Reprint as at 29 October 2019

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Social Security Act 2018

Public Act
 
2018 No 32
Date of assent
 
28 September 2018
Commencement
 
see section 2
Note

Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Ministry of Social Development.

Contents

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 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
32Sole parent support: situation of split care
33Expiry of sole parent support, and replacement with jobseeker support, when youngest dependent child turns 14 years old
34Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: requirements
35When person has restricted work capacity
36Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: ineligibility
37Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: medical examination
38Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness: payment not apportioned in specified cases
39Supported living payment: on ground of restricted work capacity: encouraging open employment
40Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: requirements
41Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: application must include certificate
42Supported living payment: on ground of caring for another person: medical examination
43Orphan’s benefit: requirements
44Who is eligible caregiver
45Orphan’s benefit to be used for benefit of child
46Unsupported child’s benefit: requirements
47Who is eligible caregiver
48Unsupported child’s benefit to be used for benefit of child
49Youth payment: requirements
50When person is study ready
51Youth payment: no or minimum income
52When person has parental support gap
53Youth payment: discretionary grant on ground of hardship
54Youth payment: continuation after turning 18 years old
55Youth payment: incentive payments
56Young parent payment: requirements
57When person is study ready
58Young parent payment: no or minimum income
59When person has parental support gap
60Young parent payment: discretionary grant on ground of hardship
61Young parent payment: continuation after turning 20 years old
62Young parent payment: incentive payments
63Emergency benefit: discretionary grant on ground of hardship
64Emergency benefit: grant during epidemic in New Zealand
65Accommodation supplement: discretionary grant
66Social housing exclusion
67Other funding exclusion
68Accommodation supplement: special rules for joint tenants who are in relationship
69Accommodation supplement: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances
70Winter energy payment: purpose
71Winter energy payment: interpretation
72Winter energy payment: requirements
73Winter energy payment: election not to receive
74Winter energy payment: instalments, rates, and payment
75Winter energy payment: termination on review
76Childcare assistance: purpose
77Childcare assistance: eligibility
78Child disability allowance: discretionary grant
79Meaning of child with a serious disability
80Child disability allowance: MSD may require medical certificate
81Child disability allowance: MSD may require medical examination
82Child disability allowance: payment
83Child disability allowance: not payable with other assistance or pension
84Meaning of disability
85Disability allowance: discretionary grant
86Disability allowance: excluded expenses
87Disability allowance: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances
88Disability allowance: medical examination
89Special disability allowance: entitlement in special circumstances
90Funeral grant: general eligibility and definitions
91Funeral grant: eligibility if deceased person has dependants
92Funeral grant: eligibility if deceased person has no dependants
93Funeral grant: eligibility if deceased person is child
94Funeral grant: restrictions on payment
95Temporary additional support: purpose
96Temporary additional support: requirements
97Temporary additional support: refusal, reduction, or cancellation of grant in certain circumstances
98Interpretation
99Overseas epidemics affecting visitors to New Zealand: Minister may give overseas epidemic management notice
100Special assistance for visitors affected by overseas epidemics
101Approved special assistance programmes
102Special assistance: status of, and access to, notices
103Provisions relating to children aged 18 years or over who continue education
104What this Part does
105Failure to comply with obligation under this Part
106MSD must make people affected aware of their obligations, consequences of non-compliance, and their review and appeal rights
107MSD must explain rules relating to absence from New Zealand
108MSD must assist in relation to obtaining overseas pension, etc
109Outline of beneficiary’s general and specific obligations
110When obligations apply
111Beneficiary must hold, and give MSD details of, bank account
112Beneficiary must supply tax file number
113Beneficiary must notify change of circumstances
114Obligation to notify absence from New Zealand
115Obligation to undergo work ability assessment
116Persons subject to work ability assessment
117Persons not subject to work ability assessment
118Work ability assessment
119Person who fails to comply with requirement to undergo work ability assessment is subject to sanction
120Work-preparation obligations
121Persons subject to work-preparation obligations
122Persons not subject to work-preparation obligations
123Persons subject to work-preparation obligations if sufficient capacity to comply
