Pursuant to section 124 (1) (d) of the Social Security Act 1964, the Minister for Social Development and Employment establishes and approves the following welfare programme for special assistance.
Dated at Wellington this 6th day of May 2004.
STEVE MAHAREY, Minister for Social Development and Employment.
P r o g r a m m e
1. Title-This programme is the Home Help Programme.
2. Commencement-This programme comes into effect on 10 May 2004.
3. Purpose-The purpose of this programme is to provide financial assistance to certain people who require temporary part-time help to complete domestic tasks normally performed in their homes.
4. Interpretation-(1) In this programme, unless the context otherwise requires:
Act means the Social Security Act 1964;
applicant means a person applying for home help assistance;
cash assets, in relation to a person, means the assets of the person that can be readily converted into cash, and include:
(a) shares, stocks, debentures, bonus bonds and other bonds;
(b) money to the credit of the person in any account or fixed or term deposit with a bank, building society, credit union or friendly society;
(c) money invested with or lent to a bank, financial institution or person;
(d) the net equity in any building, land or premises not used as the person's home;
(e) shares in any building society;
(f) bills of exchange and promissory notes;
(g) a share or interest in any partnership;
but do not include:
(h) the value of the person's home or the land on which it is situated;
(i) personal effects;
(j) the motor vehicle principally used by the person for private use;
(k) a caravan, boat or other vehicle that:
(i) has a net equity of less than $2,000; or
(ii) is used by the person or a member of the person's family for day-to-day accommodation;
domestic emergency, in relation to an applicant, means
a sudden and unexpected change in circumstances (for example, the loss of a spouse) that creates a crisis situation for the applicant;
domestic support means:
(a) the provision of training in parenting skills; or
(b) assistance with household tasks in a situation of stress arising from pressures on the family;
family, in relation to an applicant, means a group of persons who live together in the same household as the applicant, being a group that comprises not less than one adult or more than two adults who care for one or more dependent children or other dependents who are part
of the group, and the dependent children or other dependents who are part of the group;
family credit income has the same meaning as
in Regulation 2 of the Health Entitlement Cards Regulations 1993;
home help means the provision of domestic services or domestic support in a person's home by another person;
home help assistance or assistance means the special assistance under this programme;
home support means home help (by whatever name called) funded under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 for people needing it because of age, ill health or infirmity;
net income has the same meaning as in Regulation 2 of the Health Entitlement Cards Regulations 1993.
(2) Terms otherwise defined in section 3 (1) of the Act have the meanings so defined.
5. Application of Social Security Act-(1) Sections 12, 62, 63, 64, 66, 66B, 68, 74, 74A, 76, 77, 80 (1), 80A, 80BD (1), 81, 82 (1) and (4), 84, 84A and 86J of the Act apply to this programme and to any applicant for assistance under this programme and to any such applicant's spouse as if the special assistance under this programme were a benefit under Part I of the Act.
(2) Nothing in subclause (1) limits the application of any other provision of the Act.
6. Home help assistance: Eligibility-(1) An applicant is eligible to receive home help assistance if the applicant is in one of the following situations:
(a) The applicant or the applicant's spouse has a dependent child aged under five years and gives birth to or adopts two additional dependent children born from the same pregnancy;
(b) The applicant or the applicant's spouse gives birth to or adopts three or more dependent children born from the same pregnancy;
(c) The applicant, being a person with one or more dependent children or other dependants:
(i) is, in the opinion of the chief executive, in a domestic emergency; and
(ii) has no close relatives or friends able to assist in caring for the applicant's dependent children or other dependants; and
(iii) meets the financial means test set out in
(d) The applicant, being a person with one or more dependent children or other dependants:
(i) needs, in the opinion of the chief executive, domestic support; and
(ii) meets the financial means test set out in
(2) An applicant is not eligible for any assistance for which home support may be granted.
7. Financial means test for certain applicants-(1) An applicant meets the financial means test referred to in clause 6 (1) (c) (iii) and (d) (ii) if:
(a) either the applicant or the applicant's spouse holds a community services card issued under the Health Entitlement Cards Regulations 1993; or
(b) the family credit income of the applicant is not more than the appropriate amount set out in Regulation 8 (6) of those Regulations.
