit until P recomplies.

This section is subject to sections 245 to 248 and 320 to 324.

Sanction for third failure: cancellation of main benefit

For a third failure by a person (P), MSD must cancel P’s main benefit.

On cancellation under this section of P’s main benefit,—

  1. P is not entitled to receive any main benefit under this Act for 13 weeks from the date of cancellation; and
  2. to be again entitled to a main benefit under this Act, P must apply for the benefit and establish that P is eligible for it.

This section is subject to sections 245 to 248 and 320 to 324.

Reduction or suspension of reduced benefit

If a person’s specified benefit (as defined in section 331) is reduced under section 236 or suspended under section 237, and the person is regranted a specified benefit under section 336, the reduction or suspension continues to apply to the regranted specified benefit on and after its commencement until the person recomplies.

How number of failures is counted

Failures that can be counted

A failure can be counted if it occurs during a period of continuous payment of a main benefit, whether or not it is the same benefit.

For the purposes of subsection (1), MSD must treat as the same benefit:

  1. a specified benefit that expires under section 332; and
  2. a specified benefit regranted to the beneficiary under section 336.
Meaning of continuous payment

For the purposes of section 240(1), 2 or more different main benefits paid to a beneficiary do not give rise to a period of continuous payment in respect of the beneficiary of those 2 or more different main benefits if—

  1. one of those 2 or more different main benefits is a youth payment or a young parent payment; and
  2. the other of, or (as the case may be) the rest of, those 2 or more different main benefits is 1 or more or all of sole parent support, supported living payment, jobseeker support, and emergency benefit.

Subsection (1) does not affect section 240(1) applying (under section 287) with all necessary modifications to the imposition of sanctions under subpart 3 in respect of failures that—

  1. are failures by a young person who is receiving a youth payment or a young parent payment; and
  2. are failures, without good and sufficient reason, to comply with an obligation placed on the young person by section 162 or 164; and
  3. occur during a period of continuous payment in respect of the young person of—
    1. the same benefit (that is, a youth payment or a young parent payment); or
    2. 2 or more different benefits (that is a youth payment and a young parent payment, in whatever sequence paid).

In determining whether a main benefit has been continuously paid, MSD must disregard any period during which the benefit was cancelled or suspended because the beneficiary commenced in employment that continued for less than 10 working days.

In subsection (3), working day means a day on which a person was required to work in the employment in question.

Failures that cannot be counted

A failure cannot be counted if it occurred more than 12 months before the failure for which the calculation is made.

For the purposes of subsection (1), a failure occurs on the date MSD decides that the beneficiary has failed, without a good and sufficient reason, to comply with the appropriate obligation.

This section does not affect the implementation, after the 12-month period, of a sanction based on any prior calculation of the number of failures by a person to comply with the appropriate work-test obligation or other obligation imposed by this Act.

Special cases: variations on ordinary sanctions rules

Exclusion of sanction if failure is subject of prosecution under Education and Training Act 2020

MSD must not impose a sanction for a person’s failure to comply with the obligation under section 133(1) (which relates to the attendance of a dependent child aged 6 to 15 years at a registered school) if—

  1. the failure is the subject of a prosecution against P for an offence under section 243(1) or 244(1) of the Education and Training Act 2020, as the case may be; and
  2. the prosecution has not been withdrawn before being finally resolved.
Variation for failure to comply with work-test obligation to accept offer of suitable employment

MSD must, under section 238, cancel a main benefit for any failure to comply with the work-test obligation to accept any offer of suitable employment (see section 144(b)).

This section overrides sections 234 to 238.

Variation for breach of work-test obligation by 1 spouse or partner

This section applies when—

  1. a main benefit is payable at a work-test couple rate; and
  2. the benefit is reduced, suspended, or cancelled under section 227 or 232; and
  3. the reduction, suspension, or cancellation results from the failure of one spouse or partner to comply with a work-test obligation or results from the application of section 227.

In a case to which this section applies,—

  1. the reduction, suspension, or cancellation applies to only half the applicable rate of main benefit before any reduction on account of income; and
  2. the other spouse or partner is entitled to receive half that rate (and the appropriate income test applies to that rate, but at half the abatement rate in that test).
Variation for breach of work-test obligation by both partners or spouses

This section applies when—

  1. a main benefit is payable at a work-test couple rate; and
  2. the benefit is reduced, suspended, or cancelled under section 227 or 232; and
  3. the reduction, suspension, or cancellation results from the failure of both partners or spouses to comply with a work-test obligation or results from the application of section 227; and
  4. the couple have no dependent children.

The reduction, suspension, or cancellation in respect of each spouse or partner applies to only half the applicable rate of main benefit before reduction on account of income that is payable in respect of that spouse or partner.

Any amount of the main benefit payable to the spouses or partners after the reduction, suspension, or cancellation is applied is subject to the appropriate income test but at half the abatement rate in that test.

Variation for suspension or cancellation of benefit or non-entitlement period affecting couple with 1 or more dependent children

This section applies when—

  1. a main benefit is payable at a work-test couple rate; and
  2. the benefit is reduced, suspended, or cancelled under section 227 or 232; and
  3. the reduction, suspension, or cancellation results from—
    1. the failure of both spouses or partners to comply with 1 or more specified obligations under this Act; or
    2. the application of section 227 to both spouses or partners; and
  4. the couple have 1 or more dependent children.

This section also applies when, under sections 225 and 227, a person with 1 or more dependent children who is in a relationship has not been granted a main benefit and is not entitled for a period of 13 weeks to a work-tested benefit that would be payable at the work-test couple rate.

In a case to which this section applies,—

  1. the reduction, suspension, cancellation, or non-entitlement period applies to only half the applicable rate of main benefit before any reduction on account of income; and
  2. the spouses or partners are entitled to receive half that rate (and the appropriate income test applies to that rate).

Subsection (3)(b) is subject to regulations made under section 442(2)(e) (regulations: payments: apportionment) for the purposes of section 337 (how benefits are paid).

Variation for suspension or cancellation of main benefit or non-entitlement period affecting sole parent

This section applies when the main benefit of a person (P) who is a sole parent is suspended or cancelled under section 227 or 232.

This section also applies when, under sections 225 and 227, a sole parent (P) has not been granted a main benefit and is not entitled for a period of 13 weeks to a work-tested benefit.

In a case to which this section applies,—

  1. the suspension or cancellation applies to only half the applicable rate of main benefit before any reduction on account of income; and
  2. P is entitled during the period of suspension, cancellation, or non-entitlement to receive only half of that rate, and the appropriate income test applies to that rate but at half the abatement rate in that income test.

Good and sufficient reason for non-compliance

Good and sufficient reason for non-compliance: default by MSD

A good and sufficient reason for failure to comply with a requirement or obligation set out in section 233 includes default by MSD if—

  1. compliance was dependent on any assistance specified by MSD; and
  2. MSD failed to provide that assistance, whether at all or to the extent or in the manner specified.
Good and sufficient reason for failure to comply with drug-testing obligation

A person (P) has a good and sufficient reason for not complying with a drug-testing obligation, or for failing to apply for suitable employment that requires candidates to undertake drug tests, or for both, if MSD is satisfied that P—

  1. is addicted to, or dependent on, 1 or more controlled drugs; or
  2. is undertaking addiction treatment; or
  3. is awaiting assessment for, or an opportunity to undertake, addiction treatment; or
  4. is taking, in the dosage prescribed, a controlled drug lawfully prescribed for P by a health practitioner; or
  5. falls within another ground or grounds prescribed for the purposes of this subsection by regulations made under section 418(1)(j).

In subsection (1), addiction treatment means treatment that—

  1. is for addiction to, or dependence on, 1 or more controlled drugs; and
  2. is provided by a health practitioner, or other person, who is professionally engaged in the treatment or rehabilitation of people who are using, or have used, controlled drugs; and
  3. is of a kind approved by MSD.
Good and sufficient reason for failure to supervise dependent child

A good and sufficient reason for failure to comply with an obligation under section 146(1)(d) includes supervision of a dependent child during hours when it would be unreasonable to expect a dependent child of the person in question to be without that person’s supervision.

Procedure for imposing sanction

MSD must give notice of sanction

MSD must not under section 232 reduce, suspend, or cancel a benefit payable to a person (P) unless MSD has first given P a written notice for the purposes of this section (a section 252 notice) that complies with subsection (2).

The notice must—

  1. state that P has failed to comply with a specified obligation under this Act; and
  2. specify the nature of P’s failure to comply; and
  3. state that, on the basis of P’s failure, MSD is reducing, suspending, or cancelling P’s benefit; and
  4. specify the date on which the reduction, suspension, or cancellation is to take effect; and
  5. in the case of a reduction or suspension, state the nature and duration of the reduction or suspension; and
  6. state that P has 5 working days from the giving of the notice to dispute the reduction, suspension, or cancellation; and
  7. advise P to contact MSD if P wants to dispute or discuss the decision to reduce, suspend, or cancel the benefit; and
  8. contain a clear statement of P's right, under section 391, to apply for a review of the decision, and of the procedure for applying for a review.
Notice relates to single failure

A notice of a sanction given to a person (P) may specify more than 1 instance of failure.

Each specified instance may relate to the same obligation, or to 2 or more different obligations.

However, for the purposes of imposing a sanction, the combined specified instances are (if at least 2 of them are not disputed by P) treated as a single failure.

How notice of sanction may be given

MSD may give a person (P) a section 252 notice—

  1. by delivering it to P personally; or
  2. by delivering it to P by electronic means (with the individual’s express or inferred consent) in accordance with Part 4 (Electronic transactions) of the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017; or
  3. by leaving it—
    1. at P’s usual or last known place of residence or business; or
    2. at the address given in the most recent application or other document received by MSD from P; or
  4. by posting it in a letter addressed to P at that place of residence or business or at that address.

The notice is given to P when it is delivered, left, or posted, as the case may be.

Breach of obligation in relation to dependent children: additional steps before notice may be given

MSD must not give a person (P) a section 252 notice in relation to a failure to comply with an obligation in relation to dependent children under sections 131 to 135 unless MSD is satisfied that, on at least 3 previous occasions, MSD has had communication (of any kind, and in any manner) with P in respect of P’s compliance with, or an actual or potential failure of P to comply with, any obligation P has under sections 131 to 135.

When reduction, suspension, or cancellation of benefit takes effect

The reduction, suspension, or cancellation of a benefit under section 232 must not take effect before the close of the 5 working days specified in the section 252 notice in accordance with section 252(2)(f).

Evidential drug test

Request for evidential drug test if sanction imposed for failing screening drug test

A person (P) who has failed a screening drug test and has been given a section 252 notice (the section 252 notice) of a sanction on the basis of failing that test may request that P’s sample taken for the screening drug test be subjected to an evidential drug test.

P’s request for an evidential drug test—

  1. must be in writing in a form approved by MSD for the purpose; and
  2. must include the necessary consents and authorisations; and
  3. may be made only after P has disputed the sanction specified in the section 252 notice in accordance with section 252(2)(f); and
  4. must be made within a reasonable period, as specified by MSD, of disputing the sanction.

In this section and in section 258, necessary consents and authorisations means any consent or authority—

  1. of any employer, training provider, or drug-testing provider; and
  2. that MSD specifies as necessary for arranging the evidential drug test and providing the result to MSD.

This section is subject to section 149(1) (which provides that a person is taken to have failed an evidential drug test requested under this section if the person fails a screening test and waives an associated evidential drug test).

Effect of request for evidential drug test

A request by a person (P) for an evidential drug test that complies with the requirements set out in section 257(2) has the following effect until the result of the test is notified to MSD:

  1. any sanction imposed on P under section 232 for failing the associated prior screening drug test is suspended:
  2. any failure for the purposes of sections 240(1) and 262 based on P failing the associated prior screening drug test is suspended:
  3. P is not liable under section 260 for the actual and reasonable costs (if any) of P's associated prior screening drug test that have been reimbursed to the employer under section 151.

If a request for an evidential drug test does not comply with the requirements set out in section 257(2), MSD may proceed to impose the appropriate sanction as if the request had not been made.

This section is subject to section 149(1) (which provides that a person is taken to have failed an evidential drug test requested under section 257 if the person fails a screening test and waives an associated evidential drug test).

Effect of failure of evidential drug test

Failure of an evidential drug test that is requested by a person under section 257 must be treated for the purposes of section 233(d) as a new failure of the beneficiary’s work-test obligations.

Costs of evidential drug test

MSD must pay the actual and reasonable costs incurred by a drug-testing provider in doing an evidential drug test arranged by MSD in accordance with a request under section 257.

If a person (P) fails an evidential drug test arranged by MSD in accordance with a request under section 257, the following are a debt due to the Crown from P for the purpose of regulations made under section 444:

  1. the actual and reasonable costs incurred by a drug-testing provider in doing that evidential drug test; and
  2. the actual and reasonable costs (if any) reimbursed to the employer under section 151 of P’s associated prior screening drug test.

Recompliance

How person recomplies after failure to comply with obligation

A person (P) recomplies after a failure to comply with an obligation if P remedies the failure.

If a section 252 notice specifies more than 1 failure of the same obligation, or a failure of more than 1 obligation, P recomplies if P remedies all the failures.

This section does not apply to recompliance with a drug-testing obligation.

Impossibility of remedying failure of work-test obligation

If it is impossible to remedy a failure to comply with a work-test obligation, a person (P) recomplies if P undertakes, to MSD’s satisfaction, an activity that is the same as, or substantially similar to, the activity that P failed to undertake under the work-test obligation in question.

How person recomplies after failure to comply with drug-testing obligation

In this section, drug test failure means a failure by a person (P) to comply with a drug-testing obligation.

In the case of a first drug test failure within a 12–month period, P recomplies if P undertakes, in a manner that is satisfactory to MSD, not to use any controlled drugs (except any particular controlled drugs that are lawfully prescribed, and only at the dosage that is lawfully prescribed, for P by a health practitioner).

In the case of a second drug test failure within a 12-month period of the first failure, P recomplies if P undertakes, in a manner satisfactory to MSD, to undergo drug testing in accordance with section 264.

MSD must take reasonable and appropriate steps to make a person who has given an undertaking under subsection (3) aware of the following matters:

  1. the consequences of failing to comply with the undertaking; and
  2. the location of an appropriate drug-testing provider; and
  3. the matters in sections 264(5) and 266 (which relate to the costs of drug testing for the purpose of recompliance).
Drug testing for purposes of recompliance

A person (P) who has given an undertaking under section 263(3) must comply with both subsections (2) and (3).

Within 25 working days after the start date, P must attend at the location of a drug-testing provider for the purpose of undertaking a drug test that is—

  1. a screening drug test and, if P fails that test, an evidential drug test; or
  2. an evidential drug test without any associated prior screening drug test.

Within 30 working days after the start date, P must provide evidence to the satisfaction of MSD that P has passed a screening drug test or evidential drug test, as the case may be.

In this section, start date means the date of P’s undertaking.

A person who fails a screening drug test or an evidential drug test, or both, that is performed within the testing period may (in order to try to comply with the person’s undertaking despite that failure) undertake, at the person’s own expense, further drug testing within the testing period.

Failure of drug test for purposes of recompliance constitutes third failure

A person who fails a drug test stated in section 264(2)(a) or (b) must be treated, for purposes of the imposition of a sanction, as a person who has failed for a third time within a 12-month period to comply with a drug-testing obligation.

Costs of drug testing for purposes of recompliance

MSD must pay the actual and reasonable costs of a drug test undertaken on only 1 occasion in accordance with section 264(2).

Those costs are a debt due to the Crown from the beneficiary for the purpose of regulations made under section 444.

Miscellaneous

Case management support for beneficiary in breach of obligation in relation to dependent children

This section applies if a sanction has been imposed on a person (P) for failure to comply with an obligation in relation to dependent children.

MSD may give P a notice that MSD is to intensify its case management support for P.

If MSD has given P a notice under subsection (2), P must, as reasonably required by MSD, attend and participate in any interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD.

Subpart 3 — Sanctions for breach of young person or young parent obligations

Interpretation

Failure, and first, second, and third failure, defined for young person or young parent obligations

In this subpart,—

failure means a failure to comply with a young person obligation or a young parent obligation

first failure means the first failure of a young person or young parent obligation

second failure means a failure that occurs after the young person concerned has satisfied the obligation to which a first failure related

third failure means a failure that occurs after the young person concerned has satisfied the obligation to which a second failure related

young parent obligation means—

  1. an obligation, under Part 3, of a young person who is receiving a young parent payment; or
  2. an obligation under section 167 (young person aged 16 to 19 years with dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary)

young parent payment, in relation to a young person who is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary and is subject to obligations under section 167, means—

  1. a young parent payment payable under subpart 8 of Part 2; and
  2. the portion of the specified beneficiary’s main benefit the young person receives

young person obligation means—

  1. an obligation, under Part 3, of a young person receiving a youth payment; or
  2. an obligation under section 166 (young person aged 16 or 17 years with no dependent child who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary); or
  3. for the purposes only of sections 275 and 276, an obligation, under Part 3, of a young person on whom section 165(7)(a) or 168(6)(a) imposes that obligation as if the young person’s jobseeker support, or the portion of the jobseeker support or the specified beneficiary’s benefit payable to the young person under section 337, were a youth payment

youth payment, in relation to a young person who is a spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary and is subject to obligations under section 166, means—

  1. a youth payment payable under subpart 7 of Part 2; and
  2. the portion of the specified beneficiary’s main benefit the young person receives.

Sanctions: young person obligations

Sanction for failure to comply with young person obligation

The sanction for failure to comply with a young person obligation depends on whether the failure is a first or second failure or a third failure.

Sanction for first or second failure: suspension of in-hand allowance and incentive payments

This section applies if MSD is satisfied that a young person (P) who is receiving a youth payment has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a young person obligation for a first or second time.

For P’s first or second failure, MSD must first suspend P’s in-hand allowance and any incentive payments until P satisfies the obligation (or all the relevant obligations, if P has failed to comply with more than 1).

If P has not satisfied the obligation or obligations within 4 weeks after the suspension takes effect, MSD must suspend the whole of P’s youth payment and any incentive payments until P satisfies the obligation or obligations.

Sanction for third failure: cancellation of youth payment and incentive payments

This section applies if MSD is satisfied that a young person (P) who is receiving a youth payment has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a young person obligation for a third time.

For P’s third failure, MSD must cancel P’s youth payment and any incentive payments.

On cancellation of P’s youth payment under this section,—

  1. P is not entitled to receive any main benefit under this Act for 13 weeks from the date of cancellation; and
  2. to be again entitled to a main benefit under this Act, P must apply for the benefit and establish that P is eligible for it.

This section is subject to sections 320 to 324.

For the purposes of section 320, an approved activity for P during the period of non-entitlement is any of the following approved by MSD:

  1. if P is not already in part-time work, participation in part-time work or work experience:
  2. participation in recognised voluntary work (as defined in Schedule 2):
  3. participation in any other activity that MSD considers will enhance skills or improve motivation.

This section overrides every other provision of this Act.

Effect of cancellation of youth payment on accommodation supplement or temporary additional support

The cancellation under section 271(2) of the youth payment payable to a young person (P) has the effect set out in subsections (2) to (4).

If P is single, P is not entitled to receive an accommodation supplement or temporary additional support.

If P is not single, and P’s spouse’s or partner’s youth payment is not also cancelled under section 271(2),—

  1. any accommodation supplement or temporary additional support otherwise payable to P must be reduced by half and be paid to P’s spouse or partner; and
  2. any accommodation supplement or temporary additional support otherwise payable to P’s spouse or partner must be reduced by half.

If P is not single, and the youth payment of P’s spouse or partner is also cancelled under section 271(2),—

  1. P is not entitled to receive an accommodation supplement or temporary additional support otherwise payable to P; and
  2. P’s spouse or partner is not entitled to receive an accommodation supplement or temporary additional support payable to P’s spouse or partner.
Effect of cancellation of youth payment on emergency benefit

A young person whose youth payment is cancelled under section 271(2) is not entitled to receive an emergency benefit.

Effect of cancellation of youth payment on disability allowance or child disability allowance

Despite the cancellation under section 271(2) of the youth payment payable to a young person (P), P must be treated as continuing to receive a youth payment for the purposes of section 85(1)(a) and (2)(c)(i) and the cancellation has no effect on P’s entitlement to receive a disability allowance or child disability allowance.

Sanctions for failure by young person required to receive youth services to comply with obligations: money management

This section applies to a young person—

  1. who has been required to receive youth services under section 165(2) or 168(2); and
  2. whose benefit is subject to money management under section 344; and
  3. who MSD is satisfied has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with an obligation that applies to the young person under section 165(7)(a) or 168(6)(a), and that is—
    1. an obligation in section 166(2)(b) and (d) to (g); or
    2. the work test (in the case of a work-tested beneficiary); or
    3. a work-preparation obligation under section 124 or 125 (in the case of a beneficiary who is required to comply with section 124).

MSD must treat the failure as if it were a failure to comply with an obligation under section 166, and sections 270 and 271 apply (and require MSD to impose sanctions for the failure) accordingly.

Sanctions for failure by young person required to receive youth services to comply with obligations: other cases

This section applies to a young person—

  1. who has been required to receive youth services under section 165(2) or 168(2); and
  2. whose benefit is not subject to money management under section 344; and
  3. who MSD is satisfied has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with an obligation that applies to the young person under section 165(7)(a) or 168(6)(a), and that is—
    1. an obligation in section 166(2)(b) and (d) to (g); or
    2. the work test (in the case of a work-tested beneficiary); or
    3. a work-preparation obligation under section 124 or 125 (in the case of a beneficiary who is required to comply with section 124).

MSD must treat the young person’s failure referred to in subsection (1)(c)(i), (ii), or (iii),—

  1. in the case of a young person who is subject to the work test, as a failure to comply with the work test for the purposes of sections 233 and 236 to 239; and
  2. in the case of a young person who is required to comply with section 124, as a failure to comply with a work-preparation obligation under section 124 or 125 for the purposes of sections 233 and 236 to 239.

MSD must, in the case of a young person who is subject to a sanction under sections 233 and 236 to 239 for a failure that subsection (2)(a) or (b) of this section requires to be treated as having occurred:

  1. suspend the young person’s incentive payments (if any) (if that sanction is a reduction or suspension of the young person’s benefit) until the young person recomplies; or
  2. cancel the young person’s incentive payments (if any) (if that sanction is the cancellation of the young person’s benefit).
Sanctions for failure by young spouse or partner of specified beneficiary to comply with obligations: money management

This section applies to a young person—

  1. who is—
    1. aged 16 or 17 years, without dependent children, and is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary; or
    2. aged 16 to 19 years, with a dependent child or children, and is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary; and
  2. whose benefit is subject to money management; and
  3. who MSD is satisfied has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with an obligation that applies to the young person under section 166(2) or 167(2) and (3).

The sanctions in sections 270 and 271 apply (and sections 272 to 274 and 283 to 288 apply) as if the young person’s benefit were a youth support payment.

Sanctions for failure by young spouse or partner of specified beneficiary to comply with obligations: other cases

This section applies to a young person—

  1. who is—
    1. aged 16 or 17 years, without dependent children, and is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary; or
    2. aged 16 to 19 years, with a dependent child or children, and is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary; and
  2. whose benefit is not subject to money management; and
  3. who MSD is satisfied has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with an obligation that applies to the young person under section 166(2) or 167(2) and (3).

MSD must treat the young person’s failure referred to in subsection (1)(c),—

  1. in the case of a young person who would, but for section 166(4) or 167(5), be subject to the work test, as a failure to comply with the work test for the purposes of sections 233 and 236 to 239; and
  2. in the case of a young person who would, but for section 166(4) or 167(5), be required to comply with section 124, as a failure to comply with a work-preparation obligation under section 124 or 125 for the purposes of sections 233 and 236 to 239.

MSD must, in the case of a young person who is subject to a sanction under sections 233 and 236 to 239 for a failure that subsection (2)(a) or (b) of this section requires to be treated as having occurred,—

  1. suspend the young person’s incentive payments (if any) (if that sanction is a reduction or suspension of the young person’s benefit) until the young person recomplies; or
  2. cancel the young person’s incentive payments (if any) (if that sanction is the cancellation of the young person’s benefit).

Sanctions: young parent obligations

Sanction for failure to comply with young parent obligation

The sanction for failure to comply with a young parent obligation depends on whether the failure is a first or second failure or a third failure.

Sanction for first or second failure: suspension of in-hand allowance and incentive payments

This section applies if MSD is satisfied that a young person (P) who is receiving a young parent payment has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a young parent obligation for a first or second time.

For P’s first or second failure, MSD must first suspend P’s in-hand allowance and any incentive payments until P satisfies the obligation (or all the relevant obligations, if P has failed to comply with more than 1).

If P has not satisfied the obligation or obligations within 4 weeks after the suspension takes effect, MSD must suspend the whole of P’s young parent payment and any incentive payments until P satisfies the obligation or obligations.

Sanction for third failure: cancellation of young parent payment and incentive payments

This section applies if MSD is satisfied that a young person (P) who is receiving a young parent payment has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a young parent obligation for a third time.