124General obligation to take all steps to prepare for employment
125Work-preparation obligations as required by MSD
126Person who fails to comply with work-preparation obligation subject to sanction
127Obligations in relation to dependent children
128Obligations of beneficiary in relation to dependent children
129Obligations of spouse or partner of beneficiary in relation to dependent children of beneficiary
130Obligations of spouse or partner of beneficiary in relation to dependent children of spouse or partner
131Attendance of dependent child aged 3 to 5 years at early childhood education programme
132Attendance of dependent child aged 5 or 6 years at early childhood education programme or registered school
133Attendance of dependent child aged 6 to 15 years at registered school
134Health care enrolment and compliance with core health checks
135Interviews and reporting
136Person who fails to comply with obligations in relation to dependent children is subject to sanction
137Definitions and attendance: regulations made under section 430
138Work-test obligations
139Purpose of sections 140 to 154
140Persons subject to work-test obligations
141Jobseeker support: work capacity determination and work test
142Person not subject to work-test obligations
143Time when work-test obligation applies
144General obligation to be available for suitable employment, etc
145Meaning of suitable employment
146Work-test obligations as required by MSD
147Obligation to undertake and pass drug test
148Compliant drug test defined
149Failing drug test
150Use of drug test result
151Costs of drug test
152Definitions for drug-testing provisions
153Person who fails to comply with work-test obligations is subject to sanction
154Deemed failure to comply with work-test obligation
155Deferral of work-test obligations
156Effect of deferral of work-test obligations
157Regulations may specify categories of exempt persons and grounds for exemption
158MSD may grant exemption from work-preparation, work-test, or other obligation
159Donors of qualifying organs exempt from work-preparation, work-test, or other obligation while recuperating
160Procedure for grant of exemption
161Person who fails to comply with requirement to attend interview is subject to sanction
162Obligations of young person granted youth support payment
163When education obligation or training obligation begins for young parent
164Obligations of young person granted young parent payment
165Young 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
166Young person aged 16 or 17 years who has no dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary
167Young person aged 16 to 19 years who has dependent child and who is spouse or partner of specified beneficiary
168Young 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
169Interpretation
170Obligation to work with contracted service providers
171Person who fails to comply with requirement under section 170(2) subject to sanction
172Interpretation
173Applicant for benefit, etc, to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension
174MSD may give notice requiring person to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension
175MSD may give notice requiring person to take reasonable steps to obtain overseas pension for dependant
176Failure to comply with MSD’s notice given under section 174 or 175
177Applicant for benefit must provide information as to rate of overseas pension
178MSD may give notice requiring beneficiary to provide information as to rate of overseas pension
179Failure to comply with MSD’s notice given under section 178
180Meaning of rate
181Application of health and safety legislation, etc
182Obligations suspended where MSD has exercised discretion to pay benefit while beneficiary overseas
183What this Part does
184Regulations may prescribe pre-benefit activities
185MSD must explain requirements
186Benefit may be subject to repayment of insurance payment
187Interpretation
188Persons affected by receipt of overseas pension
189Benefit of person affected is reduced by amount of overseas pension
190MSD may enter into arrangement with person affected by receipt of overseas pension
191Treatment of certain overseas benefits, pensions, and allowances that are not overseas pensions
192MSD must reduce rates of benefits for sole parents for failure to assist child support
193No reduction in certain cases
194Additional reduction in certain cases
195Shared care of dependent child
196Rules for assessing which parent has greater responsibility for dependent child
197Effect of compensation or damages on application for benefit
198Loss of earnings compensation under Accident Compensation Act 2001
199Veteran’s entitlement excludes any other benefit
200Exceptions to rule that veteran’s entitlement excludes any other benefit
201Personal benefit of spouse or partner excludes benefit on behalf of spouse or partner
202MSD may refuse or cancel benefit for failure to take reasonable steps to obtain maintenance
203MSD may refuse or cancel benefit if family protection claim not pursued
204MSD may refuse or cancel benefit if person not ordinarily resident in New Zealand
205Refugee or protected person status
206Hospitalisation
207Benefit of spouse or partner increased after 13th week of hospitalisation
208Beneficiary resident in institution for treatment of alcoholism or drug addiction
209Benefit not payable to person who is subject to warrant of arrest
210Beneficiary and offence defined for section 209
