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22 Mar 2018 23:06
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  •   Home > News > Health & Safety

    Mother wins carer pay battle with ministry

    The mother of a disabled man is ecstatic with the Court of Appeal's decision for a revision of care funding after a long battle with the Ministry of Health.

    The mother of a disabled man fighting for more money as a caregiver is ecstatic with the Court of Appeal's order to the Ministry of Health to revisit its funding allowance.

    The court ruled on Wednesday that the ministry must revise its decision to only pay Diane Moody for 17 hours a week at minimum wage for the care of her 51-year-old severely disabled son Shane Chamberlain.

    Mrs Moody said she was "absolutely ecstatic" with the outcome after a long-running legal battle, saying it was more about the principle than the money.

    "The ministry just keeps putting barrier up and barrier in front of families," she told NZME

    "Of course, you fight the battles all along, [but] at the end of the day, if there is a principle involved then yes, it is worth it.

    Mrs Moody was originally paid 11 hours for caring for Mr Chamberlain, who requires 24/7 care, and objects to the assessment process for funding entitlement.

    "I've [had] the situation where when the assessment was done to organise Shane's amount of hours I could get, he was actually timed going to the toilet - now, how degrading is that."

    A previous High Court ruling saw the Ministry of Health revise their decision to 17 hours a week at minimum wage, but Mrs Moody argued she was eligible for 40 hours a week.

    The ministry then said in the Court of Appeal, it could only provide funding for the hours Mrs Moody spent on Mr Chamberlain's personal care and household management.

    The court ruled that "a formulaic approach to assessment is inconsistent with spirit and purpose of the policy" and redirected the Ministry of Health to reassess Mrs Moody's application for funding.

    It also noted their "unease" with the complexity of assessing funding eligibility of disability support services, saying "they verge on impenetrable".

    "We hope the ministry is able to find an effective means of streamlining the regime," it said.


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