Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill

Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill

Government Bill

122—2

As reported from the Social Services Committee

Commentary

Recommendation

The Social Services Committee has examined the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill and recommends by majority that it be passed with the amendments shown.

Introduction

This bill would repeal and replace the Social Security Act 1964 and the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990. The main aim of the bill is to make New Zealand’s social security law easier to understand by modernising its language, drafting style, and structure.

Although the bill’s main aim is to rewrite existing law, it also proposes several policy changes. They are set out in Schedule 11 of the bill.

To improve consistency between the amount of detail in primary legislation and that in delegated legislation, the bill would move some provisions from statute into delegated legislation.

The bill sets out

  • people’s eligibility for social security benefits

  • obligations and sanctions

  • rights to review and appeal decisions

  • how assistance is delivered to beneficiaries.

Provisions about residential care and disability support services are in Part 9 of the bill. Provisions about the Artificial Limb Service are in Part 10. It is intended that, at the Committee of the Whole House stage, the bill would be divided into

  • a social security bill

  • a residential care and disability support services bill

  • an Artificial Limb Service bill.

This commentary explains the main amendments that we recommend. It does not discuss minor, consequential, or technical amendments. Some of the changes are recommended as a consequence of new legislation that has or is about to come into force, including provisions in the Social Security (Extension of Young Persons Services and Remedial Matters) Amendment Act 2016.

Family breakdown should qualify for supported child’s payment

One of the policy changes proposed in the bill is to merge the orphan’s benefit and the unsupported child’s benefit into a new “supported child’s payment”.

Under clause 42(1), the supported child’s payment would be available for a child with no parent willing and able to care for them or to provide for their support.

We consider that clause 42 should mirror more closely the wording in section 29(b) of the Social Security Act, which refers to a “breakdown in the child’s family”. It should be able to cover situations where, for example, a parent may be willing and able to care for their child, but it may be inappropriate or unsafe for them to do so.

We recommend amending clause 42 by changing subclause (1) and inserting new subclause (3). The new subclause would allow caregivers to claim the supported child’s payment for a child whose parents are dead, are missing, or have a long-term disablement, or when there has been a breakdown in the child’s family.

Transitional provisions for step-parents appealing a decision about a benefit

Under the existing legislation, step-parents can receive an orphan’s benefit for their step-children. Clause 43(b) and Schedule 2 of the bill would effectively remove this benefit by defining step-parents as parents, reflecting their legal obligation to care for their step-children.

The transitional provisions in Schedule 1 would allow step-parents to be granted the supported child’s payment if they applied before 3 July 2017. Step-parents would not be granted a supported child’s payment after that date.

We recommend inserting new clause 12A into Schedule 1 to ensure that, when step-parents who have applied for this benefit before 3 July 2017 appeal or ask for a review of their entitlement, they are deemed to be eligible caregivers—despite clause 43(b) and the definition of parent in Schedule 2.

Clearer description of primary parent

In clause 179, which is about separated parents who share a child’s care, we recommend changing the phrase “primary parent” to “primarily responsible parent”. This would be clearer for clients and staff assessing benefits. The new wording would complement clauses 179(3) and 180, which set out how to decide which parent has greater responsibility for a child.

Allowing certain health practitioners to do more

Clause 27(2) would rewrite existing provisions allowing “prescribed health practitioners”—such as nurse practitioners1—to certify that a person’s work capacity is affected by a health condition, injury, or disability.

Nurse practitioners play an increasing role in primary health care, and we consider that, when appropriate, they should be able to endorse certificates in other situations.

Therefore, we recommend replacing the phrase “medical practitioner” with “prescribed health practitioner” in clauses 27, 28, 36, 40, 41, 70, 71, 78, 120, 149, 152, and 358.

We recommend inserting new paragraph (aa) into clause 397(1) to enable regulations to be made prescribing which health practitioners may perform the functions of each provision.

We recommend amending Schedule 2 (the bill’s “dictionary”) to include a definition of “prescribed health practitioner”. To reduce the risk of a practitioner making an assessment in an area of healthcare in which they are not an expert, the definition would require the practitioner to act within their scope of practice.

Accommodation supplement boundaries

We propose a change in Schedule 1 relating to accommodation supplements.

The amount of accommodation supplement that a person is entitled to is based on their income, cash assets, accommodation costs, family make-up, and residential area.

Accommodation supplement areas are based on statistical boundaries. A legislative change in 1996 had an unintended consequence, confirmed in 2011 by the Social Security Appeal Authority, that the boundaries must change every time the Government Statistician changes a boundary, unless an Order in Council is made to retain the boundary.

The transitional provisions in clause 53(2) of Schedule 1 would validate accommodation supplement payments by defining accommodation supplement areas as those set by the Government Statistician on 27 May 2004.

We recommend continuing to protect two groups after the bill comes into force, by inserting new clause 14A into Schedule 1. Both are groups whose supplement is not validated by clause 53.

One group’s accommodation supplement payments, technically, should have reduced when their boundaries changed, but they continue at the higher rate.

The other group are recipients living where a boundary change would result in a higher rate of accommodation supplement and whose payments are adjusted to that higher rate before the bill commences.

New clause 14A in Schedule 1 would require the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to calculate the accommodation supplement as if the client lived in the area that was used in calculating their existing payment. That protection would continue until the person changed address, the person stopped receiving the supplement, or the definition of their area changed.

Regulations to redirect benefits

Clause 421 would allow regulations to be made about how benefits are paid. Under clause 421(2)(a), regulations could specify groups of beneficiaries whose benefit instalments could be redirected without their consent. Social housing tenants could be among those affected by such regulations, because part of their benefits could be directed to landlords to cover rent.

Clause 421(4) would provide that regulations could be made under clause 421(2)(a) only if the Minister for Social Development was satisfied that the regulations would be likely to help achieve positive outcomes for affected beneficiaries.

We recommend inserting a further safeguard into clause 421(4). It would require the Minister to consult appropriate individuals or organisations before making such regulations. This could help reduce the risk of regulating for groups who would not be helped by the mandatory redirection of their benefits.

Advice from the Regulations Review Committee

Three clauses would allow regulations to be made exempting certain benefits or people from requirements in the bill. Regulations made under

  • clause 410 would specify categories of people who could be exempted from the work test or other obligations

  • clause 419(2)(a) would specify benefits that could be exempted from a stand-down period

  • clause 510(a) would specify categories of people who could be exempted from certain costs of long-term residential care.

The Regulations Review Committee recommended that we consider amending these clauses to

  • set out clear purposes and criteria for granting these exemptions

  • require a statement of the reasons for granting any of these exemptions

  • require exemptions to expire after a specified period of time.

We recommend amending these three clauses to insert clear purposes and criteria for granting exemptions. The criteria would include a requirement that the exemption be consistent with the purpose and principles in clauses 3 and 4 of the bill.

We do not consider it necessary to state the reasons for exemptions that are granted, because the reasons will be self-evident.

Nor do we consider it necessary to require these exemptions to expire after a certain period of time. This is because some grounds for exemptions are permanent, such as disability and elderly victims of crime. Expiry of exemptions could expose some vulnerable people to onerous obligations or other liabilities.

Submissions about existing policies

Many submissions suggested major policy changes. For example, many submissions proposed that benefit rates be increased. However, because the main purpose of the bill is to rewrite existing law, these proposals were considered to go beyond the scope of this bill.

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990

The Attorney-General has made a report on the bill under section 7 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. The report covered the policy changes in the bill as well as the existing policies that the bill would rewrite.

The Attorney-General said that the bill is inconsistent with section 19(1) of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, which affirms the right to freedom from discrimination on the grounds of disability. He said that the bill’s advantageous treatment of people who are totally blind, compared with its treatment of people with other disabilities, is not demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Under existing law, people who are totally blind can receive a supported living payment regardless of whether they have work or are able to work. They can receive this benefit even if they are working full time.

For people with other disabilities to claim the same benefit, they must prove that they are unable to work more than 15 hours per week.

Provisions about the supported living payment, in Part 2, Subpart 4 of the bill, would not change this.

The provisions that advantage totally blind people are not new. They are part of existing law. Because of the generally policy-neutral approach to this rewrite bill, we do not propose any change to the supported living payment at this time.

New Zealand Labour Party minority view

While Labour supports the idea of bringing much needed clarity, consistency, and modernity to the Social Security Act, Labour must point out that this rewrite does not align with the policy-neutral rewrite that the National Government has publicly claimed it to be.

Since the 1964 Act, continual amendments have made the Act difficult to navigate and disjointed. There is a need for increased accessibility and cohesiveness of legislation. However, this rewrite proposes changes beyond the scope of addressing this issue.

There has been a high level of concern amongst key stakeholders both in what is and is not contained in this rewrite, as well as the length of time that has been allowed for analysing this bill. The length of this bill would suggest that the maximum time available should be allowed for the public to be able to offer considered and thoughtful feedback; however, despite attempts from Labour to extend the deadline, this was denied.

Of primary concern to Labour is the writing into law of the investment approach in the principles. This is further fortified by the high number of submissions that also raised concerns about this.

The increased ability for the Government to make and amend regulations as proposed in this bill is disconcerting as it considerably reduces the space for public accountability and scrutiny.

Labour also opposes the following changes that the bill proposes, and will seek to remove them:

  • The emergency benefit has been changed to “exceptional circumstances benefit”. This has also come with work obligations. Now work preparation, part-time or full-time obligations, and sanctions can be applied at the discretion of MSD. However, we feel that the application of obligations and sanctions are inappropriate as emergency or exceptional circumstances are by definition unexpected and urgent. Additionally, the primary demographic of this financial assistance are over 65 years old, and do not qualify for New Zealand Superannuation due to their residency status.

  • Under the current Act, the redirection of benefit payments can occur without consent, but must have good cause. However, this bill removes the need for good cause. This raises significant concerns around the rights of beneficiaries. It also builds on the assumption that poor people need to have their money managed, and this should be done through force, rather than learning and more sustainable budgeting support.

  • This bill allows both parents in split-custody care situations to be eligible for sole parent support, yet those in shared parenting arrangements cannot access this benefit. This provision could place parents under financial pressure to separate children as this would be financially advantageous to the family.

Given that this bill is not a neutral policy rewrite as was proposed and the Government has taken the opportunity to make significant changes, Labour will also be suggesting changes. The changes that Labour will be recommending have been guided by the submissions made and the evidence presented during the public submissions process. It has been disappointing that the Government has not taken the advice from submitters and instead ignored the evidence presented to push ahead with its agenda. The changes that Labour proposes are those that we believe foster a better, fairer welfare system. These are as follows:

  • Removing the sanctioning of sole parents who do not identify the other parent of their child. Under the current Act, as well as in this bill, a sole parent beneficiary who is unable/unwilling to identify the other parent of their child will have a $22–$28 sanction imposed per week. This policy is currently affecting 17.7 percent of working-age sole parent beneficiaries, and 17,000 children. This is a discriminatory law that fails to ensure child support, and instead negatively impacts children in hardship.

  • Overhauling the principles of the Act. Overall there was strong discontent with the added investment approach-based principle in this bill. There were strong arguments from groups such as the Disabled Persons’ Assembly around the very ethos of this principle. They felt the use of the word “dependency” carried “a sense of judgement and appears stigmatising”. This can be particularly detrimental to those who may aspire to work but are physically or mentally unable to, either temporarily or permanently. Key stakeholders in the social sector, both in prior meetings and through written and oral submissions, have continually argued for the overhaul of all of the principles.

  • Allowing a person who is unable to work on a temporary basis as certified by a medical practitioner to be eligible for the supported living payment. Figures released by MSD from December 2015 showed that 55,257 working-age individuals were receiving the job seeker support with a health condition or disability deferral. Of the total figures of individuals receiving job seeker support for this same period (122,927), 44.95 percent were considered unable to pursue full-time employment. Anecdotal evidence indicates that the job seeker benefit is an inappropriate means of financial support due to the accompanying administrative requirements and obligations.

  • Changing the definition of suitable employment so it is in accordance with International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 44.

  • Enforcing a requirement that MSD must provide a breakdown of how a client has accumulated a debt.

  • Ensuring individuals who are unemployed and who pursue employment-related training are able to access financial support.

  • Removing hardened obligations for beneficiaries with additional children, which enforces a primary obligation to paid employment over caregiving.

  • Initiating a requirement for there to be consistent and independent monitoring and evaluating of the implementation of this bill and all related legislation.

  • Ensuring that all potential and current Work and Income clients are informed of all their entitlements.

  • Ensuring communication methods are appropriate for all Work and Income clients.

  • Simplifying benefit levels by removing the differing scale for those under 25 years old.

  • Extending the exceptional circumstances benefit to also include civil emergencies. This would enable citizens to be better equipped and under less immediate financial pressure during and after a state of emergency.

  • Providing definitions of education-related matters in the Act (core checks and registered schools), rather than leaving them to be determined in regulations.

  • Increasing the abatement rate to promote the take-up of varied employment, including part-time and casual. This acknowledges that non-standard work can be an effective means of transitioning from unemployment into full employment, and prevents individuals being financially deterred from working.

  • Acknowledging nurse practitioners as health providers consistently throughout the bill.

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand minority view

The Green Party will continue to oppose the Social Security Rewrite Bill. We support the intent of simplification and would have supported the legislation if this had been a purely policy-neutral rewrite. Our primary opposition is to the inclusion of a new guiding principle that promotes the identification and targeting of people at risk of long-term welfare dependency. This entrenches the problematic “investment approach” into legislation as well as the harmful concept of welfare dependency as an inherently negative thing. When the investment approach was first introduced, a number of prominent academics noted that the approach fails to understand that people who do receive the lasting support of benefits are more likely to find long-lasting employment than those who are only able to receive a benefit for a limited period of time.

We share the view of several submitters that the concept of welfare dependency undermines the concept of social security, missing the fundamental point that we are all interdependent on each other. The Disabled Persons’ Assembly and other groups specifically said this concept increases the stigmatisation of people with disabilities. It positions people who wish to work as being dependent and a burden, and ignores the fact that they are frequently locked out of the job market by employers who are unwilling to adapt to their needs.

We also share concerns regarding the change in language within the legislation: it changes from unemployment to “work gap”, and includes the phrase “parental support gap” for young people needing income support. These terms are not clear and reinforce an ideology that the Green Party does not share.

Following on from this, including the investment approach in the principles is particularly problematic; the approach is a heavily contested concept. Submissions have raised concerns that it involves assumptions of a lifetime out of work and involves profiling akin to criminal profiling. The submission from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) notes that the Productivity Commission has been critical of MSD’s investment approach, saying it is not a cost benefit analysis and recommends that it should be further refined to better reflect the wider costs and benefits of interventions. They specifically note that a “slavish application of an investment approach based purely on costs and benefits to Government might lead to perverse outcomes”. CPAG also criticises the Government’s “lifetime cost” of the beneficiary population, noting that the figure is based on flawed assumptions that the Government seems unwilling to release publicly. Other groups have also noted that the reasons for including the investment approach in the legislation seems to be to enable the Government to offer different services to different groups of people based on their profile. This is a problematic concept in relation to social security.

The bill formalises a new power to make regulations for benefit redirections without the beneficiary’s consent. A mandatory redirection can leave families without enough to meet essential expenses and no individual discretion to meet those challenges. Given that benefits are often not enough to survive on as it is, we are concerned this will make things harder for those who are struggling. This is unacceptable.

There will also be changes to the emergency benefit, which will be renamed the exceptional circumstances benefit and will require work testing and open people up to sanctions. That is not appropriate, and this is a significant change in policy, as well as an extension of the Government’s work-test regime.

The bill also introduces into legislation a requirement for people accessing the unsupported child’s benefit to use it for the benefit of the child. This is justified in the regulatory impact statement by saying it is to empower Work and Income staff to discuss issues that fall below the threshold for Child, Youth and Family involvement with carers. This is an incredibly complex social work judgement. Work and Income staff are not trained to make that assessment and we do not believe it would be in the interests of any family to give them that role.

The Green Party also opposes the new policy that directs appeals from supported living payment carers to the Medical Appeal Board. Decisions made by the Medical Appeal Board are only appealable by judicial review and this is out of reach of most low-income New Zealanders.

While acknowledging the advice that the benefits of streamlining the primary legislation justifies more clauses being put in regulation, we remain uncomfortable with the balance and with the inclusion of substantive policies in regulations. However, we acknowledge the amendments to provide more direction in setting regulations.

We heard a significant number of submissions telling stories of very real hardship and humiliation, and we share the view of presenters that this could have been addressed through this legislation. Instead, these issues have been exacerbated. This rewrite has more clauses that create obligations than there are clauses that provide social security.

There have been many submissions trying to get rid of specific clauses that have been carried forward from the current legislation, namely the $22–$28 per week per child sanctions on women who do not name the father of their children. There is an exemption where this money will not be deducted if the mother cannot name the father for reasons of rape or violence. We have heard from advocates, lawyers, nuns, and unions—amongst others—saying this policy has not delivered its intended result, which is to make fathers financially responsible for their children. We have heard that this has caused undue harm, and most women do not know, or are not told of the exemption, and if they do, they find it humiliating or re-traumatising having to retell (and retell, and retell) their story.

First Union raised concerns about the 13-week stand down when people have left a job or been fired for misconduct. They are spending hours every week advocating for members in this situation when the stand down has been inappropriately applied. Most New Zealanders do not have access to a union or anyone else to advocate for them in this situation, and it is clear the current policy needs clarification to prevent harm.

Furthermore, the Green Party acknowledges the ongoing grievance expressed by couples when one was born overseas or has access to an overseas pension. We also acknowledge the plight of individuals who have been in New Zealand for many years now, and are living in poverty as a result of inconsistencies in our superannuation policy.

Finally, we share the frustration that the Government has used this rewrite as an opportunity to entrench a punitive approach to social security, and did not take the opportunity to fix outstanding policies that are causing harm. We are also incredibly disappointed that the Government did not take the opportunity to include a new principle to give primary consideration to the welfare and best interests of children, as suggested by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.

Appendix

Committee process

The Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill was referred to the committee on 10 May 2016. The closing date for submissions was 26 June 2016. We received and considered 121 submissions from interested groups and individuals. We formed subcommittees to hear some of the oral evidence, and oral evidence was heard from 52 submitters at hearings in Auckland and Wellington.

We received advice from the Ministry of Social Development.

We received advice from the Regulations Review Committee on the powers contained in clauses 410(e), 419(2)(a), and 510(a).

We considered the bill alongside the “Report of the Attorney-General under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 on the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill”. On 10 August 2016, we heard evidence from the Ministry of Justice on behalf of the Office of the Attorney-General.

Committee membership

Alfred Ngaro (Chairperson)

Darroch Ball

Matt Doocey

Hon Paul Goldsmith

Jan Logie

Jono Naylor

Dr Parmjeet Parmar

Maureen Pugh

Carmel Sepuloni

Phil Twyford

Key to symbols used

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Hover your cursor over an amendment for information about that amendment. Download the PDF version to see this information in a form that can be printed out.

Hon Anne Tolley

Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill

Government Bill

122—2

Contents

Commentary
Key
1Title
2Commencement
3Purpose of this Act
4Principles
5Guide to this Act
6Definitions are in dictionary in Schedule 2
7Minister may give MSD binding directions
8Determinations person is single or in de facto relationship
9Interpretation: references to old law, and using it as a guide
10Comparative tables of old and new provisions
11Transitional, savings, and related provisions
12Act binds the Crown
13Status of guides or outlines
14Status of examples
15What this Part does
16Residential requirement
17Rates
18General limitation on receiving more than 1 benefit
19General limitation on receiving benefit: persons unlawfully resident or present in New Zealand and persons holding temporary entry class visa
20Jobseeker support: requirements
21What is work gap
22When person is ready to available for work
23Jobseeker support: age requirement
24Jobseeker support: no or minimum income
25Jobseeker support: discretionary grant on ground of hardship
26Jobseeker support: ineligibility
27Jobseeker support: on ground of health condition, injury, or disability: application must include certificate
28Jobseeker support: on ground of health condition, injury, or disability: medical examination
29Sole parent support: requirements
30What is sole parent requirement
31When dependent child may be regarded as applicant’s child
32Expiry of sole parent support, and replacement with jobseeker support, when youngest dependent child turns 14 years old
33Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: requirements
34When person has restricted work capacity
35Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: ineligibility
36Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: medical examination
37Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: payment not apportioned in specified cases
38Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity: encouraging open employment
39Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: requirements
40Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: application must include certificate
41Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: medical examination
42Supported child’s payment: requirements
43Who is eligible caregiver
44Supported child’s payment to be used for benefit of child
45Youth payment: requirements
46When person is study ready
47Youth payment: no or minimum income
48When person has parental support gap
49Youth payment: discretionary grant on ground of hardship
50Youth payment: continuation after turning 18 years old
51Youth payment: incentive payments
52Young parent payment: requirements
53When person is study ready
54Young parent payment: no or minimum income
55When person has parental support gap
56Young parent payment: discretionary grant on ground of hardship
57Young parent payment: continuation after turning 20 years old
58Young parent payment: incentive payments
59Exceptional circumstances benefit: discretionary grant on ground of hardship
60Exceptional circumstances benefit: grant during epidemic in New Zealand
61Accommodation supplement: discretionary grant
62Social housing exclusion
63Other funding exclusion
64Accommodation supplement: special rules for joint tenants who are in relationship
65Accommodation supplement: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances
66Childcare assistance: purpose
67Childcare assistance: eligibility
68Child disability allowance: discretionary grant
69Meaning of child with a serious disability
70Child disability allowance: MSD may require medical certificate
71Child disability allowance: MSD may require medical examination
72Child disability allowance: payment
73Child disability allowance: not payable with other assistance or pension
74Meaning of disability
75Disability allowance: discretionary grant
76Disability allowance: excluded expenses
77Disability allowance: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances
78Disability allowance: medical examination
79Special disability allowance: entitlement in special circumstances
80Funeral grant: eligibility
81Temporary additional support: purpose
82Temporary additional support: requirements
83Temporary additional support: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances
84Interpretation
85Overseas epidemics affecting visitors to New Zealand: Minister may give overseas epidemic management notice
86Special assistance for visitors affected by overseas epidemics
87Approved special assistance programmes
88Special assistance: status of, and access to, notices
89Provisions relating to children aged 18 years or over who continue education
90What this Part does
91Failure to comply with obligation under this Part
92MSD must make people affected aware of their obligations, consequences of non-compliance, and their review and appeal rights
93MSD must explain rules relating to absence from New Zealand
94MSD must assist in relation to obtaining overseas pension, etc
95Outline of beneficiary’s general and specific obligations
96When obligations apply
97Beneficiary must hold, and give MSD details of, bank account
98Beneficiary must supply tax file number
99Beneficiary must notify change of circumstances
100Obligation to notify absence from New Zealand
101Obligation to undergo work ability assessment
102Persons subject to work ability assessment
103Persons not subject to work ability assessment
104Work ability assessment
105Person who fails to comply with requirement to undergo work ability assessment is subject to sanction
106Work-preparation obligations
107Persons subject to work-preparation obligations
108Persons not subject to work-preparation obligations
109Persons subject to work-preparation obligations if sufficient capacity to comply
110General obligation to take all steps to prepare for employment
111Work-preparation obligations as required by MSD
112Person who fails to comply with work-preparation obligation subject to sanction
113Obligations in relation to dependent children
114Obligations of beneficiary in relation to dependent children
115Obligations of spouse or partner of beneficiary in relation to dependent children of beneficiary
116Obligations of spouse or partner of beneficiary in relation to dependent children of spouse or partner
117Attendance of dependent child aged 3 to 5 years at early childhood education programme
118Attendance of dependent child aged 5 or 6 years at early childhood education programme or registered school
119Attendance of dependent child aged 6 to 15 years at registered school
120Health care enrolment and compliance with core health checks
121Interviews and reporting
122Person who fails to comply with obligations in relation to dependent children is subject to sanction
123Definitions and attendance: regulations made under section 409
124Work-test obligations
125Purpose of sections 126 to 140
126Persons subject to work-test obligations
127Jobseeker support: work capacity determination and work test
128Person not subject to work-test obligations
129Time when work-test obligation applies
130General obligation to be available for suitable employment, etc
131Meaning of suitable employment
132Work-test obligations as required by MSD
133Obligation to undertake and pass drug test
134Compliant drug test defined
135Failing drug test
136Use of drug test result
137Costs of drug test
138Definitions for drug-testing provisions
139Person who fails to comply with work-test obligations is subject to sanction
140Deemed failure to comply with work-test obligation
141Deferral of work-test obligations
142Effect of deferral of work-test obligations
143Regulations may specify categories of exempt persons and grounds for exemption
144MSD may grant exemption from work preparation, work test, or other obligation
145Procedure for grant of exemption
146Person who fails to comply with requirement to attend interview is subject to sanction
147Obligations of young person granted youth support payment
148When education obligation or training obligation begins for young parent
149Obligations of young person granted young parent payment
150Young person aged 18 or 19 years who is receiving jobseeker support in young person’s own right and who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency
151Young person aged 16 or 17 years who has no dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary
152Young person aged 16 to 19 years who has dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary
153Young person aged 18 or 19 years, who is receiving jobseeker support as spouse or partner of person granted that benefit, or who is work-tested spouse or partner of specified beneficiary, and who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency
154Interpretation
155Obligation to work with contracted service providers
156Person who fails to comply with requirement under section 155(2) subject to sanction
157Interpretation
158Applicant for benefit, etc, to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension
159MSD may give notice requiring person to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension
160MSD may give notice requiring person to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension for dependant
161Failure to comply with MSD’s notice given under section 163 or 164
162Applicant for benefit must provide information as to rate of overseas pension
163MSD may give notice requiring beneficiary to provide information as to rate of overseas pension
164Failure to comply with MSD’s notice given under section 163
165Meaning of rate
166Application of health and safety legislation, etc
167Obligations suspended where MSD has exercised discretion to pay benefit while beneficiary overseas
168What this Part does
169Regulations may prescribe pre-benefit activities
170MSD must explain requirements
171Benefit may be subject to repayment of insurance payment
172Interpretation
173Persons affected by receipt of overseas pension
174Benefit of person affected is reduced by amount of overseas pension
175MSD may enter into arrangement with person affected by receipt of overseas pension
175ATreatment of certain overseas benefits, pensions, and allowances that are not overseas pensions
176MSD must reduce rates of benefits for sole parents for failure to assist child support
177No reduction in certain cases
178Additional reduction in certain cases
179Shared care of dependent child
180Rules for assessing which parent has greater responsibility for dependent child
181Effect of compensation or damages on application for benefit
182Loss of earnings compensation under Accident Compensation Act 2001
183Veteran’s entitlement excludes any other benefit
184Exceptions to rule that veteran’s entitlement excludes any other benefit
185Personal benefit of spouse or partner excludes benefit on behalf of spouse or partner
186MSD may refuse or cancel benefit for failure to take reasonable steps to obtain maintenance
187MSD may refuse or cancel benefit if family protection claim not pursued
188MSD may refuse or cancel benefit if person not ordinarily resident in New Zealand
189Refugee or protected person status
190Hospitalisation
191Benefit of spouse or partner increased after 13th week of hospitalisation
192Beneficiary resident in institution for treatment of alcoholism or drug addiction
193Benefit not payable to person who is subject to warrant of arrest
194Beneficiary and offence defined for section 193
195MSD must give beneficiary notice of unresolved warrant
196Requirements for unresolved warrant notice
197Immediate suspension of benefit at request of New Zealand Police
198Beneficiary and offence defined for section 197
199MSD must give beneficiary notice of immediate suspension
200Effect of non-payment or suspension of benefit
201Benefit not payable during custody in prison or on remand
202Exceptions to rule that benefit not payable during custody in prison or on remand
203General rule: benefit not payable while beneficiary absent from New Zealand
204Purpose of sections 205 to 207
205Additional dependent child must not be taken into account in certain cases
206Extended application of additional dependent child rules
207Limited application of additional dependent child rules
208Basic rule: no work-tested benefit for 13 weeks after leaving employment or scheme or loss of employment due to misconduct
209Persons to whom basic rule applies
210What happens if basic rule applies
211MSD’s options in case of misconduct
212Interpretation
213How non-entitlement period, etc, affects supplementary benefits, and spouse or partner
214What this Part does
215Sanctions for failure to comply with certain obligations under this Act
216Obligations that carry sanction for failure to comply
217Hierarchy of sanctions
218Failure, and first, second, and third failure, defined for obligations other than young person or young parent obligations
219Sanction for first failure: reduction in main benefit
220Sanction for second failure: suspension of main benefit
221Sanction for third failure: cancellation of main benefit
222Reduction or suspension of reduced benefit
223Failures that can be counted
224Meaning of continuous payment
225Failures that cannot be counted
226Exclusion of sanction if failure is subject of prosecution under Education Act 1989
227Variation for failure to comply with work-test obligation to accept offer of suitable employment
228Variation for breach of work-test obligation by 1 spouse or partner
229Variation for breach of work-test obligation by both partners or spouses
230Variation for suspension or cancellation of benefit or non-entitlement period affecting couple with 1 or more dependent children
231Variation for suspension or cancellation of main benefit or non-entitlement period affecting sole parent
232Good and sufficient reason for non-compliance: default by MSD
233Good and sufficient reason for failure to comply with drug-testing obligation
234Good and sufficient reason for failure to supervise dependent child
235MSD must give notice of sanction
236Notice relates to single failure
237How notice of sanction may be given
238Breach of obligation in relation to dependent children: additional steps before notice may be given
239When reduction, suspension, or cancellation of benefit takes effect
240Request for evidential drug test if sanction imposed for failing screening drug test
241Effect of request for evidential drug test
242Effect of failure of evidential drug test
243Costs of evidential drug test
244How person recomplies after failure to comply with obligation
245Impossibility of remedying failure of work-test obligation
246How person recomplies after failure to comply with drug-testing obligation
247Drug testing for purposes of recompliance
248Failure of drug test for purposes of recompliance constitutes third failure
249Costs of drug testing for purposes of recompliance
250Case management support for beneficiary in breach of obligation in relation to dependent children
251Failure, and first, second, and third failure, defined for young person or young parent obligations
252Sanction for failure to comply with young person obligation
253Sanction for first or second failure: suspension of in-hand allowance and incentive payments
254Sanction for third failure: cancellation of youth payment and incentive payments
255Effect of cancellation of youth payment on accommodation supplement or temporary additional support
256Effect of cancellation of youth payment on exceptional circumstances benefit
257Effect of cancellation of youth payment on disability allowance or child disability allowance
258Sanctions for failure by young person required to receive youth services to comply with obligations: money management
259Sanctions for failure by young person required to receive youth services to comply with obligations: other cases
259ASanctions for failure by young spouse or partner of specified beneficiary to comply with obligations: money management
259BSanctions for failure by young spouse or partner of specified beneficiary to comply with obligations: other cases
260Sanction for failure to comply with young parent obligation
261Sanction for first or second failure: suspension of in-hand allowance and incentive payments
262Sanction for third failure: cancellation of young parent payment and incentive payments
263Effect of cancellation of young parent payment
264Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on accommodation supplement or temporary additional support
265Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on exceptional circumstances benefit
266Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on disability allowance or child disability allowance
267How young person satisfies obligation after failure to comply
268Procedure for imposing sanctions for failure to comply with young person or young parent obligation
269Effect of regrant of youth payment on incentive payment
270MSD may cancel incentive payment
271Offences: false statements, misleading, or attempting to mislead, to receive or continue to receive benefits
272Offences: spouse or partner knowingly benefiting from excess amount obtained by beneficiary’s fraud
273Offence of demanding or accepting fee or other consideration in relation to grant of benefit
274Offence of demanding or accepting acknowledgement or undertaking
275General penalty for offences
276Time for filing charging document
277What this Part does
278Application for benefit: making of, help with, lapse, and deemed receipt
279MSD must inquire into claim for benefit
280Exception during epidemic
281Information gathering, disclosure, and matching
282MSD decides whether to grant benefit
283Immediate provisional grant, and later backdating of other benefit
284After death of applicant
285Review of entitlement and rate payable
286Information for review
287No entitlement, or entitlement only at different rate
288Benefit on another eligibility ground more appropriate
289Another benefit more appropriate
290Certain benefits granted, or granted at rate, not taking into account certain insurance payments
291General
292If applicant paid, but claim fails for, ACC weekly compensation
293Benefits subject to stand down
294Work-tested benefit of applicant subject to non-entitlement period
295Exemptions from stand down, and when certain benefits commence
296Start and calculation of stand-down period
297Minister may consent to backdating
298No consent unless benefit not granted earlier because of error
299Effect of no longer being subject to work test or young person obligations
300Effect of no longer being subject to dependent children obligations
301Effect of no longer being subject to work-preparation obligations
302Effect of employment on non-entitlement period
303Effect of participation in certain activities on non-entitlement period
304General rule if person’s entitlement to benefit ceases
305After death of beneficiary receiving specified benefit
306Benefits payable to sole parent who stops caring for dependent child due to sudden and uncontrollable circumstances
307Supported living payment payable to beneficiary who stops caring for another person
308If child ceases to be entitled to supported child’s payment
309Supported living payment on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness and cancelled on medical grounds
310Expiry date, and specified benefit, defined
311General rule
312Exception for specified benefit expiring in week of or before 26 December
313Exemptions
314MSD must notify or advise beneficiary
315Requirements for regrant
316How benefits are paid
317Weekly instalments
318Payment generally to, or on account of, beneficiary personally
319Required manner of payment: general
320Required manner of payment: money management for certain payments to young people
321Money management for certain payments to young people: exception if no prescribed manner of payment
322Money management for certain payments to young people: exception if young person meets prescribed criteria for managing own payments
323Review and appeal of specified determinations made by MSD under regulations
324Young person beneficiaries may elect money management
324ACredit on payment card, etc, at end of money management
325Required manner of payment: payment on death of beneficiary
326Advance payment of instalments of benefit
327Requirement for beneficiary, spouse or partner, or both, to undertake budgeting activity
328Interpretation
329MSD may pay tax on income-tested benefit other than by tax deduction from source deduction payment
330Status of amount for income tax paid by MSD
331Recovery amount paid in excess of amount properly payable
332Debts and deductions
333Recovery of penalty from beneficiary who obtains by fraud amount in excess of entitlement
334Restriction on imposing penalty under section 333: prosecution for offence
335Restriction on imposing penalty under section 333: notice and period to respond
336Restriction on recovering penalty under section 333: decision to be final
337Recovery from spouse or partner who misleads MSD of excess amount beneficiary obtained
338Recovery from spouse or partner of apportioned excess amount beneficiary obtained by fraud
339Obtaining amount by fraud: meaning and proof
340Recovery from spouse or partner of unapportioned excess amount beneficiary obtained by fraud
341MSD’s duty to recover debts
342Duty unaffected by law on mistaken payments
343Ways MSD or person can meet requirement to give notice or other document
344Services to encourage young people to move to and remain in education, training, and employment
345Preferred suppliers: contracts
346Preferred suppliers: determinations
347Preferred suppliers: paying them disability allowance, special assistance, or advance payment
348Preferred suppliers: paying them disability allowance: exception if total benefit payments less than amount required
349Preferred suppliers: paying them disability allowance: exception if allowance granted at maximum rate
350Preferred suppliers: no appeal lies against MSD decisions
351Preferred suppliers: transitional or savings provisions directions
352Administration service providers: contracts
353Administration service providers: contents and form of contracts
354Administration service providers: adoption of existing contracts
355Administration service providers: MSD to ensure information published
356Conduct of provider of services in relation to young people to be treated for specified purposes as if MSD’s conduct
357MSD may assign contracted service provider to young person
358Minister determines rates and conditions of employment and payment
359Orders adopting reciprocity agreements
360Privacy report for orders adopting agreements with mutual assistance provisions
361Interpretation
362Inclusion of mutual assistance provisions in reciprocity agreements
363MSD may use mutual assistance provisions to recover debts
364MSD may use mutual assistance provisions to exchange information
365Adverse action against individual if discrepancy shown by information from other country
366Prosecutions and debt recovery proceedings: representation and fees
367Payment of benefit does not affect right to maintenance
368Maintenance proceedings
369What this Part does
370Right to seek review of specified decision of MSD made under delegation
371Application must be made within 3 months after date of notification or further period allowed
372Benefits review committee
373How to begin, and procedure and powers for, review by benefits review committee
374Appeals only against decision confirmed or varied by benefits review committee or made by chief executive personally
375Authority cannot hear and determine certain appeals on medical or capacity grounds
376Decision under specified social assistance enactments
377Decision under reciprocity agreements
378Decision to recover excess amount
379Appeal must be begun within 3 months of notification or further allowed period
380Social security appeal authority
381Act does not affect appeals to authority under other enactments
382How to begin, and procedure and powers for, appeal to authority
383Notice, and carrying into effect, of decision
384Right of appeal using case stated on question of law only
385Appeal must be begun, and case stated lodged, within time prescribed or allowed
386How to begin, and procedure for, appeal to High Court
387Orders, etc, on successful appeal
388Appeal, with Court of Appeal’s leave, against High Court’s determination
389Appeal, with Supreme Court’s leave, against High Court’s or Court of Appeal’s determination
390Right of appeal on medical grounds
391Appeal must be begun within 3 months of notification or further allowed period
392Board
393How to apply, and procedure and powers, for appeal to board
394Notice of, and carrying into effect, board’s decision
395What this Part does
396Benefits cannot, in general, be assigned or charged, or pass by operation of law
397Regulations: general
398Regulations: general powers not limited by special powers
399Regulations: effect of duties or powers to give directions
400Regulations: residential requirement
401Regulations: income exemptions
402Regulations: accommodation supplement
403Regulations: childcare assistance
404Regulations: disability allowance: special categories of eligibility
405Regulations: use of disability allowance to fund specified expenses
406Regulations: funeral grants
407Regulations: temporary additional support
408Regulations: participation allowance for people participating in activities
409Regulations: specific obligations: obligations in relation to dependent children: definitions and attendance
410Regulations: specific obligations: work-test obligations, and deferrals of, or exemptions from, specified obligations
411Regulations: factors affecting benefits: pre-benefit activities
412Regulations: factors affecting benefits: insurance recovery
413Regulations: factors affecting benefits: overseas pensions
414Regulations: factors affecting benefits: issue of warrant to arrest beneficiary
415Regulations: factors affecting benefits: absence from New Zealand
416Regulations: issue and use of entitlement cards
417Regulations: application for benefit: making of, help with, lapse, and deemed receipt
418Regulations: certain benefits granted, or granted at rate, not taking into account certain insurance payments
419Regulations: exemptions from, and calculation of, stand down
420Regulations: expiry and regrant of specified benefits
421Regulations: payments
422Regulations: payments during epidemic in New Zealand
423Regulations: debts and deductions
424Regulations: further provisions on deductions
425Regulations: advance payment of instalments of benefit
426Regulations: budgeting activities due to application for advance payment of instalments of benefit
427Regulations: remittance or suspension of debt
428Regulations: ways MSD or person can meet requirement to give notice or other document
429Regulations: reciprocity agreements with mutual assistance provisions, and adverse action if discrepancy shown by information from other country
430Regulations: how to begin, and procedure and powers for, review or appeal
431Orders in Council: discretionary increases in rates of benefits, etc
432Orders in Council: mandatory annual CPI adjustment of rates of certain benefits
433Certain orders are confirmable instruments
434Social Security Act 1964 repealed
435Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990 repealed
436Department of Social Welfare Act 1971 repealed
437Employment Services and Income Support (Integrated Administration) Act 1998 repealed
438Other enactments amended consequentially
439Purpose of this Part
440Overview of this Part
441Interpretation
442Interpretation: references to, and using as guide, old law
443Transitional, savings, and related provisions
444Part binds the Crown
445This Part determines who pays for LTR contracted care
446What is LTR contracted care
447Key terms used in definition of LTR contracted care
448Who is qualifying person
449Funding eligible
450Positively needs assessed
451Rule 1: no qualifying person to pay more than maximum contribution cap
452Rule 2: qualifying person whose assets are above asset threshold must contribute under-cap costmaximum contribution
453Rule 3: qualifying person whose assets are equal to or below asset threshold must pay contribution based on income
454Rule 4: funder must pay difference between qualifying person’s contribution and cost of LTR contracted care
455Liability of person who has not been means assessed
456Who is special case person
457Who is 50+ single person
45850+ single person liable to make income contribution only
459Who is exempt person
460Exempt person liable to contribute benefit only
461Who is elderly victim of crime
462Elderly victim of crime not liable to contribute to cost of LTR contracted care
463Who initiates needs assessment
464Content of needs assessment
465Procedure for needs assessment
466Notification of result of needs assessment
467Types of means assessment
468Who may apply for means assessment
469MSD must arrange for means assessment
470Assets assessment
471Content of assets assessment
472When income assessment required
473Income assessment
474Content of income assessment
475Deprivation of income or property: means assessment as if deprivation had not occurred
476Deprivation of income or property: inclusion in review of means assessment
477Means assessment must be recorded in writing
478Notice of means assessment
479Obligation to notify MSD of change in circumstances
480Funder must ensure person assessed advised of right of review
481Relationship status for purpose of means assessment: determination that person is single
482Relationship status for purpose of means assessment: determination that person is in de facto relationship
483Review by MSD
484Review if assets subsequently fall below applicable asset threshold
485Review if assets below applicable asset threshold
486Review under section 484 or 485 not obligatory
487Scope and date of review under section 483, 484, or 485
488Date of means assessment
489Determination of maximum contribution cap
490Funder’s liability for cost of LTR contracted care of exempt person
491Funder’s liability for cost of LTR contracted care of elderly victim of crime
492When funder’s liability arises for cost of LTR contracted care of qualifying person
493When funder’s liability arises for cost of LTR contracted care of exempt person or elderly victim of crime
494When funder’s liability arises for cost of LTR contracted care of 50+ single person
495Application of this subpart
496MSD may assess person’s financial means and required payments
497Cash assets and income
498Unrealised assets available for personal use
499Deprivation of income or assets
500Assessment must state date and payments and be given to person
501MSD may supply assessment to applicable DHB
502MSD must review, and may revise, assessment
503Person must advise MSD of change in person’s circumstances
504Information gathering under Schedule 6 of Parts 1 to 8 of Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016
505Rights of review and appeal in Part 7 of Parts 1 to 8 of Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016
506Residential care loan scheme
507Clothing allowance
508Offences: false statements, misleading, or attempting to mislead, to receive or continue to receive advantages
509Time for filing charging document
510Regulations
511Annual adjustments for increase in New Zealand Consumers Price Index
512Annual published notice of amount of income-from-assets exemption
513Repeals and revocations
514Purpose of this Part
515Interpretation
516Transitional, savings, and related provisions
517Part binds the Crown
518New Zealand Artificial Limb Service continued
519Functions
520Crown entity
521Membership
522Deputies of members
523Superannuation
524Exemption from income tax
525Review of Service’s operation and this Part
526Repeal
527Public Bodies Contracts Act 1959 amended
Legislative history

