With lockdown back on the cards in Aotearoa, it’s perfectly normal to be feeling overwhelmed or out of whack. But it’s important to remember we’ve been here before and we can beat it back again! Lockdown can come with a period of day-to-day uncertainty around our health, finances, and the economy. Thankfully, the Government has released and extended financial assistance packages to help get everyone through this time. 

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.  

Support Increase for Beneficiaries 

From July 2021 and as one of the very first financial packages available, there was an automatic and permanent increase of all main benefits by $20 per week. If you’re experiencing financial hardship, you may be eligible for support to pay for your basic expenses such as food, rent or mortgage, bills, and medical costs. The Winter Energy Payment increased as well to help you heat your home from May 1st to October 1st. If you think you’re eligible for financial support, we would encourage you to get in touch with Work and Income

Jobseeker Support 

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.  

Find out if you’re eligible 

Wage Subsidy 

Applications for the wage subsidy have opened again with this August ’21 outbreak so 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!

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COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme 

Self-isolating and staying at home if you’re unwell is an important part of stopping the spread of COVID-19, but of course, it also affects your ability to work and earn. Did you know, your employer can apply for additional financial support on your behalf if you test positive for COVID-19, have had to take leave to self-isolate or are caring for someone who is sick during this time? If this is you, make sure you talk to your employer about what’s available to help out. 

Unexpected Costs 

We know unexpected costs can pop up all the time, but it’s especially hard when things are unpredictable. If you’re struggling with living costs, there are a range of financial support schemes you could be eligible for. Whether it’s food, rent or medical costs, these support payments could be for you. 

Remember, if you do need financial assistance or you’re not sure which of these apply to you, the Government has set up helplines so you can talk to someone about your best options. Reach out on 0800 779 997 or 0800 22 66 57. 

Loan Insurance

If you have Loan Insurance attached to your loan, such as Payment Protection Insurance, and you've been made redundant from your job it's possible that your loan instalments will be covered while you're out of work. Be sure to check your policy, contact us on 0800 385 385 for help. 

Repayment Holiday 

If you have a personal loan with us or any other bank or loan provider and you’re struggling to make repayments, we can’t encourage you enough to chat with us or them as soon as possible! A repayment holiday could be on the cards or we will work with you to find a repayment plan that suits you. 

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