211MSD must give beneficiary notice of unresolved warrant
212Requirements for unresolved warrant notice
213Immediate suspension of benefit at request of New Zealand Police
214Beneficiary and offence defined for section 213
215MSD must give beneficiary notice of immediate suspension
216Effect of non-payment or suspension of benefit
217Benefit not payable during custody in prison or on remand
218Exceptions to rule that benefit not payable during custody in prison or on remand
219General rule: benefit not payable while beneficiary absent from New Zealand
220Special absence rule: winter energy payment
221Purpose of sections 222 to 224
222Additional dependent child must not be taken into account in certain cases
223Extended application of additional dependent child rules
224Limited application of additional dependent child rules
225Basic rule: no work-tested benefit for 13 weeks after leaving employment or scheme or loss of employment due to misconduct
226Persons to whom basic rule applies
227What happens if basic rule applies
228MSD’s options in case of misconduct
229Interpretation
230How non-entitlement period, etc, affects supplementary benefits, and spouse or partner
231What this Part does
232Sanctions for failure to comply with certain obligations under this Act
233Obligations that carry sanction for failure to comply
234Hierarchy of sanctions
235Failure, and first, second, and third failure, defined for obligations other than young person or young parent obligations
236Sanction for first failure: reduction in main benefit
237Sanction for second failure: suspension of main benefit
238Sanction for third failure: cancellation of main benefit
239Reduction or suspension of reduced benefit
240Failures that can be counted
241Meaning of continuous payment
242Failures that cannot be counted
243Exclusion of sanction if failure is subject of prosecution under Education Act 1989
244Variation for failure to comply with work-test obligation to accept offer of suitable employment
245Variation for breach of work-test obligation by 1 spouse or partner
246Variation for breach of work-test obligation by both partners or spouses
247Variation for suspension or cancellation of benefit or non-entitlement period affecting couple with 1 or more dependent children
248Variation for suspension or cancellation of main benefit or non-entitlement period affecting sole parent
249Good and sufficient reason for non-compliance: default by MSD
250Good and sufficient reason for failure to comply with drug-testing obligation
251Good and sufficient reason for failure to supervise dependent child
252MSD must give notice of sanction
253Notice relates to single failure
254How notice of sanction may be given
255Breach of obligation in relation to dependent children: additional steps before notice may be given
256When reduction, suspension, or cancellation of benefit takes effect
257Request for evidential drug test if sanction imposed for failing screening drug test
258Effect of request for evidential drug test
259Effect of failure of evidential drug test
260Costs of evidential drug test
261How person recomplies after failure to comply with obligation
262Impossibility of remedying failure of work-test obligation
263How person recomplies after failure to comply with drug-testing obligation
264Drug testing for purposes of recompliance
265Failure of drug test for purposes of recompliance constitutes third failure
266Costs of drug testing for purposes of recompliance
267Case management support for beneficiary in breach of obligation in relation to dependent children
268Failure, and first, second, and third failure, defined for young person or young parent obligations
269Sanction for failure to comply with young person obligation
270Sanction for first or second failure: suspension of in-hand allowance and incentive payments
271Sanction for third failure: cancellation of youth payment and incentive payments
272Effect of cancellation of youth payment on accommodation supplement or temporary additional support
273Effect of cancellation of youth payment on emergency benefit
274Effect of cancellation of youth payment on disability allowance or child disability allowance
275Sanctions for failure by young person required to receive youth services to comply with obligations: money management
276Sanctions for failure by young person required to receive youth services to comply with obligations: other cases
277Sanctions for failure by young spouse or partner of specified beneficiary to comply with obligations: money management
278Sanctions for failure by young spouse or partner of specified beneficiary to comply with obligations: other cases
279Sanction for failure to comply with young parent obligation
280Sanction for first or second failure: suspension of in-hand allowance and incentive payments
281Sanction for third failure: cancellation of young parent payment and incentive payments
282Effect of cancellation of young parent payment
283Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on accommodation supplement or temporary additional support
284Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on emergency benefit
285Effect of cancellation of young parent payment on disability allowance or child disability allowance
286How young person satisfies obligation after failure to comply
287Procedure for imposing sanctions for failure to comply with young person or young parent obligation
288Effect of regrant of youth payment on incentive payment
289MSD may cancel incentive payment
