As the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown continues in New Zealand, there is a risk that some households will come under financial stress and struggle to meet their accommodation costs. For some, this could mean that they cannot afford to pay their rates to councils.
The Government has two main options for supporting homeowners with their rates payments, being the Rates Rebate Scheme, and the Accommodation Supplement (AS). The Rates Rebates Scheme provides low income homeowners with a partial refund on annual rates. Go to our Rates Rebate page for more information re eligibility. Details on the Accommodation Supplement are provided below:
The following accommodation costs to be claimed:
Other costs that can be claimed for are:
To be eligible for AS, you will need to:
People do not need to receive a main benefit to be eligible for the AS. If a person’s income is below the threshold, they can apply as a non-beneficiary to receive the AS to complement their income. Non-beneficiaries will have to meet both an asset and income test. The asset test is the same as for beneficiaries.
There are a number of specific circumstances that will affect an applicant’s entitlement to the AS. These can be viewed on the Work and Income website.
Full eligibility criteria are available on the Work and Income website here.
An online eligibility test is available on the Ministry of Social Development website.
The amount of AS payment that an applicant might receive will depend on homeowners income, assets, accommodation costs, family circumstances and where they live.
Homeowners seeking assistance can apply online on the Work and Income website.
A phone appointment will then be arranged once an application is processed.
For any further information or if there are further questions, homeowners should be directed to Work and Income either through links noted above or by phone on 0800 559 009.
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