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows:

1 Title

This Act is the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016.

2 Commencement

(1)

This Act comes into force on 3 July 2017.

(2)

However, the following specified provisions come into force on 1 January 2017:

(a)

section 7 (directions):

(b)

sections 85 to 88 (notices):

(c)

section 351 (directions):

(d)

section 359 (orders):

(e)

sections 397 to 433 (regulations, directions, notices, and orders):

(f)

sections 489, 506, and 510 to 512 (notices and regulations):

(g)

clause 65 of Schedule 1 (regulations):

(h)

clauses 15 and 17 of Schedule 3 (rules):

(i)

clauses 10(3) and 18 of Schedule 6 (regulations and orders).

(3)

A power that is conferred by those specified provisions, and that is exercised on or after 1 January 2017 and before 3 July 2017, may be exercised only with effect on or after 3 July 2017.

(4)

If subsections (2) and (3) are to be, or have been, relied on to exercise a power,—

(a)

all other enactments relevant to the power’s exercise, and that have not yet commenced, must be treated as if they had commenced; and

(b)

a legal position that would be conferred or imposed by an enactment relevant to the power’s exercise, and that has not yet commenced, must be treated as if it has accrued or been imposed.

(5)

This section does not affect the application of the Interpretation Act 1999 to this Act.

(6)

However, the following specified provisions (which relate to 2016 youth services amendments) come into force on a date that is, or is after, 3 July 2017, and is appointed by the Governor-General by Order in Council:

(a)

sections 150 and 153:

(b)

clauses 66 to 70 of Schedule 1.

(7)

One or more orders may be made under subsection (6) bringing different provisions into force on different dates.

Compare: 1999 No 85 s 11

Part 1 General provisions

3 Purpose of this Act

The purpose of this Act is—

(a)

to enable the provision of financial and other support as appropriate—

(i)

to help people to support themselves and their dependants while not in paid employment; and

(ii)

to help people to find or retain paid employment; and

(iii)

to help people for whom work is not currently appropriate—because of sickness, injury, disability, or caring responsibilities—to support themselves and their dependants:

(b)

to enable in certain circumstances the provision of financial support to people to help alleviate hardship:

(c)

to ensure that the financial support referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) is provided to people taking into account—

(i)

that, where appropriate, they should use the resources available to them before seeking financial support under this Act; and

(ii)

any financial support that they are eligible for or already receive, otherwise than under this Act, from publicly funded sources:

(d)

to provide services to encourage and help young people to move to or remain in education, training, and employment, rather than receiving financial support under this Act:

(e)

to impose, on the following specified people or young people, the following specified requirements or obligations:

(i)

on people seeking or receiving financial support under this Act, administrative and, where appropriate, work-related requirements; and

(ii)

on young people who are seeking or receiving financial support under this Act, educational, budget management, and (where appropriate) parenting requirements; and

(iii)

on people receiving certain financial support under this Act, obligations relating to the education and primary health care of their dependent children.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 1A; 2007 No 20 s 23

4 Principles

Every person performing or exercising a duty, function, or power under this Act must have regard to the following general principles:

(a)

work in paid employment offers the best opportunity for people to achieve social and economic well-being:

(b)

the priority for people of working age should be to find and retain work:

(c)

people for whom work may not currently be an appropriate outcome should be assisted to prepare for work in the future and develop employment-focused skills:

(d)

people for whom work is not appropriate should be supported in accordance with this Act:

(e)

to help achieve the best possible outcome for people at risk of long-term welfare dependency (as that risk is defined in Schedule 2), MSD may identify appropriate assistance, support, and services, under this Act, for those people.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 1B; 2007 No 20 s 23

5 Guide to this Act
General provisions

(1)

Part 1 contains general provisions (for example, on definitions).

Assistance

(2)

Part 2 contains provisions on assistance, as follows:

Main assistance

(a)

jobseeker support:

(b)

sole parent support:

(c)

supported living payment—

(i)

on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness; or

(ii)

on the ground of caring for another person:

(d)

supported child’s payment:

(e)

youth payment:

(f)

young parent payment:

(g)

exceptional circumstances benefit:

Supplementary assistance

(h)

accommodation supplement:

(i)

childcare assistance:

(j)

child disability allowance:

(k)

disability allowance:

(l)

funeral grants:

Hardship assistance

(m)

temporary additional support:

Special assistance

(n)

special assistance for visitors affected by overseas epidemics:

(o)

approved special assistance programmes (see the guide in section 15).

Obligations

(3)

Part 3 contains provisions on obligations (for example, MSD’s obligations, and each beneficiary’s obligations—see the guide in section 90).

Factors affecting benefits

(4)

Part 4 contains provisions on factors affecting benefits (for example, insurance, entitlement to overseas pensions, failures to assist child support, shared care of a dependent child, hospitalisation, being in custody in prison or on remand, and absence from New Zealand—see the guide in section 168).

Enforcement, sanctions, and offences

(5)

Part 5 contains provisions on enforcement, sanctions, and offences (for example, sanctions for failing to meet obligations—see the guide in section 214).

Administration

(6)

Part 6 contains provisions on administration (for example, on applications for and granting of benefits, reviews of entitlement, when benefits commence and end or expire, how benefits are paid, tax on benefits, debts and deductions, notices and communications, and reciprocity agreements with other countries—see the guide in section 277).

Reviews and appeals

(7)

Part 7 contains provisions on reviews and appeals (reviews by benefits review committees and appeals to the appeal authority, to the courts, or to the medical board—see the guide in section 369).

Other provisions

(8)

Part 8 contains other provisions (for example, on powers to make regulations or orders, repeals and revocations, and consequential amendments—see the guide in section 395).

Definitions appear in dictionary

(9)

Schedule 2 lists all terms defined for purposes of this Act, and sets out, or indicates where to find, the definitions.

Act is generally former 1964 and 1990 Acts in rewritten form

(10)

The provisions of this Act, as section 9 indicates, are generally—

(a)

the provisions of specified former 1964 and 1990 enactments in rewritten form; and

(b)

intended to have the same effect as the corresponding provisions of those former enactments.

(11)

Subsection (10) is overridden by section 9(6) (which relates to identified changes in legislation that are specified in Schedule 11, and to amendments to this Act that are made after the beginning of 3 July 2017).

6 Definitions are in dictionary in Schedule 2

The dictionary in Schedule 2 defines terms used in this Act.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 3(1), (5), 10B(5), 11(8), 11G(1), 11H(1), 20A, 39A(1), 60H(1), 60RAB(1) and (4), 61D(1), 61E, 68A(8), 80B, 88A, 126A(1), 157; 2007 No 97 s AA 3, Part Y

7 Minister may give MSD binding directions

(1)

The Minister may give MSD general or special written directions about MSD’s performing or exercising any duties, functions, or powers of MSD under enactments in, or made under, either or both of this Act and the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001.

(2)

Directions given under this section cannot do what is done by the following kinds of directions:

(a)

preferred suppliers: transitional or savings provisions directions given under section 351:

(b)

debt recovery directions given under regulations made under section 423 (see section 423(1), (2)(c), and (3)).

(3)

MSD must, in performing or exercising a duty, function, or power, comply with all relevant current directions given under this section.

(4)

A direction given under this section—

(a)

must, as soon as practicable after it is given, be—

(i)

published on an Internet site administered by or on behalf of MSD; and

(ii)

notified in the Gazette; and

(b)

must, each time it is amended without also being replaced, as soon as practicable after it is amended, be published—

(i)

on an Internet site administered by or on behalf of MSD; and

(ii)

as at a stated date; and

(iii)

incorporating amendments up to that date; and

(c)

is not a legislative instrument, but is a disallowable instrument, for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2012, and must be presented to the House of Representatives not only—

(i)

as soon as practicable; but also

(ii)

under section 41 of that Act.

(5)

A notification in the Gazette for the purpose of subsection (4)(a)(ii) does not have to include the text of the direction.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 5

8 Determinations person is single or in de facto relationship

(1)

This section applies to a decision by MSD so far as the decision does all or any the following:

(a)

determines (that is, grants, or refuses to grant, on any basis) an application for a benefit:

(b)

reviews (and suspends, cancels, or varies, from a date determined by MSD) a benefit already granted:

(c)

determines the rate of benefit (from a date, or dates, determined by MSD):

(d)

grants, or refuses to grant, on any basis, a payment of a funeral grant (see section 80 and regulations made under section 406):

(e)

grants or refuses to grant, on any basis, a payment under an approved special assistance programme.

(2)

MSD may make a determination to regard as single, for the purposes of the decision, an applicant or a beneficiary who is married or in a civil union with the applicant’s or beneficiary’s spouse or partner, but—

(a)

is living apart from the applicant’s or beneficiary’s spouse or partner; and

(b)

is not in a de facto relationship.

(3)

A determination under subsection (2) may include a date, determined by MSD, on which the spouses or partners must be taken for the purposes of the decision to have commenced to live apart.

(4)

MSD may make a determination to regard as a party to a de facto relationship, for the purposes of the decision, any 2 people who, not being legally married or in a civil union, have entered into a de facto relationship.

(5)

A determination under subsection (4), for the purposes of the decision, may include either or both of the following dates:

(a)

a date, determined by MSD, on which the 2 people must be taken as having entered into the de facto relationship:

(b)

a date, determined by MSD, on which the de facto relationship of the 2 people must be taken to have ended.

(6)

Every determination under this section also applies for the purposes of every debt-recovery or offence provision in or under this Act.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 63

9 Interpretation: references to old law, and using it as a guide

(1)

A reference in an enactment or a document to the following former enactments or to a provision of them, is to be interpreted as a reference to this Act, or to the corresponding provision of this Act, to the extent necessary to reflect sensibly the intent of the enactment or document:

(a)

the Social Security Act 1964 (except sections 69FA and 132D, Part 4, and Schedules 27 and 30, which are provisions rewritten and replaced by Part 9 and Schedules 13 to 15 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016):

(b)

the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990 (except Part 3 and Schedule 3, which are provisions rewritten and replaced by Part 10 and Schedule 16 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016).

(2)

Subsection (1) is subject to the consequential amendments in Schedule 10.

(3)

The provisions of this Act—

(a)

are the provisions of those former enactments in rewritten form; and

(b)

are intended to have the same effect as the corresponding provisions of those former enactments.

(4)

Subsection (3) is subject to subsections (5) and (6) and section 11.

(5)

If the meaning of a provision of this Act that comes into force on 3 July 2017 (the new law) is unclear or gives rise to absurdity,

(a)

the wording of a law that is repealed by section 434 or 435 and that corresponds to the new law (the old law) must be used to determine the correct meaning of the new law; and

(b)

it can be assumed that a corresponding old law provision exists for each new law provision.

(5)

If the meaning of a provision of this Act that comes into force under section 2 (the new law) is unclear or gives rise to absurdity, the wording of a law that is repealed by section 434 or 435 and that corresponds to the new law (the old law) must be used to ascertain the meaning of the new law.

(6)

Subsections (3) to (5) do not apply—

(a)

to a new law listed in Schedule 11 (identified changes in legislation); or

(b)

if a new law is affected by an amendment made after the beginning of 3 July 2017new law’s commencement under section 2, to that new law after the amendment commences.

Compare: 2007 No 97 s ZA 3(2), (3), (4), (5)

10 Comparative tables of old and new provisions

(1)

Schedule 12 (comparative tables of old and rewritten provisions) sets out corresponding provisions in the following former enactments and this Act as at the beginning of 3 July 2017:

(a)

the Social Security Act 1964 (except sections 69FA and 132D, Part 4, and Schedules 27 and 30, which are provisions rewritten and replaced by Part 9 and Schedules 13 to 15 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016):

(b)

the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990 (except Part 3 and Schedule 3, which are provisions rewritten and replaced by Part 10 and Schedule 16 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016).

(2)

Schedule 12 has the following 3 parts:

(a)

Part A lists each provision in the Social Security Act 1964 and—

(i)

indicates the corresponding provision in this Act or Part 9; or

(ii)

states that the provision has been omitted:

(b)

Part B lists each provision the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990 and—

(i)

indicates the corresponding provision in this Act or Part 10; or

(ii)

states that the provision has been omitted:

(c)

Part C lists each provision in this Act and the corresponding provision in those former enactments, or states that the provision is new.

(3)

Schedule 12

(a)

is provided to assist readers to identify corresponding provisions; but

(b)

must not be interpreted as a definitive guide to the correspondence of provisions.

Compare: 2007 No 97 s ZA 6

11 Transitional, savings, and related provisions

The transitional, savings, and related provisions set out in Schedule 1 have effect according to their terms.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 3C, Schedule 32

12 Act binds the Crown

This Act binds the Crown.

13 Status of guides or outlines

All guides or outlines in this Act are by way of explanation only. They do not affect the provisions specified in them.

14 Status of examples

(1)

An example used in an enactment in or made under this Act is only illustrative of the provisions to which it relates. It does not limit those provisions.

(2)

If an example and a provision to which it relates are inconsistent, the provision prevails.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 3B

Part 2 Assistance

Contents

15What this Part does
16Residential requirement
17Rates
18General limitation on receiving more than 1 benefit
19General limitation on receiving benefit: persons unlawfully resident or present in New Zealand and persons holding temporary entry class visa
20Jobseeker support: requirements
21What is work gap
22When person is ready to available for work
23Jobseeker support: age requirement
24Jobseeker support: no or minimum income
25Jobseeker support: discretionary grant on ground of hardship
26Jobseeker support: ineligibility
27Jobseeker support: on ground of health condition, injury, or disability: application must include certificate
28Jobseeker support: on ground of health condition, injury, or disability: medical examination
29Sole parent support: requirements
30What is sole parent requirement
31When dependent child may be regarded as applicant’s child
32Expiry of sole parent support, and replacement with jobseeker support, when youngest dependent child turns 14 years old
33Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: requirements
34When person has restricted work capacity
35Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: ineligibility
36Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: medical examination
37Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: payment not apportioned in specified cases
38Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity: encouraging open employment
39Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: requirements
40Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: application must include certificate
41Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: medical examination
42Supported child’s payment: requirements
43Who is eligible caregiver
44Supported child’s payment to be used for benefit of child
45Youth payment: requirements
46When person is study ready
47Youth payment: no or minimum income
48When person has parental support gap
49Youth payment: discretionary grant on ground of hardship
50Youth payment: continuation after turning 18 years old
51Youth payment: incentive payments
52Young parent payment: requirements
53When person is study ready
54Young parent payment: no or minimum income
55When person has parental support gap
56Young parent payment: discretionary grant on ground of hardship
57Young parent payment: continuation after turning 20 years old
58Young parent payment: incentive payments
59Exceptional circumstances benefit: discretionary grant on ground of hardship
60Exceptional circumstances benefit: grant during epidemic in New Zealand
61Accommodation supplement: discretionary grant
62Social housing exclusion
63Other funding exclusion
64Accommodation supplement: special rules for joint tenants who are in relationship
65Accommodation supplement: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances
66Childcare assistance: purpose
67Childcare assistance: eligibility
68Child disability allowance: discretionary grant
69Meaning of child with a serious disability
70Child disability allowance: MSD may require medical certificate
71Child disability allowance: MSD may require medical examination
72Child disability allowance: payment
73Child disability allowance: not payable with other assistance or pension
74Meaning of disability
75Disability allowance: discretionary grant
76Disability allowance: excluded expenses
77Disability allowance: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances
78Disability allowance: medical examination
79Special disability allowance: entitlement in special circumstances
80Funeral grant: eligibility
81Temporary additional support: purpose
82Temporary additional support: requirements
83Temporary additional support: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances
84Interpretation
85Overseas epidemics affecting visitors to New Zealand: Minister may give overseas epidemic management notice
86Special assistance for visitors affected by overseas epidemics
87Approved special assistance programmes
88Special assistance: status of, and access to, notices
89Provisions relating to children aged 18 years or over who continue education

Subpart 1—Introduction

15 What this Part does

This Part—

(a)

sets out the various types of assistance through which MSD provides people with financial support; and

(b)

specifies the requirements for each type of assistance.

16 Residential requirement

(1)

This section sets out the residential requirement that must be met by applicants for certain types of assistance under this Part.

(2)

A person (P) meets the residential requirement if—

(a)

P is a New Zealand citizen or holds a residence class visa under the Immigration Act 2009, and is ordinarily resident in New Zealand when P first applies for the benefit, and—

(i)

has resided continuously in New Zealand for a period of at least 2 years at any one time after becoming a citizen or resident; or

(ii)

is recognised as a refugee or a protected person in New Zealand under the Immigration Act 2009; or

(b)

P is ordinarily resident in a country with which New Zealand has a reciprocity agreement, and P has resided continuously in New Zealand for a period of at least 2 years before applying for the benefit or before a decision on P’s claim for the benefit is made.

(3)

For the purposes of subsection (2)(b), New Zealand has a reciprocity agreement with another country if there is in force under section 359 an order declaring that the provisions contained in an agreement or a convention signed by New Zealand and the Government of that country set out in a schedule of the order have force and effect so far as they relate to New Zealand.

(4)

This section does not limit section 188 (MSD may refuse or cancel benefit if person not ordinarily resident in New Zealand), and is subject to section 189 (refugee or protected person status).

(5)

This section is also subject to any regulations made under section 400 that specify circumstances in which a person—

(a)

is taken to meet the residential requirement; or

(b)

must be treated, for the purposes of satisfying the residential requirement, as being resident and present in New Zealand; or

(c)

must not be required to comply with the residential requirement.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 74AA

17 Rates

(1)

Assistance granted under this Part must be paid at the appropriate rate specified in Schedule 4.

(2)

Subsection (1) does not apply to the following assistance granted under this Part:

(a)

an exceptional circumstances benefit under section 59:

(b)

childcare assistance under section 67:

(c)

funeral grants (see section 80):

(d)

temporary additional support under section 82:

(e)

special assistance under subpart 15.

(3)

Subsection (1) is subject to the provisions of this Act that provide for the reduction, suspension, or cancellation of assistance in certain circumstances.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 20G, 29A, 39B, 40I, 61(2), 61CB, 61EC, 61G(3), 61GA(3), 69C, 88M, 163, 169

18 General limitation on receiving more than 1 benefit

A person is not entitled to receive at the same time, in his or her own right,—

(a)

more than 1 main benefit under this Act; or

(b)

a main benefit under this Act and New Zealand superannuation; or

(c)

a main benefit under this Act and a veteran’s pension.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 72(a)

19 General limitation on receiving benefit: persons unlawfully resident or present in New Zealand and persons holding temporary entry class visa

(1)

A person is not entitled or eligible to receive a benefit if the person is—

(a)

unlawfully resident or present in New Zealand; or

(b)

lawfully resident or present in New Zealand but only by virtue of holding a temporary entry class visa.

(2)

This section is subject to section 189.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 74A(1)

Subpart 2—Jobseeker support

20 Jobseeker support: requirements

A person is entitled to jobseeker support if the person—

(a)

has a work gap; and

(b)

is ready to available for work; and

(c)

meets the age requirement; and

(d)

meets the residential requirement; and

(e)

has no or minimum income.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 88B(1), (2), (3), (4)

21 What is work gap

(1)

A person (P) has a work gap if—

(a)

P is not in full-time employment; or

(b)

P is in employment but is losing earnings through a health condition or injury (for example, is not working at all or is working reduced hours).

(2)

For the purposes of subsection (1)(b), P may treat as a loss of P’s earnings a payment made to any other person who acts as P’s substitute during the period of P’s health condition or injury.

(3)

Despite subsection (1)(a), P still has a work gap if—

(a)

P is receiving jobseeker support at the rate in item 1(c), (e), or (f) of Part 1 of Schedule 4; and

(b)

during a temporary period, P engages in full-time employment; and

(c)

the income from that employment and P’s other income (if any) when calculated over a 52-week period is less than the amount that would, under the applicable appropriate income test, fully offset that assistancereduce the applicable rate of jobseeker support to zero.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 88B(1), (6), (7)

22 When person is ready to available for work

A person (P) is ready to available for work if P—

(a)

is available for and seeking full-time employment and—

(i)

is available for it; and

(ii)

is willing and able to undertake it; and

(iii)

has taken reasonable steps to find it; or

(b)

would satisfy paragraph (a) were it not for circumstances that would qualify P for

(i)

an exemption under the regulations referred to in section 143 from some or all of the work-test obligations; or

(ii)

a deferral of work-test obligations under the regulations referred to in section 141; or

(b)

would satisfy paragraph (a) were it not for circumstances that would qualify P for an exemption under the regulations referred to in section 143 from some or all of the work-test obligations; or

(c)

is willing and able to undertake full-time employment but, because of a health condition, injury, or disability, is limited in P’s capacity to seek, undertake, or be available for it.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 88B(1)

23 Jobseeker support: age requirement

An applicant for jobseeker support meets the age requirement if the applicant is—

(a)

at least 18 years old, in the case of an applicant without a dependent child:

(b)

at least 20 years old, in any other case.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 88B(2)

24 Jobseeker support: no or minimum income

(1)

In this subpart, a person (P) has no or minimum income if P has—

(a)

no income; or

(b)

income of less than the amount that would fully offset reduce the applicable rate of jobseeker support to zero.

(2)

If, during a temporary period, P has enough income to fully offset reduce the applicable rate of jobseeker support to zero, but P otherwise meets the requirements for jobseeker support, P’s entitlement to jobseeker support is not affected by that income.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 88B(4), (5)

25 Jobseeker support: discretionary grant on ground of hardship

(1)

MSD may grant jobseeker support to a person (P) who is eligible under subsection (2), (3), or (4) if P—

(a)

is in hardship; and

(b)

is not entitled or eligible to receive any other main benefit under this Act or New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension; and

(c)

is unable to earn enough income to support P and P’s spouse or partner (if any) and dependent children (if any).

(2)

P is eligible under this subsection if P meets the requirements in section 20(a), (b), and (c).

(3)

P is eligible under this subsection, during the period between the end of one academic year and the start of the next, if P is a full-time student and meets the requirements in section 20(c) and (d).