For P’s third failure, MSD must cancel P’s young parent payment and any incentive payments.

This section overrides every other provision of this Act.

Effect of cancellation of young parent payment

On cancellation of P’s young parent payment under section 281(2),—

  1. P is not entitled to receive any main benefit under this Act for 13 weeks from the date of cancellation; and
  2. to be again entitled to a main benefit under this Act, P must apply for the benefit and establish that P is eligible for it.

Subsection (1) is subject to subsection (3) and to sections 320 to 324 (restoration of entitlement after suspension, reduction, cancellation, or non-entitlement).

However, during the period of cancellation,—

  1. P is entitled to receive half of the applicable rate of the young parent payment and only half the abatement rate in clause 11 or 12 of Part 6 of Schedule 4 (as the case requires) applies to that rate; but
  2. no incentive payments are payable; and
  3. the amounts payable must be paid to the young person, or on the young person’s account, personally (see section 339).

For the purposes of section 324, an approved activity for P during the period of non-entitlement is any of the following approved by MSD:

  1. if P is not already in part-time work, participation in part-time work or work experience:
  2. participation in recognised voluntary work (as defined in Schedule 2):
  3. participation in any other activity that MSD considers will enhance skills or improve motivation.

In order to satisfy itself that a young person has established continued eligibility for a young parent payment, MSD may require the young person to comply with the requirements of section 297(1) as if applying for a young parent payment (and that section, with all necessary modifications, applies accordingly).

Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on accommodation supplement or temporary additional support

The cancellation under section 281(2) of the young parent payment payable to a young person (P) affects an entitlement to an accommodation supplement or temporary additional support as provided in subsections (3) to (5).

If P is a sole parent, cancellation has no effect on P’s entitlement to receive any accommodation supplement or temporary additional support.

If P is not single, and P’s spouse’s or partner’s young parent payment is not also cancelled under section 281(2),—

  1. any accommodation supplement or temporary additional support otherwise payable to P must be reduced by half and be paid to P’s spouse or partner; and
  2. any accommodation supplement or temporary additional support otherwise payable to P’s spouse or partner must be reduced by half.

If P is not single, and the young parent payment of P’s spouse or partner is also cancelled under section 281(2), P and P’s spouse or partner are each entitled to receive only half of any accommodation supplement or temporary additional support that would otherwise be payable to P or P’s spouse or partner.

Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on emergency benefit

A young person whose young parent payment is cancelled under section 281(2) is not entitled to receive an emergency benefit.

Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on disability allowance or child disability allowance

Despite the cancellation under section 281(2) of the young parent payment payable to a young person (P), P must be treated as continuing to receive a young parent payment for the purposes of section 85(1)(a) and (2)(c)(i) and the cancellation has no effect on P’s entitlement to receive any disability allowance or child disability allowance.

How obligation satisfied

How young person satisfies obligation after failure to comply

For the purposes of sections 270, 271, 280, and 281, a young person (P) satisfies an obligation after failure to comply if—

  1. P remedies the failure concerned; or
  2. where in the opinion of MSD that it is not possible to remedy the failure, P undertakes to MSD’s satisfaction an activity that is in MSD’s opinion the same as or substantially similar to the performance of the obligation.

Procedure

Procedure for imposing sanctions for failure to comply with young person or young parent obligation

Sections 240 to 242 (how number of failures is counted) and sections 252 to 256 (procedure for imposing sanctions) apply with all necessary modifications to the imposition of sanctions under sections 270, 271, 280, and 281.

Incentive payments

Effect of regrant of youth payment on incentive payment

If a young person whose youth support payment has been cancelled under section 271(2) or 281(2) is again granted a youth support payment,—

  1. except as provided in paragraph (b), any incentive payments that were payable to the young person before the cancellation must be paid with the youth payment or young parent payment; but
  2. if the failure that led to the cancellation was a failure to comply with section 162(1)(a), an education incentive payment is payable only if the young person again meets the conditions of entitlement to that payment (see section 55 or 62, and those conditions of entitlement as they are set out in regulations made under section 418(1)(c) or (d)).
MSD may cancel incentive payment

MSD may cancel an incentive payment if satisfied that the young person concerned has intentionally acted in a way that is inconsistent with the purpose for which it was granted.

On cancellation, the young person is not eligible to receive the incentive payment again until MSD decides that it may be regranted.

Subpart 4 — Offences

Offences: false statements, misleading, or attempting to mislead, to receive or continue to receive benefits

A person (P) commits an offence if—

  1. P makes a statement knowing that it is false in a material particular; and
  2. P’s statement—
    1. is made for the purpose of receiving or continuing to receive an advantage (whether for P or another person); or
    2. results in P or another person receiving or continuing to receive an advantage.

A person (P) commits an offence if—

  1. P wilfully does or says anything, or omits to do or say anything, for the purpose of misleading or attempting to mislead a person; and
  2. P’s act, statement, or omission—
    1. is done or made for the purpose of receiving or continuing to receive an advantage (whether for P or another person); or
    2. results in P or another person receiving or continuing to receive an advantage.

In this section, advantage means—

  1. any benefit under this Act, Part 6 of the Veterans' Support Act 2014, or Part 1 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; or
  2. any exemption from an obligation under this Act; or
  3. any payment from a Crown Bank Account in accordance with this Act; or
  4. any entitlement card issued under regulations made under section 437; or
  5. a more favourable means assessment under Part 6 (and all related provisions) of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018 than P would otherwise have been entitled to; or
  6. a more favourable means assessment under Part 8 (and all related provisions) of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018 than P would otherwise have been entitled to.

A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on conviction to a penalty that is either or both:

  1. imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months:
  2. a fine not exceeding $5,000.

This section does not limit section 72 of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018.

Offences: spouse or partner knowingly benefiting from excess amount obtained by beneficiary's fraud

A person (the spouse or partner) commits an offence if the person—

  1. is a spouse or partner of a person (the beneficiary) who obtains an excess amount by fraud; and
  2. benefits directly or indirectly from the amount or a part of it knowing that, or being reckless about whether, the amount or part is an amount or part—
    1. in excess of the amount to which the beneficiary is by law entitled or to which the beneficiary has no entitlement; and
    2. obtained by the beneficiary by fraud.

Subsection (1)(b) applies to the amount or part even if the spouse or partner—

  1. does not benefit from it knowingly; and
  2. does not know at all or exactly its value; and
  3. does not know, or (as the case requires) is not reckless about, the precise way in which it was obtained by the beneficiary by fraud.

The beneficiary obtains an excess amount for the purposes of subsection (1) if the beneficiary obtains any payment, or receives any credit or advance, in excess of the amount to which the beneficiary is by law entitled or to which the beneficiary has no entitlement.

The excess amount is obtained by the beneficiary by fraud for the purposes of subsection (1) if—

  1. the beneficiary obtained that amount by fraud; or
  2. the beneficiary is convicted of a specified offence in respect of obtaining that amount.

In subsection (4)(b), specified offence means an offence against section 290 (offences: false statements, misleading, or attempting to mislead, to receive or continue to receive benefits) of this Act, or an offence against all or any of the following provisions of the Crimes Act 1961:

  1. section 228 (dishonestly taking or using document):
  2. sections 240 and 241 (obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception):
  3. section 256(1) and (2) (forgery):
  4. section 257 (using forged documents):
  5. section 258 (altering, concealing, destroying, or reproducing documents with intent to deceive):
  6. section 259 (using altered or reproduced document with intent to deceive).

Subsections (4) and (5) do not limit—

  1. the generality of the references in subsection (1) to fraud; or
  2. the operation of section 49 (conviction as evidence in criminal proceedings) of the Evidence Act 2006.

A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on conviction to a penalty that is either or both:

  1. imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months:
  2. a fine not exceeding $5,000.
Offence of demanding or accepting fee or other consideration in relation to grant of benefit

A person commits an offence if the person demands or accepts from any applicant for a benefit or from any other person any fee or other consideration for procuring or endeavouring to procure the grant of a benefit.

Offence of demanding or accepting acknowledgement or undertaking

A person commits an offence if the person demands or accepts from a beneficiary an acknowledgment or undertaking where that demand, acceptance, acknowledgment, or undertaking would constitute a legal or an equitable assignment of, or a charge on, a benefit if the benefit were capable of being legally assigned or charged.

A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $100.

General penalty for offences

This section applies to a person who commits an offence against this Act or any regulations made under this Act for which no penalty is provided elsewhere than in this section.

The person is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 and, if the offence is a continuing one, to a further fine not exceeding $50 for every day or part of a day during which the offence continues.

Time for filing charging document

The limitation period in respect of an offence against this Act or any regulations made under this Act ends on the date that is 12 months after the date on which the facts alleged in the charging document are brought to the knowledge of any officer concerned in the administration of this Act.

Subsection (1) overrides section 25 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011.

Part 6

Administration

Subpart 1 — Guide to this Part

What this Part does

This Part contains provisions on the following matters:

  1. how to apply for a benefit, how MSD inquires into a claim for a benefit, and the granting of a benefit:
  2. reviews by MSD of a beneficiary’s past or current entitlement to a benefit or rate of benefit:
  3. how a benefit commences (for example, after a stand-down period), ends, and may expire and be regranted:
  4. how a benefit is paid, tax on benefits, and how debts can be recovered (including by way of deductions):
  5. the use of automated electronic systems to make decisions, exercise powers, comply with obligations, and take related actions:
  6. notices and communications, services, and preferred suppliers:
  7. reciprocity agreements with other countries:
  8. prosecutions for offences, debt-recovery proceedings, and maintenance proceedings.

Subpart 2 — Application, inquiry, and grant

Application

Application for benefit: making of, help with, lapse, and deemed receipt

An application for a benefit must be completed, may be assisted, may lapse, and is taken to have been received for benefit commencement and stand-down purposes, in accordance with regulations made under section 438.

This section does not prevent MSD under section 312 (if applicant paid, but claim fails for, ACC weekly compensation) treating an application for a benefit as having been made at the later of the dates specified in section 312(2)(a) and (b).

Inquiry

MSD must inquire into claim for benefit

MSD must inquire into every claim for a benefit made by or on behalf of an applicant for a benefit.

Subsection (1) is subject to—

  1. section 299 (inquiry: exception during epidemic):
  2. section 303 (grant: after death of applicant):
  3. regulations made under section 432(1) and (3)(e) (pre-benefit activities: consequences of non-compliance by applicant).

MSD may inquire into the circumstances of a person who has been receiving a benefit as those circumstances existed—

  1. immediately before the benefit was granted; or
  2. during the period or periods that the benefit was paid.

Subsection (3) does not limit—

  1. subsection (1); or
  2. subpart 3 (review of entitlement to, or rate of, benefit granted).
Exception during epidemic

This subsection applies to any period comprising—

  1. the period when a domestic epidemic management notice is in force; and
  2. a period after the notice expires that the Minister thinks reasonable in the circumstances.

During a period to which subsection (1) applies, MSD may grant a benefit to a person even if the claim for it has not been at all, or has not been fully, inquired into as required by section 298.

Information gathering, disclosure, and matching

Provisions on information gathering, disclosure, and matching are set out in Schedule 6.

Rights of complaint are given by the following clauses of Schedule 6:

  1. clause 12 (code of conduct for information or documents requirements):
  2. clause 21 (disclosure for young person’s functions or service provider’s contract).

Grant

MSD decides whether to grant benefit

MSD must, after a claim for a benefit is made (and, if applicable, inquired into under section 298), decide whether to grant the benefit.

Immediate provisional grant, and later backdating of other benefit

This section applies to an applicant for a benefit of kind A (for example, a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness) if MSD considers—

  1. quick completion of MSD’s inquiry into the applicant’s claim for a benefit of kind A is unlikely (for example, quick completion is unlikely because of the need to obtain, or to obtain further, medical evidence about whether the applicant is under section 35, because of a health condition, permanently and severely restricted in the applicant’s capacity for work); but
  2. the applicant is entitled to a benefit of kind B (for example, jobseeker support).

MSD may grant the applicant a benefit of kind B on the basis that a benefit of kind A will be granted retroactively if—

  1. MSD completes its inquiry into the applicant’s claim to a benefit of kind A; and
  2. MSD’s completed inquiry shows that the applicant is entitled to a benefit of kind A.

If MSD’s completed inquiry into the applicant’s claim to a benefit of kind A shows that the applicant is entitled to a benefit of kind A, MSD may—

  1. grant the applicant a benefit of kind A, and commencing on the date on which it would have commenced if the inquiry had been completed before the benefit of kind B was granted; and
  2. cancel the benefit of kind B on that date.
After death of applicant

This section applies if an applicant for a benefit dies before MSD completes its inquiry into the claim, made by or on behalf of the applicant, for a benefit.

MSD may grant the benefit as if the applicant had not died.

If MSD under this section grants the benefit as if the applicant had not died, sections 90 to 94 (funeral grants) and regulations made under section 427 apply as if the applicant were receiving the benefit at the time the applicant died.

This section does not limit section 346 (required manner of payment: payment on death of beneficiary).

Subpart 3 — Review of entitlement to, or rate of, benefit granted

Review of entitlement and rate payable
Review under subpart

MSD may review a benefit that has been granted to ascertain all or any of the following:

  1. whether the beneficiary is, or remains, entitled to receive the benefit, or rate of benefit, that is being paid to the beneficiary:
  2. whether the beneficiary was not entitled to receive the benefit, or rate of benefit, that was paid to the beneficiary.
Review under subpart of information share child support payments

MSD may review under this subpart whether a person’s information share child support payment is or was all or any of their weekly income under Part 3A of Schedule 3, but only on all or any of the review grounds specified in section 304A(1)(a) to (g) for the purposes of this subsection.

Review grounds include any additional grounds prescribed by regulations

For the purposes of subsection (1A), the review grounds specified in section 304A(1)(a) to (g) for the purposes of subsection (1A) include, without limitation, any 1 or more additional grounds prescribed by regulations made under section 418(1)(ja).

Subpart applies to special assistance

This subpart applies, so far as applicable and with all necessary modifications, to special assistance granted under a programme approved under section 100 or 101.

Review of, or appeal against, decision on review under subpart

Rights to seek a review of, or to appeal against, a decision on a review under this subpart are given by the following subparts of Part 7:

  1. subpart 2 (reviews by benefits review committee):
  2. subpart 3 (appeals to appeal authority):
  3. subpart 4 (appeals to courts):
  4. subpart 5 (appeals to medical board).

Subsection (3) is by way of explanation only.

Grounds for review of whether person’s information share child support payment is or was their weekly income

For the purposes of section 304(1A), the specified grounds are that MSD is satisfied of all or any of the following:

  1. the person did not receive all or any of the payment before or on the deemed receipt (as defined in clause 15D of Schedule 3):
  2. the person is or was unable to access all or any of the payment for reasons that are or include exceptional circumstances:
  3. MSD has charged under Part 3A of Schedule 3 an amount of weekly income that is not the correct amount for reasons that are or include all or any of the following:
    1. the information share is incorrect due to an error by the Commissioner or an officer of the Department (as those terms are defined in the Tax Administration Act 1994):
    2. the information share is correct but read incorrectly by an automated electronic system:
    3. the information share is correct but due to a person’s error is inputted incorrectly into a system used by MSD:
  4. a person has been incorrectly identified, or not identified, as the proper recipient of the payment (whether that mis- or non-identification was by an automated electronic system or a person):
  5. for reasons that are or include a disruption to an automated electronic system, information about the payment is not shared with MSD on the transaction date (as defined in clause 15C of Schedule 3), with the result that the payment is charged as weekly income under Part 3A of Schedule 3 after an affected benefit payment, or other assistance payment, has been made:
  6. the person to whom the payment was made has died, and their benefit—
    1. is specified in section 326(1)(a) to (h); and
    2. will end, or has ended, under section 326(2) or (3):
  7. any 1 or more additional grounds prescribed, for the purposes of this paragraph, by regulations made under section 418(1)(ja).

In this section,—

automated electronic system means an automated electronic system used under subpart 5A

disruption, to an automated electronic system, includes, without limitation, a disruption to disclosure to MSD of all or any information used in or by the system.

Information for review

MSD may for the review require the beneficiary or the beneficiary’s spouse or partner to provide information, or answer questions,—

  1. in a way MSD specifies; and
  2. by a reasonable deadline MSD specifies.

If the beneficiary or spouse or partner fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (1), MSD may suspend, cancel, or vary the rate of benefit from a date MSD determines.

This section does not limit sections 42, 113, 290, 300, and clause 2 of Schedule 6.

No entitlement, or entitlement only at different rate

This section applies if MSD is satisfied because of the review that the beneficiary—

  1. was not or is not entitled (at all, rather than on another eligibility ground for that benefit) to receive the benefit; or
  2. was or is entitled to receive the benefit at a different rate.

MSD may suspend, cancel, or vary the rate of the benefit from a date MSD reasonably determines.

Benefit on another eligibility ground more appropriate

This section applies if MSD is satisfied because of the review that the beneficiary—

  1. was granted the benefit on a stated eligibility ground for that benefit; and
  2. is more appropriately entitled to receive that benefit on another eligibility ground for that benefit.

MSD may cancel the benefit as granted on the stated eligibility ground, and grant the beneficiary that benefit on the other eligibility ground commencing from the date of cancellation.

Another benefit more appropriate

This section applies if MSD is satisfied because of the review that the beneficiary is more appropriately entitled to receive another benefit.

MSD may cancel the benefit, and grant the beneficiary the other benefit commencing from the date of cancellation.

Termination of winter energy payment

After the review, MSD may terminate a winter energy payment under section 75.

Certain benefits granted, or granted at rate, not taking into account certain insurance payments

This section applies if MSD is satisfied because of the review that the beneficiary has been granted a benefit, or has been granted a benefit at a rate, that does not take into account certain insurance payments specified in regulations made under section 439.

MSD may, in accordance with those regulations, suspend, cancel, or vary the rate of, the benefit, from a date MSD determines.

In this section, benefit includes special assistance granted under a programme approved under section 100 or 101.

For the purposes of this section, the amount of an insurance payment must, to the extent MSD so determines, be reduced by the amount of any costs incurred by an applicant for a benefit or a beneficiary in obtaining receipt of that payment.

Subpart 4 — Commencement, stand downs, ending, and expiry and regrant

Commencement of benefits

General

A benefit commences on the later of the following dates:

  1. the date the applicant became entitled to receive the benefit; and
  2. the date the application for the benefit was received.

This section is subject to—

  1. section 302 (immediate provisional grant, and later backdating of other benefit); and
  2. sections 74, 312 to 317, and 319 (which contain exceptions and special rules relating to commencement of benefits); and
  3. Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014; and
  4. Part 1 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001.
If applicant paid, but claim fails for, ACC weekly compensation

This section applies to a person if—

  1. a claim is made by or on behalf of the person for weekly compensation under the Accident Compensation Act 2001 in respect of incapacity of the person; and
  2. weekly compensation under that Act is paid in respect of the claim by or on behalf of—
    1. the Accident Compensation Corporation; or
    2. an accredited employer (within the meaning of section 181 of that Act); and
  3. the person later fails to establish that claim, but would otherwise have been entitled, if that claim had been accepted, to a benefit during all or a part of the period in respect of which the compensation would have been paid.

MSD may treat an application for a benefit made by or on behalf of the person as having been made on the later of the following dates:

  1. the date of first occurrence of the incapacity of the person in respect of which the claim was made under the Accident Compensation Act 2001; and
  2. the date that the person would have become entitled to that benefit.
Benefits subject to stand down

A benefit is subject to a stand down, and commences on a date calculated under section 316, if—

  1. the benefit is a work-tested benefit or a youth payment or a young parent payment (other than a youth payment or a young parent payment granted to a person undertaking employment-related training or who is enrolled in a course of secondary instruction) and the applicant is not subject to a non-entitlement period (as defined in Schedule 2); or
  2. the benefit is sole parent support, jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability, or a supported living payment.

This section is subject to section 315 (exemptions from stand down) and to regulations made under section 443.

Work-tested benefit of applicant subject to non-entitlement period

A work-tested benefit granted to an applicant who is subject to a non-entitlement period is subject to a stand down, and is a benefit that commences on a date calculated under section 316, if—

  1. the work-tested benefit is granted to the applicant conditionally under section 324; and
  2. the applicant is subject to the non-entitlement period because of the application of section 225; and
  3. section 225 applies to the applicant because the applicant is a person described in section 226(a).

Any other work-tested benefit granted to an applicant who is subject to a non-entitlement period is a benefit that commences on the later of—

  1. the date the applicant became entitled to receive it; and
  2. the date the application for it was received.
Exemptions from stand down, and when certain benefits commence

A benefit of a kind specified in regulations made under section 440

  1. is not subject to a stand down; and
  2. commences as provided in those regulations.
Start and calculation of stand-down period

A benefit to which a person has become entitled, and that section 313 or 314 requires to commence on a date calculated under this section, is subject to a stand-down period that—

  1. starts on the later of—
    1. the date on which the person became entitled to the benefit; and
    2. if, before the person applied for the benefit, the person’s employment terminated or the person is given notice of termination of employment, the day after the date on which the person’s employment ceased; and
  2. is calculated under regulations made under section 440.

The benefit commences on the day after the stand-down period ends if the application for the benefit is received within 28 days after the date on which the person becomes entitled to the benefit, and the benefit is—

  1. sole parent support; or
  2. a supported living payment; or
  3. jobseeker support granted on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability; or
  4. jobseeker support granted to a sole parent, or to a person to whom section 30(e) (which relates to having lost the regular support of a spouse or partner who is subject to a sentence of imprisonment, etc) applies; or
  5. jobseeker support granted to a person who has recently lost the financial support of the person’s spouse or partner because of death, the spouses or partners commencing to live apart, or the ending of a de facto relationship; or
  6. a youth payment; or
  7. a young parent payment.

If the benefit is not one specified in subsection (2)(a) to (g), the benefit commences on the later of the following days:

  1. the day after the stand-down period ends:
  2. the day on which the application for the benefit is received.

This section is subject to any regulations made under section 440, and relating to exceptional cases, for example—

  1. of delayed redundancy and retirement payments; or
  2. of seasonal workers who are made redundant after a benefit commences.
Minister may consent to backdating

A benefit (or a benefit of a stated kind) may, with the Minister’s consent, commence at a time—

  1. earlier than the time at which an application for it was made; but
  2. not earlier than the time at which the person to whom it is granted became eligible for it.

The Minister may give consent in relation to a particular applicant, or applicants of a stated kind or description.

Consent in relation to applicants of a stated kind or description does not necessarily allow all the benefits concerned to commence at the same time.

If the Minister delegates to MSD the exercise of the power to consent conferred by subsection (1), its exercise by MSD (or a refusal by MSD to exercise it) is a decision under this Part for the purposes of subparts 2 to 5 of Part 7 (reviews and appeals).

No consent unless benefit not granted earlier because of error

The Minister must not give consent under section 317 unless satisfied that,—

  1. in the case of a particular applicant, the particular applicant—
    1. could not reasonably have been expected to apply at the earlier time because of some erroneous action or inaction by MSD; or
    2. at or before the earlier time, tried to apply, or applied incompletely, and did not proceed because of an erroneous action or inaction by MSD; or
  2. in the case of applicants of a stated kind or description,—
    1. applicants of that kind or description could not reasonably have been expected to apply at earlier times because of an erroneous action or inaction by MSD in relation to applicants of that kind or description; or
    2. at earlier times, some applicants of that kind or description tried to apply, or applied incompletely, and did not proceed because of an erroneous action or inaction by MSD.

Examples of erroneous action or inaction, for the purposes of subsection (1), include—

  1. giving wrong advice:
  2. failing or refusing to provide information, help, or some document or form.

In this section, action or inaction by MSD includes action or inaction by a contracted service provider contracted under section 373(1)(a) to provide services in relation to young people.

Commencement of winter energy payment

The winter energy payment commences in accordance with section 74.

Restoration of entitlement after suspension, reduction, cancellation, or non-entitlement

Effect of no longer being subject to work-test or young person obligations

This section applies to a person whose benefit has been suspended or reduced, or who is subject to a 13-week period of non-entitlement to a main benefit, under section 225, 236, 237, 270, or 280, if the person—

  1. ceases to be a work-tested beneficiary (other than because of the imposition of that suspension, reduction, or 13-week period); or
  2. ceases to be a beneficiary who is required to comply with obligations under section 162, 164, 166, or 167 (other than because of the imposition of that suspension, reduction, or 13-week period); or
  3. obtains, under section 158, an exemption from the work test or from obligations under section 162, 164, 166, or 167.

From the date on which MSD decides it is satisfied that this section applies to a person,—

  1. the period of suspension or reduction of the benefit ends; or
  2. the person is no longer subject to the 13-week period and that period lapses.

If a person to whom subsection (2)(b) applies wishes to again become entitled to a main benefit under this Act, the person must apply for the benefit and establish the person's eligibility to receive it.

In subsection (1), benefit includes part of a benefit.

Effect of no longer being subject to dependent children obligations

This section applies to a sanction imposed on a person—

  1. under section 236, 237, or 238 (as applied by section 136); and
  2. in respect of an obligation that the person had under any of sections 131 to 135.

