Why your cost of living payment may not be in your bank account yet

The Government has started paying out its $350 cost of living payment, with $116.67 starting to appear in Kiwis' bank accounts.

Overall, it's estimated about 2.1 million New Zealanders who earn $70,000 or less and aren't entitled to the Winter Energy Payment will receive the support, intended to help with the sky-high price of basic items, like food and fuel.

The first portion is meant to be heading Kiwis' way on Monday and the second and third payments will arrive on the first business days of September and October. 

Letters were emailed to eligible Kiwis over the weekend informing them the cost of living payment would be paid into a specific account "within two working days".

But what if you're eligible for the payment, received an email from IRD over the weekend saying you would receive it, but it is yet to turn up?

IRD says that due to the large number of payments, it is intending to stagger them throughout the day. That means some eligible New Zealanders will get their payments before others.

Also, if you use a credit union account, it's expected you will receive your $116.67 the day after the payment date.

However, it's critical to make sure IRD actually has your bank account for the money to be put into. Last week, the department reported that it didn't have 164,000 bank accounts and urged eligible New Zealanders to double-check the department has their details. The payment can only be made to a New Zealand bank account.

When the payment is made it will come up as 'CostOfLiving' in your bank account. 

"In myIR the date displayed is the processing date and may be earlier than the day you get your payment," the IRD says.

The first lot of the cost of living payment has already hit some people's bank accounts. One person said they intended to use their entire payment on Lotto, while another said they would pick up six blocks of cheese. 

Others have said they will give to charities that help vulnerable people. People who receive a main benefit or a pension will not receive the payment as they are entitled to the Winter Energy Payment, something that has frustrated the Green Party.

Expat Kiwis and foreigners who previously worked in New Zealand but now live offshore have reported getting notifications they will receive the payment, despite the eligibility criteria saying recipients must be present in New Zealand.