Children's Pension

A Children's Pension may be able to support you financially if your parent was severely impaired or died because of Qualifying Service.

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Who can get this

If your parent served before 1 April 1974 or in Viet Nam

You need to be their child. They must:

  • be your natural or adoptive parent, or
  • have been your parent’s spouse or partner, and acted as a parent to you.

If your parent is alive they must be on either:

  • a Disablement Pension, with a whole-person impairment of at least 52%, or
  • a War Disablement Pension of at least 70%.

If your parent has passed away, one of the following must apply:

  • Their death was related to Qualifying Service.
  • At the time of their death they were getting—or able to get—a Disablement Pension with a whole-person impairment of at least 52%.
  • At the time of their death they were getting—or able to get—a War Disablement Pension of at least 70%.

Qualifying Service explained

If your parent served after 31 March 1974

You're unable to get a Children's Pension if your parent served after 31 March 1974 and not in Viet Nam.

You may be able to get alternative support:

Survivor's grant

Child Care support

Weekly Compensation for Families

When you can get it

Under 18 years of age

Unless you either:

  • have a significant disability, or
  • study full-time.

18 years of age or over, but have an impairment

You can get a Children’s Pension—at any age—if you have a mental or physical impairment that:

  • is confirmed by medical evidence, and
  • means you’ll need constant care and attention for over 12 months.

18 years of age or over, but studying full-time

If you're studying full-time at a secondary school or tertiary provider you can get a Children’s Pension until you turn 23.

Your course must be equivalent to full-time study as defined on the StudyLink website.

StudyLink's definition of full-time study(external link)

What you can get

The Children's Pension is a regular payment.

It's paid:

  • every two weeks within NZ, or
  • every four weeks to overseas bank accounts.

If you’re under 16, it will be paid to your carer or responsible person. Once you turn 16, it will normally be paid to you.

It’s a tax-free payment, but in some cases IRD may see it as income. Overseas government agencies may also see it as income. If unsure, please ask the agency.

Children's Pension payment rates

Start of pension

Payment is from the day we got your application unless your parent has passed away. In that case, the payment would be from the:

  • day after parent's death if the application was received within 6 months of their death, or
  • day we got the application if the application was received more than 6 months after their death.

End of pension

Your entitlement to the Children's Pension will end:

  • if your parent's War Disablement Pension is reassessed at less than 70%
  • if your parent's Disablement Pension is reassessed at less than 52% whole-person impairment.

It will also end once you turn 18 unless you’re either:

  • significantly disabled, or
  • under 23 and studying full-time.

It also ends 28 days after your death.

How to apply
  1. Fill out the Children's Pension application form.
  2. Send the application form and any supporting information to us.

Download the Children's Pension application form [PDF, 408 KB]

What happens next

After you apply we'll:

  1. contact you to confirm we've received your application
  2. start the decision-making process
  3. inform you in writing once a decision has been made.

If we need more information, we'll get in touch with you.

How we make decisions

When you get it

If you receive a Children's Pension you—or your responsible person—must tell us if something changes that may affect your pension. This includes changes to the:

  • diagnosis—or status—of a disability that qualifies you for it
  • course of study that qualifies you for it.

Each year you should also let us know if you'll stay in the full-time study the following year.

Find out more

Contact us for more information

We strive to be transparent. If you want to know how this entitlement is administered you can read the policy.

Children's Pension policy [PDF, 958 KB]