Contents

Main benefits

Domestic Purposes Benefits

Definition of Domestic Purposes Benefits

This group of main benefits comprises:

Recent operational and administrative changesTop

From September 2010, clients receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent, a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Woman Alone, or an Emergency Maintenance Allowance are subject to work obligations if:

If their youngest dependent child is aged less than 6, they have to meet the obligations of the employment planning process if required to by their case manager.

At the same date, there was an increase (from $80 a week before tax to $100 a week before tax) in the amount of other income that recipients of these benefits could earn before their benefit was affected.

Between March 2003 and September 2010, clients receiving these benefits were obliged to meet the requirements of the Personal Development and Employment planning process if required to by their case managers.

Eligibility by specific type of Domestic Purposes BenefitTop

Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent

Who is it available to?

A Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent is available to a sole parent with one or more dependent children who:

To be eligible for a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent, the sole parent must:

In addition, clients must:

Applicants for a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent are, with some exceptions, required to:

A refusal to name the other parent without good reason results in a reduced rate of benefit being payable.

Income and residency tests apply.

Work obligations

From September 2010, clients receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent are subject to:

If their youngest dependent child is aged less than 6, they have to meet the obligations of the employment planning process if required to by their case manager.

What happens to the Child Support paid by the other parent of the child?

Child Support paid by the liable parent, up to the level of the Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent, is retained by the Crown to offset the cost of the benefit. Please refer to Inland Revenue publications for information on the collection of Child Support.

Domestic Purposes Benefit – Care of Sick or Infirm

Who is it available to?

A Domestic Purposes Benefit – Care of Sick or Infirm is available to a person who is caring on a full-time basis for someone (other than a partner). The person being cared for must:

– hospital care
– rest home care
– residential disability care
– extended care services provided for severely disabled children and young people, or
– care of an equivalent kind.

To be eligible for a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Care of Sick or Infirm, clients must be aged 16 or over.

Income and residency tests apply.

Work obligations

Recipients of a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Care of Sick or Infirm are not work tested. These clients may, however, be required to attend a yearly planning meeting to plan their entry into paid work once their caring responsibilities have ended.

Domestic Purposes Benefit – Women Alone

Who is it available to?

A Domestic Purposes Benefit – Women Alone is available to women who are:

To be eligible for this benefit, these women must have become alone or lost the support of a partner after:

– caring for dependent children for at least 15 years
– caring full-time for a sick or frail relative for at least five years, or
– being supported by their partner for at least five years.

Residency and income tests apply.

Work obligations

From September 2010, clients receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Woman Alone have to meet the obligations of the employment planning process if required to by their case manager.

Between March 2003 and September 2010, these clients were obliged to meet the requirements of the Personal Development and Employment planning process if required to by their case manager.

Emergency Maintenance Allowance

Who is it available to?

An Emergency Maintenance Allowance may be available to sole parents with one or more dependent children who do not meet the eligibility criteria for a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent or a Widow’s Benefit and who:

In some circumstances, it can also be paid to clients who are experiencing domestic violence but who are still living with their spouses or partners.

Over two-fifths of clients receiving an Emergency Maintenance Allowance are aged 25–39, while over one-third are aged 16–24.

Residency and income tests apply.

Work obligations

From September 2010, clients receiving an Emergency Maintenance Allowance are subject to:

If their youngest dependent child is aged less than 6, they have to meet the obligations of the employment planning process if required to by their case manager.

Between March 2003 and September 2010, clients receiving an Emergency Maintenance Allowance were obliged to meet the requirements of the Personal Development and Employment planning process if required to by their case manager.

Numbers receiving a Domestic Purposes BenefitTop

The number receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit decreased between 2011 and 2012

This decrease (see table DP.1) followed increases between 2008 and 2011. This pattern reflected a combination of changes in economic conditions and Work and Income’s increased focus on moving sole parents into work once their children reach school age.

table DP.1: Numbers receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit

Age of client at 30 June Clients receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit1
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Working-age clients receiving benefits 96,440 104,400 111,689 113,429 112,260
Other clients receiving benefits 717 782 694 610 568
Total clients receiving benefits 97,157 105,182 112,383 114,039 112,828

Note

  1. The number of clients recorded in SWIFTT as receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit at the end of June.

This decrease reflected an excess of cancellations over grants

In 2011/2012, slightly more Domestic Purposes Benefits were cancelled than were granted (see table DP.2 and table DP.3). This followed three years when more Domestic Purposes Benefits were granted than were cancelled.

The decrease between 2008/2009 and 2011/2012 in Domestic Purposes Benefits granted (see table DP.2) reflected a combination of:

table DP.2: Numbers granted a Domestic Purposes Benefit

Client age when benefit granted Grants of a Domestic Purposes Benefit1
2007/2008 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012
Benefits granted to working-age clients 36,494 41,811 40,616 38,072 36,258
Benefits granted to other clients 1,054 1,100 942 799 751
Total benefits granted 37,548 42,911 41,558 38,871 37,009

Note

  1. The number of successful applications for a Domestic Purposes Benefit recorded in SWIFTT during years ended June.

The number of clients cancelling a Domestic Purposes Benefit increased

This increase was apparent between 2009/2010 and 2011/2012, but slowed in 2011/2012 (see table DP.3). It followed decreases between 2007/2008 and 2009/2010. This pattern reflected a combination of:

table DP.3: Numbers cancelling a Domestic Purposes Benefit

Client age when benefit cancelled Cancellations of a Domestic Purposes Benefit1
2007/2008 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012
Benefits cancelled by working-age clients 36,873 34,566 34,110 36,895 37,231
Benefits cancelled by other clients 351 375 373 348 399
Total benefits cancelled 37,224 34,941 34,483 37,243 37,630

Note

  1. The number of cancellations of Domestic Purposes Benefits recorded in SWIFTT during years ended June.

More information about recipients of Domestic Purposes Benefits

Between 2008 and 2012, almost all working-age recipients of a Domestic Purposes Benefit were sole parents

Over this period, around 90% of these clients were receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent or an Emergency Maintenance Allowance (see table DP.4).

