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 December 2006.
DAVID BENSON-POPE, Minister for Social Development and Employment.
P r o g r a m m e
1. Title—This programme is the Course Participation Assistance Programme.
2. Commencement—This programme comes into effect on 30 April 2007.
3. Purpose—The purpose of this programme is to assist people to participate in training and work-related skills development courses by removing financial barriers to participation.
4. Interpretation—(1) In this programme, unless the context otherwise requires:
52-week period, in relation to a grant, means the
52 weeks immediately preceding the date of application for the grant;
Act means the Social Security Act 1964;
applicant means the person applying for a grant under this programme, or, as the case may require, the person on whose behalf an application for a grant is made;
course means a training or work-related skills development course or programme, being:
(a) a course provided under the Cabinet Guidelines for Employment Assistance; or
(b) a course that the chief executive determines
is analogous to courses provided under
the Cabinet Guidelines for Employment Assistance;
grant means a course participation assistance grant, being the special assistance under this programme;
provider means a course provider;
service plan means:
(a) a job seeker development plan as described in section 105A of the Act;
(b) a personal development and employment plan as described in section 60Q of the Act; or
(c) a plan that the chief executive determines is analogous to either (a) or (b); and
stand down period has the meaning in section 80BA of the Act.
(2) Terms otherwise defined in section 3 (1) of the Act have the same meanings in this programme.
5. Application of the Social Security Act—(1) Sections 12, 62, 71, 74, 74A, 76, 77, 80A, 81, 82 (3), (4) and (7), 84 and 86J of the Act apply to this programme and to any applicant or person granted special assistance under it as if that assistance were a benefit.
(2) Nothing in subclause (1) limits or affects the application of any other section of the Act.
6. Eligibility—An applicant is eligible for a grant if he or she is receiving (or has been granted subject to a stand down period) any of the following benefits:
(a) an unemployment benefit;
(b) a sickness benefit;
(c) an independent youth benefit;
(d) a widow’s benefit;
(e) a domestic purposes benefit;
(f) an invalid’s benefit;
(g) an emergency benefit;
(h) New Zealand superannuation if the applicant is the spouse or partner of a person who has elected to receive the appropriate rate set out in clause 2 of Schedule 1 of the New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income Act 2001; and
(i) a veteran’s pension if the applicant is the spouse or partner of a person who has elected to receive the appropriate rate set out in clause 2 of Schedule 11 of the War Pensions Act 1954.
7. Ineligibility—A person is not eligible for assistance if he or she:
(a) has cash assets (including the cash assets of his or her spouse or partner (if any)) of more than:
(i) in the case of a single person, the amount in clause 1 of Schedule 31 of the Act; or
(ii) in the case of a person who is married or in a civil union or is a sole parent, the amount in clause 2 of that Schedule; or
(b) is a person whose income (including the income of his or her spouse or partner (if any)) is more than the appropriate amount set out in Part 2 of Schedule 31 of the Act.
8. Application form must be completed—(1) A grant may be made to an applicant only if an application form for the purpose is completed in writing by or on behalf of the applicant to the satisfaction of the chief executive.
(2) The form must be provided by the chief executive.
9. Course participation grants—(1) The chief executive may, in his or her discretion, make one or more grants towards an applicant’s costs for any of the following:
(a) Tuition and enrolment fees for a course;
(b) transportation to and from a course;
(c) the care of dependent children, care of people with disabilities, or care of elderly people during participation in a course.
(2) A grant may not be made for costs if the applicant has not taken all necessary steps to obtain any financial assistance towards such costs from any source from which he or she may be eligible to receive such assistance.
(3) In deciding whether to make a grant under clause 9 (1) and without limiting the matters the chief executive may consider, the prime considerations are whether:
(a) the applicant would be unable to participate in the course without a grant;
(b) the course is appropriate to the applicant’s personal situation and skill development needs;
(c) the course is part of a planned progression towards employment and in line with the applicant’s service plan; and
(d) a grant is likely to improve the likelihood of the applicant gaining employment.
10. Amounts of grants—(1) The chief executive may make grants to an applicant of not more than $1,000.00 in total during a 52-week period.
(2) No grant towards the costs specified in paragraph (a) of clause 9 (1) in respect of any one course must exceed $200.00, unless the chief executive considers exceptional circumstances exist.
11. Course costs may be paid to provider—The chief executive may make payment of a grant towards the costs specified in paragraph (a) of clause 9 (1) directly to a provider.
12. Overpayments recoverable—If the applicant does not incur some or all of the costs for which the grant was paid by the chief executive, the extent of the grant paid towards such costs is recoverable from:
(a) the applicant; and
(b) the provider to the extent it was paid to a provider in accordance with clause 11.
This note is not part of the programme, but is intended to explain its general effect.
This programme, which comes into effect on 30 April 2007, assists people to participate in training and work-related skills development courses by removing financial barriers to participation.