290Offences: false statements, misleading, or attempting to mislead, to receive or continue to receive benefits
291Offences: spouse or partner knowingly benefiting from excess amount obtained by beneficiary’s fraud
292Offence of demanding or accepting fee or other consideration in relation to grant of benefit
293Offence of demanding or accepting acknowledgement or undertaking
294General penalty for offences
295Time for filing charging document
296What this Part does
297Application for benefit: making of, help with, lapse, and deemed receipt
298MSD must inquire into claim for benefit
299Exception during epidemic
300Information gathering, disclosure, and matching
301MSD decides whether to grant benefit
302Immediate provisional grant, and later backdating of other benefit
303After death of applicant
304Review of entitlement and rate payable
305Information for review
306No entitlement, or entitlement only at different rate
307Benefit on another eligibility ground more appropriate
308Another benefit more appropriate
309Termination of winter energy payment
310Certain benefits granted, or granted at rate, not taking into account certain insurance payments
311General
312If applicant paid, but claim fails for, ACC weekly compensation
313Benefits subject to stand down
314Work-tested benefit of applicant subject to non-entitlement period
315Exemptions from stand down, and when certain benefits commence
316Start and calculation of stand-down period
317Minister may consent to backdating
318No consent unless benefit not granted earlier because of error
319Commencement of winter energy payment
320Effect of no longer being subject to work-test or young person obligations
321Effect of no longer being subject to dependent children obligations
322Effect of no longer being subject to work-preparation obligations
323Effect of employment on non-entitlement period
324Effect of participation in certain activities on non-entitlement period
325General rule if person’s entitlement to benefit ceases
326After death of beneficiary receiving specified benefit
327Benefits payable to sole parent who stops caring for dependent child due to sudden and uncontrollable circumstances
328Supported living payment payable to beneficiary who stops caring for another person
329If child ceases to be entitled to orphan’s benefit or unsupported child’s benefit
330Supported living payment on ground of restricted work capacity or total blindness and cancelled on medical grounds
331Expiry date, and specified benefit, defined
332General rule
333Exception for specified benefit expiring in week of or before 26 December
334Exemptions
335MSD must notify or advise beneficiary
336Requirements for regrant
337How benefits are paid
338Weekly instalments
339Payment generally to, or on account of, beneficiary personally
340Required manner of payment: general
341Required manner of payment: money management for certain payments to young people
342Money management for certain payments to young people: exception if young person meets prescribed criteria for managing own payments
343Review and appeal of specified determinations made by MSD under regulations
344Young person beneficiaries may elect money management
345Credit on payment card, etc, at end of money management
346Required manner of payment: payment on death of beneficiary
347Advance payment of instalments of benefit
348Requirement for beneficiary, spouse or partner, or both, to undertake budgeting activity
349Interpretation
350MSD may pay tax on income-tested benefit other than by tax deduction from source deduction payment
351Status of amount for income tax paid by MSD
352Recovery amount paid in excess of amount properly payable
353Debts and deductions
354Recovery of penalty from beneficiary who obtains by fraud amount in excess of entitlement
355Restriction on imposing penalty under section 354: prosecution for offence
356Restriction on imposing penalty under section 354: notice and period to respond
357Restriction on recovering penalty under section 354: decision to be final
358Recovery from spouse or partner who misleads MSD of excess amount beneficiary obtained
359Recovery from spouse or partner of apportioned excess amount beneficiary obtained by fraud
360Obtaining amount by fraud: meaning and proof
361Recovery from spouse or partner of unapportioned excess amount beneficiary obtained by fraud
362MSD’s duty to recover debts
363Duty unaffected by law on mistaken payments
364Ways MSD or person can meet requirement to give notice or other document
365Services to encourage young people to move to and remain in education, training, and employment
366Preferred suppliers: contracts
367Preferred suppliers: determinations
368Preferred suppliers: paying them disability allowance, special assistance, or advance payment
369Preferred suppliers: paying them disability allowance: exception if total benefit payments less than amount required
370Preferred suppliers: paying them disability allowance: exception if allowance granted at maximum rate
371Preferred suppliers: no appeal lies against MSD decisions
372Preferred suppliers: transitional or savings provisions directions
373Administration service providers: contracts
374Administration service providers: contents and form of contracts
375Administration service providers: adoption of existing contracts
376Administration service providers: MSD to ensure information published
377Conduct of provider of services in relation to young people to be treated for specified purposes as if MSD’s conduct
