Coronavirus and the Law

Coronavirus and the Law

Income Support for COVID-19 Job Loss

I lost my job because I didn’t get vaccinated. Can I still get a benefit?


If you started your job before the vaccine mandate, you would get your first payment straight away. This is because requiring a vaccine is a major change to your employment conditions.

You can still get a benefit if you started your job after the vaccine mandate (or knowing you had to get vaccinated), but there may be a wait. WINZ can make you wait up to 13 weeks to get your first payment.

In both cases – you should apply for a benefit immediately.

I got an exemption but still lost my job. Do I still have to wait 13 weeks for my first benefit payment?

No. You can receive a benefit straight away.

Need money while looking for work

All New Zealanders can apply to financial support, even if you are not on a main benefit. To find out about benefits and extra help visit:

Where can I go for more support?

If you need legal support or clarity on what you’ve read here, please contact a Community Law Centre or other legal advice service.

For up-to-date information about traffic light settings and boundaries, please go to


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