Have your say on winter energy payments bill
The Chair of the Social Services and Community Committee is calling for public submissions on a bill that would ensure that two aspects of winter energy payments are authorised.
The Social Security (Winter Energy Payment) Amendment Bill would amend clause 72 of the Social Security Act 2018, which specifies the eligibility criteria for the winter energy payment. It would authorise a payment to a person who is receiving long-term residential care in a hospital or rest home, or residential care home, unless the person is specified as ineligible for the payment.
Under the Act, a beneficiary is not eligible for a winter energy payment for the first 28 days of any one or more absences from New Zealand, if each absence is longer than four weeks during the winter period. The bill would amend this section of the Act to make the winter energy payment payable for up to a maximum of 28 days of any one or more absences from New Zealand during the winter.
The bill also seeks to authorise the Ministry of Social Development’s practice during the 2018 winter period to pay the winter energy payment to people covered by these two scenarios.