(4)

P is eligible under this subsection, during the period between the end of one academic year and the start of the next, if P is a full-time student who is aged 16 or 17 years and MSD is satisfied that—

(a)

P has a parental support gap (as defined in section 48(1)(a), (b), or (c), but not as defined in section 48(1)(d)); or

(b)

P is in a relationship.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 88C

26 Jobseeker support: ineligibility

A person (P) is not entitled to, or eligible to be granted, jobseeker support if—

(a)

P is a full-time student (unless P is eligible under section 25 or P’s work-test obligations are deferred under the regulations referred to in section 141 or P is granted an exemption from some or all of P’s obligations under the regulations referred to in section 143); or

(b)

P is unemployed because of P’s participation, or participation by fellow members of the same union at the same place of employment, in a strike; or

(c)

MSD reasonably believes that P became unemployed or took leave with or without pay from P’s employment for the purpose of undertaking employment-related training.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 88D

27 Jobseeker support: on ground of health condition, injury, or disability: application must include certificate

(1)

An applicant (A) for jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability must include in the application a certificate that complies with this section.

(2)

The certificate must be given

(a)

by a medical practitioner in respect of any condition; or

(b)

by a dentist, midwife or prescribed health practitioner in respect of a condition that is within that person’s scope of practice.

(2)

The certificate must be given by a prescribed health practitioner.

(3)

The certificate must—

(a)

certify that A’s capacity for work is affected by health condition, injury, or disability; and

(b)

indicate the nature of the health condition, injury, or disability, the extent to which A’s capacity for work is affected by it, and the length of time that effect is likely to last; and

(c)

contain any other information that MSD may require.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 88E(1)–(3)

28 Jobseeker support: on ground of health condition, injury, or disability: medical examination

(1)

MSD may at any time require an applicant for, or a person receiving, jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury or disability (P) to undergo an examination by a medical practitioner or psychologistprescribed health practitioner.

(2)

The medical practitioner or psychologist prescribed health practitioner must be agreed for the purpose between P and MSD or, failing agreement, must be nominated by MSD.

(3)

The medical practitioner or psychologist prescribed health practitioner must prepare, and must send MSD a copy of, a report that indicates—

(a)

whether P’s capacity for work is affected by health condition, injury, or disability; and

(b)

the extent to which that capacity is so affected; and

(c)

how long that capacity is likely to continue to be affected.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 88E(4), (5)

Subpart 3—Sole parent support

29 Sole parent support: requirements

A person is entitled to sole parent support if the person—

(a)

meets the sole parent requirement; and

(b)

meets the residential requirement; and

(c)

is aged 20 years or over.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 20D

30 What is sole parent requirement

(1)

A person (P) meets the sole parent requirement if P is the mother or father of, and caring for, at least 1 dependent child aged under 14 years and—

(a)

P is single; or

(b)

P’s spouse or partner has died; or

(c)

P’s marriage or civil union has been dissolved; or

(d)

P is living apart from, and has lost the support of or is being inadequately maintained by, P’s spouse or partner; or

(e)

P has lost the regular support of P’s spouse or partner because that spouse or partner—

(i)

is subject to a sentence of imprisonment and is serving the sentence in a prison or is subject to release conditions that prevent that spouse or partner from undertaking employment; or

(ii)

is subject to a sentence of supervision, intensive supervision, or home detention and is subject to conditions (including post-detention conditions of a sentence of home detention) that prevent that spouse or partner from undertaking employment.

(2)

An additional dependent child aged 1 year or over is not a dependent child for the purposes of P’s eligibility for sole parent support (see section 205(2)).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 20A

31 When dependent child may be regarded as applicant’s child

For the purposes of this subpart, MSD may regard a dependent child as being a child of an applicant (A), and A as being the mother or father of the child, if—

(a)

the child is being maintained by A and was at any time maintained by A’s spouse or partner; or

(b)

a supported child’s payment is payable in respect of the child; or

(c)

the child’s parents are unwilling to support the child because of circumstances MSD considers exceptional.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 20B

32 Expiry of sole parent support, and replacement with jobseeker support, when youngest dependent child turns 14 years old

(1)

This section applies to a person (P) who is receiving sole parent support.

(2)

On the date that the youngest dependent child in P’s care turns 14, P’s sole parent support expires and is replaced with jobseeker support that commences on that date and is taken to be granted to P as if P had applied for it.

(3)

However, if MSD reasonably believes that on that date P would not meet the conditions of entitlement to jobseeker support,—

(a)

P’s sole parent support expires but is not replaced under subsection (2) by jobseeker support; and

(b)

MSD must instead invite P to apply for jobseeker support.

(4)

Obligations or exemptions that apply to P immediately before the expiry of P’s sole parent support continue after that expiry in respect of the jobseeker support to which P is transferred under subsection (2) if those obligations or exemptions are any of the following:

(a)

the obligation to work with contracted service providers:

(b)

work-preparation obligations:

(c)

social obligations of certain assistance recipients with dependent children:

(d)

the obligation to undergo a work ability assessment:

(e)

work-test obligations:

(f)

an exemption from work-test obligations or from obligations to prepare for employment (other than any exemption that, under regulations made under section 410, is not available to a person receiving jobseeker support).

(5)

This section does not preclude a review under subpart 3 of Part 6 (review of entitlement to, or rate of, benefit granted) of whether P satisfies the conditions of entitlement to jobseeker support.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 20H

Subpart 4—Supported living payment

Supported living payment on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness

33 Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: requirements

A person is entitled to the supported living payment if the person—

(a)

has restricted work capacity or is totally blind; and

(b)

meets the residential requirement; and

(c)

is aged 16 years or over.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 40B(1)–(1B)

34 When person has restricted work capacity

(1)

A person (P) has restricted work capacity if P is permanently and severely restricted in P’s capacity for work because of a health condition, or because of injury or disability arising (in either case) from an accident or existing from birth.

(2)

P is permanently restricted in P’s capacity for work if MSD is satisfied that—

(a)

the restricting health condition, injury, or disability is expected to continue for at the least the period set out in regulations made under section 397(1)(a); or

(b)

P is not expected to live for that period because P’s condition is terminal.

(3)

P is severely restricted in P’s capacity for work if MSD is satisfied that P is incapable of regularly working at least 15 hours a week in open employment.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 40B(1), (2), (3)

35 Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: ineligibility

A person (P) must not be granted a supported living payment if MSD is satisfied that P’s restricted capacity for work or total blindness was self-inflicted and brought about by P with a view to qualifying for a benefit.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 40B(5)

36 Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: medical examination

(1)

The section applies to a person (P) who is an applicant for, or who is receiving, a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness.

(2)

MSD may at any time require P to undergo an examination by a medical practitioner or psychologistprescribed health practitioner.

(3)

The medical practitioner or psychologist prescribed health practitioner must be agreed for the purpose between P and MSD or, failing agreement, must be nominated by MSD.

(4)

The medical practitioner or psychologist prescribed health practitioner must prepare, and must send MSD a copy of, a report that indicates—

(a)

whether P is (or whether there is doubt about whether P is)—

(i)

permanently and severely restricted in P’s capacity for work; or

(ii)

totally blind; and

(b)

the grounds on which the opinion given in paragraph (a) is based.

(5)

The report must, in the case of doubt referred to in subsection (4)(a), and may, in any other case, indicate a date for review of the permanency or severity, or both, of P’s health condition, injury, or disability.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 40C

37 Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: payment not apportioned in specified cases

(1)

This section applies to a person (P) who is in a relationship and who—

(a)

is receiving long-term residential care in a hospital or rest home because P has a disability; and

(b)

has not been means assessed under subpart 6 of Part 9 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016.

(2)

A supported living payment payable to P is not apportioned and must be paid at half of the appropriate rate in Part 3 of Schedule 4.

(3)

A supported living payment payable to P’s spouse or partner (S) (if S is not receiving long-term residential care in a hospital or rest home) is not apportioned and must be paid at the rate in Part 3 of Schedule 4 that would be appropriate if S were entitled to a supported living payment in S’s own right and were single.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 40I(3)–(5)

38 Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity: encouraging open employment

(1)

The purpose of this section is to encourage specified recipients of a supported living payment to undertake open employment in order to establish whether they can sustain that employment and cease receiving that benefit.

(2)

This section applies to a person (P) who—

(a)

is receiving a supported living payment granted on the ground of permanent and severe restriction of capacity for work; but

(b)

is with MSD’s agreement undertaking open employment for a period agreed with MSD in order to establish whether P can sustain open employment.

(3)

The period of open employment agreed with MSD must not exceed 26 weeks (even if that employment is, or is expected to be, for a period that is longer than the agreed period).

(4)

P does not lose P’s entitlement to a supported living payment by reason only of working 15 or more hours a week in open employment during the agreed period.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 40K

Supported living payment on ground of caring for another person

39 Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: requirements

(1)

A person (C) is entitled to the supported living payment if—

(a)

MSD is satisfied that C is required to give full-time care and attention at home to a person (P) who would otherwise have to receive institutional care (and who is not C’s spouse or partner); and

(b)

C meets the residential requirement; and

(c)

C is aged—

(i)

at least 18 years, in the case of an applicant without a dependent child; or

(ii)

at least 20 years, in any other case.

(2)

MSD may continue a payment granted under this section for a period of not more than 28 days even though P was not during that period in the full-time care of C.

(3)

In this subpart, institutional care means care that is, or is equivalent to,—

(a)

hospital care, rest home care, or residential disability care, as defined in section 4(1) of the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001; or

(b)

care of the kind referred to in section 141 of the Children, Young Persons, and their Families Act 1989 (which relates to care of severely disabled children and young persons).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 40D

40 Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: application must include certificate

(1)

A person (C) who applies for a supported living payment on the ground of caring for another person (P) must include in the application a certificate that complies with this section.

(2)

The certificate must be given by a medical practitioner prescribed health practitioner and must certify—

(a)

that P requires C’s full-time care and attention; and

(b)

that, were it not for that care and attention, P would have to receive institutional care.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 40E(1)

41 Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: medical examination

(1)

When considering an application for, or reviewing under subpart 3 of Part 6, a supported living payment on the ground of caring for another person, MSD may require that the person being cared for be examined by a medical practitioner prescribed health practitioner nominated for the purpose by MSD.

(2)

A medical practitioner prescribed health practitioner nominated under subsection (1) must assess whether the person would, were it not for the applicant’s full-time care and attention, have to receive institutional care.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 40E(2)–(3)

Subpart 5—Supported child’s payment

42 Supported child’s payment: requirements

(1)

This section applies if, because of all or any circumstances specified in subsection (3), a child has no parent who is willing and able to—

(a)

care for the child; or

(b)

provide fully for the child’s support.

(2)

A person (P) is entitled to a supported child’s payment for the child if—

(a)

P is an eligible caregiver of the child; and

(b)

either—

(i)

the child is both resident and present in New Zealand; or

(ii)

P has been both resident and present in New Zealand for a continuous period of 12 months at any time.

(3)

The circumstances are all or any of the following:

(a)

each of the child’s parents

(i)

is dead; or

(ii)

is missing; or

(iii)

has a long-term serious disablement:

(b)

there has been a breakdown in the child’s family.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 28, 29

43 Who is eligible caregiver

A person (P) is an eligible caregiver if P is—

(a)

aged 18 years or over; and

(b)

not a parent of the child; and

(c)

likely to be the principal caregiver of the child for at least 1 year from the date of application for the supported child’s payment.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 28, 29

44 Supported child’s payment to be used for benefit of child

(1)

The purpose of the supported child’s payment is to provide weekly financial support for the cost of caring for a child who is not the caregiver’s own.

(2)

A caregiver who is granted a supported child’s payment must use the payment for the benefit of the child in respect of whom it was granted, including the child’s maintenance and education.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 31

Subpart 6—Youth payment

45 Youth payment: requirements

A person (P) is entitled to a youth payment if—

(a)

P is aged 16 or 17 years; and

(b)

P is study ready; and

(c)

P has no dependent children; and

(d)

P meets the residential requirement; and

(e)

P has no or minimum income; and

(f)

either—

(i)

P has never been in a relationship and has a parental support gap; or

(ii)

P is or has been in a relationship, but is not currently in a relationship with a specified beneficiary.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 158, 159(1), 160

46 When person is study ready

In this subpart, a person is study ready if the person—

(a)

is undertaking or is available for full-time education or training leading to—

(i)

NCEA level 2; or

(ii)

an equivalent (in MSD’s opinion) or higher qualification; or

(b)

would be available for full-time education or training were it not for circumstances that would qualify the person for an exemption under the regulations referred to in section 143 from the obligation to undertake education or training.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 158(2)(c)

47 Youth payment: no or minimum income

(1)

In this subpart, a person (P) has no or minimum income if P has—

(a)

no income; or

(b)

income of less than the amount that would reduce the applicable rate of youth payment to zero.

(2)

If, during a temporary period, P has enough income to reduce the applicable rate of youth payment to zero, but P otherwise meets the requirements for a youth payment, P’s entitlement to a youth payment is not affected by that income.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 158(2)(e), (3)

48 When person has parental support gap

(1)

In this subpart, a person (P) has a parental support gap if—

(a)

none of P’s parents (and guardians (if any)) is able to support P financially; or

(b)

P’s relationship with P’s parents (and guardians (if any)) has broken down, and none of them is prepared to support P financially; or

(c)

P was, but is no longer, subject to a CYPFA order or agreement; or

(d)

MSD is satisfied that P cannot reasonably be expected to be financially dependent on P’s parents or any other person.

(2)

However, P does not have a parental support gap if—

(a)

P has the option of living with a parent or guardian but chooses not to; and

(b)

MSD is not satisfied that there are good and sufficient reasons for P’s choice.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 159(2)

49 Youth payment: discretionary grant on ground of hardship

MSD may grant a youth payment to a young person (P) who meets all of the requirements in section 45 except for the residential requirement if P—

(a)

is in hardship; and

(b)

is not entitled or eligible to receive any other main benefit under this Act or New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension; and

(c)

is unable to earn enough income to support P and P’s spouse or partner (if any).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 161

50 Youth payment: continuation after turning 18 years old

(1)

This section sets out the circumstances in which, despite section 45(a), a youth payment granted to a person (P) continues (if P is otherwise entitled to it) after P turns 18.

(2)

If a youth payment begins less than 6 months before P turns 18, the payment continues until the close of the day that is 6 months after it began.

(3)

If P is continuing in a course of education or training or approved work-based learning when P turns 18, P’s youth payment continues until,—

(a)

if the course is a course of secondary education or if the course ends in December, the close of the following 31 March:

(b)

in any other case, the close of the day that the course ends.

(4)

While a youth payment continues under subsection (2), P is not eligible to be granted—

(a)

sole parent support; or

(b)

an exceptional circumstances benefit; or

(c)

jobseeker support; or

(d)

supported living payment on ground of caring for another person.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 162

51 Youth payment: incentive payments

(1)

If a young person to whom a youth payment is payable meets the criteria prescribed for the purposes of this section by regulations made under section 397(1)(b), the person is also entitled to be paid the appropriate incentive payment stated in subpart 3 of Part 5 of Schedule 4.

(2)

The entitlement in subsection (1) is subject to sections 269 and 270.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 163(2), (3)

Subpart 7—Young parent payment

52 Young parent payment: requirements

(1)

A person (P) is entitled to a young parent payment if—

(a)

P is a parent or step-parent of at least 1 dependent child; and

(b)

P is study ready; and

(c)

P meets the residential requirement; and

(d)

P has no or minimum income; and

(e)

P falls into 1 of the following categories:

(i)

P is aged 16 or 17 years, has never been in a relationship, and has a parental support gap:

(ii)

P is aged 18 or 19 years and has never been in a relationship:

(iii)

P is aged 16 to 19 years and is or has been in a relationship, but is not currently in a relationship with a specified beneficiary.

(2)

For the purposes of subsection (1)(a), a dependent child of a young person’s spouse or partner must also be treated as a dependent child of the young person.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 164, 165(2), 166

53 When person is study ready

In this subpart, a person is study ready if the person—

(a)

is undertaking or is available for full-time education or training leading to—

(i)

NCEA level 2; or

(ii)

an equivalent (in MSD’s opinion) or higher qualification; or

(b)

would be available for full-time education or training were it not for circumstances—

(i)

under which the obligation to undertake education or training does not, under section 148, for the time being apply to the young person; or

(ii)

that would qualify the person for an exemption under the regulations referred to in section 143 from the obligation to undertake education or training.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 164(2)(c)

54 Young parent payment: no or minimum income

(1)

In this subpart, a person (P) has no or minimum income if P has—

(a)

no income; or

(b)

income of less than the amount that would fully offset reduce the applicable rate of young parent payment to zero.

(2)

If, during a brief period, P has enough income to fully offset reduce the applicable rate of young parent payment to zero, but P otherwise meets the requirements for a young parent payment, P’s entitlement to a young parent payment is not affected by that income.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 164(2)(e), (3)

55 When person has parental support gap

In this subpart, a person (P) has a parental support gap if—

(a)

P is not living with a parent or guardian and—

(i)

none of P’s parents (and guardians (if any)) is able to support P financially; or

(ii)

P’s relationship with P’s parents (and guardians (if any)) has broken down and none of them is prepared to support P financially; or

(iii)

P was, but is no longer, subject to a CYPFA order or agreement; or

(iv)

MSD is satisfied that P cannot reasonably be expected to be financially dependent on P’s parents or any other person; or

(b)

P is living with or being financially supported by a parent or guardian (F) and the family scheme income (within the meaning of the Income Tax Act 2007) of F and the spouse or partner of F is less than the amount that would, under sections MD 1 and MD 13 of that Act, fully offset reduce the amount of F’s family tax credit entitlement under that Act to zero.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 165(2), (3)

56 Young parent payment: discretionary grant on ground of hardship

MSD may grant a young parent payment to a young person (P) who meets all of the requirements in section 52 except for the residential requirement if P—

(a)

is in hardship; and

(b)

is not entitled or eligible to receive any other main benefit under this Act or New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension; and

(c)

is unable to earn enough income to support P and P’s spouse or partner (if any) and dependent children.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 167

57 Young parent payment: continuation after turning 20 years old

(1)

This section sets out the circumstances in which, despite section 52(1)(e), a young parent payment granted to a person (P) continues (if P is otherwise entitled to it) after P turns 20.

(2)

If a young parent payment begins less than 6 months before P turns 20, the payment continues until the close of the day that is 6 months after it began.

(3)

If P is continuing in a course of education or training or work-based learning when P turns 20, P’s young parent payment continues until,—

(a)

if the course is a course of secondary education or if the course ends in December, the close of the following 31 March:

(b)

in any other case, the close of the day that the course ends.

(4)

While a young parent payment continues under subsection (2), P is not eligible to be granted—

(a)

sole parent support; or

(b)

an exceptional circumstances benefit; or

(c)

jobseeker support; or

(d)

a supported living payment on ground of caring for another person.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 168

58 Young parent payment: incentive payments

(1)

If a young person to whom a young parent payment is payable meets the criteria prescribed for the purposes of this section by regulations made under section 397(1)(c), the person is also entitled to be paid the appropriate incentive payment stated in subpart 3 of Part 5 of Schedule 4.

(2)

The entitlement in subsection (1) is subject to sections 269 and 270.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 169(2), (3)

Subpart 8—Exceptional circumstances benefit

59 Exceptional circumstances benefit: discretionary grant on ground of hardship

(1)

MSD may grant an exceptional circumstances benefit on the ground of hardship to a person (P)—

(a)

who is unable to earn enough income for P or P’s dependants (if any); and

(b)

who is not entitled to a main benefit under this Act or to New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension; and

(c)

to whom MSD has determined not to grant 1 of the following benefits on ground of hardship: jobseeker support, youth payment, or young parent payment.

(2)

Despite subsection (1)(b), MSD may grant an exceptional circumstances benefit to a person (P) who is entitled to a main benefit under this Act instead of or in substitution for a supported living payment, sole parent support, or jobseeker support.

(3)

The rate of an exceptional circumstances benefit is at the discretion of MSD.

(4)

However, the rate of an exceptional circumstances benefit must not exceed the rate of the equivalent benefit, that is, the main benefit under this Act that MSD would grant to a person entitled to the benefit in circumstances similar to P’s.

(5)

MSD may, on a case by case basis, do either or both of the following:

(a)

make the grant of an exceptional circumstances benefit subject to any conditions imposed by MSD:

(b)

impose on P the work-test or work-preparation obligations (and associated sanctions) attached to the equivalent benefit (if MSD is satisfied that P has the capacity to comply with those obligations).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61

60 Exceptional circumstances benefit: grant during epidemic in New Zealand

(1)

This section applies while a domestic epidemic management notice is in force, and for any period after it expires that the Minister thinks reasonable.

(2)

When this section applies, MSD may, with the written approval of the Minister, grant exceptional circumstances benefits to people who would not otherwise be entitled to be granted exceptional circumstances benefits.

(3)

Payments made under a benefit granted under subsection (2) are subject to regulations made under section 421(2)(e).

(4)

This section is subject to regulations made under section 422overrides every other provision of this Act.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61CC(1), (3)

Subpart 9—Accommodation supplement

61 Accommodation supplement: discretionary grant

MSD may grant a person (P), for the period that MSD determines, an accommodation supplement if—

(a)

P has accommodation costs (as defined in regulations made under section 402, but see also clause 18 of Schedule 3); and

(b)

P meets the assets requirement (as set out in regulations made under section 402); and

(c)

P is not excluded on either of the following grounds:

(i)

the social housing exclusion:

(ii)

the other funding exclusion.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 61EA, 61EC(3)

62 Social housing exclusion

(1)

A person is ineligible for an accommodation supplement (on the ground of the social housing exclusion) if the person’s accommodation costs (as defined in regulations made under section 402) include—

(a)

rent paid in respect of premises let by or on behalf of Housing New Zealand Corporation; or

(b)

rent paid in respect of premises let by or on behalf of a registered community housing provider (but only if that person has been allocated those premises as social housing and is currently paying income-related rent for those premises); or

(c)

payments, required to be made under a mortgage security to Housing New Zealand Corporation or the Crown in right of Te Puni Kōkiri, that MSD believes are required to be made at a concessionary rate.

(2)

In this section,—

income-related rent has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Act 1992

registered community housing provider has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Act 1992

social housing has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Act 1992.

(3)

In this section and section 64,—

premises, in relation to a person,—

(a)

means the place that the person occupies as a home; and

(b)

if the person is a boarder or lodger, includes a room, or other accommodation, that the person occupies as a home

tenant, in relation to rented premises, includes a person who pays rent, whether or not the person is a party to the tenancy agreement or lease of the premises.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 61E(1), 61EA(2)

63 Other funding exclusion

A person (P) is ineligible for an accommodation supplement (on the ground of the other funding exclusion) if—

(a)

P is the spouse or partner of a person who is already receiving an accommodation supplement (except as provided in section 64); or

(b)

P—

(i)

is receiving a basic grant or an independent circumstances grant under the Student Allowances Regulations 1998 (or under other regulations made under section 303 of the Education Act 1989); or

(ii)

would be eligible to receive one of those grants if P were to apply for the grant; or

(iii)

would be eligible to receive one of those grants were it not for the level of income of P or of P’s parent or parents or spouse or partner; or

(c)

P is a resident assessed as requiring care in respect of whom a funder is paying some or all of the cost of contracted care services under section 490, 491, 492, 493, or 494 of Part 9 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016; or

(d)

P has a psychiatric, intellectual, physical, or sensory disability, and—

(i)

P’s accommodation costs are wholly or partly funded under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000; or

(ii)

P’s care (other than care in P’s own home) is funded wholly or partly under that Act; or

(e)

P is receiving New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension and the total income of P and P’s spouse or partner (if any) is more than the applicable amount specified in Part 2 of Schedule 5.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61EA(3), (4)

64 Accommodation supplement: special rules for joint tenants who are in relationship

If premises are occupied by 2 or more joint tenants that include 1 or more couples who are in a relationship, then, for the purposes of determining the rate of an accommodation supplement,—

(a)

each couple is treated as 1 joint tenant; and

(b)

despite the definition of accommodation costs in regulations made under section 402, the accommodation costs of that 1 joint tenant are the total of the accommodation costs of both members of the couple; and

(c)

the cash assets (as defined in regulations made under section 402) and income of that 1 joint tenant are the total of the cash assets and income respectively of both members of the couple.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61EB

65 Accommodation supplement: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances

(1)

If MSD is satisfied that an applicant for an accommodation supplement (A), or A’s spouse or partner, has not realised any assets available for A’s personal use, MSD may—

(a)

refuse to grant an accommodation supplement; or

(b)

reduce the rate of any accommodation supplement already granted; or

(c)

cancel any accommodation supplement already granted.

(2)

For the purposes of this section and the assets requirement in regulations made under section 402, the assets of A include the assets of A’s spouse or partner, if any, except in the circumstances specified in section 63(c).

(3)

For the period of 12 months after A or A’s spouse or partner receives a specified lump sum payment, subsection (1) does not apply to that specified lump sum payment.

(4)

This section does not limit MSD’s discretion to refuse to grant, to reduce the rate of, or to cancel an accommodation supplement in accordance with the other provisions of this Act.

(5)

In this section, specified lump sum payment means—

(a)

a payment of an impairment lump sum under Schedule 1 of the Accident Compensation Act 2001; or

(b)

a lump sum payment of an independence allowance under Part 4 of Schedule 1 of the Accident Insurance Act 1998.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61EC(4), (4A), (5)

Subpart 10—Childcare assistance

66 Childcare assistance: purpose

The purpose of childcare assistance is to provide targeted financial assistance to help certain people meet the costs of childcare.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61GA(1)

67 Childcare assistance: eligibility

The principal caregiver of a dependent child is eligible for childcare assistance at the prescribed rate if that caregiver meets the criteria and other requirements set out in regulations made under section 403.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61GA(2)

Subpart 11—Child disability allowance

68 Child disability allowance: discretionary grant

(1)

MSD may grant a child disability allowance for a child (C) if C—

(a)

is a child with a serious disability; and

(b)

is being cared for—

(i)

in the home of C’s principal caregiver; or

(ii)

in approved weekly accommodation (and the child is cared for by C’s parent or guardian during school holidays or weekends).

(2)

In subsection (1), approved weekly accommodation means accommodation—

(a)

that is operated by an approved voluntary organisation; and

(b)

the cost of which C’s parent or guardian is required to contribute to.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 39A(3)

69 Meaning of child with a serious disability

(1)

In this subpart, child with a serious disability means a dependent child who—

(a)

has a disability; and

(b)

because of that disability needs constant care and attention; and

(c)

is likely to need such care and attention permanently or for a period exceeding 12 months.

(2)

In determining for subsection (1)(b) whether a child needs constant care and attention, MSD must consider whether the child (C) requires from another person—

(a)

frequent attention in connection with C’s bodily functions; or

(b)

substantially more attention and supervision than is normally required by a child of the same age and sex; or

(c)

regular supervision in order to avoid substantial danger to C or to others.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 39A(1), (2)

70 Child disability allowance: MSD may require medical certificate

MSD may require that an application for a child disability allowance be supported by a medical certificate that certifies whether or not, in the opinion of the medical practitionera prescribed health practitioner, the child is a child with a serious disability within the meaning of section 69.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 39C(1)

71 Child disability allowance: MSD may require medical examination

Before granting a child disability allowance, MSD may require the child to be examined by a medical practitioner prescribed health practitioner nominated for the purpose by MSD.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 39C(2)

72 Child disability allowance: payment

MSD may pay a child disability allowance granted under section 68(1) to the principal caregiver for the child or, if there is no such person, to the person for the time being having the care and control of the child.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 39E

73 Child disability allowance: not payable with other assistance or pension

A child disability allowance is not payable in addition to—

(a)

any benefit granted to the child under this Act (except a supported child’s payment or a disability allowance):

(b)

any pension or allowance granted to the child under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 (except a children’s pension):

(c)

weekly compensation payable to the child under the Accident Compensation Act 2001.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 39D

Subpart 12—Disability allowance

74 Meaning of disability

In this subpart, disability has the same meaning as in section 21(1)(h) of the Human Rights Act 1993.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69C(8)

75 Disability allowance: discretionary grant

(1)

MSD may grant a disability allowance to or on account of a person who—

(a)

meets the criteria for eligibility in subsection (2) (or to the dependent spouse or dependent child of that person); or

(b)

falls into a special category of eligibility specified in regulations made under section 404.

(2)

The criteria for eligibility are that—

(a)

the person has a disability that has resulted in a reduction of the person’s independent function to the extent that the person requires—

(i)

ongoing support to undertake the everyday functions of life; or

(ii)

ongoing supervision or treatment by a health practitioner; and

(b)

the disability is likely to continue for at least 6 months; and

(c)

either—

(i)

the person is receiving a main benefit under this Act; or

(ii)

the person’s income (including the income of the person’s spouse or partner and any New Zealand superannuation or veteran’s pension payable to the person or the person’s spouse or partner) is less than the appropriate amount in Part 3 of Schedule 5; and

(d)

the person has additional expenses of an ongoing kind arising from the person’s disability (subject to clause 19 of Schedule 3) and the assistance towards those expenses available under this Act or any other enactment is insufficient to meet them.

(3)

Regulations made under section 404 may override subsection (1) of this section by requiring MSD to grant a disability allowance to or on account of a person who falls into a special category of eligibility specified in those regulations.

(4)

In this section, health practitioner

(a)

has the same meaning as in section 5(1) of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003; and

(b)

includes a person who is receiving training or gaining experience under the supervision of a health practitioner.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69C(1), (2), (2A), (8)

76 Disability allowance: excluded expenses

(1)

A disability allowance is not payable in respect of—

(a)

expenses arising from the disability of a person who is a resident assessed as requiring care in respect of whom a funder is paying some or all of the cost of contracted care services under section 490, 491, 492, 493, or 494 of Part 9 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016; or

(b)

expenses arising from the disability of a person that are costs of residential care services provided to the person if—

(i)

the person has a psychiatric, intellectual, physical, or sensory disability; and

(ii)

the person’s accommodation costs or care (other than care in the person’s own home) is wholly or partly funded under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000.

(2)

Regulations made under section 405 (use of disability allowance to fund specified expenses) must be not inconsistent with this section.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69C(2B)

77 Disability allowance: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances

Despite anything to the contrary in section 75, MSD may refuse to grant a disability allowance or may cancel a disability allowance or may grant a disability allowance at a reduced rate if, in respect of a disability that gives rise to an application for a disability allowance, the applicant is receiving—

(a)

a disablement pension under Part 3, or an entitlement under Part 4, of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014; or

(b)

an entitlement under the Accident Compensation Act 2001; or

(c)

an overseas a pension, or overseas a periodical allowance, that—

(ia)

is granted elsewhere than in New Zealand; and

(i)

is analogous to an entitlement to medical treatment or rehabilitation or other cost of disability-related items under Part 5 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 or under the Accident Compensation Act 2001; or

(ii)

is otherwise analogous to a disability allowance.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69C(4)

78 Disability allowance: medical examination

Before granting a disability allowance, MSD may require the applicant (or the spouse or partner or child of the applicant, whichever applies) to be examined by a medical practitioner prescribed health practitioner appointed by MSD.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69C(3)

79 Special disability allowance: entitlement in special circumstances

(1)

This section applies to a person who—

(a)

is in a relationship; and

(b)

is receiving—

(i)

New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension; or

(ii)

a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness; or

(iii)

jobseeker support; or

(iv)

a related exceptional circumstances benefit; and

(c)

has a spouse or partner who is—

(i)

a patient in a hospital and who is receiving a reduced benefit under section 190; or

(ii)

a qualifying person or a special case person (within the meaning of section 441 of Part 9 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016), and in respect of whom a funder is paying some or all of the cost of contracted care services under section 490, 491, 492, 493, or 494 of that Part.

(2)

MSD must grant a special disability allowance at the rate specified in item 3 in Part 7 of Schedule 4 to a person to whom this section applies for the purpose of assisting with expenses arising from the hospitalisation of the person’s spouse or partner.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69C(5)

Subpart 13—Funeral grants

80 Funeral grant: eligibility

A person is eligible for a funeral grant of, or not exceeding, the prescribed amount, if that person meets the criteria and other requirements set out in regulations made under section 406.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 61D, 61DA, 61DB, 61DC, 61DD

Subpart 14—Hardship assistance

81 Temporary additional support: purpose

The purpose of temporary additional support is to provide temporary financial assistance as a last resort to alleviate the financial hardship of people whose essential costs cannot be met from their chargeable income and other resources, while ensuring that people seeking or granted that assistance take reasonable steps to reduce their costs or increase their chargeable incomes.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61G(1)

82 Temporary additional support: requirements

(1)

A person (P) is entitled to temporary additional support if—

(a)

P’s chargeable income is less than P’s essential costs; and

(b)

P has cash assets of not more than the prescribed amount; and

(c)

P meets any prescribed criteria and any other requirements set out in regulations made under section 407.

