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Maharey Moves To Clear Confusion Over Card

Maharey Moves To Clear Confusion Over Community Card

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today he was concerned that there is confusion about the eligibility criteria for the Community Services Card.

"There has been no change which would see New Zealanders previously eligible for a card losing out. In fact the Government has moved to make sure no one eligible for the Community Services Card on 31 March loses that eligibility," Mr Maharey said.

The Government decided this week to carry over the entitlement of all superannuitants for the card after increases to superannuation and benefits on 1 April. Entitlements for working peple and beneficiaries have not changed. Approximately 1,270 pensioners who had a card would have lost it if the change had not been made. The Community Services Card is administered by a specialist unit within the Department of Work and Income (DWI) which reports to Mr Maharey.

"The rules which DWI use to administer the card have not changed. Low-income workers who got the card last week still qualify – as do students, beneficiaries and others who have a card.

"There is a historical problem with otherwise eligible low-income New Zealanders not applying for their card and therefore missing out on subsidised health care and pharmaceuticals. I am very concerned that misinformation circulating around the community may see this problem exacerbated," Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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