The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. General Principles of the Agreement with New Zealand

General principles

The Agreement with New Zealand is a shared responsibility agreement that helps people to qualify for benefits they might not otherwise be able to get and conforms to the principles of shared responsibility agreements by:

  • allowing people to lodge claims for benefits in Australia or New Zealand,
  • allowing people to totalise to meet minimum qualification,
  • allowing Agreement benefits to be paid in either country, and temporarily in third countries,
  • arranging for proportional benefits to be paid, and
  • arranging administrative cooperation between Australia and New Zealand.

Although this Agreement is similar to Australia's other bilateral social security agreements, there are a number of key differences. These differences arise from Australia and New Zealand sharing similar social security systems and the unrestricted movement between the 2 countries. A significant variation is that people paid under this Agreement cannot be generally better off by drawing a benefit from both countries. Under this Agreement the amount of combined benefit can only be as high as the maximum benefit a person can receive in the country they are currently residing in. Another variation is that working age residence applies instead of WLR.

Act reference: SS(IntAgree)Act Schedule 3 New Zealand

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