Young professionals making coffee.

Changes to benefit categories from 15 July 2013

On 15 July 2013, the Welfare Reform changes came into place. New Zealand’s welfare system has changed to one that better recognises and supports people’s work potential. It focuses on what people can do to achieve a better future for themselves and their families.

Three new benefits replaced most of the previous benefits:

  • Jobseeker Support - for people who can usually look or prepare for work. It also includes people who can only work part-time or can’t look for work at the moment, for example because they have a health condition, injury or disability.
  • Sole Parent Support - for sole parents with dependent children under 14 who can look or prepare for part-time work.
  • Supported Living Payment - for people who have or care for someone with a health condition, injury or disability that severely limits their ability to work on a long-term basis.

Benefits that remain include: Emergency Benefit, Emergency Maintenance Allowance, Youth Payment, and Youth Parent Payment.

What does this mean for the quarterly benefit fact sheets?

June 2013 quarter

The June fact sheets were the final quarter release using the previous benefit categories, and continue the same series that was published over the previous 10 years.

September 2013 quarter

The September quarter fact sheets were the first to show the new benefit categories. The fact sheets were redesigned; and as well as the new benefit categories, these fact sheets include some new content.

The new fact sheets continue to provide a 5 year time series of quarterly benefit data, and present information at the national, territorial authority, regional council and service centre levels.

How do the old benefit categories compare with the new categories?

The majority of the old categories have been regrouped into three core benefit categories. A few existing categories remain. Below is a table that maps the existing benefit categories onto the new ones. The tables uses estimated benefit data for June.

High level numbers for new benefit groupings – using June 2013 data.

BenefitJune 2012March 2013June 2013Quarterly changeAnnual change
Jobseeker Support (JS) - Total134,580128,784128,608-176-0.1%-5,972-4.4%
UB/UBH 49,622 48,756 48,438 -318 -0.7% -1,184 -2.4%
UBT related 6,265 4,960 4,922 -38 -0.8% -1,343 -21.4%
SB related 59,413 58,208 59,127 919 1.6% -286 -0.5%
DPB-SP/WA/WB* 19,280 16,860 16,121 -739 -4.4% -3,159 -16.4%
Sole Parent Support (SPS)**- Total88,55484,46282,897-1,565-1.9%-5,657-6.4%
DPB-SP 87,695 83,645 82,119 -1,526 -1.8% -5,576 -6.4%
WB 859 817 778 -39 -4.8% -81 -9.4%
Supported Living Payment (SLP) - Total91,30991,36791,8624950.5%5530.6%
IB 83,652 83,409 83,778 369 0.4% 126 0.2%
DPB-CSI 7,657 7,958 8,084 126 1.6% 427 5.6%
Youth Payment/Young Parent Payment (YP/YPP)*** - Total-1,0341,18014614.1%--
YP - 108 198 90 83.3% - -
YPP - 926 982 56 6.0% - -
Other main benefits (incl EMA, UHS, EB)5,5984,4995,23573616.4%-363-6.5%
All main benefits320,041310,146309,782-364-0.1%-10,259-3.2%

* Includes DPB-Sole Parent if youngest child is 14 or over, DPB-Woman Alone, and Widows Benefit (WB) for those without children or with children 14 or over.

** Includes DPB-Sole Parent and WB clients whose youngest child is under 14 years.

*** YP/YPP was implemented on 20 August 2012.


UB/UBH = Unemployment Benefit and Unemployment Benefit Hardship

UBT related = Unemployment Benefit Training and Unemployment Benefit Hardship Training

SB related = Sickness Benefit and Sickness Benefit Hardship

DPB-SP/WA/WB = Domestic Purposes Benefit ((SP) Sole Parent, (WA) Women Alone), (WB) Widow’s Benefit

IB = Invalid’s Benefit

DPB-CSI = Domestic Purposes Benefit (Care of Sick or Infirm)

EMA = Emergency Maintenance Allowance

UHS = Unemployment Benefit Student Hardship

EB = Emergency Benefit