The sanction ceases to apply to the person on the person ceasing to have that obligation.

Effect of no longer being subject to work-preparation obligations

This section applies to a sanction imposed on a person—

  1. under section 236, 237, or 238 (as applied by section 126); and
  2. in respect of—
    1. a general obligation of the person under section 124; or
    2. an obligation of the person under section 123 or 125 to comply with a requirement under section 125.

The sanction ceases to apply to the person on the person ceasing to have that obligation.

Effect of employment on non-entitlement period

This section applies to a person who is not entitled to (or to a part of) a main benefit under this Act for 13 weeks because of the operation of section 225 or 238.

If a person to whom this section applies completes an approved period of employment, the remainder of the 13-week period lapses.

Approved period of employment, in subsection (2), means a period of employment—

  1. of not less than 6 weeks; and
  2. approved by MSD for the purposes of this section.
Effect of participation in certain activities on non-entitlement period

This section applies to a person who is subject to a 13-week period of non-entitlement under section 225, 238, 271, or 282, and is participating in 1 or more approved activities, which are any of the following approved by MSD for the purpose:

  1. activities of the kind referred to in section 146(1)(d):
  2. recognised voluntary work (as defined in Schedule 2):
  3. part-time work (in the case of a part-time work-tested beneficiary).

If a person to whom this section applies participates satisfactorily in the approved activity or activities for a continuous period of 6 weeks,—

  1. the remainder of the period of non-entitlement lapses; and
  2. if the person wishes to again become entitled to a main benefit under this Act, the person must apply for the benefit and establish the person’s eligibility for it.

Despite subsection (2)(b), if the person applies for a main benefit under this Act, MSD must grant the person a main benefit under this Act during the person's satisfactory participation in the approved activity or activities.

Payment of a benefit granted under subsection (3) is subject to the condition that the person is liable to repay the whole of any amount paid during the non-entitlement period if the person fails—

  1. to complete a continuous period of 6 weeks of satisfactory participation in an approved activity or activities; or
  2. (if the period remaining until the end of the non-entitlement period is less than 6 weeks) to continue satisfactory participation until the end of the non-entitlement period.

No obligation to repay under subsection (4) arises if the reason for the person's failure is that the person—

  1. ceases to be a work-tested beneficiary or a beneficiary who is required to comply with obligations under section 162, 164, 166, or 167; or
  2. obtains, under section 158, an exemption from the work test or from obligations under section 162, 164, 166, or 167.

If the person is still entitled to the benefit at the end of the period of satisfactory participation or non-entitlement (as the case may be), payment of the benefit is no longer subject to the condition in subsection (4).

Any amount the person is liable to repay under this section is a debt due to the Crown under regulations made under section 444, and subject to recovery under regulations made under section 444, from the person.

Ending of benefits

General rule if person’s entitlement to benefit ceases

If a person’s entitlement to a benefit ceases, the benefit ends on a date that is set by MSD and is—

  1. not earlier than the pay day before the date on which the person’s entitlement ceases; and
  2. not later than the pay day after the date on which the person’s entitlement ceases.

This section is subject to sections 326 to 330.

After death of beneficiary receiving specified benefit

This section applies to a person who, when the person died, was receiving one of the following benefits:

  1. New Zealand superannuation:
  2. a veteran’s pension:
  3. sole parent support:
  4. a supported living payment:
  5. jobseeker support:
  6. a youth payment:
  7. a young parent payment:
  8. an emergency benefit related to a benefit specified in any of paragraphs (a) to (g).

The benefit ends on the 28th day after the date of the death if the person leaves a spouse or partner, or a child, not entitled to a lump sum payment under—

  1. section 56 of the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Act 1992; or
  2. section 444 of the Accident Insurance Act 1998; or
  3. section 382 of the Accident Compensation Act 2001.

In every other case, the benefit ends on a date set by MSD and that is not later than 28 days after the date of the death.

Benefits payable to sole parent who stops caring for dependent child due to sudden and uncontrollable circumstances

This section applies to a benefit, or a rate of benefit, payable to a beneficiary who—

  1. is or was a sole parent in respect of a dependent child; but
  2. stops caring for the child because of a change of circumstances that is sudden and beyond the beneficiary’s control.

The benefit or rate of benefit ends 28 days after the day on which the beneficiary stops caring for the child.

Supported living payment payable to beneficiary who stops caring for another person

This section applies to a supported living payment under section 40, or a rate of that benefit, payable to a beneficiary who stops caring for the other person concerned because that person dies, is admitted to hospital, or enters residential care.

The benefit or rate of benefit ends 28 days after the day on which the beneficiary stops caring for the other person.

If child ceases to be entitled to orphan’s benefit or unsupported child’s benefit

If a child’s entitlement to an orphan’s benefit or an unsupported child’s benefit ceases, the benefit ends—

  1. on the date the child ceases to be entitled to the benefit; or
  2. on a date that is set by MSD and is after, but not later than 28 days after, the date the child ceases to be entitled to the benefit.
Supported living payment on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness and cancelled on medical grounds

This section applies to a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness, and that is cancelled on medical grounds.

The benefit ends on a date set by MSD and that is after, but not later than 28 days after, the date of cancellation of that benefit.

Expiry and regrant of specified benefits

Expiry date, and specified benefit, defined

In this section and sections 332 to 336,—

expiry date, in relation to a specified benefit, means the expiry date prescribed for that specified benefit by regulations made under section 441(1)

specified benefit means a benefit that is—

  1. jobseeker support; or
  2. sole parent support, supported living payment, or emergency benefit, unless that benefit is for the time being declared not to be a specified benefit for the purposes of this section and sections 332 to 336 by regulations made under section 441(1).

Regulations made under section 441(1) that declare sole parent support, supported living payment, or emergency benefit not to be a specified benefit may, without limitation, declare not to be a specified benefit for the purposes of this section and sections 332 to 336 any of those benefits—

  1. as granted on only 1 or more specified available eligibility grounds:
  2. as granted to only 1 or more specified categories, classes, or kinds of beneficiaries.
General rule

A beneficiary’s entitlement to a specified benefit ceases not later than, and the specified benefit expires on, the expiry date for that specified benefit.

This section is subject to sections 334 and 336.

Exception for specified benefit expiring in week of or before 26 December

This section applies to a specified benefit that expires under section 332 in the week that is, or is the week immediately before, the week that includes 26 December in a year.

The benefit must continue to be paid until the first Monday after 2 January in the immediately following year.

This section overrides sections 325 and 332.

Exemptions

MSD may in any prescribed circumstances exempt from expiry under section 332 all or any specified benefits of—

  1. an identified beneficiary; or
  2. all beneficiaries who fall within an identified class or description.

The exemption must be until an identified event or situation or time, and may be on any identified conditions.

MSD’s exemption power is exercisable only by notice in writing copied as soon as practicable to every beneficiary concerned.

In subsection (1), prescribed circumstances means any circumstances that are—

  1. circumstances in which an exemption from expiry may be considered; and
  2. prescribed for the purposes of this section by regulations made under section 441(1).
MSD must notify or advise beneficiary

MSD must, not less than 20 working days before the expiry date for a specified benefit, give the affected beneficiary a notice that states—

  1. that entitlement to that benefit will cease unless the beneficiary reapplies for that benefit and it is regranted; and
  2. the date on which entitlement to that benefit will cease; and
  3. what the beneficiary must do to reapply for that benefit, and the period within which the beneficiary must do so.

Subsection (1) does not apply if, at the time that MSD is required to give a notice under that subsection, the specified benefit—

  1. is suspended because the beneficiary is undertaking temporary employment; or
  2. is not for the time being payable under this Act, for example, under—
    1. section 217 (benefit not payable during custody in prison or on remand); or
    2. section 219 (general rule: benefit not payable while beneficiary absent from New Zealand); or
  3. is suspended under any provision of this Act other than section 237 (sanction for second failure: suspension of main benefit).

However, if at any time before the expiry date for that benefit any of the circumstances described in subsection (2) no longer exist, MSD must, as soon as practicable, take reasonable steps to advise the beneficiary of the matters set out in subsection (1)(a) to (c).

Requirements for regrant

The specified benefit may be regranted if that beneficiary reapplies for it in accordance with requirements for regrant of it.

The requirements for regrant of the specified benefit may be in this Act or in regulations made under section 441(1).

Subpart 5 — Payment of benefits, tax on benefits, debts and deductions

Payment of benefits

How benefits are paid

How benefits are paid is, in general, provided for by regulations made under section 442 or 443.

Weekly instalments

A benefit is payable in instalments of a number of weeks’ benefit.

The number of weeks’ benefit is as determined from time to time by MSD.

The instalments are payable on 1 or more days or dates in the month.

The 1 or more days or dates in the month is or are as determined from time to time by MSD.

A main benefit under this Act and the winter energy payment are payable in respect of a 7-day week.

This section is subject to section 74 (winter energy payment: instalments, rates, and payment) and section 341 (required manner of payment: money management for certain payments to young people).

Payment generally to, or on account of, beneficiary personally

All or part of an instalment of a benefit is paid to, or on account of, the beneficiary personally, or, if MSD for good cause directs,—

  1. to, or on account of, some other person authorised by the beneficiary; or
  2. for a beneficiary who lacks sufficient capacity in law, to a person appointed by MSD for the purpose of receiving it; or
  3. with or without the consent of the beneficiary—
    1. to a person in payment of the beneficiary’s lawful debts or other liabilities:
    2. to, or for the benefit of, the spouse or partner of the beneficiary or a dependent child or children of the beneficiary.

Subsection (1) is subject to contrary provisions in, or in regulations made under, this Act (for example,—

  1. exceptions provided for in regulations made under section 442; and
  2. sections 341 and 344, on when certain payments to a young person are or may be subject to money management; and
  3. section 351, which requires an amount for tax paid under section 350(2) by MSD to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue to be considered to be a payment of a benefit made on account of, and received by, the beneficiary; and
  4. sections 368 to 370, on when MSD must pay a disability allowance, special assistance granted under a programme approved under section 100 or 101, or an advance payment, to a preferred supplier of goods or services).
Required manner of payment: general

All or part of an instalment of a benefit must be paid in a manner from time to time determined by MSD.

Example

An instalment of jobseeker support must be paid by electronic transfer of funds into the beneficiary’s bank account, if that is what MSD has determined.

Subsection (1) is subject to contrary provisions in, or in regulations made under, this Act (for example,—

  1. section 341, on the manner of payment of specified youth support payments; and
  2. default determinations, and exceptions, provided for in regulations made under section 442).

A determination made by MSD under this section of a required manner of payment—

  1. may be reviewed under subpart 3 of this Part; but
  2. cannot be reviewed, or appealed against, under Part 7.
Required manner of payment: money management for certain payments to young people

Regulations made under section 418(1)(k) for the purposes of this section may prescribe a manner of payment designed to assist certain young people to manage their money effectively (a money management manner of payment).

A money management manner of payment may (but need not) include crediting an amount to a payment card, voucher, or device, that enables a young person to obtain goods or services from a particular supplier and enables the supplier to obtain payment from MSD for the goods or services.

The following must be paid in a money management manner of payment:

  1. any youth support payment (including the in-hand allowance up to the maximum amount set out in clause 7 in Part 6 of Schedule 4):
  2. any WFF tax credit payable to a young person by MSD:
  3. the amount of any child disability allowance or disability allowance to which a young person is entitled:
  4. any other benefit or payment under this Act to which a young person is entitled specified for the purposes of this paragraph by the regulations made under section 418(1)(k).

Subsection (3)—

  1. is subject to the exception set out in section 342; and
  2. overrides section 80KS of the Tax Administration Act 1994.
Money management for certain payments to young people: exception if young person meets prescribed criteria for managing own payments

This section applies to a young person only if MSD considers the young person has met the criteria—

  1. for managing the young person’s own payments; and
  2. stated for the purposes of this section in regulations made under section 418(1)(k).

All or a part of the payments referred to in section 341(3)(a) to (d) may be paid to or on account of the young person personally (in line with section 339(1)) until a sanction is imposed on the young person under section 270, 271, 280, or 281.

Review and appeal of specified determinations made by MSD under regulations

A determination by MSD under regulations made under section 418(1)(k) for the purposes of section 342(1)(b)

  1. may be reviewed under subpart 3 of this Part; but
  2. cannot be reviewed, or appealed against, under Part 7.
Young person beneficiaries may elect money management

A young person to whom section 166 or 167 applies may elect to have all or any amounts stated in subsection (3) payable to the young person paid in a money management manner of payment.

However, the election may be made by the young person only—

  1. to the extent that regulations made under section 418(1)(l) for the purposes of this section allow; and
  2. subject to any conditions prescribed by the regulations.

The amounts are—

  1. any part of a specified beneficiary’s benefit:
  2. any part of any other benefit payable under regulations made under section 442(2)(e) (regulations: payments, and debts and deductions: apportionment) for the purposes of section 337 (how benefits are paid):
  3. any WFF tax credit:
  4. any child disability allowance or disability allowance:
  5. any other benefit or payment under this Act to which the young person is entitled.

The young person may revoke the election at any time.

Credit on payment card, etc, at end of money management

This section applies to a young person if—

  1. the young person ceases to be subject to a money management manner of payment; and
  2. the young person has a payment card, voucher, or device to which an amount or amounts payable to the young person have been credited for the purchase of goods or services; and
  3. the amount on the card, voucher, or device has not been fully spent.

MSD may, after receiving an oral or a written application to do so made (in any form, and using any wording, that is reasonable for the purpose) by or on behalf of a young person to whom this section applies,—

  1. cancel the young person’s payment card, voucher, or device; and
  2. pay the amount standing to the credit of the young person on the payment card, voucher, or device (after the deduction of any debt recoverable from the young person) to the young person under section 339.
Required manner of payment: payment on death of beneficiary

If an instalment of a benefit is payable after the beneficiary’s death, that instalment may be paid,—

  1. on application by the surviving spouse or partner of the beneficiary, to that spouse or partner; or
  2. if the beneficiary has no surviving spouse or partner but has a surviving dependent child, on application by the person who has the care of the child, to that person (or to another person appointed by MSD for the purpose) for the benefit of that child and any other surviving dependent children of the beneficiary; or
  3. in any other case, in the manner in which that instalment would have been paid if the beneficiary had not died.
Advance payment of instalments of benefit

MSD may make an advance payment of all or part of 1 or more instalments of a benefit (and that are instalments that are not yet due) if, and only if,—

  1. the benefit is a main benefit, an orphan’s benefit, an unsupported child’s benefit, New Zealand superannuation, or a veteran’s pension; and
  2. MSD is satisfied that an advance payment of the benefit would best meet the beneficiary’s immediate needs; and
  3. the beneficiary has applied for an advance payment of the benefit.

The beneficiary’s application must be made in a manner and form specified in regulations made under section 446, and makes the beneficiary subject to section 348 (requirement for beneficiary, spouse or partner, or both, to undertake budgeting activity).

The amount so paid in advance is a debt due to the Crown under regulations made under section 444, and subject to recovery under regulations made under section 444, from the beneficiary.

Requirement for beneficiary, spouse or partner, or both, to undertake budgeting activity

This section applies to a beneficiary who has applied for an advance payment under section 347 of a benefit.

MSD may, in circumstances prescribed by regulations made under section 447, require the beneficiary, the beneficiary’s spouse or partner, or both, to undertake to MSD’s satisfaction a budgeting activity of a kind specified in regulations made under section 447.

Tax on benefits

Interpretation

In this section and sections 350 to 352,—

main benefit means any of the following:

  1. a main benefit as defined in section YA 1 of the Income Tax Act 2007:
  2. an income-tested benefit, as that term is defined in whichever of the following apply:
    1. section 2 of the Income Tax Act 1976; or
    2. section OB 1 of the Income Tax Act 1994; or
    3. section OB 1 of the Income Tax Act 2004

source deduction payment means a payment that is—

  1. within the meaning of that term in whichever of the following apply:
    1. section 2 of the Income Tax Act 1976; or
    2. section OB 1 of the Income Tax Act 1994; or
    3. section OB 1 of the Income Tax Act 2004; or
  2. a PAYE income payment, as that term is defined in section RD 3 of the Income Tax Act 2007 (if applicable)

specified provision, in relation to a source deduction payment, means (as the case requires)—

  1. the fourth proviso to section 343(1) of the Income Tax Act 1976; or
  2. the fourth proviso to section NC 6(1) of the Income Tax Act 1994; or
  3. section NC 6(1D) of the Income Tax Act 1994; or
  4. section NC 6(1D) of the Income Tax Act 2004; or
  5. section RD 11(3) of the Income Tax Act 2007.
MSD may pay tax on main benefit other than by tax deduction from source deduction payment

This section applies to a source deduction payment that is an instalment or a payment of a main benefit.

MSD may, instead of making a tax deduction from the source deduction payment, pay to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, at a time the Commissioner determines in consultation with MSD, an amount for income tax payable on that payment, that is calculated under subsection (3).

The amount for income tax payable on a source deduction payment is the amount of the tax deduction that would be made, at the rate determined under the appropriate specified provision, if the payment were increased by an amount that, after the tax deduction were made, would result in an amount equal to the source deduction payment.

Status of amount for income tax paid by MSD

An amount for income tax paid by MSD to the Commissioner under section 350(2) must,—

  1. for the purposes of this Act, be considered to be a payment of a benefit, within the meaning of that term in Schedule 2, made on account of, and received by, the person; and
  2. for the purposes of—
    1. the Income Tax Act 1976, be considered to be assessable income of the person; or
    2. the Income Tax Act 1994, be considered to be gross income of the person; or
    3. the Income Tax Act 2004, be considered to be income of the person; or
    4. the Income Tax Act 2007, be considered to be income of the person.
Recovery amount paid in excess of amount properly payable

This section applies if, as a result of the review, suspension, or cancellation of a main benefit, MSD determines that an amount for tax on the benefit has been paid under section 350(2) to the Commissioner in excess of the amount that is properly payable under section 350(2).

MSD cannot recover the excess amount under regulations made under section 444, but may recover that amount by—

  1. making an adjustment to an amount later payable to the Commissioner under section 350(2) in respect of the source deduction payments for that or any other benefit payable to that beneficiary; or
  2. making other arrangements for its refund that are agreed with the Commissioner.

Debts and deductions

Debts and deductions

The following matters are provided for by regulations made under section 444:

  1. recovery of sums (for example, identified overpayments, or penalties) specified as debts due to the Crown:
  2. issuing of deduction notices that require a debtor’s payer to deduct, and pay MSD, an amount due:
  3. related matters.
Recovery of penalty from beneficiary who obtains by fraud amount in excess of entitlement

This section applies to a person if—

  1. the person obtained a payment, or received a credit or an advance, in excess of the amount to which the person was entitled; and
  2. in MSD’s opinion, that payment, credit, or advance in excess, was obtained by fraud.

MSD may recover from the person, by way of penalty that is a debt due to the Crown, an amount not exceeding 3 times the amount in excess.

MSD’s discretion may be exercised in respect of a particular case, or in respect of a particular class, or any particular classes, of case.

This section does not relieve the person from any other liability in respect of any fraud committed by the person.

A person must be taken for the purposes of this section to have obtained a payment, credit, or advance by fraud if the person—

  1. has made a statement knowing it to be false in a material particular, or has knowingly said or done anything or omitted to do or say anything for the purpose of misleading MSD in the administration of this Act, for the purpose of obtaining a payment, credit, or advance, under this Act; and
  2. has, as a result of that statement, action, or omission, received that payment, credit, or advance.
Restriction on imposing penalty under section 354: prosecution for offence

MSD cannot impose a penalty on a person under section 354 if that person has been prosecuted and dealt with for any offence arising out of the same circumstances that gave rise to liability under that section.

Restriction on imposing penalty under section 354: notice and period to respond

MSD cannot impose a penalty on a person under section 354 unless MSD has given to the person a written notice advising—

  1. of MSD’s intention to impose a penalty under section 354; and
  2. of the amount proposed to be imposed by way of penalty; and
  3. of the particulars of fact on which MSD’s intention is based; and
  4. that the person has 5 working days after the date of receipt of the notice to show cause why the action should not be taken.

MSD cannot impose a penalty on a person under section 354 until after the expiration of those 5 working days.

Restriction on recovering penalty under section 354: decision to be final

MSD cannot recover a penalty imposed on a person by a decision under section 354 unless (as the case requires)—

  1. a benefits review committee review under subpart 2 of Part 7 of the decision—
    1. has not been applied for by or on behalf of the person within the time allowed (and no application has been made to allow a further time for an application for a review of that kind); or
    2. has been completed; or
  2. an appeal authority appeal under subpart 3 of Part 7 against the decision—
    1. has not been begun by a notice of appeal being lodged by or on behalf of the person within the time allowed (and no application has been made to allow a further time for lodging a notice of an appeal of that kind); or
    2. has been completed.
Recovery from spouse or partner who misleads MSD of excess amount beneficiary obtained

This section applies to a beneficiary’s (B’s) spouse or partner (S) if, in MSD’s opinion,—

  1. S makes a false statement to, or otherwise misleads, MSD in the administration of this Act, in relation to any matter; and
  2. the benefit or an instalment of benefit is, as a result of the statement or misleading, paid in excess of the amount to which B is by law entitled.

The amount so paid in excess is a debt due to the Crown, and subject to recovery under section 362, from S.

The excess amount may be recovered under this section from S on the basis that S is jointly and severally liable.

This section therefore does not limit or affect—

  1. recovery under section 362 from B of the excess amount recoverable under this section and section 362 from S:
  2. any other civil or criminal liability of B, under any other laws, in respect of that excess amount.
Recovery from spouse or partner of apportioned excess amount beneficiary obtained by fraud

This section applies to a benefit apportioned between spouses or partners so that—

  1. one proportion of the benefit (proportion B) is paid to one spouse or partner (B); and
  2. another proportion of the benefit (proportion S) is paid to the other spouse or partner (S); and
  3. the beneficiary entitled to the benefit, for the purposes of those regulations, is either B or S.

However, this section does not apply to the apportioned benefit unless—

  1. all or part of proportion B is—
    1. an amount in excess of the amount to which B is by law entitled or to which B has no entitlement; and
    2. an amount obtained by fraud by B; and
    3. a debt due to the Crown, and subject to recovery under section 362, from B; and
  2. all or part of proportion S either is, or is not,—
    1. an amount in excess of the amount to which S is by law entitled or to which S has no entitlement; and
    2. an amount obtained by fraud by S; and
    3. a debt due to the Crown, and subject to recovery under section 362, from S; and
  3. S either knew, or ought to have known (even if S did not know), of the fraud by B.

S is jointly and severally liable for B’s debt referred to in subsection (2)(a)(iii), and that amount is a debt due to the Crown, and subject to recovery under section 362, from S.

This section does not limit or affect any civil or criminal liability under any other law—

  1. of B for, or in respect of, the debt referred to in subsection (2)(a)(iii); or
  2. of S for, or in respect of, the debt referred to in subsection (2)(b)(iii).
Obtaining amount by fraud: meaning and proof

An amount is obtained by fraud by a person (whether B or S) for the purposes of sections 354, 359, and 361, and clause 9 of Schedule 6 if the person—

  1. obtained that amount by—
    1. making any statement to MSD knowing the statement to be false in a material particular; or
    2. knowingly saying or doing anything or omitting to do or say anything for the purpose of misleading MSD in administering this Act; or
  2. is convicted of a specified offence (as defined in section 291(5)) in respect of obtaining that amount.

This section does not limit references to fraud in sections 354, 359, and 361, and clause 9 of Schedule 6.

This section does not limit the operation of section 49 (conviction as evidence in criminal proceedings) of the Evidence Act 2006.

Recovery from spouse or partner of unapportioned excess amount beneficiary obtained by fraud

This section applies to a beneficiary’s (B’s) spouse or partner (S) if—

  1. B has obtained or received an amount (payment, credit, or advance)—
    1. in excess of the amount to which B was entitled; or
    2. to which B has no entitlement; and
  2. B, in MSD’s opinion, obtained that amount (payment, credit, or advance) in excess by fraud; and
  3. none of the amount in excess has been apportioned to S; and
  4. S, in MSD’s opinion, either—
    1. knowingly benefited directly or indirectly from B’s fraud; or
    2. ought to have known (even if B did not know) that S was benefiting directly or indirectly from B’s fraud.

The amount in excess that S obtained by B’s fraud is a debt due to the Crown, and subject to recovery under section 362, from S.

The excess amount may be recovered under this section from S on the basis that S is jointly and severally liable.

This section therefore does not limit or affect—

  1. recovery under section 362 from B of the excess amount recoverable under this section and section 362 from S:
  2. any other civil or criminal liability of B, under any other laws, in respect of that excess amount.
MSD’s duty to recover debts

MSD is under a duty imposed by this section to take all reasonably practicable steps to recover sums (for example, identified overpayments, or penalties) that are specified (in this Act, or in regulations made under this Act) as debts due to the Crown.

The duty is subject to the exceptions specified in regulations made under section 444(2)(b).

