Beneficiaries would be helped, ministry confirms

People who do not have identification when they apply for a benefit will be helped to get what they need, the Ministry of Social Development confirmed.

It was important to establish the identity of every person who applied for assistance, to make sure the right person got the right help and to minimise the risk of fraud, a ministry spokesman said.

Identification standards varied, but New Zealand-born applicants had to provide a government-issued document containing a full name and date of birth, such as a passport or driver's licence.

They also had to supply two documents to support that identity.

This included things such as household accounts, tax assessments and employee documents, the spokesman said.

The ministry had to help people, as much as possible, meet those identity standards.

If an applicant could not supply the documents, the ministry would help get them.

It could also provide one-off assistance if an applicant was in hardship while waiting for a benefit.

That might include financial assistance with the cost of obtaining a copy of their birth certificate.

The ministry did not keep records on how many people applied without identification, the spokesman said.

The confirmation followed a Dunedin man's claims, verified yesterday as incorrect, that he was without a benefit while waiting for his birth certificate.

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