Dependant's Pension

As the dependant of a veteran who’s died or been severely disabled due to service, you may qualify for this payment.

It recognises the veteran’s service to New Zealand, and the support you’ve lost because of that service. You needn’t be living in New Zealand to qualify.

Qualifying

The veteran must have served in Viet Nam, or before 1 April 1974.

If living, the veteran must be on either:

If the veteran has died, one of these must apply:

  • death is service-related
  • veteran (at time of death) got, or could have got, Disablement Pension of at least 52%
  • veteran (at time of death) got, or could have got, War Disablement Pension of at least 70%.

You must be the veteran’s dependant—or have been, in the period just before their death. You can’t be their spouse or partner. 

Dependant under 18

If under 18, you’re the veteran’s dependant if you:

  • mainly rely on them for financial support; and
  • usually live with them.

You can’t be the veteran’s child. But you might be their grandchild, or another relation to them (such as whāngai).

Dependant 18 or older (not child of veteran)

If aged 18-plus, and not the veteran’s child, you’re their dependant if:

  • in their care, and usually living with them; and
  • unable to live independently, due to illness, disability or old age.

Dependant 18 or older (child of veteran)

If aged 18-plus, and a child of the veteran, you’re their dependant if:

  • in their care; and
  • unable to live independently due to infirmity (mind or body).

Children's Pension is another support payment you may qualify for in this situation. You can’t get both Children’s and Dependant’s Pension, so would need to choose. Children’s Pension has these advantages:

  • paid at higher rate
  • not income-tested.

Applying

 Application form (Dependant's Pension) [PDF, 520 KB] must be completed, by you or your representative.

If your application’s granted, entitlement is from day we got it, unless:

  • the veteran has died; and
  • we got your application within 6 months after their death.

In that case, entitlement is from day of the veteran’s death.

Ongoing entitlement

While on Dependant’s Pension you (or your responsible person):

  • must tell us of changes in your situation; and
  • may need to confirm your situation to us each year (by sending income information or medical certificates).

Should the veteran, while living, lose entitlement to the level of (War) Disablement Pension qualifying you for Dependant’s Pension, your pension:

  • will stop while this situation lasts; but
  • may be restored, if the veteran's entitlement returns to a level that qualifies you.

Otherwise, entitlement ends 28 days after your death, or in the following situations.

If you’re under 18

If you’re under 18, entitlement ends once you stop living with the veteran, or relying on their financial support.

Once you turn 18, entitlement ends unless:

  • you’re still in the veteran’s care, due to illness or disability; or
  • the veteran has died, but you’d have otherwise stayed in their care.

If you’re 18 or older

If you’re aged 18-plus, and not the veteran’s child, entitlement ends once you:

  • stop living with, or leave the care of, the veteran; or
  • are no longer barred from independent living by illness, disability or old age.

If you’re the veteran’s child aged 18-plus, entitlement ends once you:

  • leave the veteran’s care; or
  • are no longer barred from independent living by infirmity.

Getting paid

Payment is fortnightly within New Zealand; 4-weekly to overseas accounts:

  • if you’re under 16 — payment’s to your responsible person (normally your carer; may be someone else if more suitable)
  • if you’re 16 or over — payment’s to you, or the person legally able to act for you.

Amount

 Payment rate may be reduced by other income (yours and your partner’s). If other weekly income is:

  • up to 50% of pension’s maximum rate — pension is paid at maximum rate
  • above 50% of pension’s maximum rate — $1 is taken off for every $1 earned (above 50% of maximum rate)
  • above 150% of pension’s maximum rate — no payment can be made.

Other income includes:

  • wages, salary, commission, interest, parental leave, and similar
  • some payments made as goods, services or lump-sums (depending on factors such as purpose, context, and use).

Payments may also be reduced if you avoid getting income you could have got. This might include if you:

  • choose not to get a payment you were due
  • invest your savings in a way that doesn’t earn interest or income.

Tax

Dependant’s Pension is paid tax-free, but other agencies (New Zealand or overseas) may treat it as income. If unsure, check with the agency itself.

Finding out more

One-page summary

Related information

Relevant legislation