The colder months are coming, which can mean higher electricity bills for your households. The NZ government has started giving winter energy payments to qualified Kiwis to help them prepare for the winter.
It's a government initiative provided to NZ beneficiaries and pensioners to help them out during the winter season, particularly for heating and electricity costs.
While there's no application process you need to go through to qualify for this benefit, you must be getting at least one of the following:
If you're getting any of these, you'll automatically get a winter energy payment. What makes this benefit good is you're not expected to spend it solely on your electricity or billing costs. If you have any other urgent needs, you're free to use the money on them instead.
You will not be able to get a winter energy payment if:
The Winter Energy Payment is given to Kiwis from May to October.
Here are the current rates for 2021:
If you're single with no dependent children - $20.46 a week
Couples and people with dependent children - $31.82 a week
The Winter Energy Payment will be given to you automatically and will not affect the other payments you're getting from the government, and is non-taxable.
The process is similar if you want to opt back in. Just complete the Stop or Restart Winter Energy Payment online form or give them a call. Please note that if you choose to opt back in outside of the payment period (May to October), you're going to have to wait for the next Winter Energy Payment period to get your payment.
You can get many benefits and payments from Work and Income, depending on your needs and eligibility.
Gives you a weekly payment to help you with your rent, board, or house expenses
This is for parents or carers who need help with house costs or need training in parenting skills.
Health and Disability
Gives qualified people a weekly payment for regular and ongoing costs because of a disability
This payment is to help people with disabilities pay for workplace changes or equipment.
Education and Employment
Helps you with fees for longer education or training courses and short-term courses
Provides help and/or training for Kiwis looking for a job so they can get the skills they need to meet the job's requirements
If you're currently looking for a job, you may get Jobseeker Support which gives you a weekly payment until you get hired.
If you're not qualified for any other payment and you can't support yourself at the moment, you may get the Emergency Benefit.
This is the assistance given to sole parents who are not qualified for any other payments.
For a complete list of the benefits, you may check Work and Income's website.
You may also use their guide to help you determine what benefits and payments you can get based on your needs and situation. All you have to do is answer some questions, and based on your answers, you will get recommendations from Work and Income.
Aside from the winter energy payment, lower the cost of your power bill this coming winter with the right power plan! Switching to a power plan that suits your needs and households can save you money. If you think your current plan doesn't meet your needs anymore or you want to see more options, try our FREE comparison tool!
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