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Young Parent Payment

What is a Young Parent Payment?

The Young Parent Payment is for young people aged 16 to 18 who have dependent children. You might be able to get a Young Parent Payment if you’re 16 and 17 and your parents either are not supporting you or they have a low income. You might also be able to get a Young Parent Payment if you’re 18 and do not have a partner. You may also get the Young Parent Payment if you’re married, in a civil union or de facto relationship as long as your partner and you both meet certain criterion.

You can find out more information on the WINZ website or the Youth Service website.

Can I get a Young Parent Payment if I’m living at home?

You might be able to get a young parent payment even if you’re living with your parents and they’re supporting you. This will depend on how much your parents earn and how many children they are supporting. The maximum amount you can receive for a young parent payment is $300.98 per week unless you’re 16 or 17 and living with your parents, then the maximum will be $140.08 per week.

You can apply online to see if you meet the criteria.

Can I get the Young Parent Payment if I move out of home? (Under 18)

If you’re 16 or 17 and single and you move out of home, you can only get a Young Parent Payment if there are ‘exceptional circumstances’. This usually means that either your parents cannot afford to look after you or your relationship with them is so bad that they refuse to support you.

If it is possible for you to live with your parents, but you decide to move out instead, you generally will not be able to get a young parent payment unless they have a low income. If you’re 16 or 17, you have to show that there are really good reasons for you not to live with your parents.

Can I get the Young Parent Payment if I move out of home? (18 or married)

If you’re 18, you do not have to live with your parents to receive the young parent payment. If you’re single, you can get a young parent payment whether you’re living with your parents or not.

If you get married or have a civil union or a de facto relationship (where you live with your partner like you are married), then you might be able to get a Young Parent Payment. Keep in mind that you can only do these things before you turn 18 if you have permission from your parents. You can’t get a Young Parent Payment if you’re in a formal relationship with someone who is getting an Emergency Benefit, a Supported Living Payment or Jobseeker Support.

Can I get the Young Parent Payment after my partner and I break up?

If you were getting a young parent payment whilst you were married or in a civil union or a de facto relationship, you can still receive the benefits even if you break up. You do not have to move back in with your parents, even if you’re still only 16 or 17.

What requirements do I have to meet while I’m getting the young parent payment?

You can only be on a Young Parent Payment when you’re studying full-time, or are ready to do full-time study. You have to be studying towards qualifications that are NCEA Level 2 or higher.

There are some further conditions that have to be met once you’re eligible for the Young Parent Payment:

  • Attend a parenting course;
  • Be in a teen parent unit – if your child is 12 months old (or 6 months if a place is available);
  • Have your child enrolled at a medical centre and in a Well Child programme;
  • Prepare for your future through education, training and work-based learning;
  • Have your child enrolled in an Early Childhood Education while you’re in training, work-based learning or part-time work.

You also have to make sure that you meet all the benefit conditions.

Can I get the Young Parent Payment if I can’t study full time?

There is an exception to the full-time study rule if your youngest child is younger than a year old. You don’t have to be in education or training when you have a child that is younger than 6 months old. When your youngest child is between 6 – 12 months, you only have to be in education or training if there is a place available for you in a teen parent unit.

If there are other reasons as to why you can’t do full-time study, you should talk to WINZ about it and see whether you can receive a special exemption.

What obligations do I have with my Youth Service provider on the Young Parent Payment?

You have to have regular meetings with your Youth Service provider and keep them updated about any changes in things like your study, your relationship status, or where you are living. You also have to do a budgeting course, and have discussions with your Youth Service provider about how you are spending your money. You also have to do a parenting course and meet all of the ‘social obligations’. This means making sure that your children are in appropriate childcare whilst you’re studying. It also means that your children have to be enrolled with a healthcare provider.

How much will I get from the Young Parent Payment?

At the moment, the most that you can get for a Young Parent Payment is $329.57 per week (after tax) as a sole parent. For a full table, please check the WINZ website. However, you don’t get given all this money directly. Your Youth Service provider will make sure that your accommodation costs and some other core bills and debts get paid straight from the payment. Your Provider pays these things directly, so you’ll only receive the amount after deductions.

How much do I actually get from the Young Parent Payment?

You’ll get up to $50 per week paid straight into your bank account. This is your spending money for the week. If there is any of your young parent payment left after all the deductions have been taken out and you have received a $50 allowance, the rest will be put onto a payment card. Your payment card works like a debit card, except that you can only use it at approved stores (like supermarkets) to buy food and groceries. You can’t use your payment card to buy things like alcohol or cigarettes.

Is there any way I can get the full Young Parent Payment directly into my account?

You might be able to get your full young parent payment paid straight to your bank account if you can prove to your Youth Service provider that you can manage your money well. This will mean that you’re capable of paying your own rent and bills.  If it is approved, you’ll need to pay all the bills yourselves instead of the Youth Service provider.

How can I get more money while on the Young Parent Payment?

The Young Parent Payment has ‘incentives’ to encourage you to stick with your budgeting and your studies. You can get an extra $10 per week once you have been in your course for 6 months. You can also get an extra $10 per week once you have done a budgeting course and have discussed with your Youth Service provider how you spent your money for 3 months. You can get a further $10 per week once you have met all your parenting requirements for 3 months.

You’re also allowed to work while you are getting a young parent payment. If you earn more than $200 per week from your job then WINZ will start decreasing your young parent payment.

When does the Young Parent Payment end?

If you’re still at high school when you turn 19, your young parent payment will stop at the end of the year you turn 19. If you turn 19 while you’re studying somewhere other than high school, then your young parent payment will stop either at the end of the year or when your course finishes for the year – whichever happens first.

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