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youth payment

a payment for taiohi who can't live at home

if you’re 16 or 17 and you can’t live at home, and your parents can’t support you financially, you may be able to get a youth payment towards your living costs.

what's it for

The Youth Payment gives you the space to focus on your dreams and ambitions. While you’re getting it, you’ll work with a youth coach to get the education and skills you need to build a bright, independent future.

how a youth coach can support you

who can get it

You might be able to get the payment if:

  • you’re 16 or 17
  • you can’t live with your parents
  • your parents can’t support you financially, and
  • you’re not responsible for any children.

If you’re bringing up a child, you might be able to get a young parent payment to help cover your expenses.

young parent payment

how it works

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

youth payment current rates

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

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

managing your payment

While you’re getting youth 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 may get to look after more of your payment yourself.

studying or training

Youth payment helps to cover your costs so you can focus on your future. To get the payment, you need to be in full-time education or training, or working towards qualifications as part of a job.

Your coach will help you figure out what education or training you need and 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.

training opportunities for taiohi

Your payment will increase by $10 per week if you attend and participate in a education programme for 6 months. This is called an education incentive.

finding somewhere to live

If you haven’t got anywhere to stay, your youth coach may be able to help you find emergency housing.

nowhere to stay tonight?

They can help you find somewhere permanent to live, too. In your first meeting, they’ll talk you through your housing options and let you know about any more money you can get towards housing costs.

They’ll also book you an assessment for social housing with Work and Income.

finding a place to live

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 and toiletries. It can also be used for essential items like stationery. 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 for your application

  • An MSD client number (you can request one here)
  • Two forms of identification, eg passport, birth certificate, driver licence, etc)
  • Details of your housing costs, eg a tenancy agreement or letter from the person you board with
  • Details of your living costs, eg. a phone bill, power bill, and debts.
  • Confirmation of your circumstances, eg a 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, eg payslips, bank statements or a letter from your employer, etc.

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