Who can get this payment?

To be eligible for Jobseeker Support you must:

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Not be in full-time work (30+ hours a week), and looking for a job or more work OR
  • Have a health condition or disability that means you can’t work full time, or have had to stop working for a while. This includes people who have to take leave from work because of their health but have run out of sick pay.

You also need to meet the residential requirement

How much will I get?

The most you can receive for Jobseeker Support (after tax, paid into your account) is: 

  • $307.87 if you’re single (aged 20-24)
  • $353.46 if you're single (aged 25+)
  • $$601.46 if you’re a couple without children
  • $$494.80 if you’re a single parent
  • $$635.10 if you’re a couple with children

There are some things that might reduce these amounts. The following things can impact how much you get:

  • Your age
  • If you live with your parents and you’re 18 or 19
  • If you or your partner has an income, for example if you work at a paid job

People receiving Jobseeker Support will often also be eligible for Accommodation Supplement, which will be paid with your Jobseeker Support. 

How often will I get paid?

Jobseeker Support is paid weekly. 

Once your application is approved, it can take 1-2 weeks until you start getting paid.

If you left your job by choice or were fired for misconduct, you may need to wait up to 13 weeks before your payments start. However, if you lost your job during a trial period, the stand down period doesn’t apply.

You will need to apply for Jobseeker Support every year (after 52 weeks).

Does this payment have income or asset limits?

There are income limits for Jobseeker Support, but not asset limits

What are my obligations if I’m getting this payment?

If you’re receiving Jobseeker Support you (and your partner if you have one) must:

  • Tell Work and Income if your situation changes
  • Report your income to the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) weekly if you earn any
  • Take part in events and appointments that MSD arranges for you to help you find work
  • Look for work or be preparing for work
  • Take part in work ability assessments
  • Ensure your dependent children:
    • Meet certain education enrolment and attendance requirements
    • Are enrolled at a doctor or healthcare provider
    • Are up to date with their Well Child/Tamariki Ora checks (if they’re 4 years old or under)

You can view details about the Jobseeker Support obligations on the Work and Income website.

What happens if I don’t meet my obligations?

If you don’t meet your obligations, your payments can be reduced (usually by half), or stopped. MSD will send you a letter warning you when this happens. This letter might be sent to you through the MyMSD website.

What happens if I have a partner?

If you have a partner, their income and assets are part of the calculation for your eligibility, even if only one of you is working. This means that if your partner earns over the income limit you won't be able to get Jobseeker Support. 

If you have a partner and you're both on Jobseeker Support, your total payment will be less than what two single people would get paid. You each get half of your combined weekly eligibility. 

Both you and your partner must report your income each week you work. For example, if you’re not working but your partner is, your partner will need to report their income to MSD each week.

More information 

There are other benefits you may be able to get. Use the tool or check out other places to find out what else you might be able to get.