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+64 953 51074

Pine Harbour Marina Dentists
+64 953 51074

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Would Work and Income cover my dental care costs?

Dental treatment for adults is usually not free or subsidized (though there are exceptions), but if you are on a low income you may be eligible for financial assistance from Work and Income:

Special Needs Grant for Emergency Dental Treatment

You can get up to $300 to help with the cost of emergency dental treatment (e.g. tooth extraction). This money is normally paid directly to the service provider, and you don’t have to pay it back. You don’t need to be already on a benefit to apply for this.

More about this, including the eligibility criteria, is on the Work and Income website.


Recoverable Assistance Payment (or Advance of Benefit, if you are on a benefit)

You can apply for this if you cannot get a Special Needs Grant, or if the Special Needs Grant is not enough to cover the cost of your emergency dental treatment. But you have to pay this money back.


Immediate and essential dental treatment

If you qualify, WINZ can help with up to $1,000 in 52 weeks for immediate and essential dental treatment. This money doesn’t need to be paid back.

'Immediate and essential dental treatment' means you have an oral health issue that:

  • has deteriorated or would begin to deteriorate if left untreated, and
  • is having, or is likely to have, a detrimental effect on their oral health and/or wider physical health.
  • If you're on a low income or benefit, WINZ may be able to help you pay for immediate and essential dental treatment.

Immediate and essential dental treatment includes treatment such as fillings and extractions, but not periodic cleaning or check-ups.

They may still be able to help if the cost of your dental treatment is more than $1,000. You may need to pay some of this back, depending on your situation.

You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify.

To apply, you need to:

  • be 16 or over (if you're 16-19 and have a Youth Service provider, contact Youth Services)
  • be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • normally live in New Zealand and intend to stay here
  • have an immediate and essential need.

It also depends on:

  • how much you (and your partner) earn
  • any money or assets you (and your partner) have.

Your income will be assessed either weekly or yearly, depending on the kind of income or benefit you receive. The following income and asset limits usually apply:

Current income limits

If you are:                                                      Weekly income before tax is less than

Single and 16 to 17 years old                       $783.91

Single and 18 years old or over                   $900.93

Couple (with or without children)              $1,308.60

Sole parent with 1 child                                 $1,093.25

Sole parent with 2 or more children          $1,151.80


You can read more about the Advance of Benefit or the Recoverable Assistance Payment on the Work and Income website.

For more information or to apply, contact Work and Income.


Children and young people aged 18 years or less can receive free dental checks and standard treatments.