(2)

However, temporary additional support must not be granted in respect of the cost of residential care services supplied to a person who has a psychiatric, intellectual, physical, or sensory disability if—

(a)

the person’s accommodation costs are wholly or partly funded under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000; or

(b)

the person’s care (other than care in the person’s own home) is wholly or partly funded under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000.

(3)

Temporary additional support granted under subsection (1) must be granted in the prescribed amount and for the prescribed period.

(4)

This section is subject to clause 20 (how commitments for temporary additional support may be affected by debt, or health or disability, insurance payment) of Schedule 3.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61G(2), (3), (4)

83 Temporary additional support: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances

(1)

This section applies in respect of an applicant for temporary additional support if MSD is at any time satisfied that a person who is the applicant, or the applicant’s spouse or partner, has—

(a)

arranged that person’s financial affairs in order to qualify for temporary additional support; or

(b)

failed to take reasonable steps to reduce that person’s costs or increase that person’s chargeable income; or

(c)

failed to take all necessary steps to obtain any assistance towards that person’s essential costs from any other source from which that person may be entitled to assistance.

(2)

If this section applies, MSD may—

(a)

refuse to grant temporary additional support; or

(b)

grant temporary additional support at a reduced rate; or

(c)

reduce the rate of temporary additional support already granted; or

(d)

cancel any temporary additional support already granted.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61G(5), (6)

84 Interpretation

In this subpart and in section 407,—

allowable costs has the meaning prescribed in regulations made under section 407, but does not include standard costs

applicant includes a recipient of temporary additional support

cash assets has the meaning prescribed in regulations made under section 407

chargeable income has the meaning prescribed in regulations made under section 407

essential costs means the sum of a person’s allowable costs and standard costs

standard costs has the same meaning as in section 407(2)(b)

tax credit means a credit of tax, or an amount, received under—

(a)

subparts MA to MF and MZ of the Income Tax Act 2007; or

(b)

subpart KD of the Income Tax Act 2004; or

(c)

subpart KD of the Income Tax Act 1994.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61G(7)

Subpart 15—Special assistance

85 Overseas epidemics affecting visitors to New Zealand: Minister may give overseas epidemic management notice

(1)

The Minister may, by written notice, declare that the effects of an outbreak outside New Zealand of a stated quarantinable disease are likely to cause hardship to people temporarily in New Zealand by preventing or hindering their prompt return to stated places.

(2)

The notice comes into force on its commencement, and expires on the earliest of the following:

(a)

the day 3 months after its commencement:

(b)

a day stated in the notice:

(c)

a day stated by the Minister by further written notice.

(3)

Before or after the notice expires, the Minister can give a new notice in respect of the same disease.

(4)

The Minister must not give the notice except on, and after considering, the written recommendation of the chief executive of the Ministry of Health.

(5)

In subsection (1), quarantinable disease has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Health Act 1956.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61CE

86 Special assistance for visitors affected by overseas epidemics

(1)

The Minister may, in respect of any period for which an overseas epidemic management notice is in force, by written notice establish programmes of special assistance for visitors to New Zealand who are prevented or hindered from returning promptly to places stated in the notice by the outbreak outside New Zealand of the disease stated in the notice.

(2)

The notice must state—

(a)

the criteria for determining which people are given assistance; and

(b)

any maximum amounts of assistance to be given; and

(c)

if different amounts of assistance may be given to different people, the criteria for determining how much assistance people are given; and

(d)

for how long assistance may be given; and

(e)

any conditions subject to which assistance is to be given.

(3)

The programme, and the matters stated in the notice establishing it, override every other provision of this Act.

(4)

The Crown may incur, without further appropriation than this subsection, expenses or capital expenditure for the purpose of providing special assistance under this section.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 61CF, 124(1C)

87 Approved special assistance programmes

(1)

The Minister may from time to time, by written notice, approve and establish welfare programmes for the purpose of granting special assistance.

(2)

A welfare programme approved and established by the Minister under subsection (1)

(a)

must be administered by MSD; and

(b)

may provide for any specified provision of this Act to apply to the programme and to any specified class or classes of person as if the special assistance authorised by the programme were a benefit under this Act.

(3)

This section is subject to clause 21 (how costs, etc, for approved programme of special assistance may be affected by debt, or health or disability, insurance payment) of Schedule 3.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 124(1)(d), (1A), (1B)

88 Special assistance: status of, and access to, notices

(1)

A notice given under section 85, 86, or 87,

(a)

must, as soon as practicable after it is given, be—

(i)

published on an Internet site administered by or on behalf of MSD; and

(ii)

notified in the Gazette; and

(b)

must, each time it is amended without also being replaced, also as soon as practicable after it is amended, be published—

(i)

on an Internet site administered by or on behalf of MSD; and

(ii)

as at a stated date; and

(iii)

incorporating amendments up to that date; and

(c)

is not a legislative instrument, but is a disallowable instrument, for the purposes of the Legislation Act 2012, and must be presented to the House of Representatives not only—

(i)

as soon as practicable after it is given; but also

(ii)

under section 41 of that Act.

(2)

A notification in the Gazette for the purpose of subsection (1)(a)(ii) does not have to include the text of the notice.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 124(1B)

Subpart 16—Extended payment of benefits for children aged 18 years or over who continue education

89 Provisions relating to children aged 18 years or over who continue education

(1)

This section applies where a child (C) aged 18 years—

(a)

is not financially independent; and

(b)

is attending school or a tertiary educational establishment.

(2)

Despite C being 18, MSD may for such period as MSD determines (expiring not later than the pay day immediately after 31 December in the year in which C turns 18)—

(a)

grant or continue to pay a supported child’s payment in respect of C:

(b)

pay any other benefit at the appropriate rate that includes C as a dependent child of the beneficiary.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 63A

Part 3 Obligations

Contents

90What this Part does
91Failure to comply with obligation under this Part
92MSD must make people affected aware of their obligations, consequences of non-compliance, and their review and appeal rights
93MSD must explain rules relating to absence from New Zealand
94MSD must assist in relation to obtaining overseas pension, etc
95Outline of beneficiary’s general and specific obligations
96When obligations apply
97Beneficiary must hold, and give MSD details of, bank account
98Beneficiary must supply tax file number
99Beneficiary must notify change of circumstances
100Obligation to notify absence from New Zealand
101Obligation to undergo work ability assessment
102Persons subject to work ability assessment
103Persons not subject to work ability assessment
104Work ability assessment
105Person who fails to comply with requirement to undergo work ability assessment is subject to sanction
106Work-preparation obligations
107Persons subject to work-preparation obligations
108Persons not subject to work-preparation obligations
109Persons subject to work-preparation obligations if sufficient capacity to comply
110General obligation to take all steps to prepare for employment
111Work-preparation obligations as required by MSD
112Person who fails to comply with work-preparation obligation subject to sanction
113Obligations in relation to dependent children
114Obligations of beneficiary in relation to dependent children
115Obligations of spouse or partner of beneficiary in relation to dependent children of beneficiary
116Obligations of spouse or partner of beneficiary in relation to dependent children of spouse or partner
117Attendance of dependent child aged 3 to 5 years at early childhood education programme
118Attendance of dependent child aged 5 or 6 years at early childhood education programme or registered school
119Attendance of dependent child aged 6 to 15 years at registered school
120Health care enrolment and compliance with core health checks
121Interviews and reporting
122Person who fails to comply with obligations in relation to dependent children is subject to sanction
123Definitions and attendance: regulations made under section 409
124Work-test obligations
125Purpose of sections 126 to 140
126Persons subject to work-test obligations
127Jobseeker support: work capacity determination and work test
128Person not subject to work-test obligations
129Time when work-test obligation applies
130General obligation to be available for suitable employment, etc
131Meaning of suitable employment
132Work-test obligations as required by MSD
133Obligation to undertake and pass drug test
134Compliant drug test defined
135Failing drug test
136Use of drug test result
137Costs of drug test
138Definitions for drug-testing provisions
139Person who fails to comply with work-test obligations is subject to sanction
140Deemed failure to comply with work-test obligation
141Deferral of work-test obligations
142Effect of deferral of work-test obligations
143Regulations may specify categories of exempt persons and grounds for exemption
144MSD may grant exemption from work preparation, work test, or other obligation
145Procedure for grant of exemption
146Person who fails to comply with requirement to attend interview is subject to sanction
147Obligations of young person granted youth support payment
148When education obligation or training obligation begins for young parent
149Obligations of young person granted young parent payment
150Young person aged 18 or 19 years who is receiving jobseeker support in young person’s own right and who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency
151Young person aged 16 or 17 years who has no dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary
152Young person aged 16 to 19 years who has dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary
153Young person aged 18 or 19 years, who is receiving jobseeker support as spouse or partner of person granted that benefit, or who is work-tested spouse or partner of specified beneficiary, and who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency
154Interpretation
155Obligation to work with contracted service providers
156Person who fails to comply with requirement under section 155(2) subject to sanction
157Interpretation
158Applicant for benefit, etc, to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension
159MSD may give notice requiring person to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension
160MSD may give notice requiring person to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension for dependant
161Failure to comply with MSD’s notice given under section 163 or 164
162Applicant for benefit must provide information as to rate of overseas pension
163MSD may give notice requiring beneficiary to provide information as to rate of overseas pension
164Failure to comply with MSD’s notice given under section 163
165Meaning of rate
166Application of health and safety legislation, etc
167Obligations suspended where MSD has exercised discretion to pay benefit while beneficiary overseas

Subpart 1—Introduction

Guide to this Part

90 What this Part does

This Part sets out the obligations of—

(a)

MSD:

(b)

beneficiaries and their partners.

91 Failure to comply with obligation under this Part

(1)

A person who is subject to an obligation under this Part and who fails to comply with that obligation without good and sufficient reason is liable to a sanction under Part 5.

(2)

Subsection (1) does not apply to MSD.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 170(5)

Subpart 2—MSD’s obligations

Steps to make people affected aware of their obligations, etc

92 MSD must make people affected aware of their obligations, consequences of non-compliance, and their review and appeal rights

MSD must take reasonable and appropriate steps to make a person to whom an obligation under this Part applies—

(a)

aware of that obligation; and

(b)

aware of the consequences of failure to comply with that obligation and, in particular, the sanctions that may be imposed under Part 5; and

(c)

aware of that person’s rights under sections 370 and 376 to review and appeal decisions relating to the obligation.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 60GAG(2), 60R, 60RB, 100D, 105C, 172

Steps to explain overseas absence rules

93 MSD must explain rules relating to absence from New Zealand

MSD must take reasonable and appropriate steps to explain, to every person who is, or appears to MSD to be likely to be, affected by them,—

(a)

the rules about absence from New Zealand contained in the following provisions:

(i)

section 203 (general rule: benefit not payable while beneficiary absent from New Zealand):

(ii)

regulations made under section 415 (regulations that contain exceptions, and other contrary or related provisions); and

(b)

how those rules do or may affect payment of benefits.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 77A

Steps to assist compliance with overseas pensions obligations

94 MSD must assist in relation to obtaining overseas pension, etc

MSD must take all reasonable steps to assist any person to comply with that person’s obligations under sections 158 and 162.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69I

Subpart 3—Beneficiaries’ obligations

Beneficiaries: general and specific obligations

95 Outline of beneficiary’s general and specific obligations

(1)

The general obligations of a beneficiary, that is, obligations that apply to all beneficiaries, are the following:

(a)

the obligation to hold, and give MSD details of, a bank account (see section 97):

(b)

the obligation to supply a tax file number (see section 98):

(c)

the obligation to notify a change of circumstances (see section 99).

(2)

The specific obligations that apply to some beneficiaries only, are the following:

(a)

the obligation to notify absence from New Zealand (see section 100):

(b)

the obligation to undergo work ability assessments (see sections 101 to 105):

(c)

work-preparation obligations (see sections 106 to 112):

(d)

obligations in relation to dependent children (see sections 113 to 123):

(e)

work-test obligations (see sections 124 to 142):

(f)

youth payment obligations (see sections 147 and 148):

(g)

young parent obligations (see section 149):

(h)

obligations under section 150(4) of a young person aged 18 or 19 years who is receiving jobseeker support, who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency (see section 150), and who is required under section 150(2) to receive youth services:

(i)

obligations of a young person who is the spouse or partner of a beneficiary (see sections 151 to 154):

(j)

the obligation to work with contracted service providers (see sections 155 and 156).

(k)

obligations in relation to overseas pensions (see sections 157 to 165).

96 When obligations apply

An obligation applies from the time that the benefit in question is paid, except in the case of—

(a)

the applicant’s or beneficiary’s obligation to hold, and give MSD details of, a bank account (see section 97); and

(b)

the section 147(1)(a) education or training obligation of a young parent who is the principal caregiver of that young parent’s youngest dependent child who is under 12 months old (see section 148(2)).

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 82(7), 170(3), (4)

General obligations: holding, and giving details of, bank account

97 Beneficiary must hold, and give MSD details of, bank account

(1)

It is a condition of every benefit, unless MSD in a particular case determines otherwise, that the applicant or beneficiary must, by the deadline (specified by regulations made under section 417(2)(a)(ii)) for receipt by MSD of any supporting evidence reasonably required by MSD,—

(a)

give MSD details of an existing suitable bank account held by the applicant or beneficiary; or

(b)

open a bank account, if the applicant or beneficiary does not hold one, and give MSD details of it.

(2)

Bank account, in this section, means an account with a bank that is a registered bank (as defined in section 2(1) of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989), a private savings bank, a credit union, a building society, or a non-bank deposit taker (as defined in section 5 of the Non-bank Deposit Takers Act 2013).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 82(7); 1994 No 166 s 184A(4); 2006 No 40 s 221(4)

General obligations: supplying tax file number

98 Beneficiary must supply tax file number

(1)

MSD may in writing request an applicant for a benefit or a beneficiary to provide evidence, to the satisfaction of MSD, of the tax file number of the applicant or beneficiary.

(2)

MSD may refuse to grant a benefit and must suspend payment of a benefit if satisfactory evidence of the tax file number of the applicant or the beneficiary is not received within 10 working days after the date on which the request is made (the deadline).

(3)

MSD may in writing extend the deadline if an applicant or a beneficiary provides a reasonable explanation for not providing the evidence within the deadline.

(4)

This section does not apply to a beneficiary who is unable to provide satisfactory evidence of the beneficiary’s tax file number within the deadline or extended deadline specified because of any health condition, injury, or disability.

(5)

In this section, tax file number has the same meaning as in section YA 1 of the Income Tax Act 2007.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 82A

General obligations: notification of change of circumstances

99 Beneficiary must notify change of circumstances

(1)

A beneficiary must without delay notify MSD of a change in the beneficiary’s circumstances if—

(a)

the change affects the beneficiary’s entitlement to receive a benefit; or

(b)

the change affects the rate of a benefit the beneficiary receives.

(2)

Examples of a change in a beneficiary’s circumstances include—

(a)

a change in the beneficiary’s relationship status, number of children, income, accommodation, or employment:

(b)

a change in the relationship status, income, accommodation, or employment of the beneficiary’s spouse or partner:

(c)

the beneficiary or his or her spouse or partner becoming entitled to an overseas pension.

(3)

In subsection (2)(a), a change in the beneficiary’s relationship status means the beneficiary’s—

(a)

entering into a marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship; or

(b)

ceasing to live together with, or separating from, a spouse or civil union partner; or

(c)

ceasing to live together (as a couple in a relationship in the nature of marriage or civil union) with, or separating from, a de facto partner; or

(d)

ceasing to be in a marriage, civil union, or de facto relationship, because it has ended by reason of an event not specified in paragraph (b) or (c) (for example, by dissolution, or on a spouse’s or partner’s death).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 80A

Specific obligations: notification of absence from New Zealand

100 Obligation to notify absence from New Zealand

(1)

A beneficiary who intends to be absent from New Zealand must before leaving New Zealand notify MSD of the beneficiary’s intended absence.

(2)

However, subsection (1) does not apply to a person who receives a benefit payable under—

(a)

sections 21 to 35 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; or

(b)

sections 176 to 196 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014; or

(c)

any agreement or convention adopted by an order made under section 19 of the Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990section 359.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 77(6), (9)

Specific obligations: work ability assessment

101 Obligation to undergo work ability assessment

Sections 102 to 105 set out the obligation of a person to undergo a work ability assessment.

102 Persons subject to work ability assessment

The following persons must comply with a requirement under section 104 by MSD that they undergo a work ability assessment:

(a)

a person who receives any of the following benefits: jobseeker support, sole parent support, a supported living payment (except as provided in section 103), or an exceptional circumstances benefit; or

(b)

the spouse or partner of a person listed in paragraph (a).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 100B(1)

103 Persons not subject to work ability assessment

MSD must not require a person who receives a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity to undergo a work ability assessment if, in MSD’s opinion, that person—

(a)

is terminally ill; or

(b)

has little or no capacity for work, and the person’s condition is deteriorating or not likely to improve.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 100B(2)

104 Work ability assessment

(1)

MSD may at any time require a person to whom this section applies to attend and participate in a work ability assessment to determine, or help determine, all or any of the following matters:

(a)

whether the person is entitled to a benefit and, if so, what kind of benefit:

(b)

if a person granted jobseeker support is subject to a work-test obligation, whether that obligation should be deferred:

(c)

if a person is granted jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability, whether that person has the capacity for part-time work:

(d)

whether the person should be exempted from a work preparation or work-test obligation:

(e)

whether the person has the capacity to comply with a work preparation or work-test obligation:

(f)

what is suitable employment for the person for the purposes of section 131:

(g)

what are suitable activities for the person for the purposes of section 111(d) or 132(1)(d):

(h)

what assistance and supports are necessary for the person to obtain employment.

(2)

The assessment must be made in accordance with the procedure determined by MSD.

(3)

A person who has been assessed under subsection (1) may be required by MSD to undergo a reassessment under that subsection as MSD thinks appropriate.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 100B(3), (4), 100C(1), (2)

105 Person who fails to comply with requirement to undergo work ability assessment is subject to sanction

A person (P) is subject to a sanction under section 219, 220, or 221 if MSD is satisfied that P has, without a good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a requirement under section 104 to attend and participate in a work ability assessment or reassessment.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 116B(1)(d)

Specific obligations: work preparation

106 Work-preparation obligations

(1)

Sections 107 to 112 set out a person’s work-preparation obligations.

(2)

Those obligations are intended—

(a)

to facilitate the movement into ongoing employment (as their parenting responsibilities and individual circumstances allow) of beneficiaries to whom those obligations apply; and

(b)

to provide opportunities for them to improve their capabilities and preparation for employment; and

(c)

to improve social and economic outcomes for them and their dependent children.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60P

107 Persons subject to work-preparation obligations

The following persons must comply with section 110 and may be required to do any of the things set out in section 111:

(a)

a person who receives sole parent support and whose youngest dependent child is under the age of 3 years:

(b)

a person who would receive sole parent support but has a dependent child under 12 months old and receives jobseeker support instead solely because that child is an additional dependent child (as defined in section 205):

(c)

a person who is a work-tested beneficiary and who has been granted under regulations made under section 410 a deferral of that person’s work-test obligations:

(d)

a person who—

(i)

is the spouse or partner of a person who—

(A)

receives an exceptional circumstances benefit or jobseeker support paid at a work-test couple rate; and

(B)

has a youngest dependent child aged under 3 years; and

(ii)

is not the spouse or partner of a young person to whom section 151, 152, or 153 applies:

(e)

the spouse or partner of a person who—

(i)

receives a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness; and

(ii)

has a youngest dependent child aged under 3 years:

(f)

a person under the age of 65 granted an exceptional circumstances benefit under section 17(2)(c) of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Act 2001:

(g)

a person who has been granted an exceptional circumstances benefit under section 59(1) and on whom work-preparation obligations have been imposed under section 59(5)(b).

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 20E(a), 40G(1), (2)(a), 60Q(1), (1A), 88G(a), 61A(1)

108 Persons not subject to work-preparation obligations

The following persons are not required to comply with section 110 and must not be required to do any of the things set out in section 111:

(a)

a person who is a work-tested beneficiary:

(b)

a person who is currently exempted under section 144(1) from all the person’s work-test obligations.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60Q(1)

109 Persons subject to work-preparation obligations if sufficient capacity to comply

(1)

The following persons are not required to comply with section 110 but may be required to do any of the things set out in section 111 if MSD decides that the person is capable of complying with the obligation in question:

(a)

a person who receives a benefit under section 33 (supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness):

(b)

a person who receives a benefit under section 39 (supported living payment on the ground of caring for another person).

(2)

A person referred to in subsection (1)(a) or (b) may be required to attend and participate in an interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD for the purpose of helping MSD decide whether the person is capable of complying with any of the work-preparation obligations set out in section 111.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 40F(a), 40H(a), 60Q(1)(bb), (bc), (1B)

110 General obligation to take all steps to prepare for employment

A person to whom this section applies must take all steps that are reasonably practicable in the person’s circumstances to prepare for employment.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60Q(2)

111 Work-preparation obligations as required by MSD

A person to whom this section applies must, as required by MSD from time to time,—

(a)

undertake planning for employment:

(b)

attend and participate in an interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD:

(c)

report to MSD or a person on behalf of MSD on the person’s compliance with the work-preparation obligations set out in this section, and must do so as often as, and in the manner that, MSD reasonably requires:

(d)

participate in or undertake any of the following activities specified by MSD that MSD considers suitable for improving the person’s work-readiness or prospects for employment:

(i)

a work assessment:

(ii)

a programme or seminar to increase particular skills or enhance motivation:

(iii)

a work-experience or work-exploration activity:

(iv)

employment-related training:

(v)

an education programme:

(vi)

any other activity (including rehabilitation) other than medical treatment, recognised voluntary work, or activity in the community.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60Q(3)

112 Person who fails to comply with work-preparation obligation subject to sanction

A person (P) is subject to a sanction under section 219, 220, or 221 if MSD is satisfied that P has, without a good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a work-preparation obligation under section 110 or 111.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 116B(1)(c)

Specific obligations: social obligations in relation to dependent children

113 Obligations in relation to dependent children

Sections 114 to 121 set out obligations in relation to the dependent children of—

(a)

a beneficiary receiving certain main benefits under this Act; and

(b)

the beneficiary’s spouse or partner.

114 Obligations of beneficiary in relation to dependent children

A beneficiary is subject to the obligations set out in sections 117 to 121 in relation to the beneficiary’s dependent children or the dependent children of the beneficiary’s spouse or partner if the beneficiary—

(a)

receives jobseeker support, sole parent support, a supported living payment, or an exceptional circumstances benefit; and

(b)

is not a young person subject to the obligations set out in section 149.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 20E(b), 40F(b), 40H(b), 40HA(a), 60RA(1), 61AA, 88F(8)

115 Obligations of spouse or partner of beneficiary in relation to dependent children of beneficiary

(1)

The spouse or partner of a beneficiary is subject to the obligations set out in sections 117 to 121 in relation to each dependent child of the beneficiary if—

(a)

the beneficiary receives jobseeker support, sole parent support, a supported living payment, or an exceptional circumstances benefit; and

(b)

the spouse or partner is not a young person subject to the obligations set out in section 151 or 152.

(2)

Subsection (1) applies whether or not—

(a)

the dependent child of the beneficiary is also the dependent child of the spouse or partner:

(b)

the spouse or partner receives all or any of the benefit instead of, or as well as, the beneficiary.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 40G(1), (2)(b), 60RA(1)(b), (2), 88G(b)

116 Obligations of spouse or partner of beneficiary in relation to dependent children of spouse or partner

(1)

The spouse or partner of a beneficiary is subject to the obligations set out in sections 117 to 121 in relation to each dependent child of the spouse or partner if—

(a)

the beneficiary receives jobseeker support, sole parent support, a supported living payment, or an exceptional circumstances benefit; and

(b)

the spouse or partner is not a young person subject to the obligations set out in section 151 or 152.

(2)

Subsection (1) applies whether or not—

(a)

the dependent child of the spouse or partner is also the dependent child of the beneficiary:

(b)

the spouse or partner receives all or any of the benefit instead of, or as well as, the beneficiary.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 40HA, 60RA(1)(b), (2), 61A(3)

117 Attendance of dependent child aged 3 to 5 years at early childhood education programme

(1)

A person to whom this section applies must take all reasonable steps to ensure that each dependent child aged 3 to 5 years—

(a)

is enrolled in an approved early childhood education programme (as that term is defined in regulations made under section 409); and

(b)

attends that programme in the manner and to the minimum extent prescribed by regulations made under section 409.

(2)

This section does not apply if the dependent child is enrolled at and regularly attends a registered school (as defined in regulations made under section 409).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60RA(3)(a)

118 Attendance of dependent child aged 5 or 6 years at early childhood education programme or registered school

(1)

A person to whom this section applies (A) must take all reasonable steps to ensure that each dependent child aged 5 or 6 years either—

(a)

is enrolled in an approved early childhood education programme (as defined in regulations made under section 409) and attends that programme in the manner and to the minimum extent prescribed by regulations made under section 409; or

(b)

is enrolled at and regularly attends a registered school (as defined in regulations made under section 409).

(2)

This section does not apply if A qualifies for an exemption from his or her work-test obligations on the active teaching out of school grounds specified by—

(a)

regulation 6(2)(c) of the Social Security (Exemptions under Section 105) Regulations 1998 (as saved by clause 26 of Schedule 1); or

(b)

any regulations made under section 410(e).

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 60RA(3)(b), 60RAB(2)

119 Attendance of dependent child aged 6 to 15 years at registered school

(1)

A person to whom this section applies must take all reasonable steps to ensure that each dependent child aged 6 to 15 years is enrolled at and regularly attends a registered school (as defined by regulations made under section 409).

(2)

This section does not apply if the child is exempted under section 21, 22, or 22A of the Education Act 1989 from enrolment at a registered school.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60RA(3)(c)

120 Health care enrolment and compliance with core health checks

(1)

A person to whom this section applies must take all reasonable steps to ensure that each dependent child is enrolled with a primary health care provider (for example, a primary health organisation, or a medical practitioner whose scope of practice is or includes general practiceprescribed health practitioner who is a provider of primary health care).

(2)

A person to whom this section applies must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a dependent child under the age of 5 years is up to date with core checks under—

(a)

the programme that immediately before 15 July 2013 was known as Well Child; or

(b)

any similar programme established in its place.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60RA(3)(d), (e)

121 Interviews and reporting

A person to whom this section applies must, as required by MSD,—

(a)

attend and participate in an interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD:

(b)

report to MSD or a person on behalf of MSD on the person’s compliance with the obligations in relation to dependent children set out in sections 117 to 120, and must do so as often as, and in the manner that, MSD reasonably requires.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60RA(3)(f), (g)

122 Person who fails to comply with obligations in relation to dependent children is subject to sanction

(1)

A person (P) is subject to a sanction under section 219, 220, or 221 if MSD is satisfied that P has, without a good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with an obligation in relation to dependent children under sections 117 to 121.

(2)

However, P is not subject to a sanction under section 216(c) if imposition of a sanction is precluded by section 226 or 238.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 116B(1)(b)

123 Definitions and attendance: regulations made under section 409

(1)

Regulations made under section 409 may prescribe, for the purposes of sections 117 to 120, the meaning of the following terms:

(a)

approved early childhood education programme:

(b)

core check:

(c)

registered school.

(2)

Regulations made under section 409 that prescribe, for the purposes of sections 117(1)(b) and 118(1)(a)(ii), the minimum extent of, or other required manner of, attending an approved early childhood education programme may, without limitation,—

(a)

prescribe, for all or any approved early childhood programmes, target numbers of hours of attendance:

(b)

prescribe different minimum numbers of hours of attendance for all or any different approved early childhood programmes.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60RAB(1), (3), (4)

Specific obligations: work-test obligations

124 Work-test obligations

Sections 126 to 140 set out the work-test obligations.

125 Purpose of sections 126 to 140

The purpose of sections 126 to 140 is—

(a)

to ensure that work-tested beneficiaries maintain an unrelenting focus on entering, retaining, or returning to, employment; and

(b)

to reinforce the continuing obligation of work tested beneficiaries to take reasonable steps to support themselves and their families; and

(c)

to identify the activities that work-tested beneficiaries may be required to undertake to meet their obligations arising from work tested benefits being paid in respect of them; and

(d)

to provide a work test structure applying to all work-tested beneficiaries that is sufficiently flexible to take account of an individual beneficiary’s circumstances.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 101

126 Persons subject to work-test obligations

(1)

The following persons must comply with section 130 and may be required to do any of the things set out in section 132:

(a)

a person who receives jobseeker support (other than jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability):

(b)

a person who receives jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability, if MSD has determined under section 127(1) that the person has the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work:

(c)

a person who—

(i)

is the work-tested spouse or partner of a person who receives jobseeker support; and

(ii)

is not the spouse or partner of a young person to whom section 151, 152, or 153 applies:

(d)

a work-tested sole parent support beneficiary:

(e)

the work-tested spouse or partner of a person granted an exceptional circumstances benefit or a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness at a work-test couple rate:

(f)

a person under the age of 65 years granted an exceptional circumstances benefit under section 17(2)(c) of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001, if that person is a work-tested spouse or partner:

(g)

a person who has been granted an exceptional circumstances benefit under section 59(1) and on whom the work test has been imposed under section 59(5)(b).

(2)

MSD may, by notice in writing, require the spouse or partner of a person granted an exceptional circumstances benefit at a work-test couple rate to comply with the work test if MSD is satisfied that it is appropriate and reasonable to require that spouse or partner to seek, undertake, and be available for—

(a)

part-time work, in the case of a spouse or partner whose youngest dependent child is aged 3 years or older but under 14 years; or

(b)

full-time employment, in any other case.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 20E(c), 88F(1), (4), 88G(c), 61A(1), (1A), (2)(b)

127 Jobseeker support: work capacity determination and work test

(1)

MSD makes every determination under this subsection whether a person granted jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability has, while receiving that benefit, the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work (as defined in Schedule 2).

(2)

MSD—

(a)

must make a determination under subsection (1) promptly after granting the person that benefit; and

(b)

may make a determination under subsection (1) at any later time.

(3)

A determination under subsection (1) must be made after having had regard to—

(a)

the relevant certificate given under section 27, and any relevant report obtained under section 28; and

(b)

any relevant work ability assessment under sections 101 to 105.

(4)

The consequence of a determination under subsection (1) that the person has, while receiving that benefit, the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work is that the person is required to comply with the work test on and after a date specified in a written notice (of the determination’s making and effects) that MSD must give the person.

(5)

The date specified in a written notice given under subsection (4),—

(a)

in the case of a new grant of jobseeker support, may be the date on which that benefit is first paid; but

(b)

in any case, must not be a date before the date on which MSD reasonably considers the person will receive the notice.

(6)

MSD may at any time, whether on the application of the person or otherwise, review a determination under subsection (1) and may confirm, amend, revoke, or replace it and any related written notice given under subsection (4).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 88F(2)–(6)

128 Person not subject to work-test obligations

A person (P) who is otherwise subject to a work-test obligation is not subject to that obligation if—

(a)

the obligation has been deferred under regulations made under section 410; or

(b)

P has been exempted from the obligation under section 144; or

(c)

MSD is satisfied that P is undertaking employment of the kind required to satisfy the work test for P.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 88J, 102(2)

129 Time when work-test obligation applies

(1)

An obligation set out in section 130 or 132 applies on—

(a)

a day that is a day between Monday and Friday (inclusive); or

(b)

a prescribed day of the week (see section 397(1)(d)).

