Notice Type
Departmental
Notice Title

Families Package (Transitional Assistance) Programme

This programme is established and approved under section 124(1)(d) of the Social Security Act 1964 by the Minister for Social Development.

Contents

1. Title

2. Commencement

3. Purpose

4. Interpretation

5. Application of the Act

Transitional assistance

6. Transitional assistance for single applicants

7. Transitional assistance for applicants with spouses or partners

8. Transitional assistance for recipients of childcare assistance

Amount of transitional assistance

9. Amount of transitional assistance

General provisions

10. Review of transitional assistance

11. Commencement and duration of transitional assistance

12. Entitlement if new or increased specified payment available but not sought

Programme

1. Title

This programme is the Families Package (Transitional Assistance) Programme.

2. Commencement

This programme comes into force on 1 April 2018.

3. Purpose

The purpose of this programme is to provide temporary financial assistance for specified people who are unintentionally financially disadvantaged as a result of the Government’s Families Package.

4. Interpretation

  1. In this programme, unless the context otherwise requires:
    1. Act means the Social Security Act 1964.

    2. amendment Act means the Families Package (Income Tax and Benefits) Act 2017.

    3. applicant means:

      1. a person who is receiving a specified payment (see subclause (3));
      2. a person who has applied for or has been granted transitional assistance under this programme.
    4. Best Start tax credit means the tax credit under subpart MG of the Income Tax Act 2007, as it will come into force on 1 July 2018.

    5. change of circumstances, in relation to a person:

      1. includes (without limitation):
        1. the person becoming the caregiver of a dependent child or a further dependent child;
        2. the person’s dependent child attaining an age that confers entitlement to a higher rate or amount of a specified payment; and
      2. excludes (without limitation):
        1. a change of hours in respect of which childcare assistance under section 61GA of the Act is granted;
        2. a specified payment increasing where there has been no other change in circumstances (for example, an increase to the rate of a specified payment to reflect movements in the New Zealand consumers price index);
        3. an increase in the amount of any specified payment as a consequence of any specified amendment coming into force on a specified date;
        4. a specified payment expiring if it is re-granted to the person;
        5. a change of specified payment if there is no change to the rate of financial assistance payable to the person.
    6. eligible applicant means an applicant whose family scheme income (as that term is defined in section MA 8 of the Income Tax Act 2007) is less than $123,000.

    7. Families Package means the amendments to tax, social security, and student allowances legislation made by the Families Package (Income Tax and Benefits) Act 2017, the Social Security (Budget 2017—Amounts of, and Areas for, Accommodation Supplement) Order 2017 (LI 2017/133), and the Student Allowances (Budget 2017—Accommodation Benefit) Amendment Regulations 2017.

    8. net income, in relation to a person, has the same meaning as chargeable income in Schedule 1 of the Social Security (Temporary Additional Support) Regulations 2005 except that it includes the amount of any temporary additional support under section 61GA of the Act and winter energy payment the person receives.

    9. specified amendment means:
      1. any amendment to any of the specified enactments that is:
        1. made by Part 1 or Part 2 of the amendment Act or by the Social Security (Budget 2017—Amounts of, and Areas for, Accommodation Supplement) Order 2017 (LI 2017/133); and
        2. comes into force on a specified date;
      2. any amendment to the Student Allowances Regulations 1999 made by the Student Allowances (Budget 2017—Accommodation Benefit) Amendment Regulations 2017 (LI 2017/134) that comes into force on 1 April 2018.
    10. specified enactments means:

      1. the Act;
      2. the Income Tax Act 2007;
      3. the Tax Administration Act 1994;
      4. the Housing Restructuring and Tenancy Matters Act 1992;
      5. the Privacy (Information Sharing Agreement between Inland Revenue and Ministry of Social Development) Order 2017;
      6. the Taxation (Abated Interim Payments of subparts MA to MF and MZ Credit) Regulations 2002.
    11. specified date means either of the following dates:

      1. 1 April 2018;
      2. 1 July 2018.
    12. specified payment means any of the following benefits or payments:

