Story: Family welfare

Family benefits

This social-security certificate was issued to Violet May Philpott in 1939. At that time parents could only get the family benefit if their income was less than £5 a week ($444 in 2009 terms) and they had three or more children. The Social Security Act 1945 introduced a family benefit for each child, regardless of household income. Initially the benefit was not paid for children of unmarried mothers, but protests against this led to their inclusion. Violet Philpott’s certificate indicates that she was entitled to four shillings each week..

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-A-SOCIAL-1939-01-front; Eph-A-SOCIAL-1939-01-back

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Maureen Baker and Rosemary Du Plessis, 'Family welfare - Welfare, work and families, 1918–1945', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 May 2022)

Story by Maureen Baker and Rosemary Du Plessis, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 29 Jun 2018