The number receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Care of Sick or Infirm increased between 2008 and 2012 (see table DP.4). This reflected, at least in part, the impact of a Work and Income campaign aimed at ensuring people caring for others were receiving their full and correct entitlements.

table DP.4: Types of Domestic Purposes Benefits received

Type of Domestic Purposes Benefit received at the end of June 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Working-age clients receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit1
Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent 86,695 93,404 99,284 99,945 98,148
Domestic Purposes Benefit – Care of Sick or Infirm 5,246 6,016 6,630 7,248 7,657
Domestic Purposes Benefit – Women Alone 2,842 3,149 3,507 3,865 4,006
Emergency Maintenance Allowance 1,657 1,831 2,268 2,371 2,449
Total working-age clients receiving benefits 96,440 104,400 111,689 113,429 112,260
  Other clients receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit1
Total other clients receiving benefits 717 782 694 610 568
  All clients receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit 1
Total clients receiving benefits 97,157 105,182 112,383 114,039 112,828

Note

  1. The number of clients recorded in SWIFTT as receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit at the end of June.

Over one in three of clients cancelling a Domestic Purposes Benefit entered paid work

A majority of the clients cancelling these benefits for ‘other’ reasons entered other relationships or reconciled with former partners. A small number of work-ready clients transferred to Unemployment Benefits.

More information about working-age sole parents receiving benefits

A relatively small number of the working-age population were sole parents receiving benefits

Between 2010 and 2012, recipients of a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent or an Emergency Maintenance Allowance accounted for around 3.7% of the working-age population. This proportion increased from 3.3% to 3.7% between 2008 and 2010.

Younger people were most likely to be sole parents receiving benefits

Between 2008 and 2012, 25–39 year olds were most likely to be receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent or an Emergency Maintenance Allowance, followed by 18–24 year olds and 40–49 year olds. This reflected, at least in part, patterns in the ages of:

See table OT.3 for information about the use of Domestic Purposes Benefits since 1975.

One in two of these clients had at least one dependent child aged less than 5

In 2011 and 2012, 50% of the working-age recipients of a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent or an Emergency Maintenance Allowance had at least one child aged under 5 (see table DP.5). Almost all recipients of these benefits had at least one child aged under 14.

table DP.5: Ages of youngest children of working-age recipients of a Domestic Purposes Benefit –
Sole Parent or an Emergency Maintenance Allowance

Age of youngest dependent child at the end of June Working-age clients receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent or an Emergency Maintenance Allowance1
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
0–4 years 43,147 46,734 50,086 51,122 50,352
5–9 years 23,283 24,513 25,510 25,365 25,233
10–13 years 12,934 13,832 14,654 14,678 14,212
14–17 years 8,615 9,700 10,715 10,586 10,261
18–19 years 232 288 412 430 382
Not caring for children2 141 168 175 135 157
Total working-age recipients 88,352 95,235 101,552 102,316 100,597

Notes

  1. The number of working-age clients recorded in SWIFTT as receiving a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent or an Emergency Maintenance Allowance at the end of June.
  2. Clients may continue to receive a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent or an Emergency Maintenance Allowance for a short period after the child in respect of whom the benefit was paid has left their care. In addition, clients may be paid a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent or an Emergency Maintenance Allowance at a reduced rate while the custody and care circumstances of the children involved are clarified.

Nearly two in three sole parents granted Domestic Purposes Benefits had a dependent child aged under 5

Nearly all these clients had at least one dependent child aged under 14 (see table DP.6).

table DP.6: Ages of youngest children of working-age clients granted a Domestic Purposes Benefit –
Sole Parent or an Emergency Maintenance Allowance

Age of youngest dependent child when benefit granted Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent and Emergency Maintenance Allowance granted to working-age clients1
2007/2008 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012
0–4 years 19,586 21,778 21,469 20,421 19,373
5–9 years 6,418 7,376 6,790 6,041 5,689
10–13 years 3,762 4,539 4,301 3,721 3,506
14–17 years 2,402 3,274 3,190 2,849 2,593
18 years or over 13 28 40 32 32
Unspecified 0 1 1 0 1
Not applicable (no child linked to the benefit)2 82 99 83 86 76
Total benefits granted to working-age clients 32,263 37,095 35,874 33,150 31,270

Notes

  1. The number of successful applications from working-age clients for a Domestic Purposes Benefit – Sole Parent or an Emergency Maintenance Allowance recorded in SWIFTT during years ended June.
  2. Clients have been granted these benefits while the custody and care circumstances of the children involved are clarified. In most cases, these benefits are paid at a rate similar to Unemployment Benefits received by single people with no children.