WelCom March 2021
New Zealand has a complex benefit system sometimes making it hard for low-income families to understand all the assistance they could receive.
Help to navigate the welfare system is being offered at the Levin Benefit Impact week, at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, 8 to 12 March, with support from a range of local community and church groups.
People on benefits and low-incomes are invited to visit the St Joseph’s parish hall, 56 Weraroa Rd, between 10am and 3pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, 9–10 March, to check their benefit details or options with a trained advocate.
Some beneficiaries may be invited to make an appointment, along with the advocate they saw earlier in the week, to come back and to meet with Work and Income staff in Levin on Thursday and Friday, 11–12 March.
Overseeing Benefit Advocacy will be Hutt Valley Benefit Education Service Trust (BEST), who will be training and mentoring local volunteers. BEST Manager Teresa Homan says previous Benefit Impact weeks have been able to make a noticeable difference to people’s lives.
‘We have found about a third of the people who came to see us needed additional support for unmet health or disability costs. While for some this was just a few dollars extra a week, for others it was more substantial. In all cases it meant people were better able to meet core living costs once their medical costs weren’t eating into their food or power budget.’
This year an additional focus is on low-income families and individuals who may qualify for financial assistance from WINZ to help cover health and living costs. Covid-19 may be impacting to this additional support requirement.
For more information please contact Kilian de Lacy at firstname.lastname@example.org or ph 022-695-0056.