Help with essential costs during COVID-19

Work and Income may be able to help if you’re going through a job loss, not working or on a low income.

If you’ve lost your job or can’t work at the moment  

  • You may be able to get a benefit or some other financial help from us. 

  • You might be eligible for the COVID-19 Income Relief Payment - up to 12 weeks of payments if you lost your job due to COVID-19.  

  • We can help you look for work or training and help with the costs of getting started in a new job. 

  • If you’re struggling to pay your bills, you might be able to get some help – even if you’re still working or on a low income.  

If you’re sick or need time off work because of COVID-19 

You might be unwell or have to self-isolate, which means you can’t go to work. And you may not be able to work from home because of the type of work you do.  

There is a government payment, the Leave Support Scheme, which employers can apply for so you can keep getting paid.  

If you need help with essential costs 

Depending on your situation, there are lots of other ways we may be able to help you and your family. You don’t need to be on a benefit to get help, it’s also available to people on a low income. We could help with: 

  • Food 

  • Accommodation costs (rent, mortgage, board) 

  • Power, gas and water bills or heating 

  • Medical and dental costs 

Find out more – even if you don’t think you qualify, call and talk about your situation BEFORE it becomes a problem.  You can also visit and click on check what you might get.

For more information or to apply visit 

If you don’t have internet access call 0800559009 from 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm Saturday or visit your nearest service centre. 

If you’re deaf, hearing-impaired or find it hard to communicate by phone you can call Deaf Link Free-fax 0800 62162 or Text 0292867170 or email 

Multilingual Lines – Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm 

Samoan 0800 663 003 or Tongan 0800 669 009