Home Schooling: WINZ & DPB in New Zealand

Update 07/09/14   Beneficiaries: https://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading/


Thanks Rose for putting this together for Home educators:


Domestic Purposes Benefit clients have the following obligations:

·they must advise of any change in circumstances that affect their entitlement or rate of benefit payable

·if required, they must participate in the Personal Development and Employment planning process, that may include:

– attending interviews

– developing and signing a Person Development and Employment Plan

– taking part in a regular review of their Plan (depending on their individual circumstances)

– showing commitment to the goals they have included in their Plan

·if they are a sole parent, apply for Child Support

Noteclients receiving the Domestic Purposes Benefitcannotbe pressured into taking up or accepting employment.


As regards homeschooling, the only reference I could find to that was a work test on an unemployment benefit, however it does not appear that it even needs to be raised, according to the information from the next page I found:

Change in age

A child’s age affects the:

·family tax creditpayableand

·whether or not the child meets the definition of dependent child

Child remains dependent

A child is considered to be a dependent child unless:

·the child is in full-time employment
that generally a child can still be a dependent child when they start part-time employment. For more information see:Child starts part-time employment

·receiving a basic Student Allowanceor an Independent Circumstances Allowance
receipt ofStudent Loandoes not necessarily mean a child is financially independent.

·receiving a benefit in their own rightor

·financially independent

Under 18 and not attending school

A child does not have to be attending school to remain a dependent child up until the age of 18 years.


And if your child continues education beyond the age of 18, there is also information regarding that situation:

Child turns 18 years old

When a dependent child turns 18 years old they are excluded from Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole parent.


Where a dependent child is attending school or a tertiary institution (including by correspondence) you may continue to include the child in Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole parent.

For more information see:

·Child aged 18 years and continues education

Date of review

Exclude the child from the date the child turns 18 years old.

However, there is some discretion to continue payment up to and including one payday following the date the child turns 18 years.

Child applies for a benefit in their own right

A dependent child cannot apply for a benefit (in their own right) until they have attained the qualifying age for that benefit. When the child’s benefit is granted they will have an initial stand-down period.

Wherever possible (and in appropriate circumstances) the date of exclusion of the child from the client’s benefit and the commencement date of the child’s benefit should coincide to avoid financial hardship for the family.

Notethe child must be excluded no later than the commencement date of the benefit granted in the child’s own right.

Also see:

·Effect on benefit

·Processing standards << Child inclusion – exclusion >> [link not available]


·Review of benefitssection 81Social Security Act 1964

·Children continuing educationsection 63ASocial Security Act 1964


Child aged 18 years and continues education

Where a dependent child is 18 years of age and is attending school or a tertiary establishment (including by correspondence), the child can continue to be regarded as a dependent child up until the end of the school year in which the child turns 18 years old.

If the child returns to school or a tertiary establishment the following year, the child can apply forStudent AllowanceorStudent Loan.

For more information see:

·Correspondence School


·Child continuing educationsection 63ASocial Security Act 1964


Info on making sure you are not overpaid your family tax credit:

Child leaves school

Child under the age of 18 years

Where a child under the age of 18 years leaves school or an educational facility, continue to include the child in the benefit provided the child remains adependent child.

Child aged 18 years leaves school during the academic year

Where a child aged 18 years leaves school or an educational facility during the academic year the child should be excluded from the benefit from the beginning of the next pay period in which the child leaves school or an educational facility.

There is discretion to continue payment for one payday following the date the child left school. You need to consider the activity the child is going to when you consider the use of this discretion.

Family tax credit

Family tax credit payments should be stopped from the beginning of the next pay period in which the child left school or educational facility, to avoid an overpayment (with Inland Revenue) for the client.

Child aged 18 years at the end of the school year

Theend of school yearprocess identifies where a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent includes a child who is 16 years or older.

The child can remain included in the benefit up to and including the first payday in January.

Where the child applies for a benefit in their own right (prior to the first payday in January) exclude the child from:

·the date the child’s own benefit is grantedor

·the first pay day in January following

whichever is the earlier.

Family tax credit

When a child leaves school or an educational facility, family tax credit payments cease from the day the child is excluded from the client’s Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent.



Another helpful link:


3 thoughts on “Home Schooling: WINZ & DPB in New Zealand

  1. Home Schooling WINZ and Sickness Benefit in NZ.
    We have received a letter saying that my wife – the teacher of our 2 children – needs to register as a job seeker? In a knee jerk reaction, my wife has found 2 days a week work. (Equating to $4.28 hr in the hand after WINZ deductions)
    As I’m on a sickness benefit and still have no work, not through lack of trying, will try to take on the role of teacher. Winz have been advised every year ‘we home school’ you would think that was enough, my wife still gets letters and still we have to attend meetings to validate this.
    Who else is in this situation?

  2. I have been home schooling for nearly 8 years now. The last 3 with my husband having prolonged surgeries and recovery time that have meant we are on an Invalids Benefit. As soon as my youngest turned 6, I got hit with the ‘register as a job seeker letter’.
    Once my sons exemption came through from the MOE, I took a copy to the local WINZ office and it was passed on to our case worker, to add to the copies they already had for our daughters.
    The gist of the responce was, while our eldest is at home in our care, (she is high functioning Aspergers, academically bright and averages in the mid 90% in all her subjects) I may continue to home school, but should she cease being schooled or leave our care, I am no longer exempt and would be required to work.
    My husband and I felt this responce totally neglected to recognise our rights (call it religious freedom if you want) to home school all three of our children, a desicion based on more than just one childs emotional wellbeing.
    My understanding is that WINZ have no authority to overide an exemption and force the home school ‘teacher’ out to work, Even if both parents names are on the exemption, a sign of unity in the desicion, it gives WINZ no authority to play ‘eeny, meeny, miney, mo….’ as to who stays and who goes. Would a state school parent accept that their child spent 1/2 its day in the classroom without its teacher, as she was told to be employed for 3 hours a day elsewhere?
    Why, as a home schooling parent, should we be pressured to feel that what we are doing is purely a means of escaping the discipline of paid employment? As any home schooling parent knows, it is a very full and often demanding day. It is not a task to be taken lightly.
    My husband would like nothing more than finish re-training (he is no longer physically able to work in his previous employment), and be working and able to financially provide for us.
    If next year I yet again receive ‘the’ letter, I might just take all three children to the appointment, plus all their previous years folders of written work, the years curriculum outlines, and daily records of progress, tests and completed work. I have come to this conclusion as so many are quick to say, ‘I could never do it!’, but do they really know what the ‘it’ we do, is?

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