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Accommodation benefit

An Accommodation Benefit is a weekly payment that is paid as part of your Student Allowance. You don't have to pay this back.

Am I eligible for the Accommodation Benefit?

You may be able to get an Accommodation Benefit if you live away from the parental home while you study.

Parental home covers a number of different situations; please read the definition of parental home for a full explanation.

If you have a partner, your combined income must be less than $421.76 (from 1 April 2014) a week before tax. If you and your partner's combined income is between $421.76 and $878.49 a week before tax, you must be living away from your partner to be able to get the Accommodation Benefit.

Situations where you can't get the Accommodation Benefit

You won't get an Accommodation Benefit if you (or your partner*) have a tenancy agreement with a Social Housing provider.

You may qualify for income-related rent instead. For more information contact MSD Housing Assesment.

*Please note that the definition of partner for Social Housing is different to that of the Student Allowance.

How much you can get

Students who are eligible for the Accommodation Benefit will generally receive the Accommodation Benefit rate for the region they live in while they are studying.

Students who are studying overseas on an approved exchange programme will receive the Accommodation Benefit rate for the region where their education provider is located.

Students who are studying extramurally will receive an Accommodation Benefit rate for the region where they live.

If you live in a hostel, how much you get may depend on the hostel you live in.

Here are some examples of what you may get each week from 1 January 2014:

 If you live in  and you're single with a child, you'll get  otherwise you'll get
 Auckland  $60.00  $40.00
 Hamilton  $60.00  $40.00
 Palmerston North  $51.00  $34.00
 Wellington  $60.00  $40.00
 Christchurch  $60.00  $40.00
 Dunedin  $60.00  $40.00

Accommodation Benefit rates are reviewed on 1 January each year.

How to apply for the Accommodation Benefit

You don't need to apply for the Accommodation Benefit. If you are eligible, this will be paid automatically with your Student Allowance.

Last updated: 14 April 2014

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