About Family Assistance

What Family Assistance Can You Get?
The 4 types of family assistance payments are:

  1. Family Support - paid to all eligible families with children aged 18 years or younger

  2. Child Tax Credit - an extra payment for each child for families who do not receive any other government assistance

  3. Family Tax Credit - to bring a family's income up to at least $21,568 a year. To receive this assistance, at least one parent in the family must be working for salary or wages

  4. Parental Tax Credit - paid for the first 56 days (eight weeks) after your baby is born.

You may qualify for more than one type of family assistance payment.

Who Can Get Family Assistance?
To be eligible to receive family assistance you must be 16 years old or older and meet at least one of the following residence requirements:

  • You are a New Zealand resident and have been in New Zealand continuously for at least 12 months at any time. You need to be both a tax resident and resident in New Zealand when you apply for your payments.

  • You are caring for a child who is both resident and present in New Zealand.

If your only income is from an income-tested benefit, you are only entitled to family support and if you choose to you will receive it from Work and Income as part of your benefit. When you move into full-time work or cancel your benefit, Work and Income will transfer your details to IRD to ensure your payments continue - you won't need to fill in a form to register for family assistance from IRD.

Your Residency Status and Family Assistance
If you and your children are in New Zealand unlawfully or hold only a temporary permit or visa, then for family assistance purposes you are not New Zealand residents.

If you recently arrived in New Zealand and you meet the residency conditions, your payments are based only on the income you receive from the date you arrived.

Payments to the Principal Child Carer
All payments are made to the eligible parent or principal child carer to help with the day-to-day living costs of the family.

The principal child carer is the person responsible for the day-to-day care of the children and must be aged 16 or over. It's not someone who cares for the children part-time or who works as the child minder.

If you're not sure whether you are the principal child carer, call IRD on 0800 227 773 or, if you and/or your partner are in business 0800 377 774.