(2)

An obligation set out in section 130 or 132 applies,—

(a)

in the case of a person who receives jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability, from the date specified in MSD’s notice given under section 127(4) that the person has the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work:

(b)

in any other case, from the date on which the relevant benefit is first paid.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 102(1), (3)

130 General obligation to be available for suitable employment, etc

A person to whom this section applies must—

(a)

be available for, and take reasonable steps to obtain, suitable employment; and

(b)

accept any offer of suitable employment, including temporary employment or employment that is seasonal or subsidised; and

(c)

attend and participate in an interview for any opportunity of suitable employment to which the beneficiary is referred by MSD.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 102A(1)(a)–(c)

131 Meaning of suitable employment

In section 130, suitable employment, in relation to a person (P), means employment that MSD is satisfied is suitable for P to undertake for a specific number of hours per week that MSD determines, having regard to the employment required to satisfy the work test for P.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 3(1)

132 Work-test obligations as required by MSD

(1)

A person to whom this section applies must, as required by MSD from time to time,—

(a)

undertake planning for employment:

(b)

attend and participate in an interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD:

(c)

report to MSD or a person on behalf of MSD on the person’s compliance with the work-test obligations set out in this section or sections 130 and 133, and must do so as often as, and in the manner that, MSD reasonably requires:

(d)

participate in or undertake any of the following activities specified by MSD that MSD considers suitable for improving the person’s work-readiness or prospects for employment:

(i)

a work assessment:

(ii)

a programme or seminar to increase particular skills or enhance motivation:

(iii)

a work-experience or work-exploration activity:

(iv)

employment-related training:

(v)

an education programme:

(vi)

any other activity (including rehabilitation) other than medical treatment, recognised voluntary work, or activity in the community:

(e)

undertake and pass a drug test in accordance with sections 133 to 137.

(2)

Subsection (1)(d) applies whether or not a person is subject to a sanction for failing to comply with a work-test obligation.

(3)

If MSD requires a person to undertake an activity under subsection (1)(d), MSD must take reasonable steps to arrange for the person to undertake that activity.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 102A(1)(d)–(g), (2)–(5)

133 Obligation to undertake and pass drug test

(1)

A person to whom an obligation under section 130(a), 130(c), 132(1)(d)(ii), or 132(1)(d)(iv) applies must undertake and pass a drug test by a specified date if—

(a)

a potential employer or training provider requests the drug test; and

(b)

the drug test is lawfully requested and undertaken; and

(c)

the drug test is a compliant drug test (see section 134).

(2)

A drug test is lawfully requested and undertaken if it is requested and undertaken for a lawful purpose (for example, for a lawful health or safety purpose), and it does not matter that the employer or provider requesting the drug test is not authorised or required by or under this Act to compel the person to undertake it.

(3)

A drug test under this section is presumed to be lawfully requested and undertaken unless the contrary is proved.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 102A(1A), 102B(1), (3)

134 Compliant drug test defined

A compliant drug test is a drug test that complies with the requirements prescribed by regulations made under section 410.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 102B(2)

135 Failing drug test

(1)

For the purposes of this Act, a person is taken to have failed an evidential drug test requested under section 240 if the person fails a screening test and waives the right to an associated evidential drug test.

(2)

A potential employer or training provider may disclose, or authorise the drug test provider to disclose, to MSD that a person who has undertaken a drug test under section 133 has failed the drug test.

(3)

MSD may act on the information disclosed under subsection (2) unless MSD has reason to believe that it is not reliable (for example, MSD may have evidence to the contrary).

(4)

Consent of a person who has undertaken a drug test under section 133 to disclosure under subsection (2) is not required.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 102B(4), (5), 102C(2)

136 Use of drug test result

MSD may, in accordance with regulations made under section 410, use the result of a drug test undertaken under section 133 and disclosed to MSD under section 135.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 102E

137 Costs of drug test

MSD may, in accordance with regulations made under section 410(c), reimburse a potential employer for the costs of a drug test under section 133 requested by that employer.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 102C(3)–(5)

138 Definitions for drug-testing provisions

In this section and in sections 133 to 137, unless the context otherwise requires,—

controlled drug has the same meaning as in section 2(1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975

drug test, for a person, means a test to detect the presence in the person’s body of 1 or more controlled drugs

evidential drug test, for a person, means a drug test that, when undertaken by the person, complies with a standard that is—

(a)

a standard for drug tests for evidential purposes; and

(b)

a New Zealand standard, joint Australian/New Zealand standard, or other national or international standard; and

(c)

prescribed (whether under sections 29 to 32 of the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015 or otherwise) in regulations made under section 397(1)(e)

fail, for a person and a drug test, means—

(a)

if the drug test is a screening drug test or an evidential drug test, not to pass the drug test; or

(b)

if the drug test is an evidential drug test, to waive the right to that test in the situation specified in section 135(1), and so under that section be taken for the purposes of this Act to have failed that test

pass, for a person and a drug test, means to undertake the drug test with the consequence that the drug test produces a valid result that,—

(a)

if the drug test is a screening drug test, does not indicate the presence in the person’s body of 1 or more controlled drugs at or above the minimum level identified in the standard (prescribed in regulations made under section 397(1)(f)) with which the test complies; and

(b)

if the drug test is an evidential drug test, does not detect for evidential purposes the presence in the person’s body of 1 or more controlled drugs at or above the minimum level identified in the standard (prescribed in regulations made under section 397(1)(f)) with which the test complies

screening drug test, for a person, means a drug test that—

(a)

may indicate the presence in the person’s body of 1 or more controlled drugs; and

(b)

is quicker, less formal, and less expensive than, and is designed for use in conjunction with, an evidential drug test; and

(c)

complies with a standard that is—

(i)

a standard for drug tests for evidential purposes; and

(ii)

a New Zealand standard, joint Australian/New Zealand standard, or other national or international standard; and

(iii)

prescribed (whether under sections 29 to 32 of the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015, or otherwise) in regulations made under section 397(1)(g).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 88A

139 Person who fails to comply with work-test obligations is subject to sanction

A person is subject to a sanction (see section 216(d)) for a breach of a work-test obligation under section 130 or 132 if MSD is satisfied that the person—

(a)

has failed without a good and sufficient reason to comply with the obligation; or

(b)

is under section 140 deemed to have failed without a good and sufficient reason to comply with the obligation.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 116B(1)(e)–(h)

140 Deemed failure to comply with work-test obligation

A person (P) is deemed to have failed without a good and sufficient reason to comply with a work-test obligation under section 130 or 132 if—

(a)

P, without a good and sufficient reason, fails to apply for suitable employment that requires candidates to undertake drug tests; or

(b)

P is a full-time work-tested beneficiary and leaves, without a good and sufficient reason, or is dismissed for misconduct from, part-time work or employment averaging less than part-time work; or

(c)

P is a part-time work-tested beneficiary who leaves, without a good and sufficient reason, or is dismissed for misconduct from, employment averaging less than part-time work.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 116B(1)(f)–(h)

Deferral of work-test obligations

141 Deferral of work-test obligations

(1)

MSD may defer a person’s work-test obligations in accordance with regulations made under section 410 permitting it to do so.

(2)

MSD must defer a person’s work-test obligations in accordance with regulations made under section 410 requiring it to do so.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 88F(7), 88H, 88I(1)–(3), (5)–(7)

142 Effect of deferral of work-test obligations

(1)

A person’s work-test obligations are deferred for the period specified in MSD’s notice of deferral and sections 92 and 124 to 132 apply to that person as if he or she were not a person subject to work-test obligations.

(2)

A person whose work-test obligations are deferred in accordance with regulations made under section 410 must notify MSD as soon as practicable of any change in the person’s circumstances that may affect the person’s entitlement to the deferral.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 88J, 88K

Exemptions: work preparation, work test, and other obligations

143 Regulations may specify categories of exempt persons and grounds for exemption

Regulations made under section 410 may specify—

(a)

categories of persons who may be exempted from some or all of a work preparation obligation, a work test obligation, or other obligation under this Partan obligation under section 147, 149, 151, or 152; and

(b)

the grounds, and any required circumstances, for the grant of an exemption.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 123D

144 MSD may grant exemption from work preparation, work test, or other obligation

(1)

A person may apply to MSD for an exemption from some or all of the person’s work-preparation obligations, work-test obligations, or other obligations under this Part obligations under section 147, 149, 151, or 152 and MSD may grant the exemption if satisfied that the person qualifies for an exemption under regulations made under section 410.

(2)

MSD may grant the exemption for a period set by MSD, and may make the exemption subject to conditions set by MSD.

(3)

A person granted an exemption under subsection (1) must notify MSD as soon as practicable of any change in the person’s circumstances that may affect the person’s entitlement to the exemption.

(4)

MSD may from time to time require a person granted an exemption under subsection (1) to attend an interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 105(1), (2), (4), (5), (5A)

145 Procedure for grant of exemption

The procedure for the granting of an exemption under section 144, including the review, extension, variation, or revocation of the exemption, is prescribed in regulations made under section 410.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 105(3), (6), (7)

146 Person who fails to comply with requirement to attend interview is subject to sanction

(1)

A person (P) is subject to a sanction (see section 216(e)) if MSD is satisfied that P has failed, without a good and sufficient reason, to comply with a requirement under section 144(4) to attend an interview.

(2)

However, P is not subject to a sanction under section 216(e) if P is a young person to whom subpart 3 of Part 5 applies.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 105(5), 116B(1)(i)

Specific obligations: young person granted youth support payment

147 Obligations of young person granted youth support payment

(1)

A young person who has been granted a youth support payment must do the following things:

(a)

be enrolled in and undertake to MSD’s satisfaction, or be available for, a full-time course of secondary instruction or tertiary education or approved training or work-based learning leading to—

(i)

NCEA level 2; or

(ii)

a qualification that in MSD’s opinion is equivalent to NCEA level 2; or

(iii)

a higher qualification:

(b)

as required by MSD, participate in and complete a budgeting programme approved by MSD for the purpose:

(c)

as required by MSD, attend and participate in any interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD:

(d)

as required by a contracted service provider assigned to the person, attend and participate in any interview with that provider:

(e)

as required by MSD or a contracted service provider assigned to the person, report to MSD or the service provider on the person’s compliance with the obligations set out in paragraphs (a) to (d):

(f)

co-operate with MSD or a contracted service provider assigned to the person, in managing the spending of the young person’s youth payments or young parent payments:

(g)

attend and participate in regular discussions on budgeting with an MSD employee or a contracted service provider:

(h)

at budgeting discussions and otherwise as required by MSD, provide information on details of

(i)

the young person’s accommodation costs, service costs, and other lawful debts and liabilities:

(ii)

how the young person has spent the young person’s youth support payments and, if applicable, young parent payments:

(i)

provide, within 20 working days after the date when the benefit is granted, any information that MSD requires to establish money management under section 320, including information about any accommodation provider, service provider, or debtor of the young person.

(i)

give to MSD or to a contracted service provider assigned to the young person (within 20 working days starting on the day after the date on which MSD informs the young person of the requirement) the following information:

(i)

details of the young person’s accommodation costs and service costs and other lawful debts and liabilities; and

(ii)

any other information reasonably required by MSD to effect money management under section 320.

(2)

In this section,—

accommodation costs, in relation to any young person, has the same meaning as in regulations made under section 402 except that, in relation to a person who is a boarder or lodger in any premises, it means 100% of the amount paid for board or lodging

service costs has the same meaning as in regulations made under section 402.

(3)

In this section and in sections 151 and 152,—

approved training means an employment-related training course approved by MSD

full-time course has the same meaning as in—

(a)

regulation 2(1) of the Student Allowances Regulations 1998; or

(b)

the corresponding provision of replacement regulations made under all or any of sections 303, 306, and 307 of the Education Act 1989.

(4)

In this section and in sections 149 to 152 and 184, work-based learning, in relation to any person, means a course or programme undertaken (or to be undertaken), in the course of or by virtue of his or her employment, that comprises, or includes a component of, practical or on-the-job vocational learning (for example, an industry training programme or apprenticeship).

(5)

A failure without good and sufficient reason to comply with obligations under this section is subject to sanctions, as provided in Part 5.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 157, 170(1)(a), (b), (d)–(g)

148 When education obligation or training obligation begins for young parent

(1)

This section applies to a young person—

(a)

who receives a young parent payment; and

(b)

who is principal caregiver of the young person’s youngest dependent child.

(2)

The obligation set out in section 147(1)(a) begins to apply to the young person only on the earlier of the following days:

(a)

the first day on which—

(i)

the child is at least 6 months old; and

(ii)

a suitable place is available for the young person in a teen parent unit; and

(iii)

MSD is satisfied that there are no special circumstances justifying the obligation’s beginning to apply later:

(b)

the day on which the child becomes 12 months old.

(3)

In this section, teen parent unit means an educational facility for teenage parents attached to a State school (within the meaning of the Education Act 1989).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 170(4)

Specific obligations: social obligations of young person granted young parent payment

149 Obligations of young person granted young parent payment

(1)

A young person who has been granted a young parent payment must also do the following things:

(a)

as required by MSD, participate to MSD’s satisfaction in a parenting education programme approved by MSD for the purpose:

(b)

enrol each dependent child with a primary health care provider (for example, a primary health organisation, or a medical practitioner whose scope of practice is or includes general practiceprescribed health practitioner who is a provider of primary health care):

(c)

take all reasonable steps to ensure that each dependent child under the age of 5 years is up to date with core checks under—

(i)

the programme that immediately before 15 July 2013 was known as Well Child; or

(ii)

any similar programme established in its place:

(d)

ensure that each dependent child under the age of 5 years attends an approved early childhood education programme or other suitable childcare while the young person is in education, training, work-based learning, or part-time work.

(e)

provide, within 20 working days after the date when the benefit is granted, any information that MSD requires to establish money management under section 320, including information about any accommodation provider, service provider, or debtor of the young person.

(2)

A failure without good and sufficient reason to comply with obligations under this section is subject to sanctions, as provided in Part 5.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 170(1)(c), (2)

Specific obligations: young person aged 18 or 19 years who is receiving jobseeker support and who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency

150 Young person aged 18 or 19 years who is receiving jobseeker support in young person’s own right and who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency

(1)

This section applies to a young person (P) aged 18 or 19 years without dependent children who is receiving jobseeker support under sections 20 to 24 in the young person’s own right.

(2)

If MSD determines that P is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency (as that risk is defined in Schedule 2subsection (6)), MSD may require P to receive services of a kind referred to in section 352(1)(a) (youth services).

(2A)

In exercising the discretion under subsection (2), MSD may consider factors that affect MSD’s ability to provide the young person with youth services (for example, funding and capacity to provide the services in the young person’s area).

(2B)

However, before requiring the young person to receive youth services, MSD must take reasonable steps to consult the young person about

(a)

the young person’s risk of long-term welfare dependency (as that risk is defined in subsection (6)); and

(b)

the proposal to require the young person to receive youth services.

(3)

A requirement under subsection (2) that is placed on a young person who is aged 19 years at the time the requirement is made continues—

(a)

until the close of the day that is 6 months after the date on which the requirement was placed on the young person, even if the young person turns 20 during that 6-month period; or

(b)

in the case of a young person who, on the day on which he or she turns 20, is continuing in a course of education, training, or work-based learning, until,—

(i)

if the course is a course of secondary instruction or if the course ends in December, the close of the following 31 March:

(ii)

in any other case, the close of the day on which the course ends.

(4)

The following apply to a young person who is required to receive youth services under subsection (2) as if the person’s jobseeker support, or the portion of the jobseeker support or the specified beneficiary’s benefit payable to the young person under section 316, were a youth payment:

(a)

the obligations in section 151(2)(b) and (d) to (g)147(1)(b) to (i) in addition to the young person’s work-test obligations or obligations under sections 107 to 111:

(b)

sections 51 and 270 as if the appropriate incentive payments were those set out in items 8 and 9 in subpart 3 of Part 5 of Schedule 4:

(ba)

section 269:

(c)

sections 320 and 357:

(d)

regulations 4 and 5 and Part 2 of the Social Security (Criteria for Incentive Payments and Money Management) Regulations 2012 (as saved by clauses 13 and 38(3) of Schedule 1), or regulations made under section 397(1)(b), (c), (j), and (k).

(5)

MSD may from time to time review a requirement placed on a young person under subsection (2) and may confirm or revoke it.

(6)

In this section, risk of long-term welfare dependency, in relation to a person, means the risk, determined using risk factors set by the Minister for the purposes of this section and section 153 by direction under section 7, that the person will, for an indefinite period, not be able to obtain full-time employment and will be likely to remain wholly or largely dependent for the person’s financial support on all or part of a main benefit under this Act.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 171A

Obligations of, and incentives for, young person who is spouse or partner of beneficiary

151 Young person aged 16 or 17 years who has no dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary

(1)

This section applies to a young person (P) who—

(a)

is 16 or 17 years old; and

(b)

is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary; and

(c)

has no dependent children.

(2)

P must do the following things:

(a)

be enrolled in and undertake to MSD’s satisfaction, or be available for, a full-time course of secondary instruction or tertiary education or approved training or work-based learning leading to—

(i)

NCEA level 2; or

(ii)

a qualification that in MSD’s opinion is equivalent to NCEA level 2; or

(iii)

a higher qualification:

(b)

as required by MSD, participate in and complete a budgeting programme approved by MSD for the purpose:

(c)

as required by MSD, attend and participate in any interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD:

(d)

as required by a contracted service provider assigned to the person, attend and participate in any interview with that provider:

(e)

as required by MSD or a contracted service provider assigned to P, report to MSD or the service provider on P’s compliance with the obligations set out in paragraphs (a) to (d):

(f)

co-operate with MSD, or a contracted service provider assigned to P, in managing the spending of the benefit received by P, as if that benefit were a youth support benefit:

(g)

attend and participate in regular discussions on budgeting with an MSD employee or a contracted service provider.

(3)

If P meets the criteria prescribed in regulations made for the purposes of section 51 under section 397(1)(b), P is entitled to receive the appropriate incentive payment (if any) stated in subpart 3 of Part 5 of Schedule 4 as if he or she were receiving a youth payment.

(4)

P is not subject to the work test, or to work-preparation obligations under sections 110 and 111.

(5)

If P is aged under 18 years when the obligations in subsection (2) start to apply to him or her, those obligations continue—

(a)

until the close of the day that is 6 months after the date on which the obligations start to apply to P, even if he or she turns 18 during that 6-month period; or

(b)

if P, on the day when he or she turns 18, is continuing in a course of education, training, or work-based learning, until,—

(i)

if the course is a course of secondary instruction or if the course ends in December, the close of the following 31 March; or

(ii)

in any other case, the close of the day on which the course ends.

(6)

While P is subject to obligations under subsection (2) (being obligations to which P became subject on or after 25 October 2016), sections 320, 321, and 322 and the obligation in section 147(1)(i) apply to P as if he or she were receiving a youth support payment.

(7)

A failure without good and sufficient reason to comply with obligations under this section is subject to sanctions, as provided in Part 5.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 170(1)(a), (b), (d)–(g), 171(1), (4)

152 Young person aged 16 to 19 years who has dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary

(1)

This section applies to a young person (P) who—

(a)

is 16 to 19 years old; and

(b)

is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary; and

(c)

has 1 or more dependent children.

(2)

P must do the following things:

(a)

be enrolled in and undertake to MSD’s satisfaction, or be available for, a full-time course of secondary instruction or tertiary education or approved training or work-based learning leading to—

(i)

NCEA level 2; or

(ii)

a qualification that in MSD’s opinion is equivalent to NCEA level 2; or

(iii)

a higher qualification:

(b)

as required by MSD, participate in and complete a budgeting programme approved by MSD for the purpose:

(c)

as required by MSD, attend and participate in any interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD:

(d)

as required by a contracted service provider assigned to the person, attend and participate in any interview with that provider:

(e)

as required by MSD or a contracted service provider assigned to the person, report to MSD or the service provider on the person’s compliance with the obligations set out in paragraphs (a) to (d):

(f)

co-operate with MSD, or a contracted service provider assigned to the person, in managing the spending of the benefit received by the person, as if that benefit were a youth support benefit:

(g)

attend and participate in regular discussions on budgeting with an MSD employee or a contracted service provider.

(3)

P must also—

(a)

as required by MSD, participate to MSD’s satisfaction in a parenting education programme approved by MSD for the purpose:

(b)

enrol each dependent child with a primary health care provider (for example, a primary health organisation, or a medical practitioner whose scope of practice is or includes general practiceprescribed health practitioner who is a provider of primary health care):

(c)

take all reasonable steps to ensure that each dependent child under the age of 5 years is up to date with core checks under—

(i)

the programme that immediately before 15 July 2013 was known as Well Child; or

(ii)

any similar programme established in its place:

(d)

ensure that each dependent child under the age of 5 years attends an approved early childhood education programme or other suitable childcare while the young person is in education, training, work-based learning, or part-time work.

(4)

If P meets the criteria prescribed in regulations made for the purposes of section 58 under section 397(1)(c), P is entitled to receive the appropriate incentive payment (if any) stated in subpart 3 of Part 5 of Schedule 4 as if he or she were receiving a young parent payment.

(5)

P is not subject to the work test, or to work-preparation obligations under sections 110 and 111.

(6)

If P is aged under 20 years when the obligations in subsections (2) and (3) start to apply to P, those obligations continue—

(a)

until the close of the day that is 6 months after the date on which the obligations started to apply to P, even if he or she turns 20 during that 6-month period; or

(b)

if P, on the day on which he or she turns 20, is continuing in a course of education, training, or work-based learning, until,—

(i)

if the course is a course of secondary instruction or if the course ends in December, the close of the following 31 March; or

(ii)

in any other case, the close of the day on which the course ends.

(7)

While P is subject to obligations under subsection (2) or (3) (being obligations to which P became subject on or after 25 October 2016), sections 320, 321, and 322 and the obligation in section 147(1)(i) apply to P as if he or she were receiving a youth support payment.

(8)

A failure without good and sufficient reason to comply with obligations under this section is subject to sanctions, as provided in Part 5.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 170(1)(a)–(f) and (g)(i), 170(2), 171(2), (5)

153 Young person aged 18 or 19 years, who is receiving jobseeker support as spouse or partner of person granted that benefit, or who is work-tested spouse or partner of specified beneficiary, and who is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency

(1)

This section applies to a young person (P) aged 18 or 19 years without dependent children who—

(a)

is receiving jobseeker support under sections 20 to 24 as the spouse or partner of the person granted the benefit; or

(b)

is the work-tested spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary (other than a spouse or partner described in paragraph (a)).

(2)

If MSD determines that P is at significant risk of long-term welfare dependency (as that risk is defined in Schedule 2subsection (6)), MSD may require P to receive services of a kind referred to in section 352(1)(a) (youth services).

(2A)

In exercising the discretion under subsection (2), MSD may consider factors that affect MSD’s ability to provide the young person with youth services (for example, funding and capacity to provide the services in the young person’s area).

(2B)

However, before requiring the young person to receive youth services, MSD must take reasonable steps to consult the young person about

(a)

the young person’s risk of long-term welfare dependency (as that risk is defined in subsection (6)); and

(b)

the proposal to require the young person to receive youth services.

(3)

A requirement under subsection (2) that is placed on a young person who is aged 19 years at the time the requirement is made continues—

(a)

until the close of the day that is 6 months after the date on which the requirement was placed on the young person, even if the young person turns 20 during that 6-month period; or

(b)

in the case of a young person who, on the day on which he or she turns 20, is continuing in a course of education, training, or work-based learning, until,—

(i)

if the course is a course of secondary instruction or if the course ends in December, the close of the following 31 March:

(ii)

in any other case, the close of the day on which the course ends.

(4)

The following apply to a young person who is required to receive youth services under subsection (2) as if the person’s jobseeker support, or the portion of the jobseeker support or the specified beneficiary’s benefit payable to the young person under section 316, were a youth payment:

(a)

the obligations in section 151(2)(b) and (d) to (g)147(1)(b) to (i) in addition to the young person’s work-test obligations or obligations under sections 110 and 111:

(b)

sections 51 and 270 as if the appropriate incentive payments were those set out in items 8 and 9 in subpart 3 of Part 5 of Schedule 4:

(ba)

section 269:

(c)

sections 318, 319, 320, and 357:

(d)

regulations 4 and 5 and Part 2 of the Social Security (Criteria for Incentive Payments and Money Management) Regulations 2012 (as saved by clauses 13 and 38(3) of Schedule 1), or replacement regulations made under section 397(1)(b), (c), (k), and (l).

(5)

MSD may from time to time review a requirement placed on a young person under subsection (2) and may confirm or revoke it.

(6)

In this section, risk of long-term welfare dependency, in relation to a person, means the risk, determined using risk factors set by the Minister for the purposes of section 150 and this section by direction under section 7, that the person will, for an indefinite period, not be able to obtain full-time employment and will be likely to remain wholly or largely dependent for the person’s financial support on all or part of a main benefit under this Act.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 171A

154 Interpretation

In sections 149 to 152,—

approved early childhood education programme means an early childhood education programme approved by regulations made under section 403

core check means a check of a child’s health and well-being that is—

(a)

done under, and identified in contract or funding arrangements as an essential part of, the programme in question; and

(b)

funded, directly or indirectly, through Vote Health

specified beneficiary means a person who is in a relationship and receives in his or her own right—

(a)

an exceptional circumstances benefit, supported living payment under section 33, or jobseeker support; or

(b)

New Zealand superannuation paid at a rate specified in clause 2 of Schedule 1 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; or

(c)

a veteran’s pension at the relationship (partner not receiving superannuation or pension) rate or the relationship (partner not receiving superannuation or pension) legacy rate (as defined in section 158 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014).

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 60RAB(1), (4), 157

Specific obligations: obligation to work with contracted service providers

155 Obligation to work with contracted service providers

(1)

This section applies to a person (P) who receives 1 of the following benefits, whether in P’s own right or on behalf of P’s spouse or partner:

(a)

jobseeker support:

(b)

sole parent support:

(c)

a supported living payment:

(d)

an exceptional circumstances benefit.

(2)

P must, when required by MSD,—

(a)

attend and participate in any interview with a contracted service provider specified by MSD:

(b)

attend and participate in any assessment of P undertaken on behalf of MSD by a contracted service provider specified by MSD:

(c)

co-operate with a contracted service provider specified by MSD in facilitating the provision of the services that the provider has been contracted to provide in relation to P’s obligations under all or any of the following:

(i)

conditions of an exceptional circumstances benefit that MSD imposes or determines under section 53:

(ii)

work-preparation obligations (see sections 110 and 111):

(iii)

obligations in relation to dependent children (see sections 117 to 121):

(iv)

work-test obligations (see sections 130 and 132):

(d)

report to a contracted service provider specified by MSD on P’s compliance with P’s obligations under this Act as often as, and in the manner that, the provider reasonably requires.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60GAG(1)

156 Person who fails to comply with requirement under section 155(2) subject to sanction

A person (P) is subject to a sanction (see section 216(f)) if MSD is satisfied that P has, without a good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a requirement to take any of the steps listed in section 155(2).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60GAG(3)

General obligations: obligations in relation to overseas pensions

157 Interpretation

In sections 158 to 165,—

NZ benefits legislation means all or any of the following enactments:

(a)

this Act:

(b)

the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001:

(c)

Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014

overseas pension means a benefit, pension, or periodical allowance, or any part of it, that is granted elsewhere than in New Zealand but excludes a Government occupational pension (as defined in Schedule 2).

overseas pension has the same meaning given to it by section 172 for the purposes of sections 172 to 175.

158 Applicant for benefit, etc, to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension

(1)

This section applies if—

(a)

a person (A) is an applicant for a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation; and

(b)

1 or more of the following persons may be entitled to an overseas pension or may be granted an overseas pension:

(i)

A:

(ii)

A’s spouse or partner:

(iii)

A’s dependant.

(2)

If this section applies,—

(a)

A and A’s spouse or partner must take all reasonable steps to obtain the overseas pension to which either or both of them may be entitled or that may be granted to either or both of them; and

(b)

A must take all reasonable steps to obtain the overseas pension to which A’s dependant may be entitled or that may be granted to A’s dependant.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69G(1)

159 MSD may give notice requiring person to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension

(1)

MSD may give a notice to any of the following persons requiring that person to take all reasonable steps to obtain an overseas pension to which that person may be entitled or which that person may be granted:

(a)

an applicant (A) for a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation:

(b)

a recipient (R) of a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation:

(c)

the spouse or partner of A or R.

(2)

The notice must—

(a)

be in writing; and

(b)

specify that the person to whom the notice is given must take all reasonable steps to obtain the overseas pension for that person; and

(c)

specify the period during which the person must take the necessary steps.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69G(2)

160 MSD may give notice requiring person to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension for dependant

(1)

MSD may give a notice to any of the following persons requiring that person to take all reasonable steps to obtain an overseas pension to which his or her dependant may be entitled or which his or her dependant may be granted:

(a)

an applicant for a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation:

(b)

a recipient of a benefit under any of those enactments.

(2)

The notice must—

(a)

be in writing; and

(b)

specify that the person to whom the notice is given must take all reasonable steps to obtain the overseas pension for his or her dependant; and

(c)

specify the period during which the person must take the necessary steps.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69G(3)

161 Failure to comply with MSD’s notice given under section 163 or 164

(1)

This section applies if a person to whom a notice has been given under section 159 or 160 fails to comply with that notice.

(2)

MSD may—

(a)

in the case of an applicant for a benefit, refuse to grant the benefit:

(b)

in the case of a beneficiary or his or her spouse or partner, suspend the benefit.

(3)

A benefit suspended under subsection (2)(b) remains suspended until—

(a)

the beneficiary or his or her spouse or partner satisfies MSD that he or she has taken all reasonable steps to obtain the overseas pension; or

(b)

MSD cancels the benefit under subsection (4).

(4)

MSD may, not less than 40 working days after suspension of a benefit under subsection (2)(b), cancel the benefit from the date that MSD determines.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69G(4), (5)

162 Applicant for benefit must provide information as to rate of overseas pension

(1)

This section applies if a person (A) applies for a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation.

(2)

A must provide MSD with information establishing to MSD’s satisfaction the rate of any overseas pension that is received by any of the following persons:

(a)

A:

(b)

A’s spouse or partner:

(c)

A’s dependant.

(3)

MSD may refuse to grant a benefit to an applicant who has not complied with subsection (2) within 10 working days after applying for the benefit.

Compare: 1964 s 69H(1), (2)

163 MSD may give notice requiring beneficiary to provide information as to rate of overseas pension

(1)

This section applies if a person (P) receives a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation.

(2)

MSD may give P a written notice requiring P to provide MSD with information establishing to MSD’s satisfaction the rate of any overseas pension that is received by any of the following persons:

(a)

P:

(b)

P’s spouse or partner:

(c)

P’s dependant.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69H(3)

164 Failure to comply with MSD’s notice given under section 163

(1)

This section applies if a person to whom a notice has been given under section 163 fails to comply with that notice within 10 working days after the notice has been given.

(2)

MSD may suspend the benefit, which remains suspended until—

(a)

the beneficiary establishes to MSD’s satisfaction the rate of the overseas pension; or

(b)

MSD cancels the benefit under subsection (3).

(3)

MSD may, not less than 40 working days after suspension of a benefit under subsection (2), cancel the benefit from the date that MSD determines.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69H(4), (5)

165 Meaning of rate

In sections 162 to 164, rate, in relation to an overseas pension, means the rate of that pension in the currency of the country paying that pension.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 69H(6)

Miscellaneous

166 Application of health and safety legislation, etc

(1)

This section applies if a person (P)—

(a)

is doing work as part of a job search activity in accordance with P’s work-test obligations or under section 244 or 303; or

(b)

is a beneficiary and is doing work as part of an employment-related activity or activity in the community arranged by MSD.

(2)

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and the Human Rights Act 1993 apply to P, and to the person (B) providing the work that person P is doing, as if P were—

(a)

a worker in B’s business or undertaking; or

(b)

B’s employee.

(3)

Except as provided in subsection (2), nothing in this Part creates or implies an employment relationship between P and B.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 123C

167 Obligations suspended where MSD has exercised discretion to pay benefit while beneficiary overseas

(1)

This section applies if MSD has exercised its discretion under any regulations made under section 415 to pay a benefit to a person (P) for a period of absence by P from New Zealand.

(2)

During the period of absence for which the benefit is paid, P is not required to comply with his or her work test or work-preparation obligations or young person or young parent obligations.

