Jobseeker Support Student Hardship
The Jobseeker Support Student Hardship is a weekly payment which can help if you're in financial hardship during your study break with no other means to support yourself.
On this page:
Looking for work
Finding a full-time job will put you in the best position to support yourself during your study break.
While you receive the Jobseeker Support Student Hardship, you have to be available for and actively seeking full-time work.
If you have a partner they may have different work obligations depending on the ages of any dependent children you and your partner have.
Meeting your work obligations means that you (and your partner):
- are available for full-time work. Suitable full-time work can be between 20 to 40 hours per week (or 10 to 20 hours a week if your obligation is for part-time work).
- are registered with Student Job Search or Work and Income as being available for work
- will accept any suitable job within your abilities that is offered to you
This can include weekend work depending on your circumstances.
You could actively seek work by:
- searching online job sites, newspapers and other media for vacancies
- making applications for suitable jobs
- contacting employers about vacancies
Note: If you don't meet these obligations, your payments may be reduced, suspended or cancelled.
View the looking for work pages for helpful ideas and links to job sites.
General criteria for Jobseeker Support Student Hardship
To get the Jobseeker Support Student Hardship you'll generally need to be eligible for, or have been receiving, a Student Allowance.
You must also:
- be 18 years or older or
- be aged 16 or 17 and be married, in a civil union or in a de facto relationship or
- be aged 16 or 17, single, and meet the criteria for the Youth Payment or Young Parent Payment
- be registered for work with Student Job Search (or Work and Income)
- be actively looking for full-time work
- have been a full-time student immediately before your study break
- plan to study full-time after your study break
- be a New Zealand Citizen or a New Zealand resident who is entitled under the Immigration Act 2009 to reside indefinitely in New Zealand or
- be deemed to hold a residence class visa in New Zealand under the Immigration Act 2009 (For example, Australian citizens or residents)
- normally live in New Zealand
- not have other means of supporting yourself and any dependent family
- have little or no income
- have cash assets under $4,300 if you are single or $7,464 if you have a partner or child.
Please note - if you are:
- 16/17 years old, single and getting a Student Allowance or
- have not previously been in full-time study or
- you are a refugee or protected person,
you may still be eligible.
If you're not eligible for, or haven't been receiving a Student Allowance and are in hardship during your study break, you may still be able to get the Jobseeker Support Student Hardship. There is additional hardship criteria you'll need to meet. If you apply online, it will be part of your application. If you're applying using a paper form you'll need to complete the Additional Hardship section.
If you have a partner or a child and you're in hardship because your Student Allowance has ended, and you're waiting for your Jobseeker Support Student Hardship to start, you may be able to get the Student Allowance Transfer Grant. When you apply online for Jobseeker Support Student Hardship, we will assess your eligibility to the Student Allowance Transfer Grant as part of your application.
Read the special definitions that are used when talking about the Jobseeker Support Student Hardship.
If you have another child
If you have another child while receiving the Jobseeker Support Student Hardship, you (or your partner, if you have a partner) will be required to look for and be available for work once the youngest child turns one year of age. The age of your next youngest child will determine whether this work needs to be full-time or part-time.
If you have a partner
If your partner is included in your benefit they will also need to look for work and register with Student Job Search (if they're a student).
They won't need to do this if you have dependent children under 5. They can apply for an exemption from having to look for work if they are pregnant, ill, caring for a special needs child, caring for someone who would otherwise be in hospital, or home-schooling a child.
Please ask us if you think your partner may be exempt.
If you are earning
If you are single with no children or have a partner, you can receive up to $80 (before tax) a week before your Jobseeker Support Student Hardship payments are affected.
Your payments will drop by 70 cents for every dollar you receive over the $80 limit.
If you are a sole parent you can receive up to $100 (before tax) a week before your benefit payment is affected. Then:
- any income you receive between $100 and $200 (before tax) a week will reduce your payment by 30 cents in every dollar
- any income you receive over $200 (before tax) a week will reduce your payment by 70 cents in every dollar and
- if you're paying for childcare, you can receive up to $20 a week more than these limits before your payment is affected.
You need to let us know as soon as you find any kind of work including short-term or seasonal work. If you don't you could be overpaid - you'll have to pay this money back - and you could be prosecuted. Any extra help you get may also be affected by how much you earn.
How much you can get
The amount you get depends on your personal situation such as your age, living arrangements, income and assets.
The guide below shows the maximum amount you can get a week after tax at the 'M' rate. It doesn't include any Family Tax Credits or extra income support you may get.
Rates from 1 April 2013
|16-17 (special circumstances only)||$171.84|
|Single (18-19 living at home)||$137.47|
|Single (18-19 living away from home)||$171.84|
|Single (20-24 years)||$171.84|
|Single (25 years or over)||$206.21|
|Single with 1 or more children||$295.37|
|Married or civil union couple||$171.84 each|
How and when payments are made
Payments are made direct to your own bank account every week (this can be a joint account). If you live with a partner they also get payments every week.
The earliest you can get your Jobseeker Support Student Hardship is in the third week of your break. That's because you have a stand-down period (this is the same for all benefits), and you're paid in arrears.
How long your stand-down is depends on your average income in the last 26 or 52 weeks (whichever is lower).
How to apply
If you feel that you meet the criteria for the Jobseeker Support Student Hardship, the best way to apply for this assistance is online. You can also apply for your Student Allowance or Student Loan for next year at the same time.
If you haven't received a Student Allowance previously, you'll need to apply for one before we can finish processing your application for Jobseeker Support Student Hardship.
The best way to apply for a Student Allowance is online. Make sure you give us all the details we need when we ask for them or it may delay your application.
If you can't apply online then you need to post your completed application and verified (signed and dated) documents to:
For Jobseeker Support Student Hardship applications:
PO Box 30100
Lower Hutt 5040.
For Student Allowance applications:
PO Box 31622
Lower Hutt 5040.