young parent payment

a payment for taiohi who are bringing up children

If you’re aged 16 to 19 and you have tamariki in your care, you might be able to get Young Parent Payment to help towards your living costs, so you can get back into school, training or work-based learning.

who can get it

To get the payment, you need to be aged 16 to 19, bringing up a child, and either:

  • single or
  • married, in a civil union or in a de facto relationship, and not in a relationship with someone receiving another benefit from Work and Income.

and if you're 16 or 17 years old...

You also have to be:

  • living with your parents and they qualify for family tax credits, or
  • unable to live with your parents or get financial support from anyone. 

If you have any questions, you can contact a Youth Service provider in your region.

how it works

The amount of money you’ll get depends on your circumstances, but you can check the current rates on the Work and Income website.

young parent payment current rates

In most cases, your rent and bills will be taken from the total and paid for you, and you will get an allowance of up to $50 paid into your bank account.

Any money left after this will be put on a payment card you can use to buy food, groceries and essentials like stationery for school or baby clothes.

managing your payment

While you’re getting Young Parent Payment, you’ll work with a youth coach to become an expert at managing your money. We’ll send you on a budgeting course as soon as there’s a space. Your payment will increase by $10 per week if you:

  • complete your budgeting course, and
  • show your coach that you’ve spent your money wisely for three months.

This is called a budgeting incentive. When you’ve earned all the incentives you can, you get to look after more of your payment yourself.

caring for your child

Your youth coach will support you to build a great life for your child. We’ll send you on a parenting course as soon as there’s a space. Your payment will increase by $10 per week if you:

  • have been enrolled in Youth Service for at least 3 months
  • complete the parenting course
  • keep your child’s Well Child/Tamariki Ora checks up to date
  • make sure your child is enrolled with a public health provider, and
  • make sure your child is enrolled in a childcare programme when it’s time for you to go back into education.

This is called a parenting incentive.

studying or training

Bringing up a child is an important job, but you matter too! When your baby is old enough, your coach will help you get back into education, training, or work-based learning.

This will happen when your child is six months old if there’s a space for you in a local teen parent unit. If not, it’ll happen when your child is twelve months old.

Your coach will help you figure out the education or training you want and support you to succeed at it. This might be at school, but it doesn’t have to be. The kind of education that’s right for you will depend on the career you want and how you like to work.

help with childcare costs

You can get money to help cover the cost of childcare while you work or study.

Your payment will increase by $10 per week when you attend and participate in an education programme for six months. This is called an education incentive.

training incentive allowance

If you're bringing up a child on your own and you want to study, you could be eligible for Training Incentive Allowance (TIA). 

TIA is a top-up to make things easier for you while you’re getting a qualification. You’ll still get your benefit and other entitlements, and you don’t have to pay TIA back! 

You can use the TIA to pay for things like:

  • childcare
  • books and equipment
  • transport.

Find out more about the Training Incentive Allowance.

payment card

A payment card is a bit like an Eftpos card. We load money onto it, and you can use it to buy things you need, like food, toiletries, stationery for school or baby clothes. You can use your card in shops that have registered with us to accept it.

If a hardship payment is added to your card, you need to spend it within three days or it will expire.

The Work and Income website has more information about payment cards, like where and how you can use them.

payment cards

where you can use your payment card

how to get it

You can fill in an application form online. When we look at your form, we’ll check whether you might be able to get any other help from us.

apply online

You can also contact a youth service provider in your region. They can help you with your application.

contact your nearest provider

what you need when you apply for Young Parent Payment

  • Two forms of identification for example, a passport, birth certificate, or driver licence
  • Details of your housing costs for example, a tenancy agreement or letter from the person you board with
  • Details of your living costs including your phone bill, power bill, and debts
  • Confirmation of your circumstances for example, letter from your school that says you're a full-time student, or if you're sick, a medical certificate from your doctor about how your condition affects your ability to work or go to school or training
  • Birth certificates for your tamariki
  • Evidence of your bank account
  • Evidence of any name changes
  • Evidence of your last pay and all income for the last 52 weeks. This could be payslips, bank statements or a letter from your employer.

See more information about what you need to provide when you apply for Young Parent Payment