Couples split to get extra on benefit

NZ Herald Aug 7, 2010

A growing number of unemployed couples are living apart so one can claim the domestic purposes benefit to get more money, say beneficiary advocates. A community leader in New Zealand’s “DPB capital” of Kawerau says 70 per cent of those claiming the benefit in the town have partners “round the back door”. Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation said couples who might be getting $200 below their living costs on the $324 weekly couple unemployment benefit were being tempted to split. One could then get $278 on the domestic purposes benefit (DPB) and the other could get $194 on the single dole – a total of $472, and almost $150 extra a week. “In the current financial reality, more and more couples will be looking to maximise their income,” Ms Brereton said.