Duty unaffected by law on mistaken payments

Recovery under section 362 of a debt is not prevented by the following:

  1. section 74B of the Property Law Act 2007 (payments made under mistake of law or fact not always recoverable):
  2. any other law relating to payment by or under mistake.

Subpart 5A — Use of automated electronic systems in respect of information share child support payments

Use of automated electronic systems to make decisions, exercise powers, comply with obligations, and take related actions
MSD may approve use

MSD may approve the use of an automated electronic system by a specified person to make any decision, exercise any power, comply with any obligation, or take any other related action under any specified provision.

Meanings of specified person and specified provision

In this subpart,—

specified person means any of the following performing or exercising a duty, function, or power under a specified provision:

  1. the chief executive of the responsible department:
  2. a public service employee, or other person, acting under a delegation (direct or indirect) from that chief executive

specified provision has the same meaning as in clause 11 of Schedule 3.

Specified provision must be about effect of child support income

The specified provision must be about how an information share child support payment is or affects any person’s assets, income, or other means of any kind (however described), for the purposes of, or for any purpose related to,—

  1. a benefit; or
  2. any other assistance under this Act.
Requirements for approval

MSD may approve the use of an automated electronic system only if—

  1. the system is under the responsible department’s control; and
  2. MSD is satisfied that the system has the capacity to make the decision, exercise the power, comply with the obligation, or take the related action with reasonable reliability; and
  3. MSD is satisfied that the use of the system is consistent with the approved standard for MSD’s use of automated electronic systems (see subsections (5) and (6)); and
  4. 1 or more persons are always available, as an alternative, to make the decision, exercise the power, comply with the obligation, or take the related action.
Approved standard for MSD’s use of automated electronic systems

MSD must ensure that there is in force at all times after the commencement of this section an approved standard for MSD’s use of automated electronic systems.

The standard, and any amendment, revocation, or replacement of the standard, must be—

  1. approved by MSD, in consultation with the Privacy Commissioner appointed under the Privacy Act 2020; and
  2. reviewed at least once every 3 years; and
  3. published in the Gazette; and
  4. published on an Internet site that—
    1. is maintained by, or on behalf of, the responsible department; and
    2. is publicly available free of charge.
Effect of use of approved system

A decision that is made, a power that is exercised, an obligation that is complied with, or a related action that is taken using an automated electronic system under this section must be treated for all purposes as if it were made, exercised, complied with, or taken (as the case may be) by a specified person authorised or required by the specified provision to make the decision, exercise the power, comply with the obligation, or take the related action.

Publication of details of arrangements for use of automated electronic systems

MSD must ensure that details of any arrangements to use an automated electronic system, and any variation or revocation of the arrangements, are published as soon as practicable—

  1. in the Gazette; and
  2. on an Internet site that—
    1. is maintained by, or on behalf of, the responsible department; and
    2. is publicly available free of charge.

Those details must identify—

  1. the relevant decision, power, obligation, or related action to be made, exercised, complied with, or taken under the specified provision; and
  2. the automated electronic system that is to make, exercise, comply with, or take that decision, power, obligation, or related action.

The use of an automated electronic system is not made invalid by reason only of a failure to publish details of it or any variation to it as soon as practicable in accordance with subsection (1).

Variation and substitution of decisions made by automated electronic systems

This section applies to a decision made by an automated electronic system (the relevant decision).

A specified person may—

  1. vary, or add to, the terms or conditions of the relevant decision; or
  2. substitute a decision for the relevant decision if the specified person is satisfied that the new decision—
    1. could have been made under the same specified provision as the relevant decision; and
    2. is more favourable to the affected person.

A specified person is not obliged to exercise any power in subsection (2) in respect of the relevant decision.

Appeals and reviews unaffected
General rule

A person has the same rights of appeal or right to apply for administrative or judicial review (if any) in relation to a decision made, power exercised, obligation complied with, or other action taken by an automated electronic system as the person would have had if the decision, power, obligation, or other action had been made, exercised, complied with, or taken by a specified person.

Review under subpart 3 of Part 6 of information share child support payments

However, this section is subject to sections 304(1A) and 304A (under which MSD may review under subpart 3 of Part 6 whether a person’s information share child support payment is or was all or any of their weekly income under Part 3A of Schedule 3, but only on all or any of the review grounds specified in section 304A(1)(a) to (g)).

Review grounds include any additional grounds prescribed by regulations

For the purposes of subsection (2), the review grounds specified in section 304A(1)(a) to (g) include, without limitation, any 1 or more additional grounds prescribed by regulations made under section 418(1)(ja).

Subpart 6 — Notices and communications, services, and preferred suppliers

Notices and communications

Ways MSD or person can meet requirement to give notice or other document

The ways MSD or a person can meet a requirement in this Act to give to another person a written or other notice, or any other document, are specified in regulations made under section 449.

This section is subject to section 254 (how notice of sanction may be given).

Young people services

Services to encourage young people to move to and remain in education, training, and employment

MSD may do either or both of the following things:

  1. provide services to encourage and help young people to move into or remain in education, training, and employment, rather than receiving financial support under this Act:
  2. enter (under section 373) into contracts with service providers to provide services of that kind on MSD’s behalf.

A young person who, on the date the young person turns 18 years old is, in MSD’s opinion, continuing in a course of education or training may continue to be provided the services of the kind referred to in subsection (1)(a) until—

  1. the close of the following 31 March, if the course is one of secondary instruction or one that ends in December; or
  2. the close of the day on which the course ends, if the course is one of any other kind.

Goods or services, for beneficiaries or others, supplied by preferred suppliers

Preferred suppliers: contracts

MSD may from time to time, on behalf of the Crown, enter into a contract with any person, body, or organisation (a preferred supplier) for the supply of goods or services, or classes, descriptions, or kinds of goods or services, specified in a determination under section 367,—

  1. by the preferred supplier; and
  2. for purchase by beneficiaries, other persons identified by MSD, or both.
Preferred suppliers: determinations

The Minister may from time to time, by written direction, determine the goods or services, or classes, descriptions, or kinds of goods or services, contracts for the supply of which may be entered into under section 366.

A determination under this section must be in respect of goods or services, or classes, descriptions, or kinds of goods or services, for all or any of the following (and for no other) purposes:

  1. to meet additional expenses arising from a disability by way of a disability allowance, under section 85:
  2. to meet particular needs of a person via special assistance under a programme under section 100 or 101:
  3. to satisfy the immediate needs of a beneficiary via an advance payment of a benefit under section 347.
Preferred suppliers: paying them disability allowance, special assistance, or advance payment

This section applies to a person if—

  1. any of the following relates to the supply of any goods or services to the person or a member of the person’s family:
    1. the person’s ongoing additional expenses under section 85(2)(d); or
    2. a special assistance payment to the person under a welfare programme approved under section 100 or 101; or
    3. the person’s immediate needs under section 347; and
  2. the goods or services are of a class, description, or kind supplied by a preferred supplier under a preferred supply contract; and
  3. the preferred supplier is a preferred supplier to, or in respect of, the area in which the beneficiary resides.

The person must purchase the goods or services—

  1. from a preferred supplier nominated by MSD; and
  2. at the price determined by the preferred supply contract with that supplier.

The amount of the special assistance under section 100 or 101, or advance payment under section 347, for purchasing the goods or services is the lesser of—

  1. the price determined by the preferred supply contract with that supplier; and
  2. the maximum amount available under the approved welfare programme, or of advance payment of benefit, that is available to the person for that purpose.

MSD must pay to that supplier, in consideration of the supply of the goods or services to the person or the person’s family member,—

  1. all, or the specified part, of the disability allowance that is granted under section 85 in respect of the supply of the goods or services; or
  2. the special assistance payment under the welfare programme approved under section 100 or 101; or
  3. the advance payment under section 347.

A nomination given by MSD under subsection (2) of a preferred supplier—

  1. may be given by MSD orally or in writing (but, if given orally, must as soon as practicable be confirmed in writing by MSD); and
  2. may from time to time be amended, revoked, or replaced, by MSD, to recognise changes in preferred suppliers or preferred supply contracts ending without also being replaced.

Preferred supply contract, in this section and section 370, means a contract MSD has entered into under section 366 (preferred suppliers: contracts) with a supplier of goods or services.

This section is subject to sections 369 and 370 (which are disability allowance exceptions).

Preferred suppliers: paying them disability allowance: exception if total benefit payments less than amount required

This section applies if—

  1. a preferred supplier is required under section 368(4)(a) to be paid, on a pay day, an amount that is all or the specified part of a disability allowance granted under section 85 to a person in respect of the supply of the goods or services; and
  2. the person’s net total benefit payments due to be paid on that pay day (after deducting any reduction or deduction required to be made from the person’s benefit payments for another purpose (for example, under an attachment order or a deduction notice)) are less than the amount required to pay the preferred supplier on that pay day.

MSD—

  1. is not required by section 368(4)(a) to pay to the preferred supplier on the pay day referred to in subsection (1) of this section all, or the specified part, of the person’s disability allowance due on that pay day; and
  2. may pay the amount due to the preferred supplier on 1 or more later pay days from amounts of disability allowance or other benefit payments due to the person on those 1 or more later pay days.

Non-payment, or deferred payment, under this section does not reduce any amounts due to the preferred supplier from the person under, or make MSD or the Crown liable for breaching, the person’s contract of purchase.

Preferred suppliers: paying them disability allowance: exception if allowance granted at maximum rate

This section applies if the disability allowance granted to the person to whom section 368(4)(a) applies is granted at the maximum appropriate rate specified in Part 9 of Schedule 4.

MSD may determine in writing that, despite section 368(2),—

  1. all, or the specified part, of the disability allowance that is granted under section 85 in respect of the supply of the goods or services must be paid to the person for use only to purchase any 1 or more of the goods or services that the person chooses and that are goods or services in respect of the supply of which the disability allowance is granted; and
  2. if the goods or services that the person chooses and purchases under paragraph (a) are goods or services supplied by the nominated preferred supplier under the preferred supply contract, the person must purchase them from that supplier at the price determined by that contract.
Preferred suppliers: no appeal lies against MSD decisions

An MSD decision under sections 368 to 370

  1. may be reviewed under subpart 3 of this Part; but
  2. cannot be reviewed, or appealed against, under Part 7.
Preferred suppliers: transitional or savings provisions directions

The Minister may from time to time give to MSD under this section written directions that set out transitional or savings provisions that apply—

  1. to persons receiving assistance under this Act in respect of goods or services that would be affected by a contract with a preferred supplier in respect of those goods or services; and
  2. at, or within a specified period after, the time or times when a contract under section 366 (including, without limitation, one that varies or replaces all or any of an earlier contract of that kind) takes effect.

A direction given under this section—

  1. overrides sections 347, 367(2)(b), and 368 to 370; and
  2. must be complied with by MSD; and
  3. is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

[Repealed]

Administration services provided by contracted service providers

Administration service providers: contracts

MSD may from time to time, on behalf of the Crown, enter into a contract with any person, body, or organisation (a contracted service provider) for the provision by the contracted service provider of services—

  1. that, in relation to young people, are—
    1. services of either or both of the following kinds:
      1. services of the kind referred to in section 365(1)(a) (that is, services to encourage and help young people to move into or remain in education, training, and employment, rather than receiving financial support under this Act):
      2. services in relation to financial support for young people; and
    2. services of a kind or description stated for the purposes of this paragraph by regulations made under section 418(1)(m); and
  2. that, in relation to people other than young people, are services in relation to all or any of Parts 1 to 6 (and that may, but need not, be services of a kind or description stated for the purposes of this paragraph by regulations made under section 418(1)(m)).

MSD must not enter into a contract with a person, body, or organisation for the provision of services of a kind stated in subsection (1) unless MSD is satisfied that the person, body, or organisation—

  1. is suitable to provide the services specified in the contract; and
  2. is suitable to work with people to whom the services relate in providing those services; and
  3. has the powers and capacity to enter into and perform a contract for those services.
Administration service providers: contents and form of contracts

A contract under section 373

  1. must set out the responsibilities of the contracted service provider and MSD in respect of each of the services the provider is to provide under the contract; and
  2. must require the provider to co-operate with MSD; and
  3. must contain all terms and conditions (if any) stated for the purposes of that section by regulations made under section 418(1)(n).

The contract must be in writing.

Subsection (1) is subject to section 373.

Administration service providers: adoption of existing contracts

This section applies to a contract that MSD entered into with another party before 27 July 2012 (which is the date on which section 21 of the Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Act 2012 came into force).

MSD may agree in writing with the other party to the contract that this Act applies to the contract (to the extent that it was capable of being entered into under section 373) as if it had been entered into under section 373.

After an agreement under this section takes effect, this Act applies to the contract (to the extent that it was capable of being entered into under section 373) as if it had been entered into under section 373.

Administration service providers: MSD to ensure information published

MSD must, not later than 1 October in every year, ensure there is published the following information:

  1. a general description of—
    1. the services provided by contracted service providers during the year ending on 30 June in that year; and
    2. the contracted service providers; and
  2. details of the providers concerned.
Conduct of provider of services in relation to young people to be treated for specified purposes as if MSD’s conduct

Action or inaction by a contracted service provider contracted under section 373(1)(a) to provide services in relation to young people, and that is action or inaction in respect of the provision of those services, must be treated for the purposes of the following provisions as if it were action or inaction by MSD:

  1. section 113 (beneficiary must notify change of circumstances):
  2. sections 317 and 318 (Minister may consent to backdating):
  3. any provisions about debts caused wholly or partly by errors to which debtors did not intentionally contribute, and in regulations made under section 444.
MSD may assign contracted service provider to young person

MSD may assign a contracted service provider to a young person—

  1. at a time—
    1. after the young person has contacted MSD for financial assistance; and
    2. at which MSD considers the most appropriate financial assistance for the young person is likely to be a youth support payment; or
  2. at the time, or at a time after, the youth support payment is payable to the young person; or
  3. at a time when the young person is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary, or of a beneficiary, and has obligations under—
    1. section 166 (young person aged 16 or 17 years with no dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary); or
    2. section 167 (young person aged 16 to 19 years with dependent child and who is spouse or partner of beneficiary).

Medical services

Minister determines rates and conditions of employment and payment

The following matters are to be at rates, and subject to conditions, determined by the Minister:

  1. the employment for the purposes of this Act of prescribed health practitioners—
    1. paid only by fees or commission; or
    2. engaged for a specified period under a contract for services:
  2. the payment of those fees (including mileage allowances in connection with that employment).

Subpart 7 — Reciprocity agreements with other countries

Orders

Orders adopting reciprocity agreements

The purpose of this section is to enable effect to be given in New Zealand law to an agreement (for example, a Convention), or an alteration to an agreement, with the Government of another country providing for reciprocity in respect of matters relating to social security monetary benefits (a reciprocity agreement).

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, do all or any of the following:

  1. declare all or any provisions of, or of an alteration to, a reciprocity agreement (being provisions set out in a schedule of the order) have force and effect so far as they relate to New Zealand:
  2. declare that the following enactments (and any regulations or orders made, and in force, under the following Acts) have effect subject to any modifications required for the purpose of giving effect to the agreement or alteration:
    1. this Act:
    2. Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014:
    3. Part 1 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001:
  3. revoke a previous order that applied in respect of, or in respect of an alteration to, a reciprocity agreement if the agreement or alteration is no longer in force or if, on the commencement of the order, the previous order is intended to be no longer in force.

The Governor-General may, by the same or a later Order in Council, specify the date on which an order made under subsection (2) is to come into force (which may be a date before, on, or after the date on which the order is made under subsection (2)).

This section is subject to section 381.

An order under this section is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Privacy report for orders adopting agreements with mutual assistance provisions

This section applies to a reciprocity agreement, or an alteration to a reciprocity agreement, that contains a mutual assistance provision—

  1. for the Governments of New Zealand and the other country to—
    1. provide each other with assistance in the recovery of social security debts; or
    2. supply each other with information for social security purposes; and
  2. that does not relate solely to the recovery of moneys paid under the agreement in excess of that to which the recipient was entitled under that agreement.

No order may be made under section 380 in respect of the agreement or alteration unless the Privacy Commissioner has first presented to the Minister and to the Minister of Justice a report on the following matters:

  1. whether the mutual assistance provision complies with the information privacy principles set out in section 22 of the Privacy Act 2020, having regard to—
    1. whether the objective of the provision relates to a matter of significant public importance:
    2. whether the use of the provision to achieve that objective will result in significant and quantifiable monetary savings, or in other comparable benefits to society:
    3. whether the use of an alternative means of achieving that objective would give either of the results referred to in paragraph (ii):
    4. whether the public interest in allowing the provision to proceed outweighs the public interest in adhering to the information privacy principles that the provision would otherwise contravene:
    5. whether the provision involves information matching on a scale that is excessive, having regard to—
      1. the number of agencies that will be involved; and
      2. the amount of detail about an individual that will be matched under the provision:
    6. whether the provision will comply with the information matching rules in Schedule 6 of the Privacy Act 2020:
  2. if the mutual assistance provision is one for the Governments of New Zealand and the other country to supply each other with information for social security purposes, the adequacy of the privacy protection given in the other country to information about any individual that may be supplied by New Zealand under the provision.
Interpretation

In this subpart,—

competent institution means an institution of a party that is responsible for the application of the reciprocity agreement

party means a Government that has entered into a reciprocity agreement

reciprocity agreement means an agreement (for example, a Convention), or an alteration to an agreement, with the Government of another country providing for reciprocity in respect of matters relating to social security monetary benefits

requested institution means the competent institution of a party to which a request is made by the competent institution of the other party

requesting institution means the competent institution of a party that makes a request to the competent institution of the other party

social security debt,—

  1. in relation to New Zealand, means an amount that is subject to recovery from a person under regulations made under section 444; and
  2. in relation to any other country, means an amount that may be recovered from a person—
    1. under the laws relating to social security in that country; or
    2. for taxation or other contribution levied specifically for social security under the laws of that country

social security laws, in relation to a party, means the laws of that party—

  1. relating to social security; or
  2. relating to taxation, or any other contribution, levied specifically for social security

social security purposes include all or any of the following purposes:

  1. the administration of the social security laws of a party:
  2. the collection of the social security debts of a party:
  3. the maintenance of the social security laws of a party (for example, the prevention, detection, prosecution, and punishment of offences under the social security laws of a party):
  4. the enforcement of any social security laws of a party imposing a pecuniary penalty:
  5. the conduct of any proceedings under the social security laws of a party before any court or tribunal.

Agreements

Inclusion of mutual assistance provisions in reciprocity agreements

Reciprocity agreements with other countries may contain and include mutual assistance provisions if those provisions being contained and included in those agreements are not inconsistent with regulations made under section 450.

Debt recovery and information exchange

MSD may use mutual assistance provisions to recover debts

This section applies if an order is made under section 380 in respect of a reciprocity agreement that contains a provision for the Governments of New Zealand and the other country to provide each other with assistance in the recovery of social security debts.

A social security debt of the other country may, under and subject to the provision and to the extent that the debt has not been recovered in the other country, be recovered by MSD under regulations made under section 444 as if it were a debt due to the Crown.

A certificate signed by an authorised officer of the competent institution of the other country and to the effect that the debt is of a kind that New Zealand may under the agreement provide assistance to recover is, in the absence of proof to the contrary, sufficient evidence for the purposes of subsection (2) of the existence of the debt.

Any amount recovered under subsection (2) is trust money for the purposes of the Public Finance Act 1989.

MSD may use mutual assistance provisions to exchange information

This section applies if an order is made under section 380 in respect of a reciprocity agreement that contains a provision for the Governments of New Zealand and the other country to supply each other with information for social security purposes.

MSD may supply any information in MSD’s possession about a person to, or receive information about a person from, the competent institution of the other country under, and subject to, the provision.

MSD may from time to time, in accordance with arrangements made in an agreement with the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, supply any information received from the competent institution of the other country to the Commissioner for either or both of the following purposes:

  1. making an assessment of the tax due by any person under the taxation laws of the requesting party (which, in this subsection, means the party to whom information is supplied by the requested institution of the other party):
  2. detecting tax fraud or tax evasion under the laws of the requesting party:

Sections 179, 180, and 182 to 185 of the Privacy Act 2020 apply in respect of the provision as if the provision were an authorised information matching programme (as that term is defined in section 177 of the Privacy Act 2020) and MSD were the only specified agency involved in that programme.

Adverse action arising from discrepancy

Adverse action against individual if discrepancy shown by information from other country

This section applies if information received by MSD from the competent institution of the other country under a mutual assistance provision for information exchange has produced a discrepancy, and as a result MSD proposes to take an adverse action against an individual.

In this section, expressions defined in section 177 of the Privacy Act 2020 have the meanings so defined, with all necessary modifications.

The processes to be followed (if MSD proposes, as a result of the discrepancy, to take an adverse action against the individual) are set out in regulations made under section 450.

Subpart 8 — Prosecutions and debt-recovery proceedings, and maintenance proceedings

Prosecutions and debt recovery proceedings: representation and fees

This subsection applies to proceedings in respect of—

  1. offences under this Act or under regulations made under this Act; or
  2. recovery, required by regulations made under section 444, of a debt due to the Crown.

In any proceedings to which subsection (1) applies,—

  1. any MSD employee authorised either generally or specifically by MSD for the purpose may appear on behalf of MSD; and
  2. the fact that an MSD employee appears on behalf of MSD is sufficient evidence of the MSD employee’s authority to do so.

Any proceedings to which subsection (1) applies that are commenced by an authorised MSD employee may be continued by the same or any other authorised MSD employee.

No court fees are payable in connection with any proceedings to which subsection (1) applies.

Payment of benefit does not affect right to maintenance

Any entitlement to, or payment of, a benefit under this Act, does not—

  1. take away, or restrict, a person’s liability under an Act (for example, the Family Proceedings Act 1980, or the Child Support Act 1991) to maintain or support any other person; or
  2. affect a court’s power to make a maintenance order under any Act; or
  3. affect the Commissioner of Inland Revenue’s power under the Child Support Act 1991 to make an assessment of child support or domestic maintenance, or to accept a voluntary agreement; or
  4. affect a court’s power to make an order under the Child Support Act 1991.
Maintenance proceedings

This section applies to proceedings under the Family Proceedings Act 1980 or the Child Support Act 1991 for, or relating to, all or any of the following during all or any part of a period in which a benefit is payable to a beneficiary:

  1. the maintenance of the beneficiary; or
  2. the payment of child support for a child of the beneficiary; or
  3. the establishment of the paternity of a child of the beneficiary.

An MSD employee may, without special appointment, as if that employee were the beneficiary, institute the proceedings, or appear personally or by agent in the proceedings.

The proceedings under the Family Proceedings Act 1980 for, or relating to, the maintenance of the beneficiary during all or any part of a period in which a benefit is payable to the beneficiary may, without limitation, be proceedings under section 61CA of the Social Security Act 1964 (Family Proceedings Act 1980 maintenance payable to the Crown) (as that section is saved by clause 49 of Schedule 1).

This section does not limit section 202 (factors affecting benefit: maintenance claim).

Part 7

Reviews and appeals

Subpart 1 — Guide to this Part

What this Part does

This Part contains provisions on the following reviews and appeals:

Reviews by benefits review committee
  1. reviews by a benefits review committee, begun by a specified applicant, of a specified decision of MSD made under a delegation:
Appeals to appeal authority
  1. appeals to the appeal authority, begun by a specified appellant, against a specified decision confirmed or varied by a benefits review committee or made by the chief executive personally:
Appeals to courts
  1. appeals to the High Court, using a case stated by the appeal authority on a question of law only, begun by a specified appellant, against a determination by the authority:
  2. appeals to the Court of Appeal, begun by a party to an appeal to the High Court, and with the Court of Appeal’s leave, against the determination of an appeal to the High Court:
  3. appeals to the Supreme Court, begun by an application under the Senior Courts Act 2016 for its leave to appeal to it, against the determination of an appeal to the High Court or to the Court of Appeal:
Appeals to medical board
  1. appeals to the medical board, begun by a specified appellant, against a specified decision of MSD made on, or involving, medical or capacity grounds.

