Govt‘s Winter Energy Payment kicks in for Kiwis

File photo.

A warmer winter is on the horizon for over 1 million New Zealanders receiving either a main benefit or New Zealand Superannuation as the Winter Energy Payment begins today.

“When we first came into office, we introduced the Winter Energy Payment as part of our Government’s December 2017 Families Package. This was designed to help older New Zealanders and many of our low and middle income families heat their homes over winter,” says Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni.

Between May 1 and October 1 this year, single people with no dependent children will receive a boost of $20.46 per week while couples and families with children will receive an extra $31.82 per week.

“It’s tough for many whānau across the country, but the Winter Energy Payment is another step towards ensuring they’re supported to cover some of the costs which can peak during winter,” says Sepuloni.

“We know that many older New Zealanders need every cent of support they get and the feedback we have got in previous years shows that it continues to be positively received.

“Having a warm home plays a part in preventing respiratory illnesses through the winter season and lowers the risk of other health issues. This payment supports people and whānau to cover the cost of energy bills and helps them heat their homes.

“The Winter Energy Payment provides support alongside the suite of income increases that took effect on 1 April, including increases to main benefits, New Zealand Superannuation, Working for Families and the Minimum Wage.

“There’s no silver bullet to solving issues like the cost of living, but we’ve taken a range of actions to lift Kiwis' incomes that, together, will make things easier for families," says Sepuloni.

People don’t need to apply for the Winter Energy Payment, they’ll get it automatically. The Winter Energy Payment doesn’t affect any other payments people may be getting.

Key points about the Winter Energy Payment:

  • The Winter Energy Payment is paid each year from 1 May until 1 October.
  • People who are eligible to receive the Winter Energy Payment will get it automatically along with their weekly or fortnightly payments. They don’t need to do anything.
  • The Winter Energy Payment is available to people getting Jobseeker Support, Sole Parent Support, Supported Living Payment, Youth Payment, Young Parent Payment, Emergency Benefit, Emergency Maintenance Allowance, NZ Super and Veteran’s Pension.
  • Single people with no dependent children will get $20.46 a week and couples or people with dependent children will get $31.82 ($15.91 each).
  • If people don’t want the Winter Energy Payment, they can choose to opt out of the payment. They can get the Winter Energy Payment again if they ask MSD to re-start it.

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