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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Means Test Limits

Prior to 12 October 1960 all benefits (other than superannuation, miners', and family benefit) were paid subject to a means test on income, with age, invalids', and unemployment benefits having an additional capital (or property) test. All reference to the capital test was, however, repealed in 1960, and, currently, benefits are subject to a test on income only. In general, an applicant may have an income of £208 a year (same for married couple between them) or £4 a week without benefit being reduced. In the case, however, of an orphan's benefit, the allowable income is only £52 a year. For a widow supporting a dependent child or children under 16 years, the allowable income has been increased to £312 a year or 6 a week.

Income from an age, invalid's, widow's, or sickness benefit, sick pay from a friendly society up to £52 a year or 1 a week, or a like benefit from any other source, is disregarded. The personal earnings of a totally blind beneficiary are disregarded in the computation of any means test benefit, as are the personal earnings of any woman up to £78 a year from domestic or nursing services in any private home, hospital, home for the care of the aged, or other charitable organisation. A war disablement pension or war widow's pension under the War Pensions Act 1954 is not regarded as income.

Any deduction from an age benefit on account of excess income may be diminished by £6 10s. for each year that application has been deferred between the ages of 60 and 65, during which the applicant was qualified to receive age benefit on residential grounds. The concession does not apply until age 65 and is limited to a maximum of £32 10s.