Subpart 2 — Reviews by benefits review committee

Rights of review

Right to seek review of specified decision of MSD made under delegation

A person may make an application to MSD for a review by a benefits review committee of a decision of MSD, but only if—

  1. the person and the decision are of kinds specified in the same row of the following table; and
  2. the decision is made in the exercise of a function, power, or discretion conferred by a delegation; and
  3. the decision is made in relation to the person or estate; and
  4. the decision is not one that section 340(3)(b), 343(b), 371(b), or 396 prevents from being appealed to the appeal authority (for example, because that kind of decision is appealable to the medical board).
RowPerson who may make application for reviewDecision to be reviewed
Decision under specified social assistance enactment
1An applicant or a beneficiaryA decision of MSD made under an enactment referred to in section 397(1)(a) to (g)
Decision under mutual assistance provisions in reciprocity agreement
2An applicant or beneficiary or other personA decision of MSD made using a power under section 384 (MSD may use mutual assistance provisions to recover debts) (referred to in section 398)
Decision to recover from spouse or partner who misleads MSD excess amount beneficiary obtained
3A beneficiary’s spouse or partnerA decision of MSD—
  1. to recover, from a spouse or partner who misleads MSD, an excess amount the beneficiary obtained; and
  2. made under regulations made under section 444 (referred to in section 399(1)); and
  3. that includes the decisions in row 1 of the table in section 399(1)
Decision to recover from spouse or partner apportioned excess amount beneficiary obtained by fraud
4A beneficiary’s spouse or partnerA decision of MSD—
  1. to recover from a spouse or partner an apportioned excess amount the beneficiary obtained by fraud; and
  2. made under regulations made under section 444 (referred to in section 399(1)); and
  3. that includes the decisions in row 2 of the table in section 399(1)
Decision to recover from spouse or partner unapportioned excess amount beneficiary obtained by fraud
5A beneficiary’s spouse or partnerA decision of MSD—
  1. to recover from a spouse or partner an unapportioned excess amount the beneficiary obtained by fraud; and
  2. made under regulations made under section 444 (referred to in section 399(1)); and
  3. that includes the decision in row 3 of the table in section 399(1)
Decision to recover excess amount from deceased beneficiary’s estate
6The personal representative of a deceased beneficiaryA decision of MSD—
  1. to recover from the estate of the deceased beneficiary an excess amount the beneficiary obtained; and
  2. made under regulations made under section 444 (referred to in row 4 of the table in section 399(1))
Decision to recover excess amount from deceased spouse’s or partner’s estate
7The personal representative of a beneficiary’s deceased spouse or partnerA decision of MSD—
  1. to recover from the estate of the beneficiary’s deceased spouse or partner an excess amount the beneficiary obtained; and
  2. made under regulations made under section 444 (referred to in section 399(1)); and
  3. that includes the decision in row 5 of the table in section 399(1)

For the purposes of subsection (1)(c), a decision is not made in relation to a person or an estate by reason only that the decision has an economic or other effect on the person or estate.

Application must be made within 3 months after date of notification or further period allowed

The application for review must be made within—

  1. 3 months after the date of receiving notification of the decision; or
  2. a further period the committee has under this section allowed.

An applicant for review is treated as receiving notification of the decision in line with regulations made under section 449 if—

  1. a decision is made in respect of which an application for review lies to the committee; and
  2. notice of the decision is given to the applicant in a way prescribed by those regulations; and
  3. the notice is (in the absence of evidence to the contrary) taken to have been received by the applicant as provided by those regulations.

The committee may allow a further period within which the application must be made if—

  1. the application is not to be, or has not been, made within that 3-month period; and
  2. the committee is asked, before or after the end of that 3-month period, to allow a further period; and
  3. the committee considers there is good and sufficient reason for the delay.

Committee

Benefits review committee

Every benefits review committee is established, and operates, in accordance with Schedule 7.

MSD must refer an application made under section 391 to the appropriate benefits review committee.

In determining what benefits review committee is the appropriate benefits review committee, MSD must have regard to—

  1. the location of the MSD office in which was made the decision of MSD that is the subject of the application; and
  2. the location of the applicant’s usual or last known place of residence; and
  3. how the applicant can conveniently, and at minimum expense, attend in person, or otherwise take part in, a review hearing.

The appropriate benefits review committee may be the benefits review committee of an MSD office other than the MSD office in which was made the decision of MSD that is the subject of the application.

Example

The decision of MSD that is the subject of the application was made in the MSD office at a location. Afterwards, the applicant moves away from that location. The benefits review committee of the MSD office of a location nearer to the applicant’s new usual place of residence is appropriate because it enables the applicant conveniently, and at minimum expense, to attend in person, or otherwise take part in, a review hearing.

Procedure

How to begin, and procedure and powers for, review by benefits review committee

Regulations made under section 451 provide for the following matters:

  1. how to begin, and the procedure on, a review:
  2. the benefits review committee’s power to deal with (for example, confirm, vary, revoke, or refer back for reconsideration) the decision reviewed:
  3. related matters specified in that section.

Subpart 3 — Appeals to appeal authority

Restrictions on appeals

Appeals only against decision confirmed or varied by benefits review committee or made by chief executive personally

No decision can be appealed against under section 397, 398, or 399 unless the decision—

  1. has been confirmed or varied by a benefits review committee; or
  2. was made by the chief executive personally (not under a delegation of the chief executive’s functions or powers).
Authority cannot hear and determine certain appeals on medical or capacity grounds

The appeal authority must not, despite sections 397, 398, and 399, hear and determine any appeal on medical grounds, grounds relating to incapacity, or grounds relating to capacity for work, against any decision of MSD in respect of—

  1. jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability; or
  2. a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness (see rows 11 and 12 of the table in section 411); or
  3. a child disability allowance under section 78; or
  4. a veteran’s pension under section 164 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014.

No appeal lies under section 397(1)(a) against—

  1. a decision under section 155 against which an appeal lies under row 7 or 8 of the table in section 411 to the medical board; or
  2. a decision under section 250(1)(a) against which an appeal lies under row 10 of the table in section 411 to the medical board.

Rights of appeal

Decision under specified social assistance enactments

An applicant or beneficiary may appeal to the appeal authority against any decision or determination of MSD made in relation to the applicant or beneficiary under—

  1. any provisions of (or of any regulations made for the purposes of any provisions of) Parts 1 to 6 and Schedules 1 to 5; or
  2. a special assistance programme approved by the Minister under section 100 or 101; or
  3. any regulations in force under section 437 (regulations: issue and use of entitlement cards); or
  4. any provisions of, or of regulations made under, the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018; or
  5. Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, subject to section 175(2) of that Act; or
  6. Part 1 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; or
  7. the Family Benefits (Home Ownership) Act 1964.

Subsection (1)(d) applies to a person in relation to whom a decision is made under any provisions of, or of regulations made under, the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018, as if the person were a beneficiary.

For the purposes of subsection (1), a decision or determination is not made in relation to an applicant or a beneficiary by reason only that the decision or determination has an economic or other effect on the applicant or beneficiary.

This section is subject to provisions to the contrary in this Act (for example, sections 340(3)(b), 343(b), and 371(b)).

Decision under reciprocity agreements

An applicant or beneficiary or other person may appeal to the appeal authority against a decision that was made in relation to that person by MSD under the power conferred by section 384 (MSD may use mutual assistance provisions to recover debts).

Decision to recover excess amount

A person specified in a row of the following table may appeal to the appeal authority against a decision that is—

  1. of the kind specified in that row; and
  2. made in relation to the person or estate.
RowPerson who may appealDecision of MSD that may be appealed
Decision to recover from spouse or partner who misleads MSD excess amount beneficiary obtained
1A beneficiary’s (B’s) spouse or partner (S)A decision of MSD—
  1. to recover from S an amount in excess of the amount to which B was by law entitled; and
  2. made under regulations made under section 444; and
  3. that includes the decision that, in MSD’s opinion, S has made a false statement to or otherwise misled MSD, in relation to any matter; and
  4. that includes the decision that, as a result of S making a false statement to or otherwise misleading MSD, the benefit or an instalment of benefit was paid in excess of the amount to which B was by law entitled; and
  5. that is not a decision or determination of MSD that relates only to the temporary deferral, rate, or method or methods of debt recovery from B
Decision to recover from spouse or partner apportioned excess amount beneficiary obtained by fraud
2A beneficiary’s (B’s) spouse or partner (S)A decision of MSD—
  1. to recover from B an amount in excess of the amount to which S was by law entitled; and
  2. made under regulations made under section 444; and
  3. that includes the decision that all or part of proportion B (as referred to in regulations made under section 444) is an amount in excess of the amount to which B is by law entitled or to which B has no entitlement, and an amount obtained by fraud by B; and
  4. that includes the decision that S either knew, or ought to have known (even if S did not know), of the fraud by B; and
  5. that is not a decision or determination of MSD that relates only to the temporary deferral, rate, or method or methods of debt recovery from B
Decision to recover from spouse or partner unapportioned excess amount beneficiary obtained by fraud
3A beneficiary’s (B’s) spouse or partner (S)A decision of MSD—
  1. to recover from S an unapportioned amount in excess of the amount to which B was by law entitled or to which B has no entitlement; and
  2. made under regulations made under section 444; and
  3. that, for the purposes of S’s right of appeal under this row, includes the decision that B obtained by fraud an amount in excess of the amount to which B was by law entitled or to which B has no entitlement; and
  4. that is not a decision or determination of MSD that relates only to the temporary deferral, rate, or method or methods of debt recovery from B
Decision to recover excess amount from deceased beneficiary’s estate
4The personal representative of a deceased beneficiary (B)A decision of MSD—
  1. to recover from B’s estate an amount in excess of the amount to which B was by law entitled; and
  2. made under regulations made under section 444
Decision to recover excess amount from deceased spouse’s or partner’s estate
5The personal representative of a beneficiary’s (B’s) deceased spouse or partner (S)A decision of MSD—
  1. to recover from S’s estate an amount in excess of the amount to which B was by law entitled; and
  2. made under regulations made under section 444; and
  3. that, for the purposes of the personal representative’s right of appeal under this row, includes the decision that B was paid an amount in excess of the amount to which B was by law entitled

A reference in this section to a decision to recover an amount from a person or estate includes (without limitation, and except as expressly provided in this section) all related decisions on all or any of the temporary deferral, rate, or method or methods, of debt recovery from the person or estate.

Appeal must be begun within 60 working days of notification or further allowed period

An appeal under section 397, 398, or 399 must be begun within—

  1. 60 working days after the date on which the appellant receives notification of—
    1. the confirmation or variation (if the appeal is against a decision specified in section 395(a)); or
    2. the decision (if the appeal is against a decision specified in section 395(b)); or
  2. a further period the appeal authority has under this section allowed.

An appellant is treated as receiving notification of the decision in line with regulations made under section 449 if—

  1. a decision is made in respect of which an appeal lies to the authority; and
  2. notice of the decision is given to the appellant in a way prescribed by those regulations; and
  3. the notice is (in the absence of evidence to the contrary) taken to have been received by the appellant as provided by those regulations.

The appeal authority may allow a further period within which the appeal must be begun if—

  1. the appeal is not to be, or has not been, begun within the period of 60 working days; and
  2. an application is made to it, before or after the end of the period of 60 working days, to allow a further period; and
  3. the appeal authority considers there is good and sufficient reason for the delay.

Appeal authority

Social security appeal authority

The social security appeal authority (and every special social security appeal authority, if any) is established and operates under Schedule 8.

The appeal authority sits as a judicial authority to hear and determine appeals under section 397, 398, or 399.

In hearing and determining an appeal, the authority has all the duties, functions, and powers that MSD had in respect of the same matter.

Proceedings before the authority must not be held invalid for want of form.

Act does not affect appeals to authority under other enactments

This Act does not affect appeals under other enactments to the appeal authority (or appeals in respect of determinations by the appeal authority of those appeals), for example,—

  1. appeals under section 133, and in accordance with regulations made under section 136, of the Public and Community Housing Management Act 1992; or
  2. appeals provided for by regulations made, or deemed to have been made, under section 102(1)(i) of the Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Act 2022.

Procedure

How to begin, and procedure and powers for, appeal to authority

The authority’s procedure, and the authority’s powers to deal with (for example, confirm, vary, revoke, or refer back to MSD for reconsideration) the decision appealed, on an appeal under this Act, are—

  1. as provided by this Act (and especially by sections 395 to 404 and Schedule 8) and regulations made under section 451; and
  2. for matters not provided for by this Act or those regulations, or practice notes issued under clause 10D of Schedule 8, as the authority may determine.

Forms for use in the authority may be approved by the chief executive of the Ministry of Justice after consulting the chairperson of the authority.

Notice, and carrying into effect, of decision

On the determination of an appeal, the authority’s Secretary must send to the chief executive and to the appellant a memorandum of—

  1. the authority’s determination; and
  2. the authority’s reasons for the authority’s determination.

The chief executive must promptly take all necessary steps to carry into effect the authority’s determination.

Subpart 4 — Appeals to courts

Appeals to High Court

Right of appeal using case stated on question of law only

A party to a proceeding before the authority may appeal to the High Court, by way of a case stated by the authority for the court’s opinion on a question of law only, against a determination—

  1. made by the authority in the proceeding; and
  2. that the party considers involves an error of law.
    Examples

    An error of law that is a mistake about the meaning or application of a provision of this Act (for example, departing from the Act’s plain words by reasoning using not facts but hypothetical examples, as in Chief Executive of Ministry for Social Development v Morgan [2015] NZCA 453 at [25]).

    An error of law that (in accordance with Bryson v Three Foot Six Ltd [2005] 3 NZLR 721 (SCNZ), paras [24]–[26]) is a determination that—

    1. there is no evidence to support; or
    2. is inconsistent with, and contradictory of, the evidence; or
    3. contradicts the only true and reasonable conclusion of fact available on the evidence.
Appeal must be begun, and case stated lodged, within time prescribed or allowed

An appellant must begin an appeal within—

  1. 10 working days after the date of the determination; or
  2. a further period the High Court, or a High Court Judge, has under subsection (4) allowed.

The appellant’s case stated must be lodged within—

  1. 10 working days after the date on which the appeal is begun; or
  2. a further period the authority’s chairperson or deputy chairperson has under subsection (3) allowed; or
  3. a further period the High Court, or a High Court Judge, has under subsection (4) allowed.

The authority’s chairperson or deputy chairperson may allow a further period within which the appellant’s case stated must be lodged if—

  1. the appellant’s case stated is not to be, or has not been, lodged within the period of 10 working days; and
  2. the chairperson or deputy chairperson is asked, before or after the end of the period of 10 working days, to allow a further period; and
  3. the chairperson or deputy chairperson considers there is good and sufficient reason for the delay.

The High Court or a High Court Judge may allow a period further to one prescribed or allowed under subsection (1)(a) or (b) or subsection (2)(a), (b), or (c) if—

  1. the appellant’s appeal or case stated is not to be, or has not been, begun or lodged within that prescribed or allowed period; and
  2. the appellant makes an application to the court or Judge, before or after the end of that prescribed or allowed period, to allow a further period; and
  3. the court or Judge considers there is good and sufficient reason for the delay.

The authority’s chairperson or deputy chairperson may certify that an appeal has not been prosecuted by an appellant if the appellant’s case stated has not been lodged within the period prescribed, or within a further period allowed, under subsection (2)(a), (b), or (c).

How to begin, and procedure for, appeal to High Court

Regulations made under section 451 provide for—

  1. how to begin, and the procedure on, an appeal:
  2. related matters specified in that section.

The appeal is, subject to regulations made under section 451, dealt with under rules of court.

Orders, etc, on successful appeal

This section applies if the High Court allows the appeal.

The High Court may exercise any power that the authority could have exercised under section 403 if it had allowed the appeal.

This section does not affect rules of court relating to the court’s powers to deal with (for example, confirm, vary, revoke, or refer back for reconsideration) the decision appealed.

Appeals to Court of Appeal

Appeal, with Court of Appeal’s leave, against High Court’s determination

This section applies to a determination of the High Court made in a proceeding that is an appeal under section 405.

Subpart 8 (appeals on a question of law) of Part 6 (appeals) of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 applies to the determination—

  1. as far as applicable with the necessary modifications; and
  2. as if the determination had been made under section 300 (first appeal court to determine appeal) of that Act (for example, so that the applicable right of appeal is stated in section 303 of that Act (right of appeal against determination of first appeal court)).

Appeals to Supreme Court

Appeal, with Supreme Court’s leave, against High Court’s or Court of Appeal’s determination

This section applies to a determination that is—

  1. a determination of the High Court made in a proceeding that is an appeal under section 405; or
  2. a determination of the Court of Appeal made in a proceeding that is an appeal under section 409.

Any party to the proceeding specified in subsection (1)(a) or (b) may apply, in accordance with the Senior Courts Act 2016, to the Supreme Court for leave to appeal against the determination.

This section is by way of explanation only.

Subpart 5 — Appeals to medical board

Right of appeal

Right of appeal on medical grounds

Any applicant or beneficiary may appeal to the medical board against a decision of MSD that is—

  1. made in relation to the applicant or beneficiary; and
  2. of a kind specified in a row of the following table.
RowAssistance or obligationsDecision to be appealed
1Any benefitDetermination—
  1. made in reliance on a work ability assessment by a health practitioner under section 118 (work ability assessment); and
  2. whether the person assessed is entitled to a benefit and, if so, what kind of benefit
2Jobseeker support—on the ground of health condition, injury, or disabilityDecision that a claim for this benefit is declined, or that this benefit is cancelled, in either case on medical grounds or on grounds relating to a person’s capacity for work
3Jobseeker support—on the ground of health condition, injury, or disabilityDetermination under section 141(1) that a beneficiary has, while receiving this benefit, the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work, and so is required to comply with the work test on and after a date specified in a notice given under section 141(4)
4Jobseeker support—on the ground of health condition, injury, or disabilityDecision to confirm, amend, revoke, or replace under section 141(6) a determination, and that results in a determination under section 141(1) that a beneficiary has, while receiving this benefit, the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work, and so is required to comply with the work test on and after a date specified in a notice given under section 141(4)
5Jobseeker support—on the ground of health condition, injury, or disabilityDetermination—
  1. made in reliance on a work ability assessment by a health practitioner under section 118 (work ability assessment); and
  2. whether the person assessed, being a person receiving this benefit, has for the purposes of section 141(1) the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work (see also section 155)
6Jobseeker support—except on the ground of health condition, injury, or disabilityDetermination—
  1. made in reliance on a work ability assessment by a health practitioner under section 118 (work ability assessment); and
  2. whether the person assessed, being a person receiving this benefit, is entitled on an application or on MSD’s own initiative, to deferral of work-test obligations under section 155
7Jobseeker support—except on the ground of health condition, injury, or disabilityDecision to decline under section 155 on medical grounds an application—
  1. made by a beneficiary granted this benefit; and
  2. made under section 155; and
  3. for deferral of all or any of the beneficiary’s work-test obligations
8Jobseeker support—on any groundDecision on medical grounds under section 155 to revoke a deferral granted under section 155 of all or any of the beneficiary’s work-test obligations
9Work-test obligations or work-preparation obligationsDetermination—
  1. made in reliance on a work ability assessment by a health practitioner under section 118 (work ability assessment); and
  2. whether the person assessed, being a person who is subject to work-test obligations or work-preparation obligations, has the capacity to meet those obligations
10Drug-testing obligationDecision under section 250(1)(a) to the effect that a beneficiary does not have a good and sufficient reason, on the ground that the beneficiary is addicted to, or dependent on, controlled drugs, for either or both—
  1. not complying with a drug-testing obligation:
  2. failing to apply for suitable employment that requires candidates to undertake drug tests
11Supported living payment—on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindnessDecision that a claim for this benefit is declined, or that this benefit is cancelled, in either case on medical grounds
12Supported living payment—on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindnessDecision under section 123(1)(a) that a person receiving this benefit has the capacity to comply with obligations under section 125
13Child disability allowanceDecision that a claim for this benefit is declined, or that this benefit is cancelled, in either case on the ground that the child is not a child with a serious disability (as defined in section 79)
14Veteran’s pension under section 164 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014Decision to decline a claim for, or to cancel, this benefit, in either case on the ground of the applicant’s or beneficiary’s mental or physical infirmity
Appeal must be begun within 3 months of notification or further allowed period

An appeal to the medical board under section 411 must be begun within—

  1. 3 months after the date on which the applicant receives notification of the decision; or
  2. a further period the board has under this section allowed.

An appellant is treated as receiving notification of the decision in line with regulations made under section 449 if—

  1. a decision is made in respect of which an appeal lies to the board; and
  2. notice of the decision is given to the appellant in a way prescribed by those regulations; and
  3. the notice is (in the absence of evidence to the contrary) taken to have been received by the appellant as provided by those regulations.

The board may allow a further period within which the appeal may be begun if—

  1. the appeal is not to be, or has not been, begun within that 3-month period; and
  2. an application is made to it, either before or after the end of that 3-month period, to allow a further period; and
  3. the board considers there is good and sufficient reason for the delay.

Board

Board

The board is established and operates under Schedule 9.

Procedure

How to apply, and procedure and powers, for appeal to board

Regulations made under section 451 provide for—

  1. how to apply for, and the procedure on, an appeal; and
  2. the board’s powers to deal with (for example, confirm, vary, revoke, or refer back to MSD for reconsideration) the decision appealed:
  3. related matters specified in that section.
Notice of, and carrying into effect, board’s decision

On the determination of an appeal under section 411, the Board must send to the chief executive and to the appellant a memorandum of—

  1. the board’s decision; and
  2. the board’s reasons for the board’s decision.

The chief executive is bound by the board’s decision.

Part 8

Other provisions

Guide to this Part

What this Part does

This Part contains provisions on the following matters:

  1. benefits being, in general, inalienable (unable to be assigned or charged, or to pass by operation of law):
  2. powers to make regulations:
  3. powers to make orders adjusting rates of benefits, etc:
  4. confirmable instruments (which are revoked, or invalid for their past operation, if not confirmed by an Act of Parliament):
  5. repeals of former Acts, and related revocations of regulations made by Order in Council, or other Orders in Council:
  6. consequential amendments made by this Act to other enactments.

Benefits to be inalienable

Benefits cannot, in general, be assigned or charged, or pass by operation of law

No benefit is capable of being assigned or charged, or of passing to any other person by operation of law.

Subsection (1) is overridden by contrary provisions in, or in regulations made under or for the purposes of, the following enactments:

  1. sections 337 to 350, 366 to 372, 442, and 443:
  2. Family Benefits (Home Ownership) Act 1964:
  3. Child Support Act 1991:
  4. Student Loan Scheme Act 2011.

This section does not limit section 293 (offence of demanding or accepting acknowledgment or undertaking).

Regulations

Regulations: general
Regulations for purposes of specified provisions

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of all or any of the following provisions:

Part 2—Assistance
  1. sections 27, 28, 37, 41, 42, 80, 81, 88, 134, 164, 167, and 379 (prescription, for provision’s purposes, of health practitioners acting within their scope of practice (see the definition in Schedule 2 of prescribed health practitioner)):
  2. section 35(2)(a) (supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: when does person have restricted work capacity: period prescribed):
  3. section 55(1) (youth payment: incentive payments):
  4. section 62(1) (young parent payment: incentive payments):
Part 3—Obligations
  1. section 143(1)(b) (time when work-test obligation applies):
  2. section 152, definition of evidential drug test, paragraph (c):
  3. section 152, definition of pass, paragraphs (a) and (b):
  4. section 152, definition of screening drug test, paragraph (c)(iii):
  5. [Repealed]
Part 5—Enforcement: sanctions and offences
  1. section 250(1)(e) (excuse of good and sufficient reason: failure to comply with drug-testing obligation):
Part 6—Administration
  1. section 304A(1)(g) (additional grounds for review of whether person’s information share child support payment is or was all or any of their weekly income):
  2. sections 341(1) and (3)(d) and 342(1)(b) (which relate to youth support payments):
  3. section 344(2) (young person beneficiaries may elect money management):
  4. section 373(1)(a)(ii) and (b) (administration service providers: contracts):
  5. section 374(1)(c) (administration service providers: contents and form of contracts):
Schedules
  1. paragraph (j) of the definition of general provisions child support payment in Schedule 2 (additional kinds of payments that are general provisions child support payments):
  2. clause 11 of Schedule 3, definition of appropriate number of weeks, paragraph (b) (calculation of income: interpretation):
  3. clause 10(3) of Schedule 6 (code of conduct: relationship with Privacy Act 2020 code of practice):
  4. clause 20(2) of Schedule 6 (disclosure of information about people to whom service provider’s contract applies).
Regulations for other matters contemplated, necessary for administration, or necessary for giving full effect

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations providing for any other matters contemplated by this Act, necessary for its administration, or necessary for giving it full effect.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: general powers not limited by special powers

A power in section 418 is not limited by any other powers or duties in this Act to make regulations or rules by Order in Council, or to make other Orders in Council.

Regulations: effect of duties or powers to give directions

A power in this Part to make any Orders in Council is not limited by any power or duty in or under this Act to give directions.

Regulations: residential requirement

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of section 16 that specify circumstances in which a person—

  1. is taken to meet the residential requirement; or
  2. must be treated, for the purposes of satisfying the residential requirement, as being resident and present in New Zealand; or
  3. must not be required to comply with the residential requirement.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: income exemptions

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of clause 9 of Schedule 3 (exclusion of amounts, items, payments, or income from specified source, declared not to be income).

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) authorise MSD,—

  1. in calculating the rate of benefit, to take no account of specified income for a specified period and that is up to, in total, a specified maximum amount:
  2. in calculating the rate of benefit, to disregard all or part of the income of a severely disabled person derived from personal effort:
  3. in calculating the income of a person for the purpose of determining the rate of benefit, to take no account of a redundancy or retirement payment.

