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Families of disabled people need flexible funding

Families of disabled people need flexible funding not legal battles

“The Ministry of Health should be delivering more family-focused flexible funding solutions rather than pursuing further legal battles with families. Families who have been fighting for their fundamental human rights for several years already,” said Viv Maidaborn, CEO of CCS Disability Action.

“We are appalled that the Ministry of Health has chosen to appeal the ‘Family Caregivers’ decision – for a second time – a policy that has been judged as unacceptable twice by the Human Rights Commission.”

“If Government is concerned about the broader implications of this decision then it should be focusing on providing personalised funding options. Disabled people would then have a choice of how they get the support they need, from people they trust, who truly understand their needs, without the bureaucratic delays and restrictions of the current policies around eligibility.

“These families, and hundreds of others around New Zealand, are in an untenable situation. They are supporting a disabled family member twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. They provide a level of care significantly exceeding the ‘natural support’ any parent would expect to provide, and are unable to work full time elsewhere. Yet they are not eligible for the same pay for their role as carer as someone outside the family would be.

“At this point the Ministry needs to consider the broader implications of this policy, and at the same time, the very unfair and unsustainable position these families are in. Further legal action in the adversarial legal system cannot deliver an outcome for disabled people and their families that is appropriate for a country so proud of our human rights record.”

ENDS

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