If your income or business has been impacted by Alert Levels 3 and 4, you may be eligible to apply for financial support. As many directors and editors are self-employed, this is an overview of what support is available from the New Zealand Government to help sole traders and the self-employed.
Wage Subsidy August 2021
Self-employed people and sole traders anywhere in New Zealand can apply for the Wage Subsidy Scheme through the Work and Income website if they are eligible. It’s paid as a two-week lump sum to support businesses that have experienced a decline in revenue attributed to the continuation of Alert Levels 3 and 4.
Each round opens for two weeks. Applications for the fourth round, Wage Subsidy August 2021 #4, opened on Friday 1 October and will remain open until 11.59pm on Thursday 14 October.
Resurgence Support Payment (RSP)
The COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payment helps to cover wages and fixed costs for businesses who have been directly affected when there is an increase to Alert Level 2 or higher for a week or more. Sole traders can receive a payment of up to $1,900.
When applications open in MyIR, they will also remain open for one month after all of New Zealand returns to Alert Level 1.
- Applications for the 1st payment under the alert level increase announced on 17 August are still open.
- Applications for a 2nd payment under the RSP opened on 17 September.
- Applications for a 3rd payment will open on 8 October.
Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme (SBCS)
The Government will provide loans to small businesses, including sole traders and the self-employed, impacted by COVID-19 to support their cash flow needs. Applications are open through myIR until 31 December 2023. This is a loan so you will need to pay it back, but it’s interest free if you pay it within 2 years.
COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment
A one-off $359 payment when you cannot work from home and you:
- need to stay at home while waiting for a COVID-19 test result.
- need to stay home and look after a dependent child who has been asked to get a COVID-19 test.
- live with someone who has been at a location of interest and need to stay home while they wait for the person in the household to get a negative test result.
You can apply for it through Work and Income at any time, but cannot be taken while you receiving the Wage Subsidy August 2021 or Leave Support Scheme.
COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme
This scheme provides self-employed people with an income, paid at a flat rate, if they cannot work from home while they’re self-isolating. You need to meet certain criteria to apply.
More information can be found at Work and Income. But note that you can’t get more than one COVID-19 payment at the same time.
If you are still having trouble meeting your needs, you might be able to get help from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). You do not need to be on a benefit to get help with urgent costs, such as medical costs, rent or mortgage payments and utility bills.
Use this tool to check what you might get.
Advice for self-employed people with tax-related concerns:
The above information is provided as an overview guide only based on the COVID-19 financial support tool at www.covid19.govt.nz. Make sure you read the official information provided by IRD, MSD and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to decide which support best suits your personal situation.
Last updated on 7 October 2021