Children's Pension

If your veteran parent has been severely disabled or lost their life due to service, you may qualify for this support payment.

It recognises the support you’ve lost because of your parent’s service to New Zealand.

Who can get it

Qualifying children

To apply for Children’s Pension, you must be the child of a qualifying veteran. The veteran must:

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

Qualifying service (veteran)

Your veteran parent must have Scheme One service: in Viet Nam, or before 1 April 1974.

 For Qualifying Operational Service [PDF, 124 KB] later than that, Scheme Two entitlement may apply instead:

Qualifying impairment or death (veteran)

If living, your veteran parent must be on one of:

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

  • death was from a cause linked to qualifying service
  • at time of death the veteran was getting, or able to get, War Disablement Pension of at least 70%
  • at time of death the veteran was getting, or able to get, Disablement Pension for whole-person impairment of at least 52%.

When you can get it

Under 18

You must be under 18, unless you:

  • have significant disability; or
  • study full-time.

Turned 18, but disabled

You can get Children’s Pension, at any age, for mental or physical disability that:

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

Turned 18, but studying full-time

If studying full-time at a secondary school or tertiary institute you can get Children’s Pension till you turn 23.

Course must be Equivalent Full-time Study (external link) (as defined on Studylink website).

When it starts & ends

You or your responsible person must tell us of any changes that may affect your pension, such as to the:

  • diagnosis, or status, of a disability that qualifies you for it
  • course of study that qualifies you for it. (You should also let us know, each year, if you’ll stay in fulltime study the following year).

Start of pension

Entitlement is from day we got your application, unless your veteran parent has passed away. In that case, entitlement is from:

  • (application received within 6 months of the veteran’s death) day after death
  • (application received more than 6 months of the veteran’s death) day we got the application.

End of pension

Entitlement ends if your veteran parent’s:

  • War Disablement Pension is reassessed at less than 70%
  • Disablement Pension (whole-person impairment) is reassessed at less than 52%.

Once you turn 18, it ends unless you’re:

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

Otherwise, it ends 28 days after your death.

How it’s paid

Payment is fortnightly within New Zealand, 4-weekly to overseas accounts. If you’re under 16, it’s 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).

How to apply

For more information

One-page summary

Related information

Relevant legislation