Who can get the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment

Find out who can apply and what criteria you need to meet for the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment.

Who can get it

You may be able to apply for the Income Relief Payment if you:

  • lost your last job or self-employment from 1 March 2020 to 30 October 2020 (inclusive) because of the impacts of COVID-19
  • normally worked 15 hours or more a week (for 12 weeks or more) before you lost your work because of COVID-19
  • were normally living in New Zealand when you lost your job.

You must also be:

  • a New Zealand citizen or a resident with a residence class visa
  • normally living in New Zealand
  • 18 years old or over, or a financially independent 16- or 17-year-old.

There's more criteria if you are:

  • In a relationship

    If you’re in a relationship with a partner, you can both get the Income Relief Payment if you both meet the criteria for who can get it.

    You will not qualify for the Income Relief Payment if you have a partner earning $2,000 or more in wages or salary each week, before tax.

  • Already getting a benefit or a COVID-19 payment

    If you (or your partner) are already getting a main benefit, you can choose to switch to the Income Relief Payment from 8 June, if you meet the criteria for who can get it.

    You can't get the Income Relief Payment and COVID-19 Wage Subsidy or Leave Support payments at the same time.

  • Getting NZ Super or Veteran's Pension

    You can get the Income Relief Payment as well as your NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension if:

    • you meet the criteria for who can get it, and
    • you’re over 65, and
    • you don’t have a non-qualified partner included, and
    • you’re not a non-qualified partner.

    You may be able to switch to the Income Relief Payment instead of your NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension if:

    • you meet the criteria for who can get it, and
    • you get Veteran’s Pension while under 65 years of age, or
    • you are a non-qualified partner included in your partner's Veteran's Pension, or
    • you are a non-qualified partner included in your partner's NZ Super.
  • Getting Paid Parental Leave from Inland Revenue

    You can't get the Income Relief Payment if you get Paid Parental Leave, even if you’ve lost your job. You can get it up until your Paid Parental Leave starts, or after it stops.

    If your partner gets Paid Parental Leave, you can still get the Income Relief Payment as long as you meet the criteria.

  • Studying

    If you’re a student, you may be able to get the Income Relief Payment if you meet the criteria for who can get it.

    You can receive the Income Relief Payment at the same time as receiving a Student Loan for living costs.

    If you or your partner get Student Allowance, you may get the Income Relief Payment at the same time - but only at the part-time rate of $250 per week.

    However, if you lost a full-time job (30 hours or more a week), you (and your partner) may choose to switch to the Income Relief Payment instead of your Student Allowance.

  • Self-employed

    If you were self employed, you may be able to get the Income Relief Payment if:

    • your business is no longer viable, with no upcoming work or income, because of COVID-19, and

    If your business is still viable you may be able to get support from Inland Revenue's Small Business Cashflow Loan and the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy.

    If you have received, or you’re waiting for approval for a loan from the Small Business Cashflow Loan, you are not eligible for the Income Relief Payment.

Who can't get it

You will not qualify for the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment if you:

  • get a redundancy payment of $30,000 or more, before tax
  • get or used to get private income protection insurance payments for the job you lost
  • are getting weekly earnings-related compensation from ACC or Veterans' Affairs
  • left your job for another reason - for example you:
    • resigned
    • retired
    • wound up a viable business, or
    • were dismissed (eg. for misconduct)
  • still have a job - even if you've agreed to take unpaid leave or furlough.