Part 4 Factors affecting benefits

Contents

168What this Part does
169Regulations may prescribe pre-benefit activities
170MSD must explain requirements
171Benefit may be subject to repayment of insurance payment
172Interpretation
173Persons affected by receipt of overseas pension
174Benefit of person affected is reduced by amount of overseas pension
175MSD may enter into arrangement with person affected by receipt of overseas pension
175ATreatment of certain overseas benefits, pensions, and allowances that are not overseas pensions
176MSD must reduce rates of benefits for sole parents for failure to assist child support
177No reduction in certain cases
178Additional reduction in certain cases
179Shared care of dependent child
180Rules for assessing which parent has greater responsibility for dependent child
181Effect of compensation or damages on application for benefit
182Loss of earnings compensation under Accident Compensation Act 2001
183Veteran’s entitlement excludes any other benefit
184Exceptions to rule that veteran’s entitlement excludes any other benefit
185Personal benefit of spouse or partner excludes benefit on behalf of spouse or partner
186MSD may refuse or cancel benefit for failure to take reasonable steps to obtain maintenance
187MSD may refuse or cancel benefit if family protection claim not pursued
188MSD may refuse or cancel benefit if person not ordinarily resident in New Zealand
189Refugee or protected person status
190Hospitalisation
191Benefit of spouse or partner increased after 13th week of hospitalisation
192Beneficiary resident in institution for treatment of alcoholism or drug addiction
193Benefit not payable to person who is subject to warrant of arrest
194Beneficiary and offence defined for section 193
195MSD must give beneficiary notice of unresolved warrant
196Requirements for unresolved warrant notice
197Immediate suspension of benefit at request of New Zealand Police
198Beneficiary and offence defined for section 197
199MSD must give beneficiary notice of immediate suspension
200Effect of non-payment or suspension of benefit
201Benefit not payable during custody in prison or on remand
202Exceptions to rule that benefit not payable during custody in prison or on remand
203General rule: benefit not payable while beneficiary absent from New Zealand
204Purpose of sections 205 to 207
205Additional dependent child must not be taken into account in certain cases
206Extended application of additional dependent child rules
207Limited application of additional dependent child rules
208Basic rule: no work-tested benefit for 13 weeks after leaving employment or scheme or loss of employment due to misconduct
209Persons to whom basic rule applies
210What happens if basic rule applies
211MSD’s options in case of misconduct
212Interpretation
213How non-entitlement period, etc, affects supplementary benefits, and spouse or partner

Subpart 1—Guide to this Part

168 What this Part does

(1)

This Part sets out the factors that may affect a benefit.

(2)

The factors affecting a benefit are:

(a)

pre-benefit activities:

(b)

insurance recovery:

(c)

entitlement to an overseas pension:

(d)

failure to assist child support:

(e)

shared care of a dependent child:

(f)

compensation or damages:

(g)

the grant of a veteran’s entitlement:

(h)

a personal benefit excluding a benefit on behalf of a spouse or partner:

(i)

a family protection claim:

(j)

refugee or protected person status:

(k)

hospitalisation:

(l)

alcohol and drug treatment:

(m)

the issue of a warrant for a beneficiary’s arrest:

(n)

custody in prison or on remand:

(o)

absence from New Zealand:

(p)

an additional dependent child:

(q)

voluntary unemployment or loss of employment through misconduct, etc:

(r)

a non-entitlement period, stand down, or 100% suspension of benefit.

Subpart 2—Factors affecting benefits

Factors affecting benefits: pre-benefit activities

169 Regulations may prescribe pre-benefit activities

MSD may, in accordance with regulations made under section 411,—

(a)

require a person who contacts MSD requesting financial assistance under this Act or that person’s spouse or partner (if any) to undertake 1 or more pre-benefit activities; and

(b)

impose consequences for non-compliance, without a good and sufficient reason, with a requirement to undertake the 1 or more pre-benefit activities.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 11E, 11G, 11H

170 MSD must explain requirements

MSD must take reasonable and appropriate steps to make every person on whom any requirements are placed under regulations made under section 411 (the regulations) aware of the following:

(a)

the person’s obligations (as set out in the regulations) in relation to the requirements; and

(b)

the consequences (as set out in the regulations) of failure to comply with the requirements; and

(c)

when a requirement is to be, or has been, revoked, and when the revocation takes, or took, effect.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 11F

Factors affecting benefits: insurance recovery

171 Benefit may be subject to repayment of insurance payment

MSD may, in accordance with regulations made under section 412, make the grant of a benefit or the rate of the benefit subject to repayment to MSD of all or part of an insurance payment of a kind or description, or that falls within a class or definition, prescribed by those regulations.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 68A

Factors reducing benefits: entitlement to overseas pensions

172 Interpretation

In this section and in sections 173 to 175,—

NZ benefits legislation means all or any of the following enactments:

(a)

this Act:

(b)

Part 1 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001:

(c)

Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014

overseas pension means a benefit, pension, or periodical allowance, or any part of it, that is granted elsewhere than in New Zealand but excludes a Government occupational pension (as defined in Schedule 2)

qualifying overseas pension

(a)

means an overseas pension determined by MSD to be part of a programme that

(i)

provides benefits, pensions, or periodical allowances for any of the contingencies for which benefits, pensions, or allowances may be paid under NZ benefits legislation; and

(ii)

is administered by or on behalf of the Government of the country from which the benefit, pension, or periodical allowance is received; and

(b)

excludes an overseas pension determined by MSD under regulations made under section 413 to be in the nature of compensation for death or injury, etc.

overseas pension means a benefit, pension, or periodical allowance, or any part of it, that

(a)

is granted elsewhere than in New Zealand; and

(b)

is determined by MSD to be a payment that is part of a programme that

(i)

provides benefits, pensions, or periodical allowances for any of the contingencies for which benefits, pensions, or allowances may be paid under NZ benefits legislation; and

(ii)

is administered by or on behalf of the Government of the country from which the benefit, pension, or periodical allowance is received; and

(c)

is not a Government occupational pension (as defined in Schedule 2); and

(d)

is not determined by MSD to be in the nature of, and paid for similar purposes as,

(i)

compensation for injury or death for which payment could be made under the Accident Compensation Act 2001 if the injury or death had occurred in New Zealand after the commencement of that Act; or

(ii)

a war pension or allowance granted under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 of a type that would not affect any recipient’s entitlement to a benefit under sections 18 and 183 to 185 of this Act unless the pension or allowance is a pension or payment granted under Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014; or

(iii)

a disability allowance.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 70(1), (1A), (1B), (2)

173 Persons affected by receipt of overseas pension

A person (P) is a person affected by the receipt of an overseas pension if P is a person who is qualified to receive a benefit under the NZ benefits legislation and—

(a)

P is entitled to receive or receives a qualifying an overseas pension in respect of any of the following persons:

(i)

P:

(ii)

P’s spouse or partner:

(iii)

any dependant of P; or

(b)

P’s spouse or partner is entitled to receive or receives a qualifying an overseas pension; or

(c)

any of P’s dependant or dependants is entitled to receive or receives a qualifying an overseas pension.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 70(1)(a)

174 Benefit of person affected is reduced by amount of overseas pension

(1)

The rate of the benefit or benefits that would otherwise be payable under the NZ benefits legislation to a person affected by the receipt of an overseas pension must be reduced by the amount of the overseas pension as determined by MSD under regulations made under section 413.

(2)

Subsection (1) does not apply to—

(a)

New Zealand superannuation payable overseas under section 26 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; or

(b)

a veteran’s pension payable overseas under section 182 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 70(1)

175 MSD may enter into arrangement with person affected by receipt of overseas pension

MSD may, in accordance with regulations made under section 413, enter into an arrangement with a person affected by the receipt of an overseas pension (P) to pay P the rate of a benefit or benefits under the NZ benefits legislation in consideration of MSD receiving an amount that is equivalent to the amount of the overseas pension in question.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 70(3)–(4)

175A Treatment of certain overseas benefits, pensions, and allowances that are not overseas pensions

(1)

This section applies to a benefit, pension, or periodical allowance, or any part of it, that

(a)

is granted elsewhere than in New Zealand; and

(b)

is administered by or on behalf of the Government of the country from which the benefit, pension, or periodical allowance is received; and

(c)

is determined by MSD to be in the nature of, and paid for similar purposes as,

(i)

compensation for injury or death for which payment could be made under the Accident Compensation Act 2001 if the injury or death had occurred in New Zealand after the commencement of that Act; or

(ii)

a war pension or allowance granted under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 of a type that would not affect any recipient’s entitlement to a benefit under sections 18 and 183 to 185 of this Act unless the pension or allowance is a pension or payment granted under Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014; or

(iii)

a disability allowance.

(2)

MSD must treat a benefit, pension, or periodical allowance, or any part of it, to which this section applies as if it were in fact the relevant compensation, pension, or allowance specified in subsection (1)(c) (see, for example, sections 18, 77, and 183 to 185).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 70(1)

Factors reducing benefits: failure to assist child support

176 MSD must reduce rates of benefits for sole parents for failure to assist child support

(1)

This section applies to any person (P) who—

(a)

is a sole parent; and

(b)

receives one of the following benefits:

(i)

sole parent support:

(ii)

a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness:

(iii)

jobseeker support (except jobseeker support granted under section 25(3) or (4)):

(iv)

a young parent payment:

(v)

an exceptional circumstances benefit.

(2)

MSD must reduce the benefit in subsection (1)(b) payable to P in respect of each dependent child in P’s care for whom P is not receiving a supported child payment by the prescribed amount (see section 397(1)(h)) if P fails or refuses to do any of the following things:

(a)

identify who is in law the other parent of the child:

(b)

apply for formula assessment of child support as required by section 9 of the Child Support Act 1991:

(c)

testify against the other parent as required by section 122 of the Child Support Act 1991give in evidence, in a proceeding under the Child Support Act 1991, all information that is required of P as a compellable witness under section 122 of that Act.

(3)

Subsection (2) is overridden by section 177.

(4)

If P’s failure or refusal to do anything referred to in subsection (2) resulted in the reduction of P’s benefit, and P subsequently does that thing, the reduction of benefit under subsection (2) ceases to apply.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 70A(1), (2), (4)

177 No reduction in certain cases

(1)

MSD must not reduce a benefit under section 176(2) if MSD is satisfied that—

(a)

there is insufficient evidence available to establish who is in law the other parent; or

(b)

the beneficiary is taking active steps to identify who is in law the other parent; or

(c)

the beneficiary or any of the beneficiary’s children would be at risk of violence if the beneficiary did or took steps to do any of the things referred to in section 176(2); or

(d)

the child was conceived as a result of incest or sexual violation; or

(e)

there is some other compelling circumstance for the beneficiary’s failure or refusal to do any of the things referred to in section 176(2) and in any event there is no real likelihood of child support being collected in the foreseeable future from the other parent or the other parent’s estate.

(2)

In subsection (1)(c), violence has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Domestic Violence Act 1995.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 70A(3), (9)

178 Additional reduction in certain cases

(1)

This section applies where MSD has reduced a benefit under section 176(2).

(2)

MSD must further reduce the benefit by an additional amount prescribed by regulations made under section 397(1)(h) if—

(a)

a period of least 13 weeks has elapsed since the benefit was first reduced under section 176(2); and

(b)

during that period MSD has given the beneficiary a reasonable opportunity to do the thing that (because of the beneficiary’s refusal or failure to do that thing) resulted in the reduction; and

(c)

the beneficiary continues to refuse or fail to do that thing.

(3)

An additional reduction under this section stops when a reduction under section 176(2) stops.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 70A(5), (6), (8)

Factors affecting eligibility for benefit: shared care of dependent child

179 Shared care of dependent child

(1)

This section applies if—

(a)

the parents of a dependent child live apart; and

(b)

both parents receive benefits; and

(c)

each parent has the primary responsibility for the care of the child for at least 40% of the time.

(2)

In assessing the benefit and rate of benefit of each parent, MSD must take the child into account treat the child as a dependent child in assessing the benefit and rate of the primary primarily responsible parent only.

(3)

In subsection (2), the primary primarily responsible parent is—

(a)

the parent who MSD decides has the greater responsibility for the child; or

(b)

if MSD is unable to make a decision under paragraph (a), the parent who MSD decides was the child’s principal caregiver immediately before the parents began living apart; or

(c)

if MSD is unable to make a decision under paragraph (a) or (b), the parent who the parents agree is the primary primarily responsible parent.

(4)

If the primary primarily responsible parent cannot be identified under subsection (3), MSD must not take the child into account in assessing the benefit and rate of benefit of either parent until the parents agree who is the primary primarily responsible parent.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 70B(1), (3), (4)

180 Rules for assessing which parent has greater responsibility for dependent child

For the purposes of deciding under section 179(3)(a) which parent has greater responsibility for the child, MSD must have regard primarily to the time that the child is in the care of each parent and then to the following factors:

(a)

how the responsibility for decisions about the daily activities of the child is shared; and

(b)

who is responsible for taking the child to and from school and supervising that child’s leisure activities; and

(c)

how decisions about the education or health care of the child are made; and

(d)

the financial arrangements for the child’s material support; and

(e)

which parent pays for which expenses of the child.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 70B(2)

Factors reducing benefits: compensation or damages

181 Effect of compensation or damages on application for benefit

(1)

This section applies if—

(a)

a person (P) applies for a benefit; and

(b)

P has been paid or has a claim for compensation or damages from any other person in respect of—

(i)

any disability caused by accident or disease; or

(ii)

wrongful or unjustifiable dismissal.

(2)

If P has been paid compensation or damages, MSD may refuse the benefit or grant a reduced benefit for the period of disability or loss of expectation of employment for which the compensation or damages have been paid or deemed by MSD to have been paid.

(3)

If P has a claim for compensation or damages, MSD may grant the benefit on the condition that MSD may require P to repay MSD all or part of the benefit out of the compensation or damages that are paid to P as a result of the claim.

(4)

If a benefit or part of a benefit is granted on the condition set out in subsection (3), the benefit or the part of it—

(a)

constitutes a charge on the compensation or damages; and

(b)

is a debt due to Crown under regulations made under section 423 from the beneficiary or any person liable for the payment of the compensation or damages; and

(c)

is subject to recovery under regulations made under section 423 from the beneficiary or any person liable for the payment of the compensation or damages.

(5)

In this section, compensation or damages

(a)

includes any ex gratia payment made in settlement or on account of a claim for compensation or damages; but

(b)

does not include any impairment lump sum received under Schedule 1 of the Accident Compensation Act 2001.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 71

182 Loss of earnings compensation under Accident Compensation Act 2001

(1)

This section applies if—

(a)

a person (P) is entitled to a specified benefit as defined in subsection (3); and

(b)

either of the following persons is entitled to receive or receives weekly loss of earnings compensation:

(i)

P, on P’s own account or in respect of P’s spouse or partner or of P’s dependent child:

(ii)

P’s spouse or partner.

(2)

MSD must reduce the rate of the specified benefit payable to P by the amount of weekly loss of earnings compensation received by P or P’s spouse or partner (unless this subsection does not apply because of the exception in clause 28A of Schedule 1).

(3)

In this section,—

specified benefit means a main benefit under this Act, a supported child’s payment, and a veteran’s pension subject to abatement under section 171 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014

weekly loss of earnings compensation means weekly compensation for loss of earnings or loss of potential earning capacity payable to a person under the Accident Compensation Act 2001.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 71A(1)–(3)

Factors affecting benefit: veteran’s entitlement

183 Veteran’s entitlement excludes any other benefit

(1)

A person (P) who is granted an entitlement under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 or in respect of whom an entitlement under that Act is payable is not entitled to any other benefit under this Act.

(2)

Subsection (1) is subject to section 184.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 72(b)

184 Exceptions to rule that veteran’s entitlement excludes any other benefit

(1)

Section 183(1) does not apply if the entitlement under the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 is any of the following:

(a)

a pension or allowance granted to P on the ground of P’s disablement:

(b)

a pension or allowance under Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014:

(c)

a surviving spouse or partner pension granted under Part 3 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014:

(d)

an allowance for services rendered as an attendant on a disabled member of the New Zealand or any other Commonwealth forces or of the Emergency Reserve Corps or of the New Zealand mercantile marine.

(2)

Section 183(1) does not exclude a person who is paid a children’s pension under section 72 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 from eligibility for any of the following benefits:

(a)

a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness:

(b)

jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability:

(c)

a youth payment or young parent payment granted to a person who qualifies for an exemption from the obligation to undertake education or training or work-based learning (as defined in section 147(4)) on the ground of the person’s health condition (for example, sickness), injury, or disability:

(d)

a child disability allowance.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 72(b)

Factors affecting benefit: personal benefit excludes benefit on behalf

185 Personal benefit of spouse or partner excludes benefit on behalf of spouse or partner

(1)

This section applies to a part of a benefit if the part is payable in respect of a person’s (P’s) spouse or partner.

(2)

The part must not be paid for a period when a personal benefit is payable in respect of P’s spouse or partner.

(3)

This section is subject to regulations made under section 421(2)(f) (regulations: payments: apportionment) for the purposes of section 316 (how benefits are paid).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 72(c)

Factors affecting benefit: maintenance claim

186 MSD may refuse or cancel benefit for failure to take reasonable steps to obtain maintenance

(1)

This section applies if MSD is satisfied an applicant has failed to take reasonable steps to obtain, or has foregone rights to, maintenance the applicant may be entitled to in respect of the applicant under the Family Proceedings Act 1980 or any other Act.

(2)

MSD may refuse to grant a benefit, cancel or reduce a benefit already granted, or grant a benefit at a reduced rate.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 74(1)(e)

Factors affecting benefit: family protection claim

187 MSD may refuse or cancel benefit if family protection claim not pursued

(1)

This section applies if a person (P) who is a beneficiary or an applicant for a benefit, in MSD’s view,—

(a)

has a tenable claim under the Family Protection Act 1955 for a share of or provision out of the estate of a deceased relative; and

(b)

has failed to take reasonable steps to advance that claim, including bringing or participating in court proceedings to enforce P’s claim.

(2)

MSD may refuse to grant the benefit, grant it at a reduced rate, or cancel a benefit already granted.

(3)

MSD may intervene in court proceedings for enforcing P’s claim under the Family Protection Act 1955 and may give evidence or make submissions in support of P’s claim.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 73

Factors affecting benefit: person not ordinarily resident in New Zealand

188 MSD may refuse or cancel benefit if person not ordinarily resident in New Zealand

(1)

MSD may refuse to grant a benefit, cancel or reduce a benefit already granted, or grant a benefit at a reduced rate, if MSD is satisfied that the applicant, or the spouse or partner of the applicant or any person in respect of whom the benefit or any part of the benefit is or would be payable, is not ordinarily resident in New Zealand.

(2)

This section does not apply to—

(a)

New Zealand superannuation payable to a person resident in a specified Pacific country under section 31 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001 (see section 35(2) of that Act); or

(b)

a veteran’s pension payable to a person resident in a specified Pacific country under section 191 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014 (see section 195(2) of that Act).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 74(1)(a); 2001 No 84 s 35(2); 2014 No 56 s 195(2)

Factors affecting benefit: refugee or protected person status

189 Refugee or protected person status

(1)

This section applies if MSD is satisfied that a person (P) is any of the following:

(a)

a person lawfully present in New Zealand who is awaiting the outcome of the person’s claim for recognition as a refugee or a protected person:

(b)

a person who is recognised as a refugee or protected person:

(c)

a person applying for a residence class visa under the Immigration Act 2009 who is compelled to remain in New Zealand because of unforeseen circumstances.

(2)

MSD may grant P—

(a)

an exceptional circumstances benefit under section 59:

(b)

temporary additional support under section 82.

(3)

This section overrides section 16 (residential requirement) and section 19 (general limitation on receiving benefit: persons unlawfully resident or present in New Zealand and persons holding temporary entry class visa).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 74A(1A), (1B)

Factors affecting benefit: hospitalisation

190 Hospitalisation

(1)

The main benefit under this Act of a person (P) is affected by hospitalisation if P—

(a)

is in hospital for a period of more than 13 weeks; and

(b)

has a spouse or partner but no dependent children or is single.

(2)

The rate of P’s benefit after the 13th week is the rate specified in Part 10 of Schedule 4 except that MSD may pay P a higher rate after taking into account P’s personal financial circumstances.

(3)

The rate of benefit that is paid to P under subsection (2) is not affected by any absence or absences from hospital of P—

(a)

after the 13th week of hospitalisation; and

(b)

lasting no longer than 28 days.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 75(2)–(4), (6)

191 Benefit of spouse or partner increased after 13th week of hospitalisation

(1)

This section applies if—

(a)

a person’s (P’s) main benefit under this Act is reduced under section 190; and

(b)

P has a spouse or partner who is not in hospital or has been in hospital for less than 13 weeks; and

(c)

a main benefit under this Act is payable to or in respect of P’s spouse or partner.

(2)

On the reduction of P’s benefit, the main benefit under this Act of the spouse or partner must be increased with effect from the date of reduction by an amount equal to the difference between—

(a)

the maximum rate of benefit payable to a single person; and

(b)

the maximum rate of benefit payable in respect of a person who has a spouse or partner and whose spouse or partner is receiving a benefit.

(3)

Nothing in this section entitles a single person or a couple who are married or in a civil union or in a de facto relationship to be paid a greater amount of benefit, as a result of hospitalisation, than would otherwise have been payable.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 75(5), (7)

Factors affecting benefit: alcohol and drug treatment

192 Beneficiary resident in institution for treatment of alcoholism or drug addiction

(1)

This section applies if a person (P) is—

(a)

a beneficiary; and

(b)

a resident of an institution for the treatment of alcoholism or drug addiction.

(2)

The rate of any benefit payable to P while a resident of the institution is determined by MSD after taking into account P’s personal financial circumstances.

(3)

In subsection (1), institution for the treatment of alcoholism or drug addiction means an institution certified under the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act 1966 (the 1966 Act) (not being a psychiatric security institution within the meaning of the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992) or any institution that fulfils a similar purpose to an institution certified under the 1966 Act.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 75A

Factors affecting benefit: issue of warrant for beneficiary’s arrest

193 Benefit not payable to person who is subject to warrant of arrest

(1)

A benefit is not payable to a person (P) if MSD is satisfied that—

(a)

P is a beneficiary who receives a main benefit under this Act, New Zealand superannuation, or a veteran’s pension; and

(b)

criminal proceedings have been commenced against P in a New Zealand court for an offence; and

(c)

a warrant has been issued by a New Zealand court (or judge or registrar of a New Zealand court) for P’s arrest in connection with those proceedings; and

(d)

the warrant has not been resolved and at least 28 days have elapsed since the date on which the warrant was issued.

(2)

However, MSD must not stop under this section payment of P’s benefit unless MSD has first—

(a)

followed the procedure set out in sections 195 and 196; and

(b)

considered P’s response, if any, to the unresolved warrant notice given under section 195.

(3)

A benefit the payment of which is stopped under this section remains not payable until MSD is satisfied that P is not the subject of the warrant or that the warrant has been resolved.

(4)

Nothing in this section affects the power of MSD to suspend immediately the benefit of a person under section 197.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 75B(1), (6)

194 Beneficiary and offence defined for section 193

In section 193,—

beneficiary excludes a person who is 1 of the following:

(a)

a young person (as defined in section 2(1) of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989):

(b)

a person who falls within a class, description, or kind of beneficiary that is excluded from the operation of section 193 by regulations made under section 414

offence excludes an offence of a class, description, or kind excluded from the operation of section 193 by regulations made under section 414.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 75B(2)

195 MSD must give beneficiary notice of unresolved warrant

As soon as practicable after MSD is notified of the issue of the warrant, MSD must give P a notice for the purposes of this section (an unresolved warrant notice) that complies with section 196.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 75B(3)

196 Requirements for unresolved warrant notice

(1)

An unresolved warrant notice must—

(a)

specify a period of 10 working days within which the person to whom the notice is delivered (P) may—

(i)

dispute that P is the person to whom the warrant applies; or

(ii)

take steps to resolve the warrant; and

(b)

specify the steps that P may take to dispute that P is the subject of the warrant or to resolve the warrant; and

(c)

specify the consequences if P fails to resolve the warrant within the 10-working day period.

(2)

An unresolved warrant notice that involves information supplied by the Ministry of Justice under clause 15 of Schedule 6 may be combined with a notice of adverse action given under section 103(1) of the Privacy Act 1993.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 75B(3), (4)

197 Immediate suspension of benefit at request of New Zealand Police

MSD may suspend immediately a benefit payable to a person (P) if—

(a)

MSD is satisfied that—

(i)

criminal proceedings have been commenced against P in a New Zealand court for an offence; and

(ii)

a warrant has been issued in New Zealand for P’s arrest in connection with those proceedings; and

(iii)

the warrant has not been resolved; and

(b)

the New Zealand Police have given MSD a written notice that—

(i)

states that the Commissioner of Police considers on reasonable grounds that P is a risk to public safety; and

(ii)

requests MSD on the ground of that risk to suspend the benefit payable to P; and

(iii)

is signed by the Commissioner or by a constable who occupies a position of the level of inspector or above.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 75B(7)

198 Beneficiary and offence defined for section 197

In section 197,—

beneficiary excludes a person who is 1 of the following:

(a)

a young person (as defined in section 2(1) of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989):

(b)

a person who falls within a class, description, or kind of beneficiary that is excluded from the operation of section 197 by regulations made under section 414

offence excludes an offence of a class, description, or kind excluded from the operation of section 197 by regulations made under section 414.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 75B(2)

199 MSD must give beneficiary notice of immediate suspension

(1)

This section applies if under section 197 MSD suspends immediately a benefit payable to a person (P).

(2)

As soon as reasonably practicable, MSD must give P a written notice that—

(a)

states that the benefit has been suspended; and

(b)

states the reason for the suspension; and

(c)

specifies the steps that P may take to dispute that P is the subject of the warrant or to resolve the warrant.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 75B(8)

200 Effect of non-payment or suspension of benefit

(1)

The following sections apply to a benefit (as if it had been suspended under section 215) that is not payable under section 193 or is suspended under section 197:

(a)

section 213:

(b)

section 228:

(c)

section 229:

(d)

section 231.

(2)

However, section 228 (which protects a spouse or partner) ceases to apply under subsection (1)(b) to the benefit at the close of the 28th day after the date on which it becomes not payable or is suspended.

(3)

Subsection (1)(b) does not apply if—

(a)

the person whose benefit is suspended under section 197 is not receiving a main benefit under this Act; or

(b)

the spouse or partner of the person whose benefit is suspended under section 197 is receiving a main benefit under this Act in the spouse’s or partner’s own right.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 75B(9), (10)

Factors affecting benefit: custody in prison or on remand

201 Benefit not payable during custody in prison or on remand

(1)

A benefit is not payable to a person (P) for any period during which P is—

(a)

in custody in prison; or

(b)

in custody on remand; or

(c)

an escapee from custody in prison.

(2)

In this section and section 202,—

custody in prison means custody in prison under a sentence of imprisonment or preventive detention

custody on remand means custody on remand by a court pending a further appearance before a court.

(3)

For the purposes of this section,—

(a)

MSD may regard as time spent in custody in prison or custody on remand time spent by a beneficiary in a hospital during a period of custody; and

(b)

a person does not cease to be in custody by being released for a period of 24 hours or less for a purpose authorised by the Corrections Act 2004.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 76(1), (5), (6)

202 Exceptions to rule that benefit not payable during custody in prison or on remand

(1)

MSD may continue payment to a beneficiary of New Zealand superannuation or a veteran’s pension for 2 pay days after the first day of custody in prison.

(2)

MSD may pay all or part of a benefit to—

(a)

the spouse or partner of a person in custody in prison or of an escapee from that custody; or

(b)

any responsible person for the benefit of—

(i)

that spouse or partner; or

(ii)

the dependent child or children of a person in custody in prison or of an escapee from that custody.

(3)

MSD may pay all or part of a benefit to a beneficiary in custody on remand after taking into account the beneficiary’s personal financial circumstances.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 76(2)–(4)

Factors affecting benefit: absence from New Zealand

203 General rule: benefit not payable while beneficiary absent from New Zealand

(1)

For any period during which a person is absent from New Zealand, a benefit is not payable to that person.

(2)

However, this section does not apply to a benefit payable under—

(a)

sections 21 to 35 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; or

(b)

sections 176 to 196 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014; or

(c)

any reciprocity agreement with another country adopted by an order made under section 359.

(3)

This section is also subject to the exceptions, or other contrary or related provisions, contained in regulations made under section 415.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 77; 2001 No 84 s 35(2); 2014 No 56 s 195(2)

Factors affecting benefit: additional dependent child

204 Purpose of sections 205 to 207

(1)

The purpose of sections 205 to 207 is to improve the financial and social outcomes for families that include people to whom those sections apply.

(2)

Sections 205 to 207 achieve their purpose—

(a)

by providing earlier access to employment services and expectations; and

(b)

while recognising the care and development needs of children.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60GAD

205 Additional dependent child must not be taken into account in certain cases

(1)

This section applies when a person (P)—

(a)

receives 1 of the following benefits (whether in P’s own right or as the spouse or partner of the person granted the benefit):

(i)

sole parent support:

(ii)

a supported living payment:

(iii)

jobseeker support:

(iv)

an exceptional circumstances benefit; and

(b)

is the caregiver, or principal caregiver, of a dependent child or children; and

(c)

becomes the caregiver, or principal caregiver, of a dependent child (an additional dependent child) who is additional to the existing dependent child or children.

(2)

An additional dependent child aged 1 year or over is not a dependent child for the purposes of P’s eligibility for sole parent support (see section 30).

(3)

An additional dependent child aged 1 year or over is—

(a)

not a dependent child for the purposes of the criteria stated in section 107 for imposing work-preparation obligations on P or P’s spouse or partner under sections 106 to 111:

(b)

not a dependent child for the purposes of determining whether P or P’s spouse or partner falls within the definitions of any of the following terms (see Schedule 2):

(i)

part-time work-tested beneficiary:

(ii)

work-tested sole parent support beneficiary:

(iii)

work-tested spouse or partner.

(4)

Subsection (1) does not apply when—

(a)

P is the resident of another country; and

(b)

there is in force under section 359 an order declaring that the provisions contained in an agreement (for example, a convention) with the government of that other country set out in a schedule of the order have force and effect so far as they relate to New Zealand.

(5)

In applying subsection (32) to a beneficiary for the purposes only of determining that person’s eligibility for sole parent support, in a case where the beneficiary’s sole parent support expired on the date that the beneficiary’s youngest child turned 14 years old and has been replaced with jobseeker support, “An additional dependent child aged 1 year or over” must be read as “An additional dependent child at all times after that child is born”.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60GAE(1), (1A), (2), (3A)

206 Extended application of additional dependent child rules

(1)

MSD may apply the additional dependent child rules in section 205(2) and (3) in relation to any dependent child or children of whom a person (P) who already has any dependent child or children becomes a caregiver, or the principal caregiver, if MSD is satisfied that—

(a)

P’s situation is analogous to that of a person to whom section 205(1) applies; or

(b)

to apply those rules will best achieve the purpose stated in section 204.

(2)

An example of a situation that is analogous to that of a person to whom section 205(1) applies is that of a woman who gives birth during a period when the woman has temporarily ceased receiving a benefit (whether the woman has ceased receiving the benefit in the woman’s own right, or as the spouse or partner of the person granted the benefit).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60GAE(4), (5)

207 Limited application of additional dependent child rules

MSD may elect (for any period MSD thinks fit) not to apply the additional dependent child rules in section 205(2) and (3) in relation to any additional dependent child or children if MSD is satisfied in any particular case that—

(a)

not to apply those rules will best achieve the purpose stated in section 204; or

(b)

there are circumstances beyond the control of the beneficiary parent concerned making it inappropriate or unreasonable to apply those rules.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60GAF

Factors affecting benefit: voluntary unemployment or loss of employment through misconduct, etc

208 Basic rule: no work-tested benefit for 13 weeks after leaving employment or scheme or loss of employment due to misconduct

(1)

A person is not entitled to a work-tested benefit for a period of 13 weeks after ceasing employment if MSD is satisfied that the person has—

(a)

left that employment voluntarily without good and sufficient reason; or

(b)

lost that employment because of misconduct as an employee.

(2)

A person is not entitled to a work-tested benefit for a period of 13 weeks after ceasing to participate in a scheme if MSD is satisfied that the person—

(a)

has been receiving payments under the scheme and has voluntarily ceased to participate in the scheme without good and sufficient reason; or

(b)

has ceased to participate in the scheme because of misconduct.

(3)

This section is subject to section 302.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60H(3), (4)

209 Persons to whom basic rule applies

The basic rule applies to the following persons:

(a)

a work-tested beneficiary:

(b)

an applicant for a benefit who would become a work-tested beneficiary if the benefit were granted:

(c)

the spouse or partner of an applicant for a couple rate of benefit who would become a work-tested spouse or partner if the benefit were granted:

(d)

an applicant for jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability who has the capacity for part-time work.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s s 60H(2)

210 What happens if basic rule applies

(1)

If the basic rule applies to a person (P),—

(a)

MSD must cancel the benefit (if granted); and

(b)

must not grant P the benefit in any other case; and

(c)

P is not entitled, during the 13-week period, to the cancelled benefit or a work-tested benefit.

(2)

However, under section 211 MSD may decide not to apply subsection (1).

(3)

Subsection (1) is subject to sections 229 to 231, 299, 302, and 303.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60H(4), (5)

211 MSD’s options in case of misconduct

(1)

If the basic rule applies to a person (P) because of misconduct, MSD has 2 additional options:

(a)

MSD may decide that the basic rule should not apply to P; or

(b)

MSD may decide that the benefit should be paid to P, or paid without reduction, subject to the condition that MSD may require P to repay the benefit or part of it if a court or person or body authorised by law to determine the matter determines the misconduct to be proved.

(2)

Any amount that MSD requires P to repay under subsection (1)(b) is a debt due to the Crown under regulations made under section 423 and may be recovered from P under regulations made under section 423.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60H(6), (7)

212 Interpretation

For the purposes of this section and sections 208 to 211,—

basic rule means the rule set out in section 208

benefit means a work-tested benefit

employment,—

(a)

in the case of an applicant for a work-tested benefit, means—

(i)

full-time employment; or

(ii)

part-time employment if MSD is satisfied that, for a period of not less than 13 weeks preceding the termination of the employment, the income from that employment was sufficient to maintain the person; and

(b)

in the case of a part-time work-tested beneficiary, means regular part-time work; and

(c)

in the case of any other work-tested beneficiary, means full-time employment; but

(d)

does not include redundancy

scheme means a Government-assisted scheme that MSD considers analogous to a benefit.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60H(1)

Factors affecting benefits: non-entitlement period, stand down, or 100% suspension of benefit

213 How non-entitlement period, etc, affects supplementary benefits, and spouse or partner

(1)

This section applies while a person is subject to—

(a)

a non-entitlement period; or

(b)

a stand down under section 296 (start and calculation of stand-down period); or

(c)

a sanction of suspension of 100% of a benefit under section 220, 253, or 261.

(2)

The person is not entitled to receive—

(a)

an exceptional circumstances benefit; or

(b)

an accommodation supplement; or

(c)

temporary additional support.

(3)

However, an accommodation supplement that an applicant was receiving immediately before the applicant applied for a benefit continues, despite subsections (1)(b) and (2)(b), at the same rate for the period of non-entitlement.

(4)

If a person’s spouse or partner is under section 296 (start and calculation of stand-down period) not entitled to a benefit, then (under this subsection, and despite any contrary provision of this Act) the person is also not entitled to the benefit.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 80C

Part 5 Enforcement: sanctions and offences

Contents

214What this Part does
215Sanctions for failure to comply with certain obligations under this Act
216Obligations that carry sanction for failure to comply
217Hierarchy of sanctions
218Failure, and first, second, and third failure, defined for obligations other than young person or young parent obligations
219Sanction for first failure: reduction in main benefit
220Sanction for second failure: suspension of main benefit
221Sanction for third failure: cancellation of main benefit
222Reduction or suspension of reduced benefit
223Failures that can be counted
224Meaning of continuous payment
225Failures that cannot be counted
226Exclusion of sanction if failure is subject of prosecution under Education Act 1989
227Variation for failure to comply with work-test obligation to accept offer of suitable employment
228Variation for breach of work-test obligation by 1 spouse or partner
229Variation for breach of work-test obligation by both partners or spouses
230Variation for suspension or cancellation of benefit or non-entitlement period affecting couple with 1 or more dependent children
231Variation for suspension or cancellation of main benefit or non-entitlement period affecting sole parent
232Good and sufficient reason for non-compliance: default by MSD
233Good and sufficient reason for failure to comply with drug-testing obligation
234Good and sufficient reason for failure to supervise dependent child
235MSD must give notice of sanction
236Notice relates to single failure
237How notice of sanction may be given
238Breach of obligation in relation to dependent children: additional steps before notice may be given
239When reduction, suspension, or cancellation of benefit takes effect
240Request for evidential drug test if sanction imposed for failing screening drug test
241Effect of request for evidential drug test
242Effect of failure of evidential drug test
243Costs of evidential drug test
244How person recomplies after failure to comply with obligation
245Impossibility of remedying failure of work-test obligation
246How person recomplies after failure to comply with drug-testing obligation
247Drug testing for purposes of recompliance
248Failure of drug test for purposes of recompliance constitutes third failure
249Costs of drug testing for purposes of recompliance
250Case management support for beneficiary in breach of obligation in relation to dependent children
251Failure, and first, second, and third failure, defined for young person or young parent obligations
252Sanction for failure to comply with young person obligation
253Sanction for first or second failure: suspension of in-hand allowance and incentive payments
254Sanction for third failure: cancellation of youth payment and incentive payments
255Effect of cancellation of youth payment on accommodation supplement or temporary additional support
256Effect of cancellation of youth payment on exceptional circumstances benefit
257Effect of cancellation of youth payment on disability allowance or child disability allowance
258Sanctions for failure by young person required to receive youth services to comply with obligations: money management
259Sanctions for failure by young person required to receive youth services to comply with obligations: other cases
259ASanctions for failure by young spouse or partner of specified beneficiary to comply with obligations: money management
259BSanctions for failure by young spouse or partner of specified beneficiary to comply with obligations: other cases
260Sanction for failure to comply with young parent obligation
261Sanction for first or second failure: suspension of in-hand allowance and incentive payments
262Sanction for third failure: cancellation of young parent payment and incentive payments
263Effect of cancellation of young parent payment
264Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on accommodation supplement or temporary additional support
265Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on exceptional circumstances benefit
266Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on disability allowance or child disability allowance
267How young person satisfies obligation after failure to comply
268Procedure for imposing sanctions for failure to comply with young person or young parent obligation
269Effect of regrant of youth payment on incentive payment
270MSD may cancel incentive payment
271Offences: false statements, misleading, or attempting to mislead, to receive or continue to receive benefits
272Offences: spouse or partner knowingly benefiting from excess amount obtained by beneficiary’s fraud
273Offence of demanding or accepting fee or other consideration in relation to grant of benefit
274Offence of demanding or accepting acknowledgement or undertaking
275General penalty for offences
276Time for filing charging document

Subpart 1—Guide to this Part

214 What this Part does

This Part sets out—

(a)

the sanctions that may be imposed for a breach of an obligation under this Act:

(b)

the offences that are created by this Act.

Subpart 2—Sanctions for breach of obligations other than young person or young parent obligations

Types of sanction

215 Sanctions for failure to comply with certain obligations under this Act

(1)

MSD must under section 217 impose a sanction for failure without good and sufficient reason to comply with the obligations under this Act that are specified in section 216.

(2)

The sanction is 1 of the following:

(a)

reduction in a main benefit:

(b)

suspension of a main benefit:

(c)

cancellation of a main benefit.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 116B

216 Obligations that carry sanction for failure to comply

The obligations referred to in section 215(1) are the following:

(a)

obligation to comply with a requirement under section 104 to attend and participate in a work ability assessment or reassessment:

(b)

obligation to comply with a work-preparation obligation under section 110 or 111:

(c)

obligation to comply with an obligation under sections 117 to 121 in relation to dependent children:

(d)

obligation to comply with a work-test obligation under section 130 or 132:

(e)

obligation to comply with a requirement under section 144(4) to attend an interview:

(f)

obligation to comply with a requirement under section 155(2) in relation to working with contracted service providers.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 116B

Hierarchy of sanctions

217 Hierarchy of sanctions

The sanction that MSD must impose is,—

(a)

for a first failure, reduction:

(b)

for a second failure, suspension:

(c)

for a third failure, cancellation.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 117

218 Failure, and first, second, and third failure, defined for obligations other than young person or young parent obligations

In this subpart,—

failure means a failure to comply with an obligation for which MSD must impose a sanction

first failure means the first failure to comply with an obligation for which MSD must impose a sanction

second failure means a failure that occurs after a person has recomplied with the obligation following a first failure

third failure means a failure that occurs after a person has recomplied with the obligation following a second failure.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 117

219 Sanction for first failure: reduction in main benefit

(1)

For a first failure by a person (P), MSD must—

(a)

reduce P’s main benefit by half until P recomplies; and

(b)

if P fails to recomply within 4 weeks after the initial reduction takes effect, reduce P’s main benefit to zero until P complies.

(2)

This section is subject to sections 228 to 231 and 299 to 303.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 117(1)(a)

220 Sanction for second failure: suspension of main benefit

(1)

For a second failure by a person (P), MSD must suspend P’s main benefit until P recomplies.

(2)

This section is subject to sections 228 to 231 and 299 to 303.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 117(1)(b)

221 Sanction for third failure: cancellation of main benefit

(1)

For a third failure by a person (P), MSD must cancel P’s main benefit.

(2)

On cancellation under this section of P’s main benefit,—

(a)

P is not entitled to receive any main benefit under this Act for 13 weeks from the date of cancellation; and

(b)

to be again entitled to a main benefit under this Act, P must apply for the benefit and establish that P is eligible for it.

(3)

This section is subject to sections 228 to 231 and 299 to 303.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 117(1)(c), (2), (3)

222 Reduction or suspension of reduced benefit

If a person’s specified benefit (as defined in section 310) is reduced under section 219 or suspended under section 220, and the person is regranted a specified benefit under section 315, the reduction or suspension continues to apply to the regranted specified benefit on and after its commencement until the person recomplies.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 117(4)

How number of failures is counted

223 Failures that can be counted

(1)

A failure can be counted if it occurs during a period of continuous payment of a main benefit, whether or not it is the same benefit.

(2)

For the purposes of subsection (1), MSD must treat as the same benefit:

(a)

a specified benefit that expires under section 311; and

(b)

a specified benefit regranted to the beneficiary under section 315.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 119(1)(a), (1A), (3A)

224 Meaning of continuous payment

(1)

For the purposes of section 223(1), 2 or more different main benefits paid to a beneficiary do not give rise to a period of continuous payment in respect of the beneficiary of those 2 or more different main benefits if—

(a)

one of those 2 or more different main benefits is a youth payment or a young parent payment; and

(b)

the other of, or (as the case may be) the rest of, those 2 or more different main benefits is 1 or more or all of sole parent support, supported living payment, jobseeker support, and exceptional circumstances benefit.

(2)

Subsection (1) does not affect section 223(1) applying (under section 268) with all necessary modifications to the imposition of sanctions under subpart 3 in respect of failures that—

(a)

are failures by a young person who is receiving a youth payment or a young parent payment; and

(b)

are failures, without good and sufficient reason, to comply with an obligation placed on the young person by section 147 or 149; and

(c)

occur during a period of continuous payment in respect of the young person of—

(i)

the same benefit (that is, a youth payment or a young parent payment); or

(ii)

2 or more different benefits (that is a youth payment and a young parent payment, in whatever sequence paid).

(3)

In determining whether a main benefit has been continuously paid, MSD must disregard any period during which the benefit was cancelled or suspended because the beneficiary commenced in employment that continued for less than 10 working days.

(4)

In subsection (3), working day means a day on which a person was required to work in the employment in question.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 119(1A), (1B), (3), (5)

225 Failures that cannot be counted

(1)

A failure cannot be counted if it occurred more than 12 months before the failure for which the calculation is made.

(2)

For the purposes of subsection (1), a failure occurs on the date MSD decides that the beneficiary has failed, without a good and sufficient reason, to comply with the appropriate obligation.

(3)

This section does not affect the implementation, after the 12-month period, of a sanction based on any prior calculation of the number of failures by a person to comply with the appropriate work-test obligation or other obligation imposed by this Act.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 119(1)(b)(ii), (2), (4)

Special cases: variations on ordinary sanctions rules

226 Exclusion of sanction if failure is subject of prosecution under Education Act 1989

MSD must not impose a sanction for a person’s failure to comply with the obligation under section 119(1) (which relates to the attendance of a dependent child aged 6 to 15 years at a registered school) if—

(a)

the failure is the subject of a prosecution against P for an offence under section 24(1) or 29(1) of the Education Act 1989, as the case may be; and

(b)

the prosecution has not been withdrawn before being finally resolved.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60RC(2)

227 Variation for failure to comply with work-test obligation to accept offer of suitable employment

(1)

MSD must, under section 221, cancel a main benefit for any failure to comply with the work-test obligation to accept any offer of suitable employment (see section 130(b)).

(2)

This section overrides sections 217 to 221.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 117(1B), (1C)

228 Variation for breach of work-test obligation by 1 spouse or partner

(1)

This section applies when—

(a)

a main benefit is payable at a work-test couple rate; and

(b)

the benefit is reduced, suspended, or cancelled under section 210 or 215; and

(c)

the reduction, suspension, or cancellation results from the failure of one spouse or partner to comply with a work-test obligation or results from the application of section 210.

(2)

In a case to which this section applies,—

(a)

the reduction, suspension, or cancellation applies to only half the applicable rate of main benefit before any abatement reduction on account of income; and

(b)

the other spouse or partner is entitled to receive half that rate (and the appropriate income test applies to that rate, but at half the abatement rate in that test).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 120(1)

229 Variation for breach of work-test obligation by both partners or spouses

(1)

This section applies when—

(a)

a main benefit is payable at a work-test couple rate; and

(b)

the benefit is reduced, suspended, or cancelled under section 210 or 215; and

(c)

the reduction, suspension, or cancellation results from the failure of both partners or spouses to comply with a work-test obligation or results from the application of section 210; and

(d)

the couple have no dependent children.

(2)

The reduction, suspension, or cancellation in respect of each spouse or partner applies to only half the applicable rate of main benefit before abatement reduction on account of income that is payable in respect of that spouse or partner.

(3)

Any amount of the main benefit payable to the spouses or partners after the reduction, suspension, or cancellation is applied is subject to the appropriate income test but at half the abatement rate under in that test.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 120(1A)

230 Variation for suspension or cancellation of benefit or non-entitlement period affecting couple with 1 or more dependent children

(1)

This section applies when—

(a)

a main benefit is payable at a work-test couple rate; and

(b)

the benefit is reduced, suspended, or cancelled under section 210 or 215; and

(c)

the reduction, suspension, or cancellation results from—

(i)

the failure of both spouses or partners to comply with 1 or more specified obligations under this Act; or

(ii)

the application of section 210 to both spouses or partners; and

(d)

the couple have 1 or more dependent children.

(2)

This section also applies when, under sections 208 and 210, a person with 1 or more dependent children who is in a relationship has not been granted a main benefit and is not entitled for a period of 13 weeks to a work-tested benefit that would be payable at the work-test couple rate.

(3)

In a case to which this section applies,—

(a)

the reduction, suspension, cancellation, or non-entitlement period applies to only half the applicable rate of main benefit before any abatement reduction on account of income; and

(b)

the spouses or partners are entitled to receive half that rate (and the appropriate income test applies to that rate).

(4)

Subsection (3)(b) is subject to regulations made under section 421(2)(f) (regulations: payments: apportionment) for the purposes of section 316 (how benefits are paid).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 120(2), (3)

231 Variation for suspension or cancellation of main benefit or non-entitlement period affecting sole parent

(1)

This section applies when the main benefit of a person (P) who is a sole parent is suspended or cancelled under section 210 or 215.

(2)

This section also applies when, under sections 208 and 210, a sole parent (P) has not been granted a main benefit and is not entitled for a period of 13 weeks to a work-tested benefit.

(3)

In a case to which this section applies,—

(a)

the suspension or cancellation applies to only half the applicable rate of main benefit before any abatement reduction on account of income; and

(b)

P is entitled during the period of suspension, cancellation, or non-entitlement to receive only half of that rate, and the appropriate income test applies to that rate but at half the abatement rate in that income test.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 121

Good and sufficient reason for non-compliance

232 Good and sufficient reason for non-compliance: default by MSD

A good and sufficient reason for failure to comply with a requirement or obligation set out in section 216 includes default by MSD if—

(a)

compliance was dependent on any assistance specified by MSD; and

(b)

MSD failed to provide that assistance, whether at all or to the extent or in the manner specified.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 116C(1)

233 Good and sufficient reason for failure to comply with drug-testing obligation

(1)

A person (P) has a good and sufficient reason for not complying with a drug-testing obligation, or for failing to apply for suitable employment that requires candidates to undertake drug tests, or for both, if MSD is satisfied that P—

(a)

is addicted to, or dependent on, 1 or more controlled drugs; or

(b)

is undertaking addiction treatment; or

(c)

is awaiting assessment for, or an opportunity to undertake, addiction treatment; or

(d)

is taking, in the dosage prescribed, a controlled drug lawfully prescribed for P by a health practitioner; or

(e)

falls within another ground or grounds prescribed for the purposes of this subsection by regulations made under section 397(1)(i).

(2)

In subsection (1), addiction treatment means treatment that—

(a)

is for addiction to, or dependence on, 1 or more controlled drugs; and

(b)

is provided by a health practitioner, or other person, who is professionally engaged in the treatment or rehabilitation of people who are using, or have used, controlled drugs; and

(c)

is of a kind approved by MSD.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 116C(2)

234 Good and sufficient reason for failure to supervise dependent child

A good and sufficient reason for failure to comply with an obligation under section 132(1)(d) includes supervision of a dependent child during hours when it would be unreasonable to expect a dependent child of the person in question to be without that person’s supervision.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 116C(3)

Procedure for imposing sanction

235 MSD must give notice of sanction

(1)

MSD must not under section 215 reduce, suspend, or cancel a benefit payable to a person (P) unless MSD has first given P a written notice for the purposes of this section (a section 235 notice) that complies with subsection (2).

(2)

The notice must—

(a)

state that P has failed to comply with a specified obligation under this Act; and

(b)

specify the nature of P’s failure to comply; and

(c)

state that, on the basis of P’s failure, MSD is reducing, suspending, or cancelling P’s benefit; and

(d)

specify the date on which the reduction, suspension, or cancellation is to take effect; and

(e)

in the case of a reduction or suspension, state the nature and duration of the reduction or suspension; and

(f)

state that P has 5 working days from the giving of the notice to dispute the reduction, suspension, or cancellation; and

(g)

advise P to contact MSD if P wants to dispute or discuss the decision to reduce, suspend, or cancel the benefit; and

(h)

contain a clear statement of P’s right, under section 370, to apply for a review of the decision, and of the procedure for applying for a review.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 113(1), (2)

236 Notice relates to single failure

(1)

A notice of a sanction given to a person (P) may specify more than 1 instance of failure.

(2)

Each specified instance may relate to the same obligation, or to 2 or more different obligations.

(3)

However, for the purposes of imposing a sanction, the combined specified instances are (if at least 2 of them are not disputed by P) treated as a single failure.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 113(2A), 117(1AA)

237 How notice of sanction may be given

(1)

MSD may give a person (P) a section 235 notice—

(a)

by delivering it to P personally; or

(b)

by delivering it to P by electronic means; or

(c)

by leaving it—

(i)

at P’s usual or last known place of residence or business; or

(ii)

at the address given in the most recent application or other document received by MSD from P; or

(d)

by posting it in a letter addressed to P at that place of residence or business or at that address.

(2)

The notice is given to P when it is delivered, left, or posted, as the case may be.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 114

238 Breach of obligation in relation to dependent children: additional steps before notice may be given

MSD must not give a person (P) a section 235 notice in relation to a failure to comply with an obligation in relation to dependent children under sections 117 to 121 unless MSD is satisfied that, on at least 3 previous occasions, MSD has had communication (of any kind, and in any manner) with P in respect of P’s compliance with, or an actual or potential failure of P to comply with, any obligation P has under sections 117 to 121.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60RC(3)

239 When reduction, suspension, or cancellation of benefit takes effect

The reduction, suspension, or cancellation of a benefit under section 215 must not take effect before the close of the 5 working days specified in the section 235 notice in accordance with section 235(2)(f).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 113(3)

Evidential drug test

240 Request for evidential drug test if sanction imposed for failing screening drug test

(1)

A person (P) who has failed a screening drug test and has been given a section 235 notice (the section 235 notice) of a sanction on the basis of failing that test may request that P’s sample taken for the screening drug test be subjected to an evidential drug test.

(2)

P’s request for an evidential drug test—

(a)

must be in writing in a form approved by MSD for the purpose; and

(b)

must include the necessary consents and authorisations; and

(c)

may be made only after P has disputed the sanction specified in the section 235 notice in accordance with section 235(2)(f); and

(d)

must be made within a reasonable period, as specified by MSD, of disputing the sanction.

(3)

In this section and in section 241, necessary consents and authorisations means any consent or authority—

(a)

of any employer, training provider, or drug-testing provider; and

(b)

that MSD specifies as necessary for arranging the evidential drug test and providing the result to MSD.

(4)

This section is subject to section 135(1) (which provides that a person is taken to have failed an evidential drug test requested under this section if the person fails a screening test and waives an associated evidential drug test).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 102D(1)–(4)

241 Effect of request for evidential drug test

(1)

A request by a person (P) for an evidential drug test that complies with the requirements set out in section 240(2) has the following effect until the result of the test is notified to MSD:

(a)

any sanction imposed on P under section 215 for failing the associated prior screening drug test is suspended:

(b)

any failure for the purposes of sections 223(1) and 245 based on P failing the associated prior screening drug test is suspended:

(c)

P is not liable under section 243 for the actual and reasonable costs (if any) of P’s associated prior screening drug test that have been reimbursed to the employer under section 137.

(2)

If a request for an evidential drug test does not comply with the requirements set out in section 240(2), MSD may proceed to impose the appropriate sanction as if the request had not been made.

(3)

This section is subject to section 135(1) (which provides that a person is taken to have failed an evidential drug test requested under section 240 if the person fails a screening test and waives an associated evidential drug test).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 102D(5), (6)

242 Effect of failure of evidential drug test

Failure of an evidential drug test that is requested by a person under section 240 must be treated for the purposes of section 216(d) as a new failure of the beneficiary’s work-test obligations.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 102D(8)

243 Costs of evidential drug test

(1)

MSD must pay the actual and reasonable costs incurred by a drug-testing provider in doing an evidential drug test arranged by MSD in accordance with a request under section 240.

(2)

If a person (P) fails an evidential drug test arranged by MSD in accordance with a request under section 240, the following are a debt due to the Crown from P for the purpose of regulations made under section 423:

(a)

the actual and reasonable costs incurred by a drug-testing provider in doing that evidential drug test; and

(b)

the actual and reasonable costs (if any) reimbursed to the employer under section 137 of P’s associated prior screening drug test.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 102C(6), 102D(7), (9)

Recompliance

244 How person recomplies after failure to comply with obligation

(1)

A person (P) recomplies after a failure to comply with an obligation if P remedies the failure.

(2)

If a section 235 notice specifies more than 1 failure of the same obligation, or a failure of more than 1 obligation, P recomplies if P remedies all the failures.

(3)

This section does not apply to recompliance with a drug-testing obligation.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 122(1)

245 Impossibility of remedying failure of work-test obligation

If it is impossible to remedy a failure to comply with a work-test obligation, a person (P) recomplies if P undertakes, to MSD’s satisfaction, an activity that is the same as, or substantially similar to, the activity that P failed to undertake under the work-test obligation in question.

Compare: 1964 No 122(2)

246 How person recomplies after failure to comply with drug-testing obligation

(1)

In this section, drug test failure means a failure by a person (P) to comply with a drug-testing obligation.

(2)

In the case of a first drug test failure within a 12–month period, P recomplies if P undertakes, in a manner that is satisfactory to MSD, not to use any controlled drugs (except any particular controlled drugs that are lawfully prescribed, and only at the dosage that is lawfully prescribed, for P by a health practitioner).

(3)

In the case of a second drug test failure within a 12-month period of the first failure, P recomplies if P undertakes, in manner satisfactory to MSD, to undergo drug-testing in accordance with section 247.

(4)

MSD must take reasonable and appropriate steps to make a person who has given an undertaking under subsection (3) aware of the following matters:

(a)

the consequences of failing to comply with the undertaking; and

(b)

the location of an appropriate drug-testing provider; and

(c)

the matters in sections 247(5) and 249 (which relate to the costs of drug testing for the purpose of recompliance).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 122(3), (5)

247 Drug testing for purposes of recompliance

(1)

A person (P) who has given an undertaking under section 246(3) must comply with both subsections (2) and (3).

(2)

Within 25 working days after the start date, P must attend at the location of a drug-testing provider for the purpose of undertaking a drug test that is—

(a)

a screening drug test and, if P fails that test, an evidential drug test; or

(b)

an evidential drug test without any associated prior screening drug test.

(3)

Within 30 working days after the start date, P must provide evidence to the satisfaction of MSD that P has passed a screening drug test or evidential drug test, as the case may be.

(4)

In this section, start date means the date of P’s undertaking.

(5)

A person who fails a screening drug test or an evidential drug test, or both, that is performed within the testing period may (in order to try to comply with the person’s undertaking despite that failure) undertake, at the person’s own expense, further drug testing within the testing period.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 122A(1), (2), (4)

248 Failure of drug test for purposes of recompliance constitutes third failure

A person who fails a drug test stated in section 247(2)(a) or (b) must be treated, for purposes of the imposition of a sanction, as a person who has failed for a third time within a 12-month period to comply with a drug-testing obligation.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 122A(5)

249 Costs of drug testing for purposes of recompliance

(1)

MSD must pay the actual and reasonable costs of a drug test undertaken on only 1 occasion in accordance with section 247(2).

(2)

Those costs are a debt due to the Crown from the beneficiary for the purpose of regulations made under section 423.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 122A(3)

Miscellaneous

250 Case management support for beneficiary in breach of obligation in relation to dependent children

(1)

This section applies if a sanction has been imposed on a person (P) for failure to comply with an obligation in relation to dependent children.

(2)

MSD may give P a notice that MSD is to intensify its case management support for P.

(3)

If MSD has given P a notice under subsection (2), P must, as reasonably required by MSD, attend and participate in any interview with an MSD employee or a person on behalf of MSD.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 60RC(4)–(6)

Subpart 3—Sanctions for breach of young person or young parent obligations

Interpretation

251 Failure, and first, second, and third failure, defined for young person or young parent obligations

In this subpart,—

failure means a failure to comply with a young person obligation or a young parent obligation

first failure means the first failure of a young person or young parent obligation

second failure means a failure that occurs after the young person concerned has satisfied the obligation to which a first failure related

third failure means a failure that occurs after the young person concerned has satisfied the obligation to which a second failure related

young parent obligation means—

(a)

an obligation, under Part 3, of a young person who is receiving a young parent payment; or

(b)

an obligation under section 152 (young person aged 16 to 19 years with dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary)

young parent payment, in relation to a young person who is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary and is subject to obligations under section 152, means—

(a)

a young parent payment payable under subpart 7 of Part 2; and

(b)

the portion of the specified beneficiary’s main benefit the young person receives

young person obligation means—

(a)

an obligation, under Part 3, of a young person receiving a youth payment; or

(b)

an obligation under section 151 (young person aged 16 or 17 years with no dependent child who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary); or

(c)

for the purposes only of sections 258 and 259, an obligation, under Part 3, of a young person on whom section 150(4)(a) or 153(4)(a) imposes that obligation as if the young person’s jobseeker support, or the portion of the jobseeker support or the specified beneficiary’s benefit payable to the young person under section 316, were a youth payment

youth payment, in relation to a young person who is a spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary and is subject to obligations under section 151, means—

(a)

a youth payment payable under subpart 6 of Part 2; and

(b)

the portion of the specified beneficiary’s main benefit the young person receives.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 176(3)

Sanctions: young person obligations

252 Sanction for failure to comply with young person obligation

The sanction for failure to comply with a young person obligation depends on whether the failure is a first or second failure or a third failure.

253 Sanction for first or second failure: suspension of in-hand allowance and incentive payments

(1)

This section applies if MSD is satisfied that a young person (P) who is receiving a youth payment has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a young person obligation for a first or second time.

(2)

For P’s first or second failure, MSD must first suspend P’s in-hand allowance and any incentive payments until P satisfies the obligation (or all the relevant obligations, if P has failed to comply with more than 1).

(3)

If P has not satisfied the obligation or obligations within 4 weeks after the suspension takes effect, MSD must suspend the whole of P’s youth payment and any incentive payments until P satisfies the obligation or obligations.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 173(1)(a)

254 Sanction for third failure: cancellation of youth payment and incentive payments

(1)

This section applies if MSD is satisfied that a young person (P) who is receiving a youth payment has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a young person obligation for a third time.

(2)

For P’s third failure, MSD must cancel P’s youth payment and any incentive payments.

(3)

On cancellation of P’s youth payment under this section,—

(a)

P is not entitled to receive any main benefit under this Act for 13 weeks from the date of cancellation; and

(b)

to be again entitled to a main benefit under this Act, P must apply for the benefit and establish that P is eligible for it.

(4)

This section is subject to sections 299 to 303.

(5)

For the purposes of section 299, an approved activity for P during the period of non-entitlement is any of the following approved by MSD:

(a)

if P is not already in part-time work, participation in part-time work or work experience:

(b)

participation in recognised community activities recognised voluntary work (as defined in Schedule 2):

(c)

participation in any other activity that MSD considers will enhance skills or improve motivation.

(6)

This section overrides every other provision of this Act.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 173(1)(b), (2)–(5)

255 Effect of cancellation of youth payment on accommodation supplement or temporary additional support

(1)

The cancellation under section 254(2) of the youth payment payable to a young person (P) has the effect set out in subsections (2) to (4).

(2)

If P is single, P is not entitled to receive an accommodation supplement or temporary additional support.

(3)

If P is not single, and P’s spouse’s or partner’s youth payment is not also cancelled under section 254(2),—

(a)

any accommodation supplement or temporary additional support otherwise payable to P must be reduced by half and be paid to P’s spouse or partner; and

(b)

any accommodation supplement or temporary additional support otherwise payable to P’s spouse or partner must be reduced by half.

(4)

If P is not single, and the youth payment of P’s spouse or partner is also cancelled under section 254(2),—

(a)

P is not entitled to receive an accommodation supplement or temporary additional support otherwise payable to P; and

(b)

P’s spouse or partner is not entitled to receive an accommodation supplement or temporary additional support payable to P’s spouse or partner.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 175(1)

256 Effect of cancellation of youth payment on exceptional circumstances benefit

A young person whose youth payment is cancelled under section 254(2) is not entitled to receive an exceptional circumstances benefit.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 175(5)

257 Effect of cancellation of youth payment on disability allowance or child disability allowance

Despite the cancellation under section 254(2) of the youth payment payable to a young person (P), P must be treated as continuing to receive a youth payment for the purposes of section 75(1)(a) and (2)(c)(i) and the cancellation has no effect on P’s entitlement to receive a disability allowance or child disability allowance.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 175(6)

258 Sanctions for failure by young person required to receive youth services to comply with obligations: money management

(1)

This section applies to a young person—

(a)

who has been required to receive youth services under section 150(2) or 153(2); and

(b)

whose benefit is subject to money management under section 324; and

(c)

who MSD is satisfied has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with an obligation that applies to the young person under section 150(4)(a) or 153(4)(a), and that is—

(i)

an obligation in section 151(2)(b) and (d) to (g); or

(ii)

the work test (in the case of a work-tested beneficiary); or

(iii)

a work-preparation obligation under section 110 or 111 (in the case of a beneficiary who is required to comply with section 110).

(2)

MSD must treat the failure as if it were a failure to comply with an obligation under section 151, and sections 253 and 254 apply (and require MSD to impose sanctions for the failure) accordingly.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 174AB(1), (2)

259 Sanctions for failure by young person required to receive youth services to comply with obligations: other cases

(1)

This section applies to a young person—

(a)

who has been required to receive youth services under section 150(2) or 153(2); and

(b)

whose benefit is not subject to money management under section 324; and

(c)

who MSD is satisfied has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with an obligation that applies to the young person under section 150(4)(a) or 153(4)(a), and that is—

(i)

an obligation in section 151(2)(b) and (d) to (g); or

(ii)

the work test (in the case of a work-tested beneficiary); or

(iii)

a work-preparation obligation under section 110 or 111 (in the case of a beneficiary who is required to comply with section 110).

(2)

MSD must treat the young person’s failure referred to in subsection (1)(c)(i), (ii), or (iii),—

(a)

in the case of a young person who is subject to the work test, as a failure to comply with the work test for the purposes of sections 216 and 219 to 222; and

(b)

in the case of a young person who is required to comply with section 110, as a failure to comply with a work-preparation obligation under section 110 or 111 for the purposes of sections 216 and 219 to 222.