378MSD may assign contracted service provider to young person
379Minister determines rates and conditions of employment and payment
380Orders adopting reciprocity agreements
381Privacy report for orders adopting agreements with mutual assistance provisions
382Interpretation
383Inclusion of mutual assistance provisions in reciprocity agreements
384MSD may use mutual assistance provisions to recover debts
385MSD may use mutual assistance provisions to exchange information
386Adverse action against individual if discrepancy shown by information from other country
387Prosecutions and debt recovery proceedings: representation and fees
388Payment of benefit does not affect right to maintenance
389Maintenance proceedings
390What this Part does
391Right to seek review of specified decision of MSD made under delegation
392Application must be made within 3 months after date of notification or further period allowed
393Benefits review committee
394How to begin, and procedure and powers for, review by benefits review committee
395Appeals only against decision confirmed or varied by benefits review committee or made by chief executive personally
396Authority cannot hear and determine certain appeals on medical or capacity grounds
397Decision under specified social assistance enactments
398Decision under reciprocity agreements
399Decision to recover excess amount
400Appeal must be begun within 60 working days of notification or further allowed period
401Social security appeal authority
402Act does not affect appeals to authority under other enactments
403How to begin, and procedure and powers for, appeal to authority
404Notice, and carrying into effect, of decision
405Right of appeal using case stated on question of law only
406Appeal must be begun, and case stated lodged, within time prescribed or allowed
407How to begin, and procedure for, appeal to High Court
408Orders, etc, on successful appeal
409Appeal, with Court of Appeal’s leave, against High Court’s determination
410Appeal, with Supreme Court’s leave, against High Court’s or Court of Appeal’s determination
411Right of appeal on medical grounds
412Appeal must be begun within 3 months of notification or further allowed period
413Board
414How to apply, and procedure and powers, for appeal to board
415Notice of, and carrying into effect, board’s decision
416What this Part does
417Benefits cannot, in general, be assigned or charged, or pass by operation of law
418Regulations: general
419Regulations: general powers not limited by special powers
420Regulations: effect of duties or powers to give directions
421Regulations: residential requirement
422Regulations: income exemptions
423Regulations: accommodation supplement
424Regulations: childcare assistance
425Regulations: disability allowance: special categories of eligibility
426Regulations: use of disability allowance to fund specified expenses
427Regulations: funeral grants: amounts and methods of payment
428Regulations: temporary additional support
429Regulations: participation allowance for people participating in activities
430Regulations: specific obligations: obligations in relation to dependent children: definitions and attendance
431Regulations: specific obligations: work-test obligations, and deferrals of, or exemptions from, specified obligations
432Regulations: factors affecting benefits: pre-benefit activities
433Regulations: factors affecting benefits: insurance recovery
434Regulations: factors affecting benefits: overseas pensions
435Regulations: factors affecting benefits: issue of warrant to arrest beneficiary
436Regulations: factors affecting benefits: absence from New Zealand
437Regulations: issue and use of entitlement cards
438Regulations: application for benefit: making of, help with, lapse, and deemed receipt
439Regulations: certain benefits granted, or granted at rate, not taking into account certain insurance payments
440Regulations: exemptions from, and calculation of, stand down
441Regulations: expiry and regrant of specified benefits
442Regulations: payments
443Regulations: payments during epidemic in New Zealand
444Regulations: debts and deductions
445Regulations: further provisions on deductions
446Regulations: advance payment of instalments of benefit
447Regulations: budgeting activities due to application for advance payment of instalments of benefit
448Regulations: remittance or suspension of debt
449Regulations: ways MSD or person can meet requirement to give notice or other document
450Regulations: reciprocity agreements with mutual assistance provisions, and adverse action if discrepancy shown by information from other country
451Regulations: how to begin, and procedure and powers for, review or appeal
452Orders in Council: discretionary increases in rates of benefits, etc
452AOrders in Council: mandatory annual average weekly earnings adjustment of rates of main benefits
453Orders in Council: mandatory annual CPI adjustment of rates of certain benefits that are not main benefits
454Certain orders are confirmable instruments
455Social Security Act 1964 repealed
456Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements, and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990 repealed
457Department of Social Welfare Act 1971 repealed
458Employment Services and Income Support (Integrated Administration) Act 1998 repealed
459Other enactments amended consequentially
Reprint notes

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows: