What’s (so very very) wrong with “Funded Family Care?”

Our Government appears to be laughing in the faces of the severely disabled and their carers with its new support system. As I read through the requirements, steps, and parties involved in the new system, my jaw just kept dropping open, and I kept making incredulous noises at my husband who also found the whole system absurd. You want to see just how badly a Government can misunderstand the disabled and their carers, and what lengths it will go to in order to avoid meeting its Human Rights obligations? Well then, allow me to present to you:

By itsabitblurry via Flickr

Funded Family Care!

I will first give you just the briefest of backgrounds, because I’m eager to get to the guts of this utter farce. Basically, our courts found our Government was discriminating in a manner inconsistent with human rights, because the Government blocked people from receiving pay for work caring for family members only because they were family members. Non-family members could and would be paid by the Government to provide support, but if the person was related to the disabled individual, they were not allowed to receive the funding, which lead to many desperate families struggling to get by and finally taking the matter to the courts.

The decisions of the courts were read down to their smallest possible subset by the Government, whereby they decided they would pay only for the highest needs individuals (that’s about 1600 nationwide), and only if the disabled individual was an adult, and not at all if the person seeking payment was a spouse or partner. So only family members of highly disabled adult individuals can get paid under the new scheme. The way in which the Government wrote up the legislation outlining this caused immense upset in the disabled community and in legal circles, and with many other societal groups too. (The details as to just how bad that legislation was, can be found in my earlier post.)

OK, let’s then get to the funding scheme that has finally risen from all this. Ready to laugh or cry? Cause here we go:

The most glaring aspect of the entire scheme is the contradictions throughout, as to who can qualify for the scheme, and what they must be capable of to access the funding. Specifically, only the most highly disabled will even qualify to pay family members, but in order to get the funding they must do very many things that would be automatically outside of the capabilities of the severely disabled.

For example, the disabled person must be able to understand all their obligations under the funding agreement and all key aspects of the agreement. If they cannot, the funding is not approved. Those obligations include all core areas of employment law since the way the scheme is set up is to make them the employer of their family member, as funding is deposited in their bank account which they are then responsible for using to do the following: Pay the family member who is supporting them, pay ACC levies, pay tax, and pay the Kiwisaver scheme. The disabled person is explicitly put in the position of an official employer, and explicitly expected to be able to understand and meet all employer obligations, which are extensive and highly complicated in their own right (I’ve taught Employment Law, this stuff ain’t easy!)

Allow me to give you another example of the contradictions inherent in the scheme, because it gets worse. In order to meet the scheme requirements, the disabled individual must be able to “explicitly confirm” their preference for a family member to do the work. This is not a negotiable requirement, it is a necessary one. A secondary requirement is that the disabled individual would not otherwise be able to remain at home without the support of the family member, but this secondary requirement can be waived in exceptional circumstances where, for example, the disabled person has “significant communication issues” that mean the relationship between the family member and the disabled individual is going to be hard for other carers to replace.

But wait… how can the scheme on the one hand acknowledge that individuals may have severe communication difficulties, but insist as a necessary requirement that the disabled individual must be able to explicitly confirm a desire for an employment relationship, and must be able to show an understanding of the employment relationship..? (Answering that their guardian can give consent of their behalf is going to be problematic for many reasons, not the least of all being that the same person is likely to be the person seeking the funding in the first place.)

Hey, it’s OK, the scheme is going to introduce all sorts of mandatory support systems to help the disabled person make sense of this all (keeping in mind that even with all the support systems in the world though, you might never get a severely disabled person to be able to express and give meaningful consent to something as complex as a legal employment relationship, but let’s ignore that crucial detail for a second). The scheme makes sure there are no less than five parties involved in the funding set-up and ongoing review process: The disabled individual; the family member who will be paid; the Ministry (sure, it’s their money); the NASC (the what..? Oh yeah, those guys that receive endless complaints about the way they treat disabled families and their funding); and the “Host” (staring blankly at the screen yet?). And I haven’t even touched-on the role of “advocates” and the “circle of support” (that’s their official term by the way).

When I made a submission to the Government about how it might want to set up the scheme, I – like many others – strongly argued they not include the NASC (Needs Assessment and Coordination Service) in the process, because of the extra layer of bureaucracy, time, and money-wasting involved with their presence (quite independently of how poorly NASC currently operate). Not only did the Government decide to include the NASC, they invented more bodies that must be consulted and included (and obviously paid for somehow). Reading through the scheme is like watching money flow down a drain – into the pockets of gate-keepers, and held back from the very people for whom the scheme is meant to exist. I see a lot of job creation for anyone but the person who is after the funding; it is a maddening read.

I’ll give them this much: They do, at one point, acknowledge how complex and extensive the scheme is:

“The requirements of the FFC arrangement are quite extensive and complex and understanding the obligations and responsibilities of being an employer in this arrangement can be quite daunting.”

Yah think..?? [Head-desk.]

All of what I’ve said so far, barely scratches the surface of the problems I see with the scheme. (The fact that the wages are at minimum wage, and questions of how many situations would actually get the 40 hour maximum and whether that is a realistic maximum for full time care, are also issues upsetting the disability community already.)

It appears to be an inherently contradictory, self-defeating, bureaucracy-laden, impossible to negotiate scheme, that achieves little more than creating a bunch of new roles and organisations which will benefit far more and far more definitely, than the families this was meant to help. It’s as if the scheme was designed for not just a very able person, but an exceptionally able person who can understand more than your average non-lawyer about employment law, and negotiate a very lengthy and convoluted number of steps to get the funding (which is thereafter constantly reviewed and re-assessed). The support systems created to inform and guide the disabled individual to overcome the hurdles the scheme itself creates, do not and cannot replace the requirement they insist on: that the severely disabled individual can understand and legally sign-up to the agreement and its huge number of responsibilities and obligations.

I could give the Government the benefit of the doubt: I could say they only created so many hurdles to make sure the disabled individual has full and ongoing say in the arrangement, and as full control as possible over the funds. Which is a lovely and respectable aim, but it seems to me that they have created barriers to meaningful consent and control, not removed those barriers. And the deeper (and well justified at this point) cynic in me, thinks they fully understand just what they have done, since this is the same Government that argued against paying these people in the first place, created a tiny group of people who could ever qualify for it at the get-go, and rushed through legislation without debate, all the while loudly complaining to the courts and in the media about how much it will cost them to stop their own illegal discrimination.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I want to be wrong. I want the Government and the operation of the scheme to prove itself to be fair and well-intended, I want to smile when I hear success stories about how the desperate families are now receiving sufficient support to do the best by their disabled family members, I want to be proud that New Zealand took a step away from discrimination and towards the well-being of disabled people and their families. But I think that I – like so many touched by disabilities in this country – am going to be left wanting.

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41 Responses to What’s (so very very) wrong with “Funded Family Care?”

  1. Vanessa King says:

    Hear, hear. A very well written summary of the glaring problems. We have experienced problems enough with my daughter (mis)managing her IF funds with which we were set adrift with little knowledge of employment law…and now she is to be my employer? I have at times had to explain to her that you can’t just not pay someone because you didn’t think they deserved it. How does this affect the family member in relation to the disabled person. It is actually quite disempowering from this perspective, a veritable nightmare. It suddenly feels that despite my 25 years of service I am trying to profiteer off my situation as I beg for at least 30 ours of paid work so that I can get off the DPB-CSI and claim the In Work tax credit before I become even more destitute. The part about not being able to claim if your child is in hospital is a complete unworkable nightmare for those faced with the ever present reality of repeated hospital visits. I have to say i think this is probably the most insulting aspect of this policy.

    • Thank you for bringing up the hospital point Vanessa, there are just so many aspects to the scheme that look unworkable (and unfair). Thank you too for sharing your own experience, hearing from those directly involved is perhaps the best way to fully grasp the likely impacts of the scheme. As you say, many aspects of it are really quite “insulting,” I think that is a good word for capturing the tone and implications of the scheme.

    • Natalie says:

      Hi Vanessa – hear hear!! Im in exactly the same situation accept my daughter is 13 – if only we could be recognised as employed – 30 – 40 hr a week to get off benefit and become eligible for many things employed citizens are. Did you know if you have worked in a particular field/career for 2 or more years you are entitled to cross credits at university to degrees and qualifications. If we were employed we would also be entitled to Occupational Health & Safety, kiwi saver, family tax credits, more appropriate bank loans/mortgages. We wouldn’t be constantly having to pay GP’s to appease WINZ that our family member is disabled etc…the consequences of being thrown onto a benefit are huge. Im also extremely insulted that our new benefit – Caring for the Sick and Infirm, does not require us to work!!! I do work, 118 hours p/week caregiving my daughter and massive hours doing paperwork for Govntment assistance and supports etc…it hurts very much to live parallel to families/citizens not in our situation, but have such different rules and control bestowed upon us. Im sick and tired of being beneficiary bashed by the greater public who do not realise our situation is different by a long shot…just want to be treated fare and retain some dignity and have control of our life.

  2. seventhvoice says:

    OMG….. talk about contradictions……. Hope some how this shmozzle of a system gets sorted out and soon so that everyone who needs and deserves these services and supports can attain them….

  3. Huhana says:

    you are absolutely correct in all your posting, and this is why we, as a disability community, must fight this.. DPA have a petition that needs to be signed and we need to gather at Parliament as many of us as able, to show our discontent at their decisions.

  4. Pingback: Government’s New Family Carer Payment Flawed and Unfair | Spot This Now

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  6. Trevor Lewis says:

    The current Gov’t simply does not understand disability issues. The latest thing I am coming across is funding has changed for children with autism, meaning they ca no longer access the support they used to be able to – though I still need to get more information about this.

  7. Angela says:

    Thanks every one for being so brave. They have thought more about the benefits of NASC and other parties to be paid for being involved rather than the family member who is suffering each minute and support the disabled person. How about those who are intellectually disabled or is it just for those who are physically unable? It is all insult and devaluation of the support is provided by the family member. It is all creating distance between the disabled person and the family member who has devoted her/his time, joy and rest for looking after the disabled person. It is very discriminatory. It is unfair to the family member who has been looking after the disabled person.

  8. Vanessa King says:

    Hi Angela, I find it very disheartening. Is Tony Ryall having a laugh?

  9. Natalie Newrick says:

    The grief caused by the Govt, MOH, NASC etc…is utterly inhumane and criminal….New Zealanders need to realise this does affect the 4 million of us – at anytime in their lives they could end up disabled and be rendered into our life. The distress caused by current systems and pending systems is utterly horrendous insulting, harmful, negligent, a complete National Financial Raught and breaches so many of our rights: Human, Civil, Political and many codes of conduct. Many times I have demanded through Human Rights Commission & Health & Disability Commission the a full independent enquiry into the Govt Systems & mistreatment of our families and be made public. I beg for intervention by International Human Rights & United Nations Rights for Disabled & their Families and legal action be taken against this Government. I cant even walk away from NZ and go to Australia because Mr Key again has ensured we have no rights there too…killing me cruelly and slowly Mr Key. The health issues I now suffer as a result of being overworked & extremely stressed is another cost to the tax payer…the full effects of our Health & Disability Services & WINZ is mammoth & disgraceful.

  10. The unmentioned issues:

    The 272 (though I have very good reason to believe this is more like 1272) family members who are already getting paid as carers. Where are you people??? Why are you not speaking out??? Are you automatically transferred to the new scheme, and now going to be paid the minimum wage for only 40 hours per week? That wont sit well as now some of you are being paid $18 per hour for more than 40 hours per week. Tough, eh?

    What was under the redacted sections of the regulatory impact statement????? Considering that in September last year the Govt. was NOT going to need to make legislative changes, therefore would NOT need and RIS. What exactly are the ‘competing interests that Cabinet mentioned in September last year???

    Considering that most of the exceptions made to the previous policy were on ‘cultural; grounds, why did Tariana Turia and her Maori Party collegues vote for the PHADAct ammendment when it stands to disadvantage Maori who are already being paid as carers??? Unless, of course, under the blanked out bits of the RIS there is special conditions if the funding is going through a Whanau Ora provider???

    And what is this about not being allowed to work outside the home if you are being paid for your 40 hours??? Surely this breaches employment regulations?

  11. Ross says:

    What a mess
    We are waiting for the next step in this process, the only contracted agency for our area have to travel up from Wellington at some stage to complete the assessment, then we wait for the next stage, at this stage we might have a start date by Christmas.

  12. Peter says:

    I came across your very interesting blog while searching for information on the Funded Family Care scheme. I agree – they have deliberately made it impossible for most people to access such funding.

