Work and Income support

Work and Income provides financial support to people with disabilities and their families.

Supported Living Payment (previously called the Invalid’s Benefit)

The Supported Living Payment (SLP) is a weekly payment to help if you have, or are caring for someone with, a significant health condition, injury or disability, including intellectual disability.

An SLP application can be made by a person who is 16 years or older, whether the person is attending school or tertiary education. The payment of the Child Disability Allowance (an allowance to assist with the extra care required for a child with a serious disability) will discontinue if the SLP is granted or when the young person turns 18. As part of the application for SLP, information about the person’s disability and the impact it has on their ability to work is required.

Jobseekers Support (previously called the Unemployment or Sickness Benefit)

Jobseekers Support provides financial support while also allowing the person to receive support to seek suitable work.

It’s a temporary benefit paid while a person is looking for work.

How does employment affect benefits?

Many people with intellectual disabilities will want and be able to work full or part-time. People who are working part-time must declare their earnings. People can earn or receive extra money and still be entitled to a benefit.

Work and Income has calculators online to help determine how much money will be deducted from benefits when a person is earning money.

Exemption of all or part of income ‘as incentive to personal effort’

Work and Income can use their discretion to decide if all or part of the income of a person with a severe disablement can be disregarded ‘as an incentive to personal effort’.

It is designed to increase participation in the community by exempting all or part of someone’s income that is earned by their own efforts.

A person on an SLP can continue to receive the benefit for up to 26 weeks after starting work in ‘open employment’ for 15 or more hours a week. This gives people an opportunity to see whether working in ‘open employment’ is a good option.

Some people starting work may qualify for the Work Bonus or Transition to Work Grant, which helps people with the costs of moving into a job.

Review and appeal processes

Any decision made by Work and Income about benefit entitlement can be appealed. There is a review and appeal process that people can use to ensure decisions are correct. If you are concerned you may have received inaccurate or insufficient information or poor advice, ask to be referred to a Work and Income Disability Advisor.

How we can help

If you have any questions call our Community Connect phone line 9am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday on 0800 442 311