What can I do if I have financial problems?

There is help available from Work and Income if you are having financial problems.

If you can’t work because of your kidney disease, you might already be on the Supported Living Payment.

If you are working part-time or are trying to work full-time, you might be able to get financial assistance through Jobseeker Support. Many kidney recipients go on this benefit while they are trying to get back into work after their transplant.

You might be able to get additional help through the Disability Allowance.

This is a weekly payment for people who have regular, ongoing costs because of a disability or illness. These costs include doctors’ visits, medicines, clothing and travel to and from medical appointments. If you have ongoing, regular costs because of your kidney disease, you might be able to get this allowance.

You may also be able to get the Temporary Additional Support payment.

This is a weekly payment for people who haven’t got enough money for their basic living costs (such as, mortgage or rent payments, hire-purchase payments for essential items at home and so on).

You need to be over 16 and be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident to get this payment.

The assistance you get from Work and Income is all income and asset tested. 

This means that the amount you get for any of these benefits or payments will depend on your own personal circumstances. This means your benefit will be reduced if you are already working part-time, getting another benefit or have a partner who is working.

To find out what you are entitled to get, you will need to ring Work and Income on 0800 559 009 or visit the Work and Income website at www.workandincome.govt.nz and make an appointment to see a case manager at your local service centre.

You will need to fill out application forms for the benefits you are applying for. 

These can be sent out to you in the post, or you can download them at www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/forms.html.

You should try and complete these forms before your appointment, but if you can’t, the case manager you see at Work and Income will be able to help you.

Everything you need to take with you to your appointment will be written on these forms.

Usually you will need to take:

  • your passport or other photo identification
  • a copy of a bill that has your home address written on it
  • copies of your last few bank statements
  • a letter from your kidney specialist if you can’t work or you need to work fewer hours
  • your IRD number 
  • your tenancy agreement (a contract between you and your landlord) if you rent your house
  • proof of your income, like pay slips or a letter from your employer (your case manager will talk to you about how Work and Income will check this).

If you are having trouble making an appointment or filling in the application forms, your local Kidney Society might be able to help you with your Work and Income application. See the list of national contacts at the back of this book