Regulations made under subsection (1) have effect in respect of any income specified in the regulations on and after a date—

  1. specified in the regulations; and
  2. earlier than, the same as, or later than, the date on which the regulations are made.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: accommodation supplement

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations that, for the purposes of subpart 10 of Part 2 and Part 7 of Schedule 4,—

  1. set out the assets requirement (see section 65(1)(b)):
  2. exempt any item or kind of cash assets or any amount of cash assets from the definition of cash assets in section 68(2):
  3. define Area 1, Area 2, Area 3, and Area 4 (see the definitions of those terms in Schedule 2, and see also section 454(1)(a) (certain orders are confirmable instruments)):
  4. prescribe 1 or more base rates of accommodation supplement, and how each prescribed base rate is to be assessed:
  5. provide for required income-based reductions to the assessed base rate amount of accommodation supplement (including any circumstances when specified income may be disregarded):
  6. require MSD to round up (for example, to the nearest amount in complete single dollars, or in complete multiple dollar amounts) assessed amounts of accommodation supplement.

Regulations made under subsection (1)(b) have effect in respect of any cash assets specified in the regulations on and after a date—

  1. specified in the regulations; and
  2. earlier than, the same as, or later than the date on which the regulations are made.

For the purposes of regulations made under subsection (1)(e), the following must be treated as $1 a week of income:

  1. every $100 of cash assets over $5,400 held by—
    1. a person who is in a relationship; or
    2. a single person who has a dependent child or children; and
  2. every $100 of cash assets over $2,700 held by any other person.

Regulations under this section—

  1. are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements); and
  2. if they are made under subsection (1)(c), must be confirmed by an Act (see subpart 3 of Part 5 of the Legislation Act 2019).
Regulations: childcare assistance

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of subpart 12 of Part 2.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. prescribe eligibility criteria for receiving childcare assistance, including by prescribing that childcare assistance may be paid for the following kinds of childcare facilities or programmes:
    1. childcare facilities or programmes prescribed by the regulations:
    2. other childcare facilities or programmes that MSD has approved in accordance with, and applying criteria and for a period specified in, the regulations:
  2. prescribe the kinds of childcare assistance to be provided, which may differ depending on the purposes of the childcare and the age of the child, or in any other prescribed circumstances:
  3. prescribe the amounts of childcare assistance to be paid, which may differ depending on the kind of assistance to be provided, the income of the principal caregiver or temporary OB or UCB caregiver, the income of that caregiver’s spouse or partner, the number of dependent children in the family, and the kind of childcare, or in any other prescribed circumstances:
  4. define the kinds of income, benefits, credits, and receipts to be treated as income for the purposes of subpart 12 of Part 2, including any limits on the extent to which any income, benefit, credit, or receipt of that kind is to be treated as income for those purposes:
  5. prescribe the number of hours a week for the weeks during the year for which childcare assistance is available, which may differ depending on the purposes of the childcare or the principal caregiver’s or temporary OB or UCB caregiver’s activity, employment, or study, or whether the assistance is granted for the school term or during school holidays, or in any other prescribed circumstances:
  6. provide for childcare assistance to be available to keep a child’s place open in a childcare facility or programme during temporary absence:
  7. regulate the method of application for, and payment of, childcare assistance (which may include provision for payment to be made directly to a childcare facility or provider of a programme, and subject to any conditions specified in the regulations):
  8. provide for the recovery of any overpayments of assistance from a childcare facility or the provider of a programme or from the person granted the assistance:
  9. prescribe transitional arrangements.

Eligibility criteria prescribed, or provided for, under subsection (2)(a) may (without limitation) include criteria based on—

  1. the income of—
    1. the principal caregiver or temporary OB or UCB caregiver; and
    2. that caregiver’s spouse or partner:
  2. the age of the dependent child and whether the child attends school:
  3. whether any of the following people has a disability or serious illness:
    1. the dependent child:
    2. the principal caregiver or temporary OB or UCB caregiver of the dependent child:
    3. any of the other dependent children of that caregiver (whether that person is the principal caregiver or temporary OB or UCB caregiver of any of those other dependent children):
  4. whether there is another person available to care for the child:
  5. whether the principal caregiver or temporary OB or UCB caregiver is undertaking employment or is engaged in—
    1. an employment-related activity arranged or approved by MSD; or
    2. an approved course of study; or
    3. an approved rehabilitation programme.

Regulations made under subsection (2)(d) that narrow (including, without limitation, by exempting from) the kinds of income, benefits, credits, and receipts to be treated as income have effect in respect of any income, benefits, credits, and receipts specified in the regulations on and after a date that is—

  1. a date that is specified in the regulations; and
  2. a date before, on, or after the date on which the regulations are made.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: disability allowance: special categories of eligibility

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of section 85(1)(b).

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: use of disability allowance to fund specified expenses

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations relating to the use of a disability allowance to fund specified expenses.

Regulations made under subsection (1) must be not inconsistent with section 86 (disability allowance: excluded expenses), but otherwise may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. specify classes, descriptions, or kinds of expenses that—
    1. must not be funded by way of a disability allowance; or
    2. may be funded by way of a disability allowance only to an extent specified in the regulations, or only subject to compliance with conditions specified in the regulations, or both:
  2. provide for transitional and savings provisions relating to use of a disability allowance to fund specified expenses.

Regulations made under subsection (1) that do what is stated in subsection (2)(a)(ii) may specify maximum funded proportions, amounts, numbers, or frequencies relating to all or any of the expenses concerned.

Transitional or savings provisions under subsection (2)(b) may (without limitation) provide for all or any of the following:

  1. separate transitional or savings provisions for all or any specified people to or on account of whom a disability allowance is payable immediately before the commencement of this section:
  2. separate transitional or savings provisions for all or any specified expenses to which the regulations apply (when they, or any regulations amending them or made under subsection (2)(b), come into force):
  3. specified transitional or savings provisions to have effect at a time, or on the occurrence of an event (for example, at the end of any existing contractual arrangements), specified by the Minister by a written notice.

The following are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements):

  1. regulations under this section:
  2. a notice under subsection (4)(c).
Regulations: funeral grants: amounts and methods of payment

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of section 90.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may do all or any of the following:

  1. specify the amount of, or how MSD must assess the amount of, a funeral grant:
  2. specify the method or methods of making payments of funeral grants.

Regulations made under subsection (2)(a) may (without limitation) provide that the grant, for a person who meets the criteria in section 91, 92, or 93, is of an amount, not exceeding a specified maximum amount, that MSD determines is appropriate to meet the deceased person’s reasonable funeral expenses.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: temporary additional support

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of subpart 16 of Part 2.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. prescribe or provide for the setting of eligibility criteria for receiving temporary additional support:
  2. prescribe amounts for standard living costs that must be met from chargeable income (standard costs), or 1 or more means of calculating amounts of standard costs, which may differ depending on whether—
    1. the applicant or the applicant’s spouse or partner, or both of them, is or are receiving any benefits or tax credits (and, if so, the kind and amount of them):
    2. the applicant’s spouse or partner is lawfully or unlawfully in New Zealand:
    3. the applicant has a spouse or partner, or the applicant has dependent children (and, if so, the number and ages of the applicant’s dependent children):
  3. define the kinds of costs that are allowable costs, including any limits on the extent to which any such costs are allowable costs:
  4. define the kinds of income, benefits, credits, and receipts that are chargeable income, and any limits on the extent to which any income, benefit, credit, or receipt of that kind is chargeable income:
  5. prescribe amounts of temporary additional support that may be granted or 1 or more means for calculating those amounts, which may differ depending on whether the applicant is in any prescribed circumstances (for example, whether the applicant has a dependent spouse or partner, a dependent child, or both):
  6. define the kinds of assets that are cash assets, including any limits on the extent to which any such assets are cash assets, and prescribe 1 or more cash asset limits, which may differ depending on whether the applicant is in any prescribed circumstances (for example, whether the applicant has a dependent spouse or partner, a dependent child, or both):
  7. prescribe the period or periods for which temporary additional support may be granted:
  8. authorise the payment of temporary additional support in a lump sum up to a specified maximum amount in any prescribed circumstances.

For the purposes of any calculation made under subpart 16 of Part 2 or any regulations made under subsection (1), the allowable costs, cash assets, and chargeable income of an applicant include the allowable costs, cash assets, and chargeable income of the applicant’s spouse or partner.

Regulations made under subsection (2)(f) that narrow (for example, exempt any specified item, amount, or kind, of cash assets from) the definition of cash assets have effect in respect of any cash assets specified in the regulations on and after a date that is—

  1. a date that is specified in the regulations; and
  2. a date before, on, or after the date on which the regulations are made.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: participation allowance for people participating in activities

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations to provide for persons participating in activities under this Act to receive allowances of the nature and kind set out in the regulations.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. provide for different allowances to be paid in respect of different activities and categories of person (including any exclusions from those activities and categories):
  2. set conditions for the receipt of allowances:
  3. prescribe the rates of allowances, including providing for all or any of the following:
    1. different rates for different activities and different categories of person:
    2. maximum total allowances that may be granted to any person for any particular period:
    3. a total allowance made up of separate allowances granted for different reasons, or in respect of different activities or purposes, and a method or methods of calculating it:
  4. set all or any of the periods for payment of allowances.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: specific obligations: obligations in relation to dependent children: definitions and attendance

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for either or both of the following purposes:

  1. defining (in full, or by reference to other enactments, and as contemplated by section 137(1)) the terms approved early childhood education programme, core check, and registered school, for the purposes of sections 131 to 134; and
  2. prescribing, for the purposes of sections 131(1)(b), 132(1)(a), and 137(2), the minimum extent of, or other required manner of, attending an approved early childhood education programme.

Regulations made under subsection (1)(a) may, without limitation, define an approved early childhood education programme to be or include an early childhood education programme approved by MSD having regard to all relevant approval criteria (if any) prescribed by the Minister by a written notice.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

If the regulations authorise the Minister to prescribe criteria by notice as referred to in subsection (2),—

  1. a notice made under those regulations is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements); and
  2. the regulations must contain a statement to that effect.
Regulations: specific obligations: work-test obligations, and deferrals of, or exemptions from, specified obligations

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for all or any of the following purposes:

  1. prescribing requirements a drug test must comply with to be a compliant drug test under section 148:
  2. prescribing, for the purposes of section 150, how MSD may use the result of a drug test undertaken under section 147 and disclosed to MSD under section 149:
  3. prescribing, for the purposes of section 151, how MSD may reimburse a potential employer for the costs of a drug test under section 147 requested by that employer:
  4. prescribing, for the purposes of sections 155 and 156, how MSD may or must defer a person’s work-test obligations (including, without limitation, how a deferral of a person’s work-test obligations may be reviewed, extended, varied, or revoked):
  5. specifying the categories of people who may be granted an exemption under sections 157 and 158, on grounds (and in any required circumstances) specified in the regulations, from some or all of their—
    1. work-preparation obligations under sections 121 to 125:
    2. work-test obligations:
    3. obligations under section 162 (obligations of young person granted youth support payment):
    4. obligations under section 164 (obligations of young person granted young parent payment):
    5. obligations under section 165 (obligations of young person aged 18 or 19 years who is receiving jobseeker support in young person’s own right and who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency):
    6. obligations under section 166 (young person aged 16 or 17 years who has no dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary):
    7. obligations under section 167 (young person aged 16 to 19 years who has dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary):
  6. prescribing the procedure for the granting, and for the review, extension, variation, or revocation, of an exemption of that kind.

Regulations made under subsection (1)(d) may authorise a required or permitted deferral of a person’s work-test obligations to be granted—

  1. for a period set by MSD; or
  2. on conditions set by MSD; or
  3. both for a period, and on conditions, set by MSD.

The purpose of exemption regulations made under subsection (1)(e) is to specify the grounds on which, and any circumstances in which, it would be inappropriate for the people concerned to be subject to, and liable to sanctions for failing to meet, the obligations concerned.

Exemption regulations made under subsection (1)(e) may be made only on the Minister’s recommendation.

The Minister must, before making a recommendation that particular exemption regulations be made under subsection (1)(e),—

  1. have regard to the purpose and principles specified in sections 3 and 4, to the purposes of the obligations concerned, and to the purpose of the regulations; and
  2. be satisfied that each exemption provided for in them is not broader than is reasonably necessary to address the matters that gave rise to the regulations.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: factors affecting benefits: pre-benefit activities

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council made on the recommendation of the Minister, make regulations for the purposes of sections 184 and 185.

The Minister must not recommend the making of regulations made under subsection (1) stating pre-benefit activities unless, in the Minister’s opinion, each pre-benefit activity concerned is likely to—

  1. increase the awareness of the people undertaking it of opportunities for employment; or
  2. strengthen incentives for the people undertaking it to move into employment; or
  3. facilitate the movement of the people undertaking it into employment.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. specify the applicants, and applicants’ spouses or partners who can, for applications for benefits specified, be required to do pre-benefit activities:
  2. state kinds of pre-benefit activities that may be required under section 184:
  3. provide for MSD to require a person who contacts MSD requesting financial assistance under this Act or that person’s spouse or partner (if any) to undertake 1 or more stated pre-benefit activities that comply with any requirements specified in the regulations:
  4. provide for the form, and revocation, of requirements to undertake stated pre-benefit activities:
  5. specify the consequences MSD may impose for non-compliance, without a good and sufficient reason, with a requirement to undertake stated pre-benefit activities.

The consequences referred to in subsection (3)(e) may be or include lapse of an application for the benefit concerned, or a specified reduction of not more than half of the rate of the benefit concerned or of any other specified benefit to which the applicant and the applicant's spouse or partner would, apart from the regulations, be entitled.

Subsection (4) overrides any contrary provision of this Act.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: factors affecting benefits: insurance recovery

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of section 186.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. provide that the grant of a benefit or the rate of benefit is subject to repayment to MSD of all or part of an insurance payment of a kind or description, or that falls within a class or definition, prescribed by the regulations:
  2. provide that the amount of an income-related insurance payment, a debt insurance payment, or a health or disability insurance payment must, to the extent that MSD determines, be treated as being reduced by the amount of any costs incurred—
    1. by an applicant for a benefit or a beneficiary; and
    2. to obtain the payment:
  3. provide that a benefit, or part of a benefit, subject to repayment under the regulations,—
    1. constitutes a charge on the amount of the insurance payment paid to the recipient; and
    2. is a debt due to the Crown under regulations made under section 444; and
    3. is recoverable under regulations made under section 444.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: factors affecting benefits: overseas pensions

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for all or any of the following purposes:

  1. providing for the determination by MSD of the amount of an overseas pension to be deducted under section 189(1) from a benefit or benefits, and the date when the deductions will begin, which may be a date before, on, or after the date of the determination:
  2. providing that the currency exchange rate to be used by MSD for the purposes of the determination referred to in paragraph (a) must be one of the following:
    1. the average of the currency exchange rates (or, as the circumstances require, averages of different currency exchange rates) between the country paying the overseas pension and New Zealand during a period specified in the regulations; or
    2. any one of the currency exchange rates that occurs between the country paying the overseas pension and New Zealand within a period specified in the regulations; or
    3. whichever of the methods specified in subparagraphs (i) and (ii) is the more favourable to the overseas pensioner:
  3. prescribing the kinds of currency exchange rates that are to be used for the purposes of paragraph (b):
  4. providing that the period referred to in paragraph (b) may be a different period from the period to which the payment of the overseas pension relates and a different period from the period to which the payment of the benefit relates:
  5. prescribing, for the purposes of the determination referred to in paragraph (a), the kinds of bank fees that may be taken into account and the manner in which they may be taken into account:
  6. providing that a determination made under paragraph (a), and made in accordance with regulations made under paragraphs (b) to (e), must be conclusive:
  7. regulating the making, implementation, and variation of arrangements under section 190.

Regulations made under subsection (1)(g) may (without limitation) include provisions—

  1. prescribing the categories of overseas pensioners with whom MSD may make the arrangements:
  2. prescribing requirements that must be fulfilled before the arrangements can be entered into:
  3. providing that MSD must cancel or revoke an arrangement (including, without limitation, if the overseas pensioner fails to comply with any conditions that are to be included in the arrangements, and that are prescribed under this paragraph):
  4. prescribing methods that may be specified in the arrangements for payment to MSD, and receipt by MSD, of an amount equivalent to the amount of the overseas pension that the overseas pensioner receives, including (without limitation) direct deduction from the overseas pensioner’s bank account:
  5. providing that the regulations do not apply (in whole or in part) to any arrangements that are in force when regulations made under this section are made.

Regulations made under subsection (1)(g) apply, unless those regulations provide otherwise, to arrangements that are in force when the regulations are made and, in that case,—

  1. the regulations prevail over the arrangements to the extent that there is any inconsistency between the regulations and the arrangements; and
  2. the arrangements are taken to be modified to the extent necessary to give effect to the regulations.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: factors affecting benefits: issue of warrant to arrest beneficiary

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of sections 209 to 216.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. prescribe classes, descriptions, or kinds of offences excluded from the operation of section 209 or 213:
  2. prescribe a class, description, or kind of person—
    1. excluded from the operation of all of the provisions of section 209 or 213; and
    2. therefore not a beneficiary as defined in section 210 or 214:
  3. provide for any other matters contemplated by sections 209 to 216, necessary for their administration, or necessary for giving them full effect.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: factors affecting benefits: absence from New Zealand

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of section 219.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. prescribe exceptions to the general rule in section 219, and that the regulations require MSD, or give MSD discretion, to apply in a particular case, for example,—
    1. because a beneficiary who intends to be absent from New Zealand has not performed the duty imposed by section 114(1) to notify MSD, before leaving New Zealand, of the beneficiary’s intended absence, but has, after leaving New Zealand, notified MSD of the beneficiary’s absence as required by regulations made under paragraph (b); or
    2. because a beneficiary’s absence from New Zealand, and failure to notify MSD of the absence until after the beneficiary has left New Zealand, or returned to New Zealand after the absence, in a particular case, is justified for 1 or more humanitarian reasons (as that term is defined by the regulations):
  2. require beneficiaries who have not performed the duty imposed by section 114(1) and who are of kinds specified in the regulations to notify MSD of their absences from New Zealand, and provide that, despite section 219 and other provisions of the regulations, their benefits are payable from the date of notification of their absence from New Zealand:
  3. authorise MSD, in its discretion, if a benefit is under the regulations payable on and after a date in respect of a beneficiary’s absence from New Zealand, to pay that benefit to the beneficiary for—
    1. a period starting on that date, and of a duration specified in the regulations; or
    2. a longer period, if MSD is satisfied payment of the benefit complies with any applicable criteria prescribed by the regulations.

Regulations made under subsection (1) do not apply to a benefit payable under—

  1. subpart 11 of Part 2 (winter energy payment); or
  2. sections 21 to 35 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; or
  3. sections 176 to 196 of the Veterans' Support Act 2014; or
  4. any reciprocity agreement with another country adopted by an order made under section 380.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: issue and use of entitlement cards

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for all or any of the following purposes:

  1. providing for the issue of entitlement cards to various classes of people:
  2. prescribing the classes of people eligible to be issued with entitlement cards:
  3. providing for cardholders’ photographs to be affixed to or imaged into a category of entitlement cards and prescribing procedures, requirements, and other matters in relation to those photographs:
  4. prescribing and regulating the use of entitlement cards (including, without limitation, conditions of use, time limits on validity and expiry dates, and obligations to return expired entitlement cards to MSD):
  5. prescribing offences relating to the improper use of entitlement cards or for their non-return after their expiry, and the amounts of maximum fines that may be imposed in respect of those offences.

Regulations made under subsection (1)(d) prescribing and regulating the use of entitlement cards may (without limitation) provide for or relate to their use—

  1. to obtain payment of any benefit, allowance, or payment under this Act:
  2. to obtain any payment or exemption from payment in consideration of services supplied to the holder of the entitlement card, or the holder’s dependent spouse or partner or child, whether those services are supplied under this Act, any other Act, or otherwise:
  3. as evidence that the holder or a dependent spouse or partner or child of the holder is exempt from any obligation under this Act or any regulations made under this Act.

Regulations made under subsection (1)(e) prescribing offences and penalties cannot prescribe—

  1. an offence for improper use of an entitlement card that is conduct that constitutes an offence under section 290 (offences: false statements, misleading, or attempting to mislead, to receive or continue to receive benefits):
  2. a maximum fine of an amount exceeding $1,000 and, if the offence is a continuing one, a further amount exceeding $50 for every day or part of a day during which the offence has continued (see also section 294).

Regulations made under subsection (1) may provide for entitlement cards to have all or any of a magnetic stripe or a barcode on them, or a microchip embedded in them, which may contain all or any of the following information:

  1. the cardholder’s name:
  2. an identifying number assigned by MSD to the cardholder:
  3. a number or code indicating the cardholder’s class of eligibility for the card:
  4. an identifying number assigned to the card:
  5. the commencement and expiry dates of the card:
  6. a code number for mailing purposes.

An Order in Council providing for the embedding of microchips in entitlement cards cannot be made under this section except on the recommendation of the Minister.

The Minister must not recommend the making of an Order in Council referred to in subsection (5) unless satisfied adequate consultation about the privacy and security of the information to be contained in the microchip has taken place (to ensure privacy and personal information are fully protected) with—

  1. the Public Service Commission; and
  2. the Privacy Commissioner; and
  3. any other State agency, department, or organisation the Minister thinks relevant.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: application for benefit: making of, help with, lapse, and deemed receipt

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of section 297.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. specify the deadlines for receipt by MSD of the following:
    1. an application form completed to MSD’s satisfaction:
    2. supporting evidence reasonably required by MSD:
  2. specify exceptions to those specified deadlines:
  3. allow MSD to extend those prescribed deadlines:
  4. provide for lapse of an application, or prohibit grant of a benefit, or both, unless those prescribed deadlines (if applicable, as they are extended by MSD under the regulations) are met:
  5. provide for a duly completed and timely application to be taken for commencement of benefit purposes and stand-down period purposes to have been received on the date of first contact by or on behalf of the applicant:
  6. provide for all reasonable help in te reo Māori to be given by an employee of the State services (as defined in section 5 of the Public Service Act 2020), without fee or other consideration, in connection with an application for a benefit, if—
    1. the applicant is a Maori (within the meaning of section 4 of the Maori Land Act 1993), and asks for help of that kind; and
    2. the employee has the necessary knowledge of te reo Māori:
  7. provide that an application need not refer to a particular kind of benefit:
  8. provide that an application does not, by referring to a particular kind of benefit, prevent MSD from granting any other kind or kinds of benefit:
  9. authorise MSD to require as supporting evidence, if MSD considers that the appropriate benefit for an applicant is a youth support payment, evidence of the applicant’s specified costs:
  10. authorise MSD to waive a requirement to complete an application form or some or all of a requirement to provide supporting evidence:
  11. provide for travelling expenses and allowances for any applicant or beneficiary who has to be absent from that person’s regular place of residence for a purpose approved by MSD (for example, to be medically examined by, or at the, direction of MSD):
  12. authorise MSD, in MSD’s discretion, to make advance payments to the applicant or beneficiary for meals and accommodation during the period of necessary absence, or to pay a refund, in MSD’s discretion, for actual and reasonable out-of-pocket expenses for the period of necessary absence:
  13. provide for MSD, in any special case, and despite other regulations, to authorise payment of travelling expenses in respect of any applicant or beneficiary, or applicants or beneficiaries of any description, at rates and subject to conditions determined by MSD:
  14. provide for receipt and deadline requirements for claims for refunds, and allow MSD to extend the deadline in any special circumstances.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: certain benefits granted, or granted at rate, not taking into account certain insurance payments

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of section 310.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. specify the insurance payments and benefits or kinds of benefits to which the regulations apply:
  2. authorise MSD to suspend, cancel, or vary the rate of, the benefit, from a date MSD determines.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: exemptions from, and calculation of, stand down

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of sections 315 and 316(1)(b) and (4).

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. exempt benefits specified in the regulations, on any grounds and in any circumstances (and subject to any conditions) specified in the regulations, from a stand down:
  2. provide that those benefits commence on a date specified in the regulations:
  3. provide for a benefit to commence on the day on which it is granted if—
    1. the person has become eligible for the benefit while receiving another benefit; and
    2. the benefit is granted instead of that other benefit:
  4. provide for a benefit to commence on the same day as another benefit commences if they are both applied for, or under regulations made under section 438 are taken to have been applied for, at the same time:
  5. specify how a stand-down period (for a benefit to which section 316 applies) is calculated, both in general, and in exceptional cases (for example, of delayed redundancy and retirement payments, or of seasonal workers made redundant after a benefit commences):
  6. provide for a person who is entitled to a benefit to which section 316 applies to elect to have the person’s average income calculated by reference to a period of 52 weeks instead of 26 weeks:
  7. provide that a person of a kind specified in the regulations is entitled to receive the benefit applied for on a provisional basis and to have the stand-down period calculated as if the person’s average income did not include an amount the person is entitled to receive, but has not yet received:
  8. provide that a payment to which paragraph (g) applies is a debt due to the Crown under regulations made under section 444, and subject to recovery under those regulations, from the person.

The purpose of exemption regulations made under subsections (1) and (2)(a) is to specify the grounds on which, and circumstances in which, it would be inappropriate for the people concerned to be subject to a stand down.

Exemption regulations made under subsections (1) and (2)(a) may be made only on the Minister’s recommendation.

The Minister must, before making a recommendation that particular exemption regulations be made under subsections (1) and (2)(a),—

  1. have regard to the purpose and principles specified in sections 3 and 4, to the purposes of the stand down concerned, and to the purpose of the regulations; and
  2. be satisfied that each exemption provided for in them is not broader than is reasonably necessary to address the matters that gave rise to the regulations.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: expiry and regrant of specified benefits

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of sections 331 to 336.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. prescribe the expiry date or expiry dates for every benefit that is a specified benefit for the purposes of sections 331 to 336:
  2. declare a benefit that is sole parent support, supported living payment, or emergency benefit, not to be a specified benefit for the purposes of sections 331 to 336:
  3. specify circumstances in which MSD may consider an exemption under section 334(1) from expiry under section 332:
  4. specify, for section 336(2), requirements (not inconsistent with this Act) for the regrant of a specified benefit.

Subsection (2)(a) authorises (without limitation) the regulations to prescribe the same expiry date, or 2 or more different expiry dates, for all or any combination of the following:

  1. each specified benefit for the purposes of sections 331 to 336:
  2. each specified benefit for the purposes of sections 331 to 336 insofar as that benefit is granted on each of 2 or more different specified eligibility grounds:
  3. each specified benefit for the purposes of sections 331 to 336 insofar as that benefit is (on all, or any specified, eligibility grounds) granted to a specified category, class, or kind of applicants, recipients, or beneficiaries.

Subsection (2)(b) authorises (without limitation) the regulations to make a declaration in respect of sole parent support, supported living payment, or emergency benefit, as that benefit is granted in either or both of the followings ways (specified in section 331(2)(a) and (b)):

  1. that benefit as granted on only 1 or more specified available eligibility grounds:
  2. that benefit as granted to only 1 or more specified categories, classes, or kinds of beneficiaries.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: payments

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of section 337.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. specify default determinations, and exceptions, for the purposes of section 340 (required manner of payment: general):
  2. specify when MSD may or must pay an advance payment of a benefit to a preferred supplier of goods or services:
  3. provide for redirection arrangements for requested fixed period preferred supply of goods or services:
  4. provide for payments made in respect of a benefit granted under section 64 to be provisional only, and, if MSD believes on reasonable grounds that the benefit should not have been granted (or that too much was paid in respect of it), for the person granted it to be liable to repay the amount paid (or what MSD considers to be the amount of the excess) under regulations made under section 444:
  5. provide for apportionment, between a beneficiary and spouse or partner, of all or any of the following (other than benefits specified in subsection (3)):
    1. a benefit payable at a rate prescribed for a person who is in a relationship (a couple rate):
    2. any other benefits payable under this Act:
  6. provide that, when a benefit is apportioned under the regulations, the proportion paid to a person is for the purposes of the Income Tax Act 2007 income of that person.

No regulations made under subsection (1) or (2)(e) can provide for apportionment of—

  1. a benefit paid under clause 5 or 6 of Part 3 (supported living payment) of Schedule 4; or
  2. a supported living payment that, under section 38(2) or (3), is not apportioned; or
  3. a youth support payment, or of any other benefit payable to a person receiving a youth support payment.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: payments during epidemic in New Zealand

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations authorising MSD, when a domestic epidemic management notice is in force, and for any further period notified by the Minister under section 64(3A), to do all or any of the following, with the written approval of the Minister and within any limits stated in the approval (and despite contrary provisions in this Act):

  1. cause benefits to be paid to people otherwise disentitled to them because of stand-down periods or suspensions of benefits:
  2. reinstate cancelled benefits:
  3. grant benefits to or reinstate the benefits of, and for any time or times MSD thinks fit make payments under them to, people who were or are subject to non-entitlement periods:
  4. cause benefits to be paid at a rate not higher than the maximum rate but higher than a lower rate to which people would otherwise be entitled (being a lower rate because of a reduction, variation, suspension, or direct deduction, or because of a sanction, penalty, or non-entitlement period, imposed on a spouse or partner):
  5. refrain from exercising a power, or from meeting a requirement in this Act, to cancel, suspend, or vary benefits or payments of benefits, in circumstances where the holders satisfy the normal criteria for, or the requirement in this Act applies and requires, cancellation, suspension, or variation of benefits or payments.

Regulations made under this section override every provision of this Act to the contrary.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: debts and deductions

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of section 353.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. specify sums that are debts due to the Crown (which may, but need not, be amounts this Act states are debts due to the Crown, and subject to recovery, under regulations made under this section):
  2. prescribe exceptions to the debt-recovery duty imposed on MSD by section 362 (for example, because—
    1. a debt was caused wholly or partly by an error to which the debtor did not intentionally contribute:
    2. debt recovery is remitted or suspended under regulations made under section 448:
    3. MSD determines a debt is uneconomic to recover:
    4. the Minister and the Minister of Finance have given jointly for public finance purposes generally an authorisation about debts that are to be written off):
  3. require MSD to determine, having regard to Ministerial debt recovery directions given in writing under the regulations, rates and methods of debt recovery:
  4. provide for recovery from the estate of a deceased beneficiary, from the estate of a beneficiary’s deceased spouse or partner, or from both estates, an excess amount a beneficiary obtained:
  5. provide for the District Court, on application by an executor or administrator of an estate on whom a notice of assessment is served by MSD, to have jurisdiction to review, confirm or cancel, or make any other order it considers just and equitable in respect of, any MSD determination under the regulations of an excess amount (irrespective of that amount) paid to a person, assessed by MSD under the regulations, and to be recovered under regulations made under paragraph (d) or (g):
  6. authorise the District Court to receive as evidence any statement, document, information, or matter that may in its opinion assist the court to deal effectively with the application, whether or not it would be otherwise admissible in a court of law:
  7. provide for MSD to issue a deduction notice requiring a debtor’s payer to deduct, and pay MSD, an amount due.

Regulations made under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

If the regulations authorise the Minister to give debt recovery directions referred to in subsection (2)(c),—

  1. a debt recovery direction made under those regulations is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements); and
  2. the regulations must contain a statement to that effect.

[Repealed]

Regulations: further provisions on deductions

Regulations for the purposes of section 444(2)(g) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. require a debtor’s payer to deduct the amount due (as a lump sum, or by instalments) from a sum that is or becomes payable by the payer to the debtor:
  2. require the payer to pay to MSD by a time, or by any times, specified in the notice, the amount or amounts deducted:
  3. provide for the contents, copies, and revocation of a deduction notice:
  4. require the payer, if requested, to issue to the debtor a deductions statement:
  5. provide that the debtor is, so far as amounts are deducted, discharged from debt:
  6. provide, if the payer to whom the deduction notice is issued is a bank (as defined in the regulations), any money held by the bank to the credit of the debtor is deemed to be held in trust for the Crown, and recoverable from the bank as if it were money payable under a benefit to which the debtor was not entitled:
  7. provide that neither the debtor, nor any other person concerned, has a claim against the payer making the deduction, or the Crown, in respect of the deduction:
  8. provide any amounts deducted must be held in trust for the Crown, and are debts due to the Crown, and subject to recovery from the payer who makes the deductions, as if the amounts were money payable under a benefit to which the payer who made the deduction was not entitled:
  9. provide for offences, punishable on conviction by a fine not exceeding $2,000, for any person—
    1. failing to make any deduction required by a deduction notice; or
    2. failing, after making a deduction, to pay the amount deducted to MSD within the time specified in the notice; or
    3. permitting payment to or on behalf of any person, other than MSD, of any amount held in trust for the Crown under the regulations:
  10. provide for protected earnings, if a deduction notice is issued to an employer of a debtor, by prohibiting the employer, in making deductions under the deduction notice, from reducing the amount paid to the debtor by way of salary or wages in respect of any week to an amount that is less than a proportion (prescribed by the regulations) of the amount calculated as being the debtor’s net ordinary weekly pay for a week (as that term is defined by the regulations):
  11. provide for variation or discharge of a deduction notice:
  12. provide that a payer to whom a deduction notice has been issued is liable to pay MSD a late deduction penalty, calculated in a manner prescribed by the regulations (but not exceeding 2% of the amount in default), if the payer fails wholly or in part to—
    1. make a deduction required to be made by the notice; or
    2. pay an amount deducted under the notice to MSD by the time specified in the notice:
  13. provide for MSD to remit all or part of a penalty of that kind payable, and provide that a penalty of that kind payable to MSD is a debt due to the Crown, and subject to recovery from the payer, as if the penalty were money payable under a benefit to which the payer was not entitled.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: advance payment of instalments of benefit

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of section 347.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) specify the manner and form in which an application may be made under section 347 for advance payment of instalments of a benefit.

The specified manner and form may differ depending on (without limitation) the number of times the beneficiary has applied for either or both:

  1. advance payment under section 347 of instalments of a benefit:
  2. special assistance under section 101.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: budgeting activities due to application for advance payment of instalments of benefit

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of section 348.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do either or both of the following:

  1. define the kinds, and any terms and conditions, of budgeting activities that MSD may require a person to undertake under section 348:
  2. prescribe the circumstances in which the power referred to in section 348 may be exercised.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: remittance or suspension of debt

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council made on the recommendation of the Minister, make regulations requiring or permitting—

  1. the recovery of amounts recoverable under regulations made under section 444 to be suspended; or
  2. those amounts to be remitted.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may require or permit the suspension of recovery of amounts, or the remission of amounts,—

  1. of a particular kind or from persons of a particular kind:
  2. of a particular value (which may differ between persons of a particular kind):
  3. in the case of suspension, for periods that may differ for amounts of a particular kind or value, or between persons of a particular kind.

The Minister must not recommend the making of regulations made under subsection (1) unless satisfied that they are likely to—

  1. prevent accumulation of debt by any category of beneficiary and assist those beneficiaries to reduce their levels of debt while on a benefit; or
  2. assist any category of beneficiary to move from dependence on a benefit to self-support through employment by ensuring that those beneficiaries do not face increasing benefit debt repayments when they enter the workforce; or
  3. provide a positive incentive for beneficiaries to enter employment or stay in employment; or
  4. achieve more than 1 of the objectives set out in paragraphs (a) to (c).

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: ways MSD or person can meet requirement to give notice or other document

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of section 364.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. provide for different ways of giving a document to an individual (other than an officer or employee in the service of the Crown in that person’s official capacity), and to an officer or employee in the service of the Crown in that person’s official capacity, including (without limitation) all or any of the following ways:
    1. giving personally in hard-copy form:
    2. leaving at or posting to an address prescribed by the regulations:
    3. giving by an electronic means (with the individual’s express or inferred consent) in accordance with Part 4 of the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017:
  2. provide when documents given in different prescribed ways are, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, taken to have been received.

This section is subject to section 254 (how notice of sanction may be given), and regulations made under this section operate under sections 392(2), 400(2), and 412(2).

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: reciprocity agreements with mutual assistance provisions, and adverse action if discrepancy shown by information from other country

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of sections 383 and 386.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. provide that a reciprocity agreement may contain (instead of, or as well as, any other kind or kinds of mutual assistance provisions) mutual assistance provisions of kinds specified in the regulations:
  2. provide that mutual assistance provisions of kinds specified in the regulations may be included in a reciprocity agreement only if those mutual assistance provisions comply with terms and conditions that are, or are equivalent in their effect to, terms and conditions specified in the regulations:
  3. provide for the processes to be followed if MSD proposes to take an adverse action against an individual as a result of a discrepancy (for example, a unique identifier discrepancy) produced by information MSD received from the competent institution of the other country under a mutual assistance information exchange provision.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Regulations: how to begin, and procedure and powers for, review or appeal

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, make regulations for the purposes of sections 394, 403(a), 407, and 414.

Regulations made under subsection (1) may (without limitation) do all or any of the following:

  1. provide for the procedure the committee, authority, court, or board must follow on the review or appeal:
  2. provide for the committee’s, authority’s, or board’s power to deal with (for example, confirm, vary, revoke, or refer back to MSD with reasons for the referral back and related directions for reconsideration) the decision reviewed or appealed:
  3. require MSD, out of money appropriated by Parliament for the purpose, to pay the actual and reasonable travelling and accommodation expenses (if any) incurred by an appellant who appears before the appeal authority:
  4. require MSD to report to the appeal authority on an appeal, provide for required contents of the report, and require the appeal authority in determining the appeal to have regard to MSD’s report on the appeal:
  5. authorise the appeal authority to receive as evidence any statement, document, information, or matter which in the authority’s opinion may assist it to deal with the matters before it, whether or not it would be otherwise admissible in a court of law:
  6. authorise the appeal authority to make a costs award or order in favour of, or against, an appellant and, if the appeal authority considers it appropriate, to require MSD to pay a sum fixed by the authority to cover all or part of the costs the appeal authority has incurred in hearing and determining the appeal:
  7. provide for the procedure for appeals to the High Court by way of case stated:
  8. require an appeal to the High Court by way of case stated to be dealt with and determined (in particular, require the High Court to hear and determine the question of law in the case stated), in accordance with rules of court that are applicable and not inconsistent with this Act and the regulations.

Regulations under this section are secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements).

Orders adjusting rates of benefits, etc

Orders in Council: discretionary increases in rates of benefits, etc

The Governor-General may, by Order in Council, amend a provision to which this subsection applies by increasing an amount that is—

  1. an amount specified in the provision to which this subsection applies (see subsection (2)); and
  2. an amount of an item to which this subsection applies (see subsection (3)).

Subsection (1) applies to the following provisions:

  1. section 85(2)(c)(ii) and Part 3 of Schedule 5 (disability allowance):
  2. section 423(3)(a) and (b) (cash assets treated as income for required income-based reductions to the assessed base rate amount of accommodation supplement):
  3. Schedule 2, definitions of Income Test 1, Income Test 2, Income Test 3, and Income Test 4:
  4. Part 1 of Schedule 4 (rates of jobseeker support):
  5. Part 2 of Schedule 4 (rates of sole parent support):
  6. Part 3 of Schedule 4, including clause 2, but excluding clauses 3 and 4 (rates of supported living payment):
  7. Part 4 of Schedule 4 (orphan’s benefit):
  8. Part 5 of Schedule 4 (unsupported child’s benefit):
  9. Part 6 of Schedule 4 (rates and component of youth payment and young parent payment, and criteria for incentive payments):
  10. Part 7 of Schedule 4 (accommodation supplement):
  11. Part 8 of Schedule 4 (rates of winter energy payment):
  12. Part 9 of Schedule 4 (rates of child disability allowance and disability allowance):
  13. Part 10 of Schedule 4 (rates of generally abolished former widows' benefits under section 21 of the Social Security Act 1964 as saved by clause 55 of Schedule 1 for reciprocity agreement applicants or recipients):
  14. Part 11 of Schedule 4 (rates of generally abolished former DPB for solo parents under section 27B of the Social Security Act 1964 as saved by clause 55 of Schedule 1 for reciprocity agreement applicants or recipients):
  15. Part 12 of Schedule 4 (rates of benefits payable to long-term hospital patients):
  16. Schedule 5 (asset and income limits that may be applied to certain assistance):
  17. Schedule 2 (means assessment for long-term residential care) of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018:
  18. Schedule 1 (New Zealand superannuation entitlements) of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001.

Subsection (1) applies to an item that—

  1. is any benefit, allowance, lump sum payment, subsidy rate (see subsection (6)), maximum amount of any component, maximum amount of supplements, asset limit, income limit, income exemption, maximum amount of advance, cash assets test, the cash assets thresholds specified in section 423(3)(a) and (b), benefit stand-down income test, or annual or weekly income test; and
  2. is not the rate of diminution of any benefit or allowance, or the period of a benefit stand down for a given income.

An Order made under subsection (1)—

  1. must state the date on which it is to have effect (which may be a date before the date on which it was made); and
  2. applies to lump sum payments on death in respect of persons who die on or after a date specified in the Order; and
  3. applies to other items as payable or applicable on or after the date on which the Order has effect (and see also section 454(1)(b)).

Subsection (4) does not authorise any payment to be made before the date on which the Order is made.

In this section, subsidy rate means a figure that is the first percentage figure in a particular clause of Part 7 of Schedule 4.

An order under this section—

  1. is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements); but
  2. commences in accordance with subsections (4) and (5), even if it is not yet published.

An order under this section must also be confirmed by an Act (see subpart 3 of Part 5 of the Legislation Act 2019).

Orders in Council: mandatory annual average weekly earnings adjustment of rates of main benefits

The rates of benefits set out in the provisions to which this subsection applies must be adjusted, by Order in Council, as at 1 April each year so that in each case the new rate is the rate at that date adjusted by any percentage movement upwards in average ordinary time weekly earnings between—

  1. average ordinary time weekly earnings, expressed on a base quarter, last published before 1 March in that year; and
  2. average ordinary time weekly earnings expressed on the same base quarter of the year immediately preceding the year of the base quarter referred to in paragraph (a).

Subsection (1) applies to the following provisions:

  1. Part 1 of Schedule 4 (rates of jobseeker support):
  2. Part 2 of Schedule 4 (rates of sole parent support):
  3. Part 3 of Schedule 4, including clause 2, but excluding clauses 3 and 4 (rates of supported living payment):
  4. Part 6 of Schedule 4, other than any rate of incentive payment in subpart 3 of Part 6 of Schedule 4 (rates and component of youth payment and young parent payment, and criteria for incentive payments):
  5. Part 10 of Schedule 4 (rates of generally abolished former widows’ benefits under section 21 of the Social Security Act 1964 as saved by clause 55 of Schedule 1 for reciprocity agreement applicants or recipients):
  6. Part 11 of Schedule 4 (rates of generally abolished former DPB for solo parents under section 27B of the Social Security Act 1964 as saved by clause 55 of Schedule 1 for reciprocity agreement applicants or recipients).

An adjustment under subsection (1) also affects the maximum rate at which MSD may grant an emergency benefit (see section 63(4)).

An adjustment under subsection (1) must not reduce the weekly amounts of benefits payable under those Parts of Schedule 4.

Every Order in Council made under subsection (1)—

  1. comes into force or is considered to come into force on 1 April of the calendar year in which it is made; and
  2. applies to benefits payable on and after that date.

An order under this section—

  1. is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements); but
  2. commences in accordance with subsection (5), even if it is not yet published.

In this section,—

average ordinary time weekly earnings means average ordinary time weekly earnings (per full-time equivalent) as determined by the QES (after the deduction of standard tax, and the earner levies, payable as at 1 April of the following year, on those earnings)

earner levies means the levies payable under section 219(1) of the Accident Compensation Act 2001

QES means the Quarterly Employment Survey of wages published (as original, or revised, statistics) by Statistics New Zealand or, if that survey ceases to be published, any measure certified by the Government Statistician as being equivalent to that survey

standard tax means the amount of tax reckoned on a weekly basis that would be deductible in accordance with the tax code “M” stated in schedule 5, part A, clause 4, table row 1 of the Tax Administration Act 1994.

Orders in Council: mandatory annual CPI adjustment of rates of certain benefits that are not main benefits

The rates of benefits set out in the provisions to which this subsection applies must be adjusted, by Order in Council, as at 1 April each year so that in each case the new rate is the rate at that date adjusted by any percentage movement upwards in the CPI between—

  1. the CPI for the quarter ended with 31 December 1 year before the immediately preceding 31 December; and
  2. the CPI for the quarter ended with the immediately preceding 31 December.

Subsection (1) applies to the following provisions:

  1. Part 4 of Schedule 4 (orphan’s benefit):
  2. Part 5 of Schedule 4 (unsupported child’s benefit):
  3. Part 12 of Schedule 4 (rates of benefits payable to long-term hospital patients).

The adjustments (by any percentage movement upwards in the CPI) required under subsection (1) as at 1 April in any year from 2018 to 2021 (inclusive) must, despite subsections (1) and (2), be calculated,—

  1. if, and insofar as, they relate to movements during quarters that end before 29 April 2010, using index numbers for those quarters of the CPI; and
  2. if, and insofar as, they relate to movements during quarters that end after 28 April 2010, using index numbers for those quarters of the Consumers Price Index (less cigarettes and tobacco subgroup) published by Statistics New Zealand or, if that index ceases to be published, any measure certified by the Government Statistician as being equivalent to that index.

An adjustment under subsection (1) must not reduce the weekly amounts of benefits payable under those Parts of Schedule 4.

Every Order in Council made under subsection (1)—

  1. comes into force or is considered to come into force on 1 April of the calendar year in which it is made; and
  2. applies to benefits payable on and after that date.

In this section, CPI means the Consumers Price Index (all groups) published by Statistics New Zealand or, if that index ceases to be published, any measure certified by the Government Statistician as being equivalent to that index.

An order under this section—

  1. is secondary legislation (see Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019 for publication requirements); but
  2. commences in accordance with subsection (5), even if it is not yet published.

Confirmable instruments

Certain orders are confirmable instruments

[Repealed]

Repeals and revocations

Social Security Act 1964 repealed

The Social Security Act 1964 (1964 No 136) is repealed.

Subsection (1) does not repeal sections 69FA and 132D, Part 4, and Schedules 27 and 30 of that Act (which are provisions rewritten and replaced by the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018).

All regulations made by Order in Council, or other Orders in Council, made under that Act, and in force on the commencement of this section, are revoked by this subsection.

Subsection (3) does not revoke orders saved by Schedule 1 or by Schedule 1 of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018.

Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990 repealed

The Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990 (1990 No 26) is repealed.

Subsection (1) does not repeal Part 3 and Schedule 3 of that Act (which are provisions rewritten and replaced by the Artificial Limb Service Act 2018).

All regulations made by Order in Council, or other Orders in Council, made under that Act, and in force on the commencement of this section, are revoked by this subsection.

Subsection (3) does not revoke orders saved by Schedule 1.

Department of Social Welfare Act 1971 repealed

The Department of Social Welfare Act 1971 (1971 No 60) is repealed.

Subsection (1) does not limit—

  1. section 31 (references to Child Welfare Officer to be read as references to social workers, etc) of the Adoption Act 1955 (as inserted by Schedule 10 of this Act); or
  2. clause 57 (references to Child Welfare Officers to be read as references to social workers) of Schedule 1 of this Act.
Employment Services and Income Support (Integrated Administration) Act 1998 repealed

The Employment Services and Income Support (Integrated Administration) Act 1998 (1998 No 96) is repealed.

Consequential amendments

Other enactments amended consequentially

Amend the enactments listed in Schedule 10 as indicated in that schedule.

Schedule 1

Transitional, savings, and related provisions

Part 1

Provisions relating to Act as enacted

Interpretation

Changeover and saved defined

In this schedule,—

changeover, for a provision of the Social Security Act 1964, means the time at which the provision is repealed by section 455(1)

saved, in relation to any arrangement, contract, decision, enactment, increase, instrument, period, reduction, or status (in each case, however described), means—

  1. continued in force only if, and as, in force immediately before the changeover; and
  2. continued in force under, and with all necessary modifications for, the enactment under which it is continued; and
  3. able to be amended, revoked, or replaced under that enactment (or by any other enactment).

General provisions (Part 1)

Ministerial directions

Directions given under section 5 (alone, or with 1 or more related provisions) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if given under section 7 (alone, or with 1 or more corresponding related provisions) of this Act.

Subclause (1) is subject to subclauses (3) to (5).

If the directions were given for the purposes of section 125AA(5) of the Social Security Act 1964, they are saved as if they were directions—

  1. given under section 372; and
  2. of the kind referred to in section 372(1).

If the directions were given for the purposes of section 132AD(4)(c) of the Social Security Act 1964, they are saved as if they were notices—

  1. given under regulations made under section 426; and
  2. of the kind referred to in section 426(2)(b) and (4).

If the directions were given for the purposes of section 60RAB(1)(b) of the Social Security Act 1964, they are saved as if they were notices—

  1. given under regulations made under section 430(1)(a); and
  2. of the kind referred to in section 430(2).

A reference in the directions to a provision of the Social Security Act 1964 is to be interpreted as a reference to this Act, or to the corresponding provision of this Act, to the extent necessary to reflect sensibly the intent of the directions (see section 9 of this Act).

Determinations of conjugal status for benefit purposes

This clause applies to determinations—

  1. made under section 63 of the Social Security Act 1964; and
  2. not made, or so far as they were not made, for the purposes of section 69FA or 132D, Part 4, or Schedule 27 or 30 of that Act (see clause 1 of Schedule 1 of the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018).

The determinations specified in subclause (1) are saved as if made under section 8(2) or (4).

However, the determinations specified in subclause (1) that are made under section 63(b) of the Social Security Act 1964 continue under subclause (2) as if they were determinations made under section 8(4).

Assistance (Part 2)

Assistance continued

This clause applies to a person who, immediately before the changeover, was receiving, or had been granted, a benefit, or any other assistance, under the Social Security Act 1964 (the former assistance).

The former assistance may be a benefit, or any other assistance, under the Social Security Act 1964 (for example, special assistance under section 124(1)(d) of that Act), whether or not entitlement to that benefit or assistance arises by virtue of an agreement or a convention given effect in relation to New Zealand by an order made under section 19 of the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990.

After the changeover, the person is entitled to receive the benefit, or other assistance, under this Act that corresponds to the former assistance (the corresponding assistance), and at the appropriate rate under this Act, until the corresponding assistance ends or expires, or is for any reason cancelled.