      1. a main benefit under this Act (as that term is defined in section 3(1) of the Act);
      2. New Zealand superannuation;
      3. a veteran’s pension;
      4. an accommodation supplement under section 61EA of the Act;
      5. childcare assistance under section 61GA of the Act;
      6. a disability allowance under section 69C of the Act;
      7. a special benefit continued by section 23 of the Social Security (Working for Families) Amendment Act 2004;
      8. temporary additional support under section 61G of the Act;
      9. any special assistance of a continuing nature under any welfare programme established and approved under section 124(1)(d) of the Act (other than this programme);
      10. any winter energy payment;
      11. any tax credit or amount received under subparts MA to MF and MZ of the Income Tax Act 2007;
      12. any Best Start tax credit;
      13. a basic grant or an independent circumstances grant under the Student Allowances Regulations 1999 and any accommodation benefit received under those regulations.
    13. transitional assistance means special assistance of a kind prescribed in clause 6 or 7 or 8 that is provided by the chief executive under this programme.

    14. winter energy payment means the benefit of that name under Part 1KA of the Act, as it will come into force on 1 July 2018.

  2. If a term used in this programme is defined in the Act but not in this programme, the term has the meaning given by the Act.
  3. For the purposes of this programme and the definition in subclause (1) of applicant, a specified payment that a person is entitled to and has applied for before a specified date is considered to be received by the person even if the specified payment is not granted, or payment is not made, until after that specified date.

5. Application of the Act

  1. Sections 12, 62, 63, 64, 66, 66A, 70, 71, 74, 74A, 77, 80A, 80B, 80BD, 81, 82, 83, and 84 of the Act apply with any necessary modifications to and in respect of the following as if the special assistance under this programme were a benefit under the Act:
    1. this programme;
    2. any applicant for assistance under this programme;
    3. any person granted assistance under this programme;
    4. the spouse or partner of a person described in paragraph (b) or (c).
  2. Nothing in subclause (1) limits the application to this programme or any special assistance under it of any other provision of the Act (for example, section 85A(d)).

Transitional assistance

6. Transitional assistance for single applicants

  1. The chief executive may with or without application grant transitional assistance to an eligible applicant who is single if:
    1. on a specified date, the net income of the person is reduced; and
    2. the chief executive is satisfied that:
      1. the reason why the person’s net income is reduced is or includes the effect of 1 or more specified amendments; and
      2. none of the matters specified in subclause (2) contributed to that reduction of income.
  2. The matters referred to in subclause (1)(b)(ii) are:
    1. a change in the circumstances of the person that took place on or before the specified date concerned;
    2. the ineligibility of the person to receive any specified payment or rate of specified payment (other than an ineligibility that arises from a specified amendment);
    3. the suspension, cancellation, or reduction of a specified payment resulting from a failure or omission of the person.

7. Transitional assistance for applicants with spouses or partners

  1. The chief executive may with or without application grant transitional assistance to an eligible applicant who has a spouse or partner if:
    1. on a specified date, the combined net income of the person and the person’s spouse or partner is reduced; and
    2. the chief executive is satisfied that:
      1. the reason why that combined net income is reduced is or includes the effect of 1 or more specified amendments; and
      2. none of the matters specified in subclause (2) contributed to that reduction of income.
  2. The matters referred to in subclause (1)(b)(ii) are:
    1. a change in the circumstances of the person or the person’s spouse or partner that took place on or before the specified date concerned;
    2. the ineligibility of the person or the person’s spouse or partner to receive any specified payment or rate of specified payment (other than an ineligibility that arises from a specified amendment);
    3. the suspension, cancellation, or reduction of a specified payment resulting from a failure or omission of the person or the person’s spouse or partner.

8. Transitional assistance for recipients of childcare assistance

  1. The chief executive may with or without application grant transitional assistance to an eligible applicant who was immediately before 1 April 2018 receiving childcare assistance under section 61GA of the Act if the amount of childcare assistance payable to the person is reduced on 2 April 2018, and the chief executive is satisfied:
    1. the reason why that childcare assistance is reduced is or includes the effect of 1 or more specified amendments in force on 1 April 2018; and
    2. none of the matters specified in subclause (2) contributed to that reduction of childcare assistance.
  2. The matters referred to in subclause (1)(b)(ii) are:
    1. a change in the circumstances of the person that took place on or before 2 April 2018;
    2. the ineligibility of the person to receive any specified payment or rate of specified payment (other than an ineligibility that arises from a specified amendment);
    3. the suspension, cancellation, or reduction of a specified payment resulting from a failure or omission of the person.

