Yesterday the Government announced changes to Funded Family Care, designed to make things more equitable.
Here’s a brief overview of what’s changing:
- From 14 April 2020, pay rates for family carers will increase from the minimum wage of $20.50 to $25.50 per hour, which will make a significant difference financially.
- Carer eligibility is being expanded to include spouses and partners, so they can be paid for providing care to people with high or very-high disability support needs
- 16-18-year-old family members will also meet eligibility criteria, so they can be paid to provide care to people with high or very-high disability support needs;
- Client eligibility will also be increased to include under 18-year-olds with high or very-high disability- support need.
- The current requirement for an employment relationship to exist between a disabled person and their resident family member to receive Funded Family Carer will also be removed
- Part 4A of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 will be repealed. Under current legislation, New Zealanders cannot take claims based on unlawful discrimination to the Human Rights Commission or before the courts.
Associate Minister of Health, Jenny Salesa says: “Caring for family members such as a spouse or child is one of the most valuable contributions someone can make in our society, especially when that work requires giving up things like paid employment. Our Government has listened to the concerns of family carers about the limits of the current scheme, and we have committed to making it fairer”.
We’re delighted with this outcome because it will help to improve the lives of people living with MND and their families. If you’re interested in finding out more about the changes, visit the Ministry of Health website here