Benefits and payments homepage
Take a look at the range of benefits and payments we have available.
Redundancy, health condition or disability or another reason you can’t work
Food, school costs, power, accommodation or other living expenses you need help with
You’ve had a relationship break-up, family breakdown or violent relationship end
Health and Disability
Counselling, prescription and GP costs, medical alarms and other costs we can help with
Travelling overseas, how to apply, payment rates and dates, overseas pensions, income and other info for Seniors
Caring for someone else’s child or someone with a health condition, injury or disability
Urgent or unexpected costs
Dental, glasses, car repairs, fridge, washing machine, funeral or other urgent costs you need help with
Childcare, school uniforms, stationery, having a baby and other costs if you have children
Fixing issues with Accommodation Supplement, Special Benefit and other payments we’ve made
16-19 year olds
Education, training, work and benefit help for 16-19 year olds
Benefits and forms
A-Z list of benefits, forms, benefit rates
Find out what services we can offer to help you find work and when you start a new job.
Looking for work
We have jobs available now in various industries and you can search on our job websites.
Help with your job search
From advice on making a plan, to tips on where to look and following up leads.
Training and experience
Our programmes can help you get ready for work with training and work experience.
Job Connect on Facebook
Find out how we can help you get ready to work, find work, and support available while you're working.
CVs and cover letters
We’ve got great templates and advice for writing your CV or cover letter, and filling out job applications.
Help with work costs
Get help to pay for the things you need to start work
Job support and advice
Get all the support and advice you need to stay in work.
Health and disability
If you want to work, we can support you to find the right job for you.
Start your own business
We can help you get your business up and running.
Get advice about how to prepare for and deliver a great interview.
Help for 16-19 year olds
We’ve got extra support for young people to get ready for work and find a job.
On a benefit homepage
Check out what you need to do when you're getting a benefit or other payment from us.
Address, contact details, overseas travel, childcare, relationship or anything else that’s changed.
Declare income, wages deduction calculator and tables
Change in your childcare situation, continue childcare payments, cohort entry schools and other childcare information
Re-apply for Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Temporary Additional Support and more
Check or stop your payments, payment cards and other information
Check your debt, repayments and other debt information
Rights and responsibilities
Our commitment to you, obligations, complaints, benefit fraud and more
Find out how we can help you with housing.
Nowhere to stay
Get help if you have nowhere to stay right now.
Find a house
Find out where to look for private housing, or apply for public (social) housing.
Living in your home
Get help with accommodation costs, and advice on any housing issues and public housing tenancies.
Find out how we can help if you’re moving house.
Previous COVID-19 payments
Find information about previous payments that were available during COVID-19. This includes the COVID-19 Wage Subsidies, Income Relief Payment and Short-Term Absence Payment.
During COVID-19 our role was to help employers and self-employed people so they could keep paying their staff and keep them in their jobs. We also helped people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
List of previous COVID-19 payments
Available from 9 February 2021 to 17 October 2022. It was to help businesses pay their employees while they waited for PCR test results.
Available from 20 August 2021 to 9 December 2021. These were a series of 8 payments to help businesses pay staff and protect jobs affected by the alert level changes from 17 August 2021.
Available from 4 March 2021 to 21 March 2021. It was to help businesses pay staff impacted by the alert level changes from 28 February 2021.
Available from 21 August 2020 to 3 September 2020. It was to help businesses who had a decline in revenue keep paying their staff.
Available from 8 June 2020 to 14 November 2020. It was to help people who lost their jobs because of COVID-19.
Available from 10 June 2020 to 1 September 2020. It was to help businesses who had a decline in revenue keep paying their staff.
Available from 27 March 2020 to 9 June 2020. It was to help businesses who had a decline in revenue keep paying their staff.
Available from 6 April 2020 to 1 May 2020. It was to help essential businesses who had a decline in revenue keep paying their staff.
Available from 17 March 2020 to 27 March 2020. It was to help businesses keep paying their staff who could not work because they were in self-isolation.
Obligations and repayments
All COVID-19 payments had obligations which employers and self-employed people who applied were required to meet. These obligations included:
- paying their employees correctly
- keeping their employees in their jobs
- keeping evidence to show they were eligible for the payment
- following employment law
- repaying the payment if they were no longer entitled to it.
The full eligibility and obligations details are listed in the declarations of each payment.
If a businesses does not meet these obligations, of no longer meets the criteria, they may need to repay the COVID-19 payment.
Find out when a business needs to repay this and how to repay it:
Employers had to say in their application which employees they were applying for. The payment would come to the employers first, and they must pay this on to their employees.
When they pay this to their employees, the employer must try their hardest to pay the employee either:
- their usual wages
- at least 80% of their usual wages if both the employee and employer have agreed this in writing.
If the employer can't do that, then they must pay the employee either:
- at least the full amount of the COVID-19 payment, if their usual wages are more than the payment rate
- their usual wages, if they usually get paid less than the COVID-19 payment. Any money leftover must be used to pay other staff who are also affected, or repaid.
GST and PAYE/PAYG
Employers do not pay GST on COVID-19 payments.
PAYE/PAYG should be deducted from the COVID-19 payments (i.e. $585.80 less PAYE/PAYG, etc). To calculate PAYE/PAYG deductions, employers do not gross-up the COVID-19 payment amount.
The COVID-19 payments are "excluded income" for income tax purposes for businesses. This means businesses don't pay income tax on COVID-19 payments from us. Businesses won't get an income tax deduction for wages they pay using the COVID-19 payment. Businesses still need to make the usual PAYE/PAYG deductions when they pay it on to employees.
Self-employed people must pay income tax on COVID-19 payments, as it's a payment to replace a loss of earnings.
People who received the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment did not have to pay tax on this.
Businesses that received a Wage Subsidy
You can search on the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) website to see which businesses were paid a COVID-19 Wage Subsidy.
The search will tell you:
- the name of the business
- the number of employees they were paid for
- the amount paid.
Information for employees
Only employers or self-employed people could make an application for a COVID-19 payment. This means your employer had to apply for you, you could not make an application for yourself.
Before they apply your employer must tell you they're applying for you. They must also get your consent to share some of your details with us. They declare they have done this as part of their application.
Your employer can't change your employment agreement unless you agree to the change first. Your employer still has to follow your employment agreement during COVID-19, including how much you get paid.
Talk to your employer if you have questions about whether they got a COVID-19 payment for you, or how this was paid.
You can also find information on the Employment New Zealand website: