Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Stress, substance abuse benefits determined by Drs

19 March 2006
Media Statement

Sickness and Invalid's Benefits for stress, substance abuse determined by doctors

Eligibility for Sickness or Invalid's Benefit due to stress or substance abuse is determined by medical professionals, says Social Development and Employment Minister David Benson-Pope.

Responding to National's Judith Collins Mr Benson-Pope reminded her that it was the National government in 1995, which introduced the ‘stress’ and ‘depression’ categories as distinct categories of mental health condition for benefit purposes, recognising them as legitimate problems.

"There is now recognition of a wider range of mental health conditions, which weren’t always addressed in the past," said Mr Benson-Pope. "However, Work and Income staff assessing applications for Sickness and Invalid's Benefits are absolutely reliant on the professional medical opinion of clinicians. They are not doctors and operate under strict instructions that it is the role of medical professionals to determine the state of a client's health as it might relate to that client's benefit application."

For example, to qualify medically for an Invalid's Benefit a client needs to be assessed as having a sickness, injury or disability expected to continue for at least two years which prevents the person from regularly working 15 hours or more. Where it is likely these clients would improve within two years as a result of counselling, treatment or rehabilitation, the person will not qualify for an Invalid's Benefit.

"I am not surprised that Judith Collins continues to attack beneficiaries, but her latest outburst is nothing short of an attack on the integrity of medical professionals. It is very disappointing."

Mr Benson-Pope also noted that in the latest year to December the growth rate of both Sickness and Invalids Benefit fell to 2.7 percent: "Sickness and Invalid's Benefits grew at a rate of 69 percent and 84 percent respectively under the National government. We are getting on top of a trend that was out of control under National," said Mr Benson-Pope.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news