Examples
Former assistanceCorresponding assistance
Jobseeker support on the ground of sickness, injury, or disabilityJobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability
Supported living payment under section 40B on the ground of sickness, injury, disability, or total blindnessSupported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness

This clause is subject to clause 5.

Conditions of entitlement under clause 4

Entitlement to the corresponding assistance, and the rate of benefit that is being or was paid, may be reviewed under subpart 3 of Part 6.

Entitlement to the corresponding assistance is subject to conditions, obligations, exemptions from obligations, failures, and related sanctions (for example, reductions, suspensions, and cancellations, and disentitlements to receive benefits for a specified period) for the former assistance and under provisions of the Social Security Act 1964, and those conditions, obligations, exemptions from obligations, failures, and related sanctions continue for the corresponding assistance, and under the corresponding provisions of this Act.

Entitlement to the corresponding assistance is subject to the expiry date of the former assistance, and also to a notice given to, or requirement imposed on, the person under the Social Security Act 1964 before the changeover (for example, a notice stating that the person’s entitlement to the former assistance will cease unless the person reapplies for the former assistance and it is regranted). The notice or requirement continues in force after the changeover as if it had been given or imposed under the corresponding provisions of this Act and in respect of the corresponding assistance.

Entitlement to the corresponding assistance is subject to non-entitlement periods under the Social Security Act 1964, and those non-entitlement periods continue for the corresponding assistance, and under the corresponding provisions of this Act.

Entitlement to the corresponding assistance is subject to any other reductions, and to increases, in the rate of benefit, that were in place under the Social Security Act 1964 (for example, under section 61EC(4)(b), 61G(6)(c), 63, 69C(4), 70(1), 70A, 71A, 73(1), 74(1), or 75 of that Act, or under a provision of that Act requiring or permitting an income-based adjustment to a rate of benefit).

Those other reductions, and increases, are saved by this subclause as if they were required or permitted, and put in place, under the corresponding provisions of this Act, and in respect of the assistance or corresponding assistance concerned.

Applications for or related to former assistance and that are made, but not determined, before changeover

This clause applies to an application—

  1. for all or any of the following under the Social Security Act 1964:
    1. a benefit, or any other assistance, under that Act (the former assistance):
    2. an advance payment under section 82(6) of a benefit:
    3. an exemption under section 105 from, or deferral under sections 88H and 88I of, obligations:
    4. a review by the chief executive under section 88F(6) of a determination under section 88F(2) (which is a determination about capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work); and
  2. made, but not decided or determined, before the changeover.

The former assistance may be a benefit, or any other assistance, under the Social Security Act 1964 (for example, special assistance under section 124(1)(d) of that Act), whether or not entitlement to that benefit or assistance arises by virtue of an agreement or a convention given effect in relation to New Zealand by an order made under section 19 of the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990.

After the changeover, the application is treated as one for the corresponding benefit, other assistance, advance payment, exemption or deferral, or review, under this Act (and, if it is for a benefit, as one for which the applicant has the same date of first contact).

Backdating of corresponding former benefit if application made under this Act after changeover

This clause applies to an application—

  1. for a benefit under this Act; and
  2. made under this Act, and after the changeover; and
  3. to the extent that the benefit is under sections 317 and 318 to be backdated and payable for a period ending both before the application is made and before the changeover.

MSD may, instead of backdating for that period under sections 317 and 318 the benefit under this Act, backdate for that period and under section 80AA or 80BA(4)(b) of the Social Security Act 1964 the corresponding former benefit under that Act.

Jobseeker support: validation of payments when spouse’s or partner’s regular support lost due to sentence of imprisonment, etc

This clause applies to jobseeker support under the Social Security Act 1964 that was, or is yet to be, paid—

  1. to a person to whom section 20A(d) or (e) of that Act applies; and
  2. in respect of a period—
    1. on or after 15 July 2013; and
    2. before the changeover.

That jobseeker support is payable as if—

  1. the person were a single beneficiary for clauses 1(ba) and (c) and 5A of Schedule 9 of that Act; and
  2. section 80BA(4)(b)(iv) of that Act applied to jobseeker support granted to the person.
Jobseeker support: validation of eligibility if temporarily engaging in full-time employment with income less than would reduce benefit to zero

This clause applies to the reference in section 88B(6) of the Social Security Act 1964, as that section was in force on and after 15 July 2013 and until the changeover, to a person receiving jobseeker support at the rate in clause 1(ab) or (ba) of Schedule 9 of that Act.

That reference must be taken to include, and to have always included, a reference to a person receiving jobseeker support at the rate in clause 1(c) of Schedule 9 of that Act.

Jobseeker support: correction of reference in saving related to transfer to jobseeker support

Clause 2(15) of Schedule 32 of the Social Security Act 1964 must be taken—

  1. to apply, and always to have applied, to a person to whom clause 2(9) of that schedule applies; and
  2. not to apply, and never to have applied, to a person to whom clause 2(6) of that schedule applies.
Supported living payment: regulations prescribing minimum expected period of restricting sickness, injury, or disability

This clause applies to the Social Security (Supported Living Payments Benefit) Regulations 1998 made under section 132 of the Social Security Act 1964 for the purposes of section 40B(2)(a) of that Act.

Those regulations are saved as if made under section 418(1)(b) for the purposes of section 35(2)(a).

A sickness referred to in the regulations (as saved by this clause) is for the purposes of section 35(2)(a) treated as a health condition.

Youth payment and young parent payment: incentive payments regulations

This clause applies to Part 1 of the Social Security (Criteria for Incentive Payments and Money Management) Regulations 2012 made under section 132 of the Social Security Act 1964 for the purposes of sections 163(2) and 169(2) of that Act.

Those regulations are saved as if made under section 418(1)(c) and (d) for the purposes of sections 55(1) and 62(1).

Accommodation supplement: cash assets exemptions regulations

This clause applies to the Social Security (Income and Cash Assets Exemptions) Regulations 2011 made under sections 132 and 132AA of the Social Security Act 1964, but only so far as they declare any specified item or amount of cash assets, or cash assets of a specified kind, not to be cash assets for that Act’s purposes.

Those regulations are saved as if made under section 423(1)(b) for the purposes of subpart 10 of Part 2 and Part 7 of Schedule 4.

Accommodation supplement: regulations defining areas

This clause applies to any regulations made, before 26 November 2018, under section 61I of the Social Security Act 1964 (as inserted by subpart 4 of Part 2 of the Families Package (Income Tax and Benefits) Act 2017).

The regulations are saved as if they were made under section 423(1)(c).

However, for the purposes of Schedule 2, the definition of Area 1, Area 2, Area 3, and Area 4, paragraph (b), and of clause 15 of this schedule, the regulations are taken to have commenced on 26 November 2018.

This clause does not limit or affect clause 54.

Accommodation supplement: Schedule 4 amended

In Schedule 4, Part 7, repeal clause 8 (which defines Area 1, Area 2, Area 3, and Area 4) on the commencement of the first regulations made under section 423(1)(c) (see also clause 14(3) of this schedule).

Saving for emergency benefit granted if analogous benefit is New Zealand superannuation or veteran’s pension

This clause applies to a benefit if—

  1. the benefit was an emergency benefit granted under section 61 of the Social Security Act 1964, and payable to a person immediately before the changeover; and
  2. the analogous benefit was determined under section 61(2) of that Act to be New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension.

The benefit continues as an emergency benefit under subpart 9 of Part 2

  1. at the rate that would apply if the analogous benefit continued to be New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension; and
  2. until the person no longer qualifies to receive the emergency benefit.

Subclause (2)(a) applies even if the rate it requires is contrary to section 63(4) (about emergency benefits not exceeding the rate of the equivalent main benefit under this Act).

Childcare assistance regulations

Regulations made under section 132AC of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if made under section 424.

Temporary additional support regulations

Regulations made under section 132AB of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if made under section 428.

Special benefit under Social Security (Working for Families) Amendment Act 2004

This clause applies to a special benefit—

  1. continued under section 23 of the Social Security (Working for Families) Amendment Act 2004; and
  2. payable immediately before the changeover.

The special benefit continues to be payable under that section (as saved by this clause).

This clause overrides section 455(1) (Social Security Act 1964 repealed).

Programmes of special assistance for visitors to New Zealand

Overseas epidemic management notices given under section 61CE of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were given under section 99.

Programmes of special assistance (to visitors to New Zealand affected by overseas epidemics) established under section 61CF of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were programmes established under section 100.

Ministerial welfare programmes

Welfare programmes approved and established under section 124(1)(d) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were special assistance programmes approved and established under section 101.

A reference in the programmes to a provision of the Social Security Act 1964 is to be interpreted as a reference to this Act, or to the corresponding provision of this Act, to the extent necessary to reflect sensibly the intent of the programmes (see section 9 of this Act).

Obligations (Part 3)

Attendance of dependent child at recognised early childhood education programme regulations

This clause applies to the Social Security (Social Obligations—Attendance at Recognised Early Childhood Education Programme) Regulations 2013 made under sections 60RA(3), 60RAB, and 132 of the Social Security Act 1964 for the purposes of section 60RA(3)(a)(ii) and (b)(i) of that Act.

Those regulations are saved as if they were made under sections 137(2) and 430(1)(b) for the purposes of sections 131(1)(b) and 132(1)(a).

Application of work-test obligations regulations

This clause applies to the Social Security (Application of Work Test Obligations) Regulations 2007 made under section 132 of the Social Security Act 1964 for the purposes of section 102(3)(b) of that Act.

Those regulations are saved as if they were made under section 418(1)(e) for the purposes of section 143(1)(b).

Maximum reimbursement amounts of costs of drug test regulations

This clause applies to the Social Security (Work Test Obligations—Drug Testing Obligations) Regulations 2013 made under section 132 (read in the light of section 102C(3) and (4)) of the Social Security Act 1964, so far as they prescribe maximum reimbursement amounts for the purposes of section 102C(3) of that Act.

Those regulations are saved as if they were made under section 431(1)(c) for the purposes of section 151.

Drug-testing obligation regulations

Regulations made under section 132 (read in the light of sections 88A, 102C(3) and (4), and 116C(2)(e)) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under section 418(1)(f), (g), and (h) for the purposes of the definitions in section 152 of evidential drug test, pass, and screening drug test.

Participation allowance regulations

Regulations made under section 132F of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under section 429.

Obligations exemption regulations

Regulations made under section 123D of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under section 431(1)(e).

Obligations of spouses or partners of specified beneficiaries: exception to section 166

This clause applies to a young person—

  1. who is the parent or step-parent of a dependent child or dependent children; and
  2. who is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary (as defined in section 157 of the Social Security Act 1964 as in force immediately before 8 July 2016) who is aged 20 years or older; and
  3. who, immediately before 8 July 2016 (the date on which section 25 of the Social Security (Extension of Young Persons Services and Remedial Matters) Amendment Act 2016 came into force), is aged 19 years.

The young person is not subject to the obligations specified in section 166 of this Act.

This clause applies despite section 166 of this Act, and does not affect the operation, before the changeover, of clause 26(3) and (4) of Schedule 32 of the Social Security Act 1964.

Factors affecting benefits (Part 4)

Pre-benefit activities

Requirements and determinations made under section 11E(2) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under section 184.

Regulations made under section 132J of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under section 432.

Overseas pensions regulations, arrangements, and contracts

Regulations made under section 132C of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under section 434.

Arrangements entered into under section 70(3)(a) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were entered into under section 190 and in accordance with regulations made under section 434.

Contracts entered into under section 70(3A) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were entered into for the purpose of implementing—

  1. arrangements saved by subclause (2); and
  2. arrangements entered into under section 190 and in accordance with regulations made under section 434.
Loss of earnings compensation under Accident Compensation Act 2001

Section 198(2) does not apply if—

  1. a person (P) mentioned in section 198(1)(a) is entitled to receive, and is receiving, a specified benefit as defined in section 198(3); and
  2. P was immediately before 1 July 1999 receiving a benefit under the Social Security Act 1964 that is the same as, or that corresponds to, the specified benefit, and is identified in section 71A(1) of that Act as an income-tested benefit to which section 71A of that Act applies; and
  3. P was immediately before 1 July 1999 receiving compensation for loss of earnings or loss of potential earning capacity under the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Act 1992; and
  4. section 71A(2) of the Social Security Act 1964 (as that section was before it was repealed and substituted by the Accident Insurance Act 1998) required the compensation payments to be brought to charge as income in the assessment of P’s income-tested benefit under that Act.
Effect on benefit of issue of warrant to arrest: validation about modification applying when benefit suspended immediately

This clause applies to section 75B(9)(b) of the Social Security Act 1964 as in force on and after 15 July 2013 and until the changeover.

By way of explanation, that section 75B(9)(b) provides that section 120 of that Act (modified effect in some cases of sanctions on rate of benefit for people married or in civil union or de facto relationship) applies to a benefit that is suspended under section 75B(7) of that Act, as if the benefit had been suspended under section 117 of that Act (sanctions that may be imposed for failures).

That section 75B(9)(b) must be taken to include, and to have always included, a provision to the effect that section 120 of the Social Security Act 1964 (as applied by that section 75B(9)(b)) does not apply—

  1. if the person whose benefit is suspended under section 75B(7) is not receiving a main benefit under this Act (as defined in section 3(1) of that Act); or
  2. if the spouse or partner of the person whose benefit is suspended under section 75B(7) is receiving a main benefit under this Act (as so defined) in the spouse’s or partner’s own right.
Regulations about effect on benefit of issue of warrant to arrest

Regulations made under section 132L of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under section 435.

Regulations about effect of absence from New Zealand

This clause applies to the Social Security (Effect of Absence of Beneficiary from New Zealand) Regulations 2013 made under section 132 of the Social Security Act 1964 for the purposes of section 77 of that Act.

Those regulations are saved as if they were made under section 436 for the purposes of section 219.

Enforcement: sanctions and offences (Part 5)

Drug-testing obligations: good and sufficient reason regulations

This clause applies to the Social Security (Work Test Obligations—Drug Testing Obligations) Regulations 2013 made under section 132 (read in the light of section 116C(2)(e)) of the Social Security Act 1964, so far as they prescribe a ground on which a beneficiary may for the purposes of section 116B of that Act have a good and sufficient reason for specified failures.

Those regulations are saved as if they were made under section 418(1)(j) for the purposes of section 250(1)(e).

Good and sufficient reason: failure to comply with drug-testing obligation: approvals of kinds of addiction treatment

Approvals under section 116C(2)(b)(iii) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were given under section 250(2)(c).

Administration (Part 6)

Chief executive reviews

Subpart 3 of Part 6, and all related provisions, of this Act apply (with all necessary modifications), and section 81 of the Social Security Act 1964 does not apply, to a benefit granted before the changeover (whether or not the benefit is continued under clause 4), if the chief executive—

  1. immediately before the changeover could have begun under section 81 of the Social Security Act 1964 (apart from, or with, section 124(2) and (2A) of that Act) a review of the benefit; and
  2. did not begin, before the changeover, and under section 81 of the Social Security Act 1964, a review of the benefit.

Reviews by the chief executive begun under section 81 of the Social Security Act 1964 (apart from, or with, section 124(2) and (2A) of that Act), and not withdrawn or completed at the changeover, may be continued or completed by MSD as if they were reviews under subpart 3 of Part 6 (review of entitlement to, or rate of, benefit granted).

Requirements made under section 81(1) of the Social Security Act 1964 to provide information, if not withdrawn and not met at the changeover, are saved as if they were requirements made under section 305(1) (information for review).

Suspensions, terminations, or variations of rate, of benefit, and effected under section 81(1) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were equivalent suspensions, cancellations, or variations effected under section 305(2) (information for review).

Elections and stand-down periods

Elections and stand-down periods under section 80BA of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were (as the case requires)—

  1. elections for the purposes of regulations made under section 440(2)(f); or
  2. stand-down periods under section 316.
Effect of participation in certain activities on non-entitlement period

Approvals of activities, if given under section 123B of the Social Security Act 1964, are saved as if they were given under section 324.

Expiry and regrant of specified benefits regulations and exemptions

The Social Security (Expiry and Re-grant of Specified Benefits) Regulations 2013 made under section 132M of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were regulations made under section 441 for the purposes of sections 331, 334, and 336.

An exemption under section 80BE(8) of the Social Security Act 1964 is saved as if it were an exemption under section 334(1) and (2).

Payment of benefits

Directions given under paragraph (a) of the proviso to section 82(3) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were decisions by MSD to make payments under section 339(1)(a) or (b).

Directions given under paragraph (b) of the proviso to section 82(3) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were decisions by MSD to make payments under section 339(1)(c).

Part 2 (Money management) of the Social Security (Criteria for Incentive Payments and Money Management) Regulations 2012 made under section 132 of the Social Security Act 1964 for the purposes of sections 179 and 180 of that Act is saved as if that Part were made under section 418(1)(k) and (l) for the purposes of sections 341(1) and (3)(d), 342(1)(b), and 344(2).

Determinations made under section 82(4) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under section 340.

Decisions made under section 82(6) of the Social Security Act 1964 to make an advance payment of a benefit are saved as if made under section 347.

The Social Security (Advance Payment of Benefit) Regulations 2010, so far as they were made under section 132K(1)(a) of the Social Security Act 1964, are saved as if made under section 446 for the purposes of section 347.

Decisions made under section 82(6AA) to (6AC) of the Social Security Act 1964 to make an advance payment of a benefit to a preferred supplier of goods or services (including nominations given under section 82(6AB) of that Act—see clause 46(4)) are saved as if they were made under section 368.

Redirection arrangements made under section 82(6F) and (6G) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were payments authorised by regulations made under section 442(2)(c).

Budgeting activities regulations

This clause applies to the Social Security (Advance Payment of Benefit) Regulations 2010, so far as they were made under section 132K(1)(b) and (c) of the Social Security Act 1964.

Those regulations are saved as if they were made under section 447 for the purposes of section 348.

Debts: excess amounts, regulations, determinations, etc

This Act (for example, MSD’s duty under section 362 to recover debts) applies to debts due to the Crown under the Social Security Act 1964, and that at the changeover are not yet recovered, as if they were specified in this Act, or in regulations made under this Act, as debts due to the Crown.

Regulations made under section 444 apply to, or in respect of, an amount that a person has obtained or received—

  1. in excess of the amount to which the person is by law entitled or to which the person has no entitlement; and
  2. before or after the commencement of this clause.

Regulations (providing for remittance or suspension of debt) made under section 132G of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under section 448.

Method of recovery determinations under section 86(1BA)(a) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under regulations made under section 444.

Temporary deferral decisions under section 86(1BA)(b) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under regulations made under section 444.

Directions given under section 86(1BC) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were given under regulations made under section 444.

Assessments made under section 86(4) or (5) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under regulations made under section 444.

Written notices of assessments given under section 86(7) of the Social Security Act 1964, if served, are saved as if given and served under regulations made under section 444.

Applications made under section 86(7) of the Social Security Act 1964, if made and not withdrawn or finally determined before the changeover, continue with all necessary modifications as if they were applications made under regulations made under section 444.

Deductions: deduction notices

Deduction notices issued under section 86A of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were issued under regulations made under section 444.

Applications made to the District Court under section 86H of the Social Security Act 1964, if not withdrawn or finally determined before the changeover, continue with all necessary modifications as if they were applications made under regulations made under section 444.

Reciprocity agreement orders, etc

Orders made under section 19 of the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990 are saved as if they were made under section 380.

Reciprocity agreements entered into under sections 19A to 19C of the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990, if in force at the changeover, continue in force with all necessary modifications as if entered into under regulations made under section 450.

Agreements under section 19C(1)(d) of the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990 between the competent institutions of the parties, if in force at the changeover, continue in force with all necessary modifications as if entered into under regulations made under section 450.

Actions (recovery of social security debts, exchanges of information, and adverse actions in respect of discrepancies produced by information received) under section 19D of the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990, if begun but incomplete at the changeover, may be continued and completed under regulations made under section 450 (which apply with all necessary modifications).

Preferred suppliers: contracts, determinations, directions, and nominations

Contracts entered into under section 125AA(3) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were entered into under section 366.

Determinations made under section 125AA(1) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under section 367.

Directions given under sections 5 and 125AA(5) of the Social Security Act 1964 are, under clause 2(3) of this schedule, saved as if they were directions—

  1. given under section 372; and
  2. of the kind referred to in section 372(1).

Nominations given under section 69C(7B) and (7BA), 82(6AB) and (6AC), or 124(1BB) and (1BBA) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were given under section 368(2) and (5).

Determinations made under section 69C(7C) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were made under section 370.

Administration service providers: contracts and regulations

Contracts entered into under section 125A(1) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if they were entered into under section 373(1).

Parts 1 and 1A of the Social Security (Contracts and Information Sharing with Service Providers) Regulations 2012 made under section 132 (for the purposes of sections 125A(1)(b) and 125B(1)(c)) of the Social Security Act 1964 are saved as if those Parts were made under sections 373(1)(a)(ii) and (b), 374(1)(c), and 418(1)(m) and (n).

Providers of services in relation to young people: actions between 15 July 2013 and changeover

Section 125G of the Social Security Act 1964 must be taken to have applied, on and after 15 July 2013 and until the changeover, only to a contracted service provider contracted under section 125A(1)(a) of that Act to provide services that, in relation to young people, are—

  1. services of the kind referred to in section 123E(a) of that Act; or
  2. services in relation to Part 5 of that Act.
Family Proceedings Act 1980 maintenance payable to the Crown

Section 61CA of the Social Security Act 1964, as in force at the changeover, continues in force (as if it had not been repealed) for the purposes of the recovery by the beneficiary, or the chief executive, on behalf of the Crown, and the payment to the Crown, of any maintenance debt (as defined in section 61CA (1) of that Act).

Reviews and appeals (Part 7)

Benefits review committee reviews

Subpart 2 of Part 7 applies (with all necessary modifications), and the provisions of the Social Security Act 1964 about reviews by a benefits review committee do not apply, to a decision made before the changeover, and made in relation to a person who, or made in relation to an estate whose personal representative,—

  1. immediately before the changeover could have begun under section 10A of that Act (within a specified, or a further allowed, period) a review of the decision; and
  2. before the changeover did not begin under section 10A of that Act a review of the decision.

Reviews begun under section 10A of the Social Security Act 1964 and not withdrawn or completed at the changeover must be completed under subpart 2 of Part 7.

For the purpose of subclause (2), every benefits review committee under section 10A of the Social Security Act 1964 and existing at the changeover continues as if it were established under Schedule 7.

Appeals to appeal authority

Subpart 3 of Part 7 applies (with all necessary modifications), and the provisions of the Social Security Act 1964 about appeals to the Social Security Appeal Authority do not apply, to a decision made before the changeover, and made in relation to an applicant, a beneficiary, or any other person who, or made in relation to an estate whose personal representative,—

  1. immediately before the changeover could have begun under sections 12J and 12K of that Act (within a specified, or a further allowed, period) an appeal against the decision; and
  2. before the changeover did not begin under sections 12J and 12K of that Act an appeal against the decision.

Appeals begun under section 12K of the Social Security Act 1964 and not withdrawn or finally determined at the changeover must be completed under subpart 3 of Part 7.

Every appeal authority established by or under section 12A or 12D of the Social Security Act 1964 and existing at the changeover continues as if it were established by or under Schedule 8.

Despite subclause (3), members of a special appeal authority under section 12D of the Social Security Act 1964 who hold office at the changeover—

  1. have no maximum term of office under clause 4(3)(a) of Schedule 8; and
  2. cease to hold office only under clause 3 of Schedule 8 and by death, resignation, or removal from office.
Appeals to courts

Subpart 4 of Part 7 applies (with all necessary modifications), and the provisions of the Social Security Act 1964 about appeals to courts do not apply, to a determination made before the changeover, if a party to the proceedings that resulted in the determination,—

  1. immediately before the changeover could have begun under section 12Q, 12R, or 12S of that Act (within a specified, or a further allowed, period) an appeal against the determination; and
  2. before the changeover did not begin under section 12Q, 12R, or 12S of that Act an appeal against the determination.

Appeals begun under sections 12Q to 12S of the Social Security Act 1964 and not withdrawn or finally determined at the changeover must be completed under subpart 4 of Part 7.

Appeals to medical board

Subpart 5 of Part 7 applies (with all necessary modifications), and the provisions of the Social Security Act 1964 about appeals to the Medical Board do not apply, to a decision made before the changeover, if an applicant or a beneficiary—

  1. immediately before the changeover could have begun under section 10B of that Act (within a specified, or a further allowed, period) an appeal against the decision; and
  2. before the changeover did not begin under section 10B of that Act an appeal against the decision.

Appeals begun under section 10B of the Social Security Act 1964 and not withdrawn or finally determined at the changeover must be completed under subpart 5 of Part 7.

For the purpose of subclause (2), every medical board established under section 10B of the Social Security Act 1964 continues after the changeover as if it were established under Schedule 9.

Other provisions (Part 8)

Rates of benefits and allowances order or accommodation supplement areas order

This clause applies to an order made on or after the day after the date on which this Act receives the Royal assent and made before or on 25 November 2018 that is all or any of the following:

  1. an order—