Financial support for individuals and whānau

If your income has been affected by COVID-19, you may be able to apply for financial support.

COVID-19 financial support tool

You can use the COVID-19 financial support tool to find out what financial help may be available to you.

The tool will take you, step by step, through a series of questions to understand your personal circumstances:

  • your work status, for example job loss due to COVID-19
  • your situation, for example your business is unable to operate
  • whether your workplace has reduced business and revenue.

The tool will then tell you what financial help and support you can access, and where you can apply or find more information.

Use the COVID-19 financial support tool

Help with essential costs

If you have lost your job, cannot work or are working fewer hours, you may be able to get a benefit or some other financial help from Work and Income.

Work and Income can help with urgent costs like:

  • food
  • accommodation costs, for example rent or mortgage, board, emergency housing, moving house
  • power, gas, heating or water bills
  • medical and dental costs.

You do not need to be on a benefit to get financial support. 

Call Work and Income on 0800 559 009 or use their online calculator to check what you might be eligible for.

Check what you might get | msd.govt.nz (external link)

Support for whānau

Whānau Ora helps whānau access health and welfare services, and meet basic needs for food, accommodation, heating, internet connectivity, water and sewerage.

You can contact Whānau Ora on:

Support for students

If you are a tertiary student, you can contact Studylink for advice. 

COVID-19 information for students | studylink.govt.nz (external link)

Support for homeowners

If you are worried about your mortgage repayments, talk to your bank or finance company about the options that are available to you. 

Work and Income can also help with other accommodation costs, or support to stay in your home — for example help with essential repairs or maintenance or with heating costs.

Help with housing costs (external link)

Help for renters

If you are having trouble paying your rent due to COVID-19, let your landlord know straight away. You may be able to work together to agree on a repayment plan, or negotiate your rent for a period of time so you can stay in your home.

Information for landlords and tenants on negotiating rent (external link)

If you have overdue rent and you are worried you will lose your housing, you can talk to Work and Income for support.

Find out about rent arrears assistance and how to apply (external link)

Work and Income can also help with other accommodation costs, or support to stay in your home — for example help with essential repairs or maintenance or with heating costs.

Help with housing costs (external link)

Wage Subsidy Scheme

If your income has reduced or you cannot work because of Alert Level restrictions, your employer can apply for the Wage Subsidy Scheme to help keep paying you. The Wage Subsidy Scheme is available to all businesses while any part of the country is in Alert Levels 3 or 4. Your employer needs to meet the eligibility criteria to apply — they do not need to be in an Alert Level 3 area. You can also apply if you are self employed.

Applications for the fourth August 2021 Wage Subsidy are now open. 

Wage Subsidy Scheme

Wage Subsidy and your pay

If your employer applies for the wage subsidy, they must pay you at least 80% of your normal pay. If they cannot, they must pass on the total amount of the subsidy to you.

If you normally earn less than the subsidy amount, your employer must continue to pay your normal pay.

Regular employment law still applies during different COVID-19 alert levels.

Information for workers on leave and pay entitlements during COVID-19 | employment.govt.nz (external link)

If you need to get a COVID-19 test

If you are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test, it is important you stay home until you get a negative result.

Think about whether you can work from home.

If you cannot work from home, your employer can apply for the COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment for you so you can continue to get paid. You can also apply if you are self-employed.

Your employer can also get this payment for you if you:

  • need to stay home and look after a dependent child who has been asked to get a COVID-19 test
  • live with someone who has been at a location of interest and need to stay home while they wait for the person in the household to get a negative test result.

You employer can get a one-off payment of $359 to pass on to you. Talk to your employer if you think you meet the criteria.

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment (external link)

If you need to self-isolate

If you have been asked by health officials to self-isolate and you cannot work from home, you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme. Your employer needs to apply for you. You can also apply if you are self-employed.

Your employer can also get this payment for you if you:

  • are sick with COVID-19 and need to isolate until a doctor tells you that you no longer need to 
  • have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19
  • are at a higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19
  • live with someone who is at high risk of getting sick from COVID-19, and a doctor or health professional has told people in the household to isolate to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to vulnerable household members
  • have been asked to self-isolate by public health officials
  • need to stay home and look after a dependent child who needs support to self-isolate.

Your employer can get $600 per week if you work full time, and $359 per week if you work part time to pass on to you. Talk to your employer if you think you meet the criteria.

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme (external link)

NZ citizens and residents living in Australia

Access to Australian superannuation

All New Zealand citizens and permanent residents living in Australia, who meet the Australian Government’s eligibility criteria, will now be able to access up to AUD$20,000 of their Australian superannuation. 

How to apply for payment from your Australian superannuation (external link)

Support for people in New Zealand on a temporary visa

Contact your embassy or consulate

If your employment has been affected and you are experiencing financial hardship, or you need help getting home, your embassy or consulate may be able to help.

People on a temporary visa are not eligible for help from Work and Income.

Find the contact details and opening hours of your country's embassy, consulate or high commission in New Zealand (external link)

If you're an international student

If you're an international student and are experiencing financial hardship, we recommend you speak to your education provider or student association. They may be able to offer you free budgeting advice, or tell you about funds that are available. 

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