(3)

MSD must, in the case of a young person who is subject to a sanction under sections 216 and 219 to 222 for a failure that subsection (2)(a) or (b) of this section requires to be treated as having occurred:

(a)

suspend the young person’s incentive payments (if any) (if that sanction is a reduction or suspension of the young person’s benefit) until the young person recomplies; or

(b)

cancel the young person’s incentive payments (if any) (if that sanction is the cancellation of the young person’s benefit).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 174AB(3), (4)

259A Sanctions for failure by young spouse or partner of specified beneficiary to comply with obligations: money management

(1)

This section applies to a young person

(a)

who is

(i)

aged 16 or 17 years, without dependent children, and is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary; or

(ii)

aged 16 to 19 years, with a dependent child or children, and is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary; and

(b)

whose benefit is subject to money management; and

(c)

who MSD is satisfied has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with an obligation that applies to the young person under section 151(2) or 152(2) and (3).

(2)

The sanctions in sections 253 and 254 apply (and sections 255 to 257 and 264 to 269 apply) as if the young person’s benefit were a youth support payment.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 174A(1), (2)

259B Sanctions for failure by young spouse or partner of specified beneficiary to comply with obligations: other cases

(1)

This section applies to a young person

(a)

who is

(i)

aged 16 or 17 years, without dependent children, and is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary; or

(ii)

aged 16 to 19 years, with a dependent child or children, and is the spouse or partner of a specified beneficiary; and

(b)

whose benefit is not subject to money management; and

(c)

who MSD is satisfied has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with an obligation that applies to the young person under section 151(2) or 152(2) and (3).

(2)

MSD must treat the young person’s failure referred to in subsection (1)(c),

(a)

in the case of a young person who would, but for section 151(4) or 152(5), be subject to the work test, as a failure to comply with the work test for the purposes of sections 216 and 219 to 222; and

(b)

in the case of a young person who would, but for section 151(4) or 152(5), be required to comply with section 110, as a failure to comply with a work-preparation obligation under section 110 or 111 for the purposes of sections 216 and 219 to 222.

(3)

MSD must, in the case of a young person who is subject to a sanction under sections 216 and 219 to 222 for a failure that subsection (2)(a) or (b) of this section requires to be treated as having occurred,

(a)

suspend the young person’s incentive payments (if any) (if that sanction is a reduction or suspension of the young person’s benefit) until the young person recomplies; or

(b)

cancel the young person’s incentive payments (if any) (if that sanction is the cancellation of the young person’s benefit).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 174A(3), (4)

Sanctions: young parent obligations

260 Sanction for failure to comply with young parent obligation

The sanction for failure to comply with a young parent obligation depends on whether the failure is a first or second failure or a third failure.

261 Sanction for first or second failure: suspension of in-hand allowance and incentive payments

(1)

This section applies if MSD is satisfied that a young person (P) who is receiving a young parent payment has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a young parent obligation for a first or second time.

(2)

For P’s first or second failure, MSD must first suspend P’s in-hand allowance and any incentive payments until P satisfies the obligation (or all the relevant obligations, if P has failed to comply with more than 1).

(3)

If P has not satisfied the obligation or obligations within 4 weeks after the suspension takes effect, MSD must suspend the whole of P’s young parent payment and any incentive payments until P satisfies the obligation or obligations.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 174(1)(a)

262 Sanction for third failure: cancellation of young parent payment and incentive payments

(1)

This section applies if MSD is satisfied that a young person (P) who is receiving a young parent payment has, without good and sufficient reason, failed to comply with a young parent obligation for a third time.

(2)

For P’s third failure, MSD must cancel P’s young parent payment and any incentive payments.

(3)

This section overrides every other provision of this Act.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 174(1)(b)

263 Effect of cancellation of young parent payment

(1)

On cancellation of P’s young parent payment under section 262(2),—

(a)

P is not entitled to receive any main benefit under this Act for 13 weeks from the date of cancellation; and

(b)

to be again entitled to a main benefit under this Act, P must apply for the benefit and establish that P is eligible for it.

(2)

Subsection (1) is subject to subsection (3) and to sections 299 to 303 (restoration of entitlement after suspension, reduction, cancellation, or non-entitlement).

(3)

However, during the period of cancellation,—

(a)

P is entitled to receive half of the base applicable rate of the young parent payment and only half the abatement rate in item 11 or 12 of Part 5 of Schedule 4 (as the case requires) applies to that rate; but

(b)

no incentive payments are payable; and

(c)

the amounts payable must be paid to the young person, or on the young person’s account, personally (see section 318).

(4)

For the purposes of section 303, an approved activity for P during the period of non-entitlement is any of the following approved by MSD:

(a)

if P is not already in part-time work, participation in part-time work or work experience:

(b)

participation in recognised community activities recognised voluntary work (as defined in Schedule 2):

(c)

participation in any other activity that MSD considers will enhance skills or improve motivation.

(5)

In order to satisfy itself that a young person has established continued eligibility for a young parent payment, MSD may require the young person to comply with the requirements of section 278(1) as if applying for a young parent payment (and that section, with all necessary modifications, applies accordingly).

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 174(2)–(5), 177(1), (2)

264 Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on accommodation supplement or temporary additional support

(1)

The cancellation under section 262(2) of the young parent payment payable to a young person (P) affects an entitlement to an accommodation supplement or temporary additional support as provided in subsections (3) to (5).

(2)

If P is a sole parent, cancellation has no effect on P’s entitlement to receive any accommodation supplement or temporary additional support.

(3)

If P is not single, and P’s spouse’s or partner’s young parent payment is not also cancelled under section 262(2),—

(a)

any accommodation supplement or temporary additional support otherwise payable to P must be reduced by half and be paid to P’s spouse or partner; and

(b)

any accommodation supplement or temporary additional support otherwise payable to P’s spouse or partner must be reduced by half.

(4)

If P is not single, and the young parent payment of P’s spouse or partner is also cancelled under section 262(2), P and P’s spouse or partner are each entitled to receive only half of any accommodation supplement or temporary additional support that would otherwise be payable to P or P’s spouse or partner.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 175(2)–(4)

265 Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on exceptional circumstances benefit

A young person whose young parent payment is cancelled under section 262(2) is not entitled to receive an exceptional circumstances benefit.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 175(5)

266 Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on disability allowance or child disability allowance

Despite the cancellation under section 262(2) of the young parent payment payable to a young person (P), P must be treated as continuing to receive a young parent payment for the purposes of section 75(1)(a) and (2)(c)(i) and the cancellation has no effect on P’s entitlement to receive any disability allowance or child disability allowance.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 175(6)

How obligation satisfied

267 How young person satisfies obligation after failure to comply

For the purposes of sections 253, 254, 261, and 262, a young person (P) satisfies an obligation after failure to comply if—

(a)

P remedies the failure concerned; or

(b)

where in the opinion of MSD that it is not possible to remedy the failure, P undertakes to MSD’s satisfaction an activity that is in MSD’s opinion the same as or substantially similar to the performance of the obligation.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 176(1)

Procedure

268 Procedure for imposing sanctions for failure to comply with young person or young parent obligation

Sections 223 to 225 (how number of failures is counted) and sections 235 to 239 (procedure for imposing sanctions) apply with all necessary modifications to the imposition of sanctions under sections 253, 254, 261, and 262.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 176(2)

Incentive payments

269 Effect of regrant of youth payment on incentive payment

If a young person whose youth support payment has been cancelled under section 254(2) or 262(2) is again granted a youth support payment,—

(a)

except as provided in paragraph (b), any incentive payments that were payable to the young person before the cancellation must be paid with the youth payment or young parent payment; but

(b)

if the failure that led to the cancellation was a failure to comply with section 147(1)(a), an education incentive payment is payable only if the young person again meets the conditions of entitlement to that payment (see section 51 or 58, and those conditions of entitlement as they are set out in regulations made under section 397(1)(b) or (c)).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 176(4)

270 MSD may cancel incentive payment

(1)

MSD may cancel an incentive payment if satisfied that the young person concerned has intentionally acted in a way that is inconsistent with the purpose for which it was granted.

(2)

On cancellation, the young person is not eligible to receive the incentive payment again until MSD decides that it may be regranted.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 178

Subpart 4—Offences

271 Offences: false statements, misleading, or attempting to mislead, to receive or continue to receive benefits

(1)

A person (P) commits an offence if—

(a)

P makes a statement knowing that it is false in a material particular; and

(b)

P’s statement—

(i)

is made for the purpose of receiving or continuing to receive an advantage (whether for P or another person); or

(ii)

results in P or another person receiving or continuing to receive an advantage.

(2)

A person (P) commits an offence if—

(a)

P wilfully does or says anything, or omits to do or say anything, for the purpose of misleading or attempting to mislead a person; and

(b)

P’s act, statement, or omission—

(i)

is done or made for the purpose of receiving or continuing to receive an advantage (whether for P or another person); or

(ii)

results in P or another person receiving or continuing to receive an advantage.

(3)

In this section, advantage means—

(a)

any benefit under this Act, Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, or Part 1 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; or

(b)

any exemption from an obligation under this Act; or

(c)

any payment from a Crown Bank Account in accordance with this Act; or

(d)

any entitlement card issued under regulations made under section 416; or

(e)

a more favourable means assessment under subpart 6 (and all related provisions) of Part 9 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016 than P would otherwise have been entitled to; or

(f)

a more favourable means assessment under subpart 8 (and all related provisions) of Part 9 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016 than P would otherwise have been entitled to.

(4)

A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on conviction to a penalty that is either or both:

(a)

imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months:

(b)

a fine not exceeding $5,000.

(5)

This section does not limit section 508 of Part 9 of the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Act 2016.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 127

272 Offences: spouse or partner knowingly benefiting from excess amount obtained by beneficiary’s fraud

(1)

A person (the spouse or partner) commits an offence if the person—

(a)

is a spouse or partner of a person (the beneficiary) who obtains an excess amount by fraud; and

(b)

benefits directly or indirectly from the amount or a part of it knowing that, or being reckless about whether, the amount or part is an amount or part—

(i)

in excess of the amount to which the beneficiary is by law entitled or to which the beneficiary has no entitlement; and

(ii)

obtained by the beneficiary by fraud.

(2)

Subsection (1)(b) applies to the amount or part even if the spouse or partner—

(a)

does not benefit from it knowingly; and

(b)

does not know at all or exactly its value; and

(c)

does not know, or (as the case requires) is not reckless about, the precise way in which it was obtained by the beneficiary by fraud.

(3)

The beneficiary obtains an excess amount for the purposes of subsection (1) if the beneficiary obtains any payment, or receives any credit or advance, in excess of the amount to which the beneficiary is by law entitled or to which the beneficiary has no entitlement.

(4)

The excess amount is obtained by the beneficiary by fraud for the purposes of subsection (1) if—

(a)

the beneficiary obtained that amount by fraud; or

(b)

the beneficiary is convicted of a specified offence in respect of obtaining that amount.

(5)

In subsection (4)(b), specified offence means an offence against section 271 (offences: false statements, misleading, or attempting to mislead, to receive or continue to receive benefits) of this Act, or an offence against all or any of the following provisions of the Crimes Act 1961:

(a)

section 228 (dishonestly taking or using document):

(b)

sections 240 and 241 (obtaining by deception or causing loss by deception):

(c)

section 256(1) and (2) (forgery):

(d)

section 257 (using forged documents):

(e)

section 258 (altering, concealing, destroying, or reproducing documents with intent to deceive):

(f)

section 259 (using altered or reproduced document with intent to deceive).

(6)

Subsections (4) and (5) do not limit—

(a)

the generality of the references in subsection (1) to fraud; or

(b)

the operation of section 49 (conviction as evidence in criminal proceedings) of the Evidence Act 2006.

(7)

A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on conviction to a penalty that is either or both:

(a)

imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months:

(b)

a fine not exceeding $5,000.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 127A

273 Offence of demanding or accepting fee or other consideration in relation to grant of benefit

A person commits an offence if the person demands or accepts from any applicant for a benefit or from any other person any fee or other consideration for procuring or endeavouring to procure the grant of a benefit.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 12(3)

274 Offence of demanding or accepting acknowledgement or undertaking

(1)

A person commits an offence if the person demands or accepts from a beneficiary an acknowledgment or undertaking where that demand, acceptance, acknowledgment, or undertaking would constitute a legal or an equitable assignment of, or a charge on, a benefit if the benefit were capable of being legally assigned or charged.

(2)

A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $100.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 84(2)

275 General penalty for offences

(1)

This section applies to a person who commits an offence against this Act or any regulations made under this Act for which no penalty is provided elsewhere than in this section.

(2)

The person is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 and, if the offence is a continuing one, to a further fine not exceeding $50 for every day or part of a day during which the offence continues.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 129

276 Time for filing charging document

(1)

The limitation period in respect of an offence against this Act or any regulations made under this Act ends on the date that is 12 months after the date on which the facts alleged in the charging document are brought to the knowledge of any officer concerned in the administration of this Act.

(2)

Subsection (1) overrides section 25 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 128

Part 6 Administration

Contents

277What this Part does
278Application for benefit: making of, help with, lapse, and deemed receipt
279MSD must inquire into claim for benefit
280Exception during epidemic
281Information gathering, disclosure, and matching
282MSD decides whether to grant benefit
283Immediate provisional grant, and later backdating of other benefit
284After death of applicant
285Review of entitlement and rate payable
286Information for review
287No entitlement, or entitlement only at different rate
288Benefit on another eligibility ground more appropriate
289Another benefit more appropriate
290Certain benefits granted, or granted at rate, not taking into account certain insurance payments
291General
292If applicant paid, but claim fails for, ACC weekly compensation
293Benefits subject to stand down
294Work-tested benefit of applicant subject to non-entitlement period
295Exemptions from stand down, and when certain benefits commence
296Start and calculation of stand-down period
297Minister may consent to backdating
298No consent unless benefit not granted earlier because of error
299Effect of no longer being subject to work test or young person obligations
300Effect of no longer being subject to dependent children obligations
301Effect of no longer being subject to work-preparation obligations
302Effect of employment on non-entitlement period
303Effect of participation in certain activities on non-entitlement period
304General rule if person’s entitlement to benefit ceases
305After death of beneficiary receiving specified benefit
306Benefits payable to sole parent who stops caring for dependent child due to sudden and uncontrollable circumstances
307Supported living payment payable to beneficiary who stops caring for another person
308If child ceases to be entitled to supported child’s payment
309Supported living payment on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness and cancelled on medical grounds
310Expiry date, and specified benefit, defined
311General rule
312Exception for specified benefit expiring in week of or before 26 December
313Exemptions
314MSD must notify or advise beneficiary
315Requirements for regrant
316How benefits are paid
317Weekly instalments
318Payment generally to, or on account of, beneficiary personally
319Required manner of payment: general
320Required manner of payment: money management for certain payments to young people
321Money management for certain payments to young people: exception if no prescribed manner of payment
322Money management for certain payments to young people: exception if young person meets prescribed criteria for managing own payments
323Review and appeal of specified determinations made by MSD under regulations
324Young person beneficiaries may elect money management
324ACredit on payment card, etc, at end of money management
325Required manner of payment: payment on death of beneficiary
326Advance payment of instalments of benefit
327Requirement for beneficiary, spouse or partner, or both, to undertake budgeting activity
328Interpretation
329MSD may pay tax on income-tested benefit other than by tax deduction from source deduction payment
330Status of amount for income tax paid by MSD
331Recovery amount paid in excess of amount properly payable
332Debts and deductions
333Recovery of penalty from beneficiary who obtains by fraud amount in excess of entitlement
334Restriction on imposing penalty under section 333: prosecution for offence
335Restriction on imposing penalty under section 333: notice and period to respond
336Restriction on recovering penalty under section 333: decision to be final
337Recovery from spouse or partner who misleads MSD of excess amount beneficiary obtained
338Recovery from spouse or partner of apportioned excess amount beneficiary obtained by fraud
339Obtaining amount by fraud: meaning and proof
340Recovery from spouse or partner of unapportioned excess amount beneficiary obtained by fraud
341MSD’s duty to recover debts
342Duty unaffected by law on mistaken payments
343Ways MSD or person can meet requirement to give notice or other document
344Services to encourage young people to move to and remain in education, training, and employment
345Preferred suppliers: contracts
346Preferred suppliers: determinations
347Preferred suppliers: paying them disability allowance, special assistance, or advance payment
348Preferred suppliers: paying them disability allowance: exception if total benefit payments less than amount required
349Preferred suppliers: paying them disability allowance: exception if allowance granted at maximum rate
350Preferred suppliers: no appeal lies against MSD decisions
351Preferred suppliers: transitional or savings provisions directions
352Administration service providers: contracts
353Administration service providers: contents and form of contracts
354Administration service providers: adoption of existing contracts
355Administration service providers: MSD to ensure information published
356Conduct of provider of services in relation to young people to be treated for specified purposes as if MSD’s conduct
357MSD may assign contracted service provider to young person
358Minister determines rates and conditions of employment and payment
359Orders adopting reciprocity agreements
360Privacy report for orders adopting agreements with mutual assistance provisions
361Interpretation
362Inclusion of mutual assistance provisions in reciprocity agreements
363MSD may use mutual assistance provisions to recover debts
364MSD may use mutual assistance provisions to exchange information
365Adverse action against individual if discrepancy shown by information from other country
366Prosecutions and debt recovery proceedings: representation and fees
367Payment of benefit does not affect right to maintenance
368Maintenance proceedings

Subpart 1—Guide to this Part

277 What this Part does

This Part contains provisions on the following matters:

(a)

how to apply for a benefit, how MSD inquires into a claim for a benefit, and the granting of a benefit:

(b)

reviews by MSD of a beneficiary’s past or current entitlement to a benefit or rate of benefit:

(c)

how a benefit commences (for example, after a stand-down period), ends, and may expire and be regranted:

(d)

how a benefit is paid, tax on benefits, and how debts can be recovered (including by way of deductions):

(e)

notices and communications, services, and preferred suppliers:

(f)

reciprocity agreements with other countries:

(g)

prosecutions for offences, debt-recovery proceedings, and maintenance proceedings.

Subpart 2—Application, inquiry, and grant

Application

278 Application for benefit: making of, help with, lapse, and deemed receipt

(1)

An application for a benefit must be completed, may be assisted, may lapse, and is taken to have been received for benefit commencement and stand down purposes, in accordance with regulations made under section 417.

(2)

This section does not prevent MSD under section 292 (if applicant paid, but claim fails for, ACC weekly compensation) treating an application for a benefit as having been made at the later of the dates specified in section 292(2)(a) and (b).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 11D

Inquiry

279 MSD must inquire into claim for benefit

(1)

MSD must inquire into every claim for a benefit made by or on behalf of an applicant for a benefit.

(2)

Subsection (1) is subject to—

(a)

section 280 (inquiry: exception during epidemic):

(b)

section 284 (grant: after death of applicant):

(c)

regulations made under section 411(1) and (3)(e) (pre-benefit activities: consequences of non-compliance by applicant).

(3)

MSD may inquire into the circumstances of a person who has been receiving a benefit as those circumstances existed—

(a)

immediately before the benefit was granted; or

(b)

during the period or periods that the benefit was paid.

(4)

Subsection (3) does not limit—

(a)

subsection (1); or

(b)

subpart 3 (review of entitlement to, or rate of, benefit granted).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 12(1), (1A)

280 Exception during epidemic

(1)

This subsection applies to any period comprising—

(a)

the period when a domestic epidemic management notice is in force; and

(b)

a period after the notice expires that the Minister thinks reasonable in the circumstances.

(2)

During a period to which subsection (1) applies, MSD may grant a benefit to a person even if the claim for it has not been at all, or has not been fully, inquired into as required by section 279.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 61CD

281 Information gathering, disclosure, and matching

(1)

Provisions on information gathering, disclosure, and matching are set out in Schedule 6.

(2)

Rights of complaint are given by the following clauses of Schedule 6:

(a)

clause 12 (code of conduct for information or documents requirements):

(b)

clause 21 (disclosure for young person’s functions or service provider’s contract).

Grant

282 MSD decides whether to grant benefit

MSD must, after inquiring under section 279 into a claim for a benefit is made (and, if applicable, inquired into under section 279), decide whether to grant the benefit.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 12(1)

283 Immediate provisional grant, and later backdating of other benefit

(1)

This section applies to an applicant for a benefit of kind A (for example, a supported living payment on the ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness) if MSD considers—

(a)

quick completion of MSD’s inquiry into the applicant’s claim for a benefit of kind A is unlikely (for example, quick completion is unlikely because of the need to obtain, or to obtain further, medical evidence about whether the applicant is under section 34, because of a health condition, permanently and severely restricted in the applicant’s capacity for work); but

(b)

the applicant is entitled to a benefit of kind B (for example, jobseeker support).

(2)

MSD may grant the applicant a benefit of kind B on the basis that a benefit of kind A will be granted retroactively if—

(a)

MSD completes its inquiry into the applicant’s claim to a benefit of kind A; and

(b)

MSD’s completed inquiry shows that the applicant is entitled to a benefit of kind A.

(3)

If MSD’s completed inquiry into the applicant’s claim to a benefit of kind A shows that the applicant is entitled to a benefit of kind A, MSD may—

(a)

grant the applicant a benefit of kind A, and commencing on the date on which it would have commenced if the inquiry had been completed before the benefit of kind B was granted; and

(b)

cancel the benefit of kind B on that date.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 12(1AA)

284 After death of applicant

(1)

This section applies if an applicant for a benefit dies before MSD completes its inquiry into the claim, made by or on behalf of the applicant, for a benefit.

(2)

MSD may grant the benefit as if the applicant had not died.

(3)

If MSD under this section grants the benefit as if the applicant had not died, section 80 (funeral grants) and regulations made under section 406 apply as if the applicant were receiving the benefit at the time the applicant died.

(4)

This section does not limit section 325 (required manner of payment: payment on death of beneficiary).

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 62

Subpart 3—Review of entitlement to, or rate of, benefit granted

285 Review of entitlement and rate payable

(1)

MSD may review a benefit that has been granted to ascertain all or any of the following:

(a)

whether the beneficiary is, or remains, entitled to receive the benefit, or rate of benefit, that is being paid to the beneficiary:

(b)

whether the beneficiary was not entitled to receive the benefit, or rate of benefit, that was paid to the beneficiary.

(2)

This subpart applies, so far as applicable and with all necessary modifications, to special assistance granted under a programme approved under section 86 or 87.

(3)

Rights to seek a review of, or to appeal against, a decision on a review under this subpart are given by the following subparts of Part 7:

(a)

subpart 2 (reviews by benefits review committee):

(b)

subpart 3 (appeals to appeal authority):

(c)

subpart 4 (appeals to courts):

(d)

subpart 5 (appeals to medical board).

(4)

Subsection (3) is by way of explanation only.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 81(1)(a) and (b), 124(2), (2A)

286 Information for review

(1)

MSD may for the review require the beneficiary or the beneficiary’s spouse or partner to provide information, or answer questions,—

(a)

in a way MSD specifies; and

(b)

by a reasonable deadline MSD specifies.

(2)

If the beneficiary or spouse or partner fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (1), MSD may suspend, cancel, or vary the rate of benefit from a date MSD determines.

(3)

This section does not limit sections 41, 99, 271, 281, and clause 2 of Schedule 6.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 81(1)

287 No entitlement, or entitlement only at different rate

(1)

This section applies if MSD is satisfied because of the review that the beneficiary—

(a)

was not or is not entitled (at all, rather than on another eligibility ground for that benefit) to receive the benefit; or

(b)

was or is entitled to receive the benefit at a different rate.

(2)

MSD may suspend, cancel, or vary the rate of the benefit from a date MSD reasonably determines.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 81(2)

288 Benefit on another eligibility ground more appropriate

(1)

This section applies if MSD is satisfied because of the review that the beneficiary—

(a)

was granted the benefit on a stated eligibility ground for that benefit; and

(b)

is more appropriately entitled to receive that benefit on another eligibility ground for that benefit.

(2)

MSD may cancel the benefit as granted on the stated eligibility ground, and grant the beneficiary that benefit on the other eligibility ground commencing from the date of cancellation.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 81(4)

289 Another benefit more appropriate

(1)

This section applies if MSD is satisfied because of the review that the beneficiary is more appropriately entitled to receive another benefit.

(2)

MSD may cancel the benefit, and grant the beneficiary the other benefit commencing from the date of cancellation.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 81(3)

290 Certain benefits granted, or granted at rate, not taking into account certain insurance payments

(1)

This section applies if MSD is satisfied because of the review that the beneficiary has been granted a benefit, or has been granted a benefit at a rate, that does not take into account certain insurance payments specified in regulations made under section 418.

(2)

MSD may, in accordance with those regulations, suspend, cancel, or vary the rate of, the benefit, from a date MSD determines.

(3)

In this section, benefit includes special assistance granted under a programme approved under section 86 or 87.

(4)

For the purposes of this section, the amount of an insurance payment must, to the extent MSD so determines, be reduced by the amount of any costs incurred by an applicant for a benefit or a beneficiary in obtaining receipt of that payment.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 68A(6), (7), (8)

Subpart 4—Commencement, stand downs, ending, and expiry and regrant

Commencement of benefits

291 General

(1)

A benefit commences on the later of the following dates:

(a)

the date the applicant became entitled to receive the benefit; and

(b)

the date the application for the benefit was received.

(2)

This section is subject to—

(a)

section 283 (immediate provisional grant, and later backdating of other benefit); and

(b)

sections 292 to 297 (which contain exceptions and special rules relating to commencement of benefits); and

(c)

Part 6 of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014; and

(d)

Part 1 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 80(1); 2001 No 84 s 35(2); 2014 No 56 s 195(2)

292 If applicant paid, but claim fails for, ACC weekly compensation

(1)

This section applies to a person if—

(a)

a claim is made by or on behalf of the person for weekly compensation under the Accident Compensation Act 2001 in respect of incapacity of the person; and

(b)

weekly compensation under that Act is paid in respect of the claim by or on behalf of—

(i)

the Accident Compensation Corporation; or

(ii)

an accredited employer (within the meaning of section 181 of that Act); and

(c)

the person later fails to establish that claim, but would otherwise have been entitled, if that claim had been accepted, to a benefit during all or a part of the period in respect of which the compensation would have been paid.

(2)

MSD may treat an application for a benefit made by or on behalf of the person as having been made on the later of the following dates:

(a)

the date of first occurrence of the incapacity of the person in respect of which the claim was made under the Accident Compensation Act 2001; and

(b)

the date that the person would have become entitled to that benefit.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 80D

293 Benefits subject to stand down

(1)

A benefit is subject to a stand down, and commences on a date calculated under section 296, if—

(a)

the benefit is a work-tested benefit or a youth payment or a young parent payment (other than a youth payment or a young parent payment granted to a person undertaking employment-related training or who is enrolled in a course of secondary instruction) and the applicant is not subject to a non-entitlement period (as defined in Schedule 2); or

(b)

the benefit is sole parent support, jobseeker support on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability, or a supported living payment.

(2)

This section is subject to section 295 (exemptions from stand down) and to regulations made under section 422.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 80(2), (3)

294 Work-tested benefit of applicant subject to non-entitlement period

(1)

A work-tested benefit granted to an applicant who is subject to a non-entitlement period is subject to a stand down, and is a benefit that commences on a date calculated under section 296, if—

(a)

the work-tested benefit is granted to the applicant conditionally under section 303; and

(b)

the applicant is subject to the non-entitlement period because of the application of section 208; and

(c)

section 208 applies to the applicant because the applicant is a person described in section 209(a).

(2)

Any other work-tested benefit granted to an applicant who is subject to a non-entitlement period is a benefit that commences on the later of—

(a)

the date the applicant became entitled to receive it; and

(b)

the date the application for it was received.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 80(4)

295 Exemptions from stand down, and when certain benefits commence

A benefit of a kind specified in regulations made under section 419,—

(a)

is not subject to a stand down; and

(b)

commences as provided in those regulations.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 80(5), (8), (10), (13), (14)

296 Start and calculation of stand-down period

(1)

A benefit to which a person has become entitled, and that section 293 or 294 requires to commence on a date calculated under this section, is subject to a stand-down period that—

(a)

starts on the later of—

(i)

the date on which the person became entitled to the benefit; and

(ii)

if, before the person applied for the benefit, the person’s employment terminated or the person is given notice of termination of employment, the day after the date on which the person’s employment ceased; and

(b)

is calculated under regulations made under section 419.

(2)

The benefit commences on the day after the stand-down period ends if the application for the benefit is received within 28 days after the date on which the person becomes entitled to the benefit, and the benefit is—

(a)

sole parent support; or

(b)

a supported living payment; or

(c)

jobseeker support granted on the ground of health condition, injury, or disability; or

(d)

jobseeker support granted to a sole parent, or to a person to whom section 30(1)(e) (which relates to having lost the regular support of a spouse or partner who is subject to a sentence of imprisonment, etc) applies; or

(e)

jobseeker support granted to a person who has recently lost the financial support of the person’s spouse or partner because of death, the spouses or partners commencing to live apart, or the ending of a de facto relationship; or

(f)

a youth payment; or

(g)

a young parent payment.

(3)

If the benefit is not one specified in subsection (2)(a) to (g), the benefit commences on the later of the following days:

(a)

the day after the stand-down period ends:

(b)

the day on which the application for the benefit is received.

(4)

This section is subject to any regulations made under section 419, and relating to exceptional cases, for example—

(a)

of delayed redundancy and retirement payments; or

(b)

of seasonal workers who are made redundant after a benefit commences.

Compare: 1964 No 136 s 80BA(1), (2)–(5)

297 Minister may consent to backdating

(1)

A benefit (or a benefit of a stated kind) may, with the Minister’s consent, commence at a time—

(a)

earlier than the time at which an application for it was made; but

(b)

not earlier than the time at which the person to whom it is granted became eligible for it.

(2)

The Minister may give consent in relation to a particular applicant, or applicants of a stated kind or description.

(3)

Consent in relation to applicants of a stated kind or description does not necessarily allow all the benefits concerned to commence at the same time.

(4)

If the Minister delegates to MSD the exercise of the power to consent conferred by subsection (1), its exercise by MSD (or a refusal by MSD to exercise it) is a decision under this Part for the purposes of subparts 2 to 5 of Part 7 (reviews and appeals).

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 80AA(1), (4), (5), (6), 125G(1)

298 No consent unless benefit not granted earlier because of error

(1)

The Minister must not give consent under section 297 unless satisfied that,—

(a)

in the case of a particular applicant, the particular applicant—

(i)

could not reasonably have been expected to apply at the earlier time because of some erroneous action or inaction by MSD; or

(ii)

at or before the earlier time, tried to apply, or applied incompletely, and did not proceed because of an erroneous action or inaction by MSD; or

(b)

in the case of applicants of a stated kind or description,—

(i)

applicants of that kind or description could not reasonably have been expected to apply at earlier times because of an erroneous action or inaction by MSD in relation to applicants of that kind or description; or

(ii)

at earlier times, some applicants of that kind or description tried to apply, or applied incompletely, and did not proceed because of an erroneous action or inaction by MSD.

(2)

Examples of erroneous action or inaction, for the purposes of subsection (1), include—

(a)

giving wrong advice:

(b)

failing or refusing to provide information, help, or some document or form.

(3)

In this section, action or inaction by MSD, includes action or inaction by a contracted service provider contracted under section 352(1)(a) to provide services in relation to young people.

Compare: 1964 No 136 ss 80AA(2), (4), 125G(1)

Restoration of entitlement after suspension, reduction, cancellation, or non-entitlement

299 Effect of no longer being subject to work test or young person obligations

(1)

This section applies to a person whose benefit has been suspended or reduced, or who is subject to a 13-week period of non-entitlement to a main benefit, under section 208, 219, 220, 253, or 261, if the person—

(a)

ceases to be a work-tested beneficiary (other than because of the imposition of that suspension, reduction, or 13-week period); or

(b)

ceases to be a beneficiary who is required to comply with obligations under section 147, 149, 151, or 152 (other than because of the imposition of that suspension, reduction, or 13-week period); or

(c)

obtains, under section 144, an exemption from the work test or from obligations under section 147, 149, 151, or 152.

(2)

From the date on which MSD decides it is satisfied that this section applies to a person,—

(a)

the period of suspension or reduction of the benefit ends; or