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New payment to support Kiwis through COVID - Government

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The COVID-19 crisis has had a significant impact on the jobs and livelihoods of New Zealanders.

The Government has already taken measures to protect jobs and incomes through the Wage Subsidy and Supported Leave Scheme and a range of support for businesses. While these have helped more than 1.7 million New Zealanders, some people have lost their jobs and others may face employment uncertainty in the coming months.

In ordinary times, many people would quickly find other work or manage their costs without extra support. However, the COVID-19 crisis is a 1-in-100 year event where families and individuals are facing additional challenges to find other work or retrain.

Announcing the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment

The Government has announced more support for families and individuals facing a sudden income drop because of a loss of work due to the impacts of COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Income Relief Payment will provide up to 12 weeks of financial support to people who lose their job or business because of the impacts of COVID-19. It will help soften the shock and minimise disruption from sudden unemployment, giving people time to look for other work or retrain.

From 8 June, the Income Relief Payment will be available for people who:

- lost their job from 1 March to 30 October because of COVID-19, and

- worked 15 hours or more a week for at least 12 weeks before they lost their job, and 

- don’t have a partner earning $2,000 or more each week before tax, and 

- meet other eligibility criteria.

Online applications will be available from 8 June 2020 until 13 November 2020.

The COVID-19 Income Relief Payment will be paid weekly for up to 12 weeks at a rate of:

$490 per week for a full-time worker (normally working 30 hrs or more) or

$250 per week for a part time worker (normally working between 15 and 29 hours).

That means people previously working full-time can get $5,880 if they qualify for the entire 12-week period; or $11,760 for a couple who both lost their jobs and are both eligible for the full-time rate.

People who’ve lost their job and need support before 8 June may be able to get other financial help from Work and Income. If they qualify for the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment, they may choose to switch from an income tested benefit to the new payment when it becomes available from 8 June.

The Work and Income website has eligibility criteria and information about how to apply.

What is the COVID-19 Income

Relief Payment?

The COVID-19 Income Relief Payment provides up to 12 weeks of financial support to people who have lost their job or business due to the impacts of COVID-19. It will help cushion the blow and minimise disruption for people as they look for other work or retrain.

How much can someone receive?

$490 per week for a person who was a full-time worker

(normally working 30 hrs or more) or

$250 per week for a person who was a part time worker

(normally working between 15 and 29 hours).

The payment will be made weekly for up to 12 weeks. This means people previously working full-time can get $5,880 in total if they qualify for the entire 12-week period; or $11,760 if they are a couple who are both eligible for the full-time rate in their own right.

Who can receive the COVID-19

Income Relief Payment?

To be eligible, a person must have lost their job (including self- employment) between 1 March 2020 and 30 October 2020 inclusively due to the impact of COVID-19.

The person must have been normally working 15 hours or more a week (for 12 weeks or more) immediately prior to the loss of work.

They must be a New Zealand citizen or a resident who normally works and lives in New Zealand. More detailed criteria will be on the Work and Income website so people can see if they qualify for the income relief payment. Applications open on 8 June. You will not qualify if you receive a redundancy payment of $30,000 (before tax) or more, income protection insurance payments or earnings-related ACC payments.

When will the COVID-19

Income Relief Payment be available?

People can apply online from 8 June 2020 for the income relief payment. Applications will remain open until 13 November 2020. The payment is for people who experience a loss of work between 1 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, inclusively.

How do people apply?

Applications can be made online from 8 June until 13 November 2020. The Work and Income website has information on how

to apply.

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