(2) In calculating the family credit income of an applicant, the chief executive must regard that income to be increased by $1 a week for each $100 of the cash assets of the applicant and his or her spouse exceeding:
(a) $5,400 in the case of an applicant who is married or a sole parent; or
(b) $2,700 in the case of a single person.
(3) Where an applicant's spouse is receiving care in a hospital care institution or a rest home or a residential disability care institution (within the meaning of the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001):
(a) only 50% of the cash assets of the applicant and the applicant's spouse must be counted as their cash assets; and
(b) only 50% of the net income of the applicant and the applicant's spouse must be taken into account in calculating the applicant's family credit income.
8. Home help assistance: Grant-(1) Subject to the provisions of the Act referred to in clause 5:
(a) the chief executive must grant home help assistance to an applicant who is eligible for it under clause 6 (1) (a) or (b);
(b) the chief executive may, in his or her discretion, grant home help assistance to an applicant who is eligible for it under clause 6 (1) (c) or (d) having regard to the matters in subclause (2).
(2) The matters referred to in subclause (1) (b) are:
(a) whether an able relative (not being a primary or secondary school student) lives in the applicant's home;
(b) whether the applicant is living with an able relative;
(c) in a case where home help assistance is sought for
a domestic emergency:
(i) whether the applicant can obtain home help from his or her relatives, church or a voluntary organisation;
(ii) whether the home help is for childcare (and for which childcare assistance under the Childcare Assistance Programme may be available);
(iii) whether a friend or relative of the applicant can care for the applicant's dependent children or other dependents;
(iv) whether the applicant has a spouse and whether the spouse can take leave from his or her employment to care for the applicant's dependent children or other dependents;
(d) in a case where home help assistance is sought for domestic support:
(i) whether home help is available from a community organisation providing services under the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989;
(ii) whether any previous applications for home help for domestic support have been granted to the applicant or the applicant's spouse.
9. Amount and period of assistance-(1) The amount of an assistance payment must be fixed by the chief executive in each case, having regard to the experience of the home helper, but must not exceed the appropriate amount set out in the Schedule.
(2) The period or periods for which assistance may be granted must not exceed the appropriate period or periods set out in the Schedule.
10. Payment-The chief executive may make payment of home help assistance:
(a) if the home helper is a self-employed person, to the home helper on behalf of the applicant;
(b) if the home helper is employed by the applicant, to the applicant;
(c) if the home helper is employed by an agency, to the agency on behalf of the applicant.
11. Revocation-The authority given on 24 September 1982 under section 124 (1) (d) of the Act by the then Minister of Social Security to make special assistance payments under the Department's Home Help Scheme is revoked.
Maximum rate and payment for travel
1. The maximum hourly rate including holiday pay that may be paid for a home helper is $10.14.
2. Travel costs from the home helper's home (or other home help assignment) to the applicant's home may be paid not exceeding the greater of:
(a) up to 40 cents per kilometre for a maximum of
12 kilometres (or any greater distance agreed in advance by the chief executive);
(b) actual public transport costs.
3. Where the applicant engages the home helper from an agency, the rates payable under this Part may be increased by the amount of Goods and Services Tax payable.
Maximum periods of home help
Multiple births (clause 6 (1) (a) and (b))
Twins Up to 240 hours within a maximum period of 12 months after the children were born in, or first entered, the applicant's home.
Triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, etc. Up to 1,560 hours within a maximum period of 24 months after the children were born in, or first entered, the applicant's home.
Domestic emergency (clause 6 (1) (c))
Up to 45 hours a week for a period of up to three months, but for not more than three such periods.
Domestic support (clause 6 (1) (d))
Up to 15 hours a week for a period of up to three months, but for not more than three such periods within a two year period.
This note is not part of the programme, but is intended
to indicate its general effect.
This Ministerial welfare programme, which comes into effect on 10 May 2004, provides for the granting of home help assistance. It replaces the Ministry of Social Development's home help scheme, and makes some changes to the eligibility criteria for home help.