Here’s your cheat sheet of what financial assistance is on offer and where to apply.
If COVID-19 has affected your job, your finances or your ability to provide for your family, it’s important to remember you’re not alone! All of New Zealand is experiencing the same thing, so if you do need help – ask. Don’t be afraid to reach out to us or any of these providers and get help for you and your family.
The Government has provided a range of financial support options that will help you stay on top of your finances and get through this uncertain time. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you and taken all the jargon out so you can easily see what financial assistance you may be eligible for and apply in just a few clicks.
Before we get into that, here’s an extra hot tip: Did you know, landlords haven’t been able to increase rent during COVID-19? These guidelines are valid until the end of September, so if you’re struggling to pay rent, make the most of the financial support below.
Support Increase for Beneficiaries
In March and as one of the very first financial packages available, there was an automatic and permanent increase of all main benefits by $25 per week. The Winter Energy Payment increased as well to help you heat your home over the colder months. If you think you’re eligible and haven’t seen these automatic increases, we would encourage you to get in touch with Work and Income.
Income Relief Payment
If you have unfortunately lost your job due to COVID-19, then the Income Relief Payment may be for you. This scheme can cover up to 12 weeks of tax-free payments to help cover you since your job loss and give you a helping hand while you find additional work. Keep in mind that if you receive other benefits at the same time, you may not be eligible for this support package.
If you’re not in employment but looking for a job, you may be eligible for the Jobseeker Support which is a weekly payment to help support you and your family during this time. This support option was already in effect before the pandemic, so if you were already receiving the Jobseeker Support payments, you’ll continue to receive these automatically.
Applications for the wage subsidy are now closed, however, if you’re an employee and have had your pay or hours reduced due to COVID-19, make sure to check with your employer if they’ve received the wage subsidy payments to help support you.
KiwiSaver Hardship Withdrawal
If you’re finding contributing to your KiwiSaver is becoming harder, you have the option to make changes, reduce or suspend your contributions which can give you some extra money each payday. But as a last resort, you also have the option to tap into and access your KiwiSaver fund short term to give you a financial boost. To access this money, you’ll need to prove financial hardship and you may be only allowed to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver.
We might be able to support your application too!