Amount of transitional assistance

9. Amount of transitional assistance

  1. The amount of transitional assistance payable is:
    1. in the case of transitional assistance payable to an applicant who is single, the amount by which the applicant’s net income is reduced as referred to in clause 6(1); or
    2. in the case of transitional assistance payable to an applicant who has a spouse or partner, the amount by which the combined net income of the applicant and his or her spouse or partner is reduced as referred to in clause 7(1).
  2. The amount of transitional assistance granted under clause 8 is the amount by which the applicant’s childcare assistance is reduced, as referred to in that clause.
  3. If, as a result of a change of circumstances of the applicant or the applicant’s spouse or partner their net income decreases, the amount of the transitional assistance must not be increased by reason of that change.
  4. If, as a consequence of 1 or more specified amendments coming into force on a later specified date, the amount of specified payments increases, the amount of transitional assistance reduces by the amount of increase in specified payments.

General provisions

10. Review of transitional assistance

  1. Transitional assistance granted in relation to a specified date must be reviewed under section 81 of the Act on or after the next succeeding specified date.
  2. Nothing in subclause (1) limits the chief executive’s right to review transitional assistance at any time.

11. Commencement and duration of transitional assistance

  1. Transitional assistance commences on the later of the following:
    1. the specified date in respect of which it is granted;
    2. in the case of transitional assistance under clause 8, 2 April 2018;
    3. if an application for it was received more than 28 days after the date in paragraph (a) or (b), the date on which the application for it was received.
  2. Transitional assistance granted in relation to a specified date continues until the first of the following events occurs:
    1. because of a change of circumstances, the net income of the person or combined net income of the person and the person’s spouse or partner (if any) increases:
    2. in the case of transitional assistance granted in relation to 1 April 2018, if because of 1 or more specified amendments coming into force on 1 July 2018, the amount of the increase in the specified payments of the person and the person’s spouse or partner (if any) exceeds the amount of the transitional assistance;
    3. the expiry of the period of 12 months commencing on the specified date in respect of which the transitional assistance was granted;
    4. because of a change of circumstances, the person or the person’s spouse or partner (if any) no longer permanently receives:
      1. a specified payment that was increased by 1 or more specified amendments on a specified date; or
      2. a specified payment that was reduced as an effect of that increase.

12. Entitlement if new or increased specified payment available but not sought

  1. This clause applies in the following cases:
    1. in respect of an applicant who is single, where the chief executive is satisfied that the applicant’s net income has decreased because the applicant has not applied for, or has not supplied information required to determine entitlement to, a specified payment or a rate of a specified payment that became available as a consequence of a specified amendment;
    2. in respect of an applicant who has a spouse or partner, where the chief executive is satisfied that the reduction of the net income of the applicant and his or her spouse or partner is because the applicant or his or her spouse or partner have not applied for, or have not supplied information required to determine entitlement to, a specified payment or a rate of a specified payment that became available as a consequence of a specified amendment.
  2. If this clause applies, the chief executive may:
    1. refuse to grant transitional assistance; or
    2. grant transitional assistance under clause 6 or 7 or 8 at a reduced rate; or
    3. reduce the rate of transitional assistance already granted; or
    4. terminate any transitional assistance already granted.

Dated at Wellington this 12th day of February 2018.

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI, Minister for Social Development.

Explanatory note

This note in not part of the programme, but is intended to indicate its general effect.

This programme, which comes into force on 1 April 2018, provides for the granting of temporary financial assistance for a maximum period of 12 months to people who are unintentionally financially disadvantaged by the Government’s family package. Clauses 6, 7, and 8 are the main eligibility provisions. Transitional assistance is available for loss of net income (as defined in clause 4(1)), loss of childcare assistance, or both if the reason for that loss is or includes the effect of an amendment to social security, student allowances, or tax legislation in the package and no specified matters contributed to that loss. Transitional assistance is subject to the conditions specified in the programme.