How do I get Financial Assistance? #Covid19 Struggle
This week the New Zealand government announced a $12.1 Billion package to combat the effect of COVID-19 on our economy. This package includes financial support for both families and businesses affected.
If you find yourself in need of some assistance because of the coronavirus, there may be some help available to you whether its a Wage Subsidy or Leave Payment for Self Isolation. We've broken it down for you so you can see how the governments financial support can assist in the following ways -
* WAGE SUBSIDIES *
For affected businesses in all sectors and regions and is available now.
Who can get it?
If you're an employer, contractor, sole trader or self-employed, you may qualify to get the COVID-19 wage subsidy.
- your business must be registered and operating in New Zealand
- your employees must be legally working in New Zealand
- the business must have experienced a minimum 30% decline in actual or predicted revenue over the period of a month when compared with the same month last year, and that decline is related to COVID-19
- your business must have taken active steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19
- you must make best efforts to retain employees and pay them a minimum of 80% of their normal income for the subsidised period.
The subsidy is calculated as $585.80 per employee working more than 20 hours per week and $350.00 per employee working less than 20 hours per week. It will be paid as a lump sum covering a 12-week period.
Click here for the Wage Subsidy & Leave Payment form if you're an employer
Click here for the Wage Subsidy & Leave Payment form if you're self employed
Download and print the Wage Subsidy & Leave Payment information here
** When you apply you'll also need the following:
your IRD number
your business name
the names of your employees
your employee IRD numbers
contact details for your business and your employees **
As at 23rd March the government has removed the cap of wage subsidies that can be paid to employers affected by Covid-19. The cap of $150,000 per business has gone and this applies to all New Zealand employers, contractors, sole traders, self employe people, registered charities and incorporated societies. You are now able to apply for a wage subsidy for all your staff.
* LEAVE AND SELF ISOLATION SUPPORT *
Which means if you have travelled anywhere in the world and now have to self isolate for 14 days, there is money you can claim to help with your living expenses.
OR If your workplace has shut down because of the Coronavirus and you are asked to stay home for 14 days, you can also claim this money to help with your living expenses.
Who can get it?
If you're an employer, contractor, sole trader or self-employed, you may qualify to get the COVID-19 Leave Payment.
COVID-19 Leave Payment covers full-time, part-time and casual employees, and contractors who are legally working in New Zealand and who:
- need to self isolate in line with Ministry of Health Guidelines and have registered as needing to self-isolate with Healthline, cannot work from home and their self-isolation is not because they left NZ since the travel restrictions on 16 March 2020 and have since returned or
- cannot work because the person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or
- cannot work because they are caring for dependents who are required to self-isolate or who are sick with COVID-19
The leave payments are $585.80 to a person working 20 hours or more per week and $350.00 to a person working less than 20 hours per week.
Important Note: You must talk to your boss / employer about this payment. Your boss will apply for the payment for you. So if you are an employee (not a contractor or self employed) - all you have to do is talk to your manager and they will be able to get this payment sorted for you.
ALSO, you DON'T have to have used any or all of your paid leave entitlement before you can receive this payment.
If you are a contractor or self employed click here for the Wage Subsidy & Leave Payment form
* INCOME SUPPORT PACKAGE *
For our most vulnerable = beneficiaries & superannuitants.
There are three main changes to welfare settings.
Firstly, main benefits will rise by $25 per week. These changes will come into effect on 1 April 2020 and are permanent.
Secondly, to support beneficiaries and superannuitants, the rate of Winter Energy Payment will double in 2020. This change is temporary.
Thirdly, from 1 July 2020, working families with children who are not receiving a main benefit and have some level of employment income each week will no longer have to satisfy the hours test to receive the In Work Tax Credit.
Recipients will not have to do anything to receive these additional entitlements. The additional support will be calculated automatically and will increase on the 1st April 2020. The winter energy payment will start on the 1st of May and from 01 July 20, working families will no longer need to be "normally" working at least 20 hours a week.
Click here for full details and the Income Support Fact Sheet
* FAMILY SUPPORT PACKAGES FOR PACIFIC FAMILIES *
The Pasifika Medical Association through Pasifika Futures – the Whānau Ora commissioning agency¾has provided NZ$1.2 million in funding to Pasifika Futures to deliver ‘Covid-19 Packages of Support’. These packages of support will be distributed to vulnerable families in need during the current Covid-19 outbreak in New Zealand. Deliveries to families will commence this week.
Pasifika Futures CEO, Debbie Sorensen said these packages are vital as many Pacific families do not have the resources and money to keep themselves and loved one’s safe during the pandemic.
“These Covid-19 Packages of Support will help families particularly, if they are required to stay home for 14-days or if they have a family member who have lost their job as a result of the impact of Covid-19."
Click here for more info - Pacific families are encouraged to contact a Whānau Ora provider if they are in need of a Covid-19 Package of Support.
** MORTGAGE HOLIDAY & BUSINESS FINANCE SUPPORT **
The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank have today announced a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been affected by the economic disruption.
“A six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by COVID-19 will mean people won’t lose their homes as a result of the economic disruption caused by this virus,” Grant Robertson said.
The specific details of this initiative are being finalised and agreed urgently and banks will make these public in the coming days.
For more information click here and check in with your banks over the next few days to see what may be available.
** SUPPORT FOR PACIFIC BUSINESSES **
Provided by the Ministry of Pacific Peoples
- Application support – Providing tailored support to prepare an application for the Wage Subsidy or Leave Payment Scheme, including helping with eligibility checks.
- For Pacific organisations requiring additional business advisory support, we have business advisors ready to help with a response plan for your organisation. Depending on your organisational needs, you may be able to access:
- Business advisor workshops – Tailored workshops (up to half-day sessions) for organisations that have been impacted by COVID-19. These workshops will be facilitated by experienced professionals, who have an appreciation and respect for Pacific culture and values. The output will be a practical action plan.
- These services are free and available for any Pacific organisation based in New Zealand.
- All services will be provided virtually – telephone or via video conference. While this does not replace in-person contact, we are confident we will provide you high quality support and advice.
Check out their website here for more information.