    I have an adult son with mental illness. He has been in a hospital rehabilitation programme for the last 18 months but is likely to return to my care sometime in the next few months. Before his long term admission to hospital I used to receive DPB-CSI but I have since reached retirement age and no longer qualify. Funded Family Care seemed the answer so I made enquiries. First I asked a NASC and got told it they couldn’t help as they thought it didn’t apply to the parents of the mentally disabled. I then emailed the Ministry of Health directly. It took a long time to obtain a response but eventually they confirmed Funded Family Care is not available for the parent(s) of children with mental disabilities.

    Media reporting of the Human Rights Commission court cases leading to the introduction of the Funded Family Care legislation featured photos of Cliff Robinson, a pensioner caring for two adult children with mental disabilities. According to the information received from MOH even he doesn’t qualify for funding – the scheme appears to be limited to parents of the physically disabled only. Isn’t this discrimination?

  13. Mark & Ann says:

    I’m writing this as a result today of being told that our high needs daughter who requires everything done for her will only receive 30 hours a week to pay my wife to look after her. 4 hours a day minimum wage paid to a mother who has dedicated all her life to caring for our daughters every need. Assessed as high needs she has one on one care at her day centre. At school it was the same. Now we are being told, we will pay you the minimum wage for 4 hours a day. Plus we will give you an extra two hours to do all her washing cleaning and personal stuff. My wife has never been able to work, is on call every hour of the day and to be told your worth 4 hours at minimum wage is insulting. This whole FFC is a jack up by the government. All disabled people on record should have been advised of the new scheme prior to it starting on 1st October. We were not and I suspect no one was.
    So bloody angry. If all family careers have to go through this, something has to be done.

  14. Ross Mackenzie says:

    Back in October I posted a thought that we might have a payment before Christmas, well it’s the 9th of December tomorrow, it has taken from the 4th of October until now to complete the paper work and get all the relevant paper work to the required agencies and still no payments. Starting to become stressed, multiple agencies involved with many hand overs.
    Ross

    • Mark & Ann James says:

      Ross, the whole set up is crap. We applied in September. Was told then they didn’t have the info to start the process. Then in October we were told the process would start. As of today we still haven’t heard from the HOST provider. We met every itemised criteria from the forms with a “very high needs” child. Then we were asked twice to itemise and time everything we do. Told we would get 30hours a week. Stressed like you and the process makes us feel they really don’t know how to process. It’s crap and would make a great story for current affairs. Good Luck.

      • Ross and Jeannette Mackenzie says:

        Hi Mark & Ann We must be similar in our thinking, I to started asking questions in mid September at the M.O. H and the reply was “sorry we don’t have the forms or the systems yet but you need to be assessed” . We were assessed by NASC on the 4th of October and discovered that the MOH had changed it previous statements from their web page, that this was backed dated to the October 1 and exciting benefits would not be affected, both of these have now been removed from their web page. We then waited for FASS to do the Host Provider bit and they took over a week to complete a very simple form ( only 2 staff for the whole country) and it was then that I noticed that they had not allowed 8% holiday pay in their per hour costing’s. Our local NASC finally received the completed form with a start date of 11 November and our banking details were sent to “Smart Pay” who will manage the fortnightly pay, tax, annual leave, Kiwi Saver etc. That took another week and as of last Friday 6th DEC they have forwarded all the banking authorities to the relevant agencies. So I agree that this whole process is totally flawed, I know that some families are being advised NOT TO apply and I think that Campbell live would be very interested as they ran the story of Cliff Robinson who was one of the eight plaintiffs.

        PS we are also going to be audited each month for the next six months.

        Ross

  15. Natalie says:

    Why is everyone whose applying for this funding being audited? Its definitely time for Campbell Live or 3rd Degree to be informed as to what you/we are all facing…

    • Mark says:

      Hi Natalie, I think that the audit is part of the set up for the first six month to make sure those managing the payment are doing it correctly. However it’s the complete process that is flawed and really causes a great deal of stress. I’m sure Campbell Live would be the only ones that could get some answers. It will be two weeks tomorrow that we received notification that someone from FASS would make contact with us, and still nothing. Totally flawed system, complicated and abusive to those who just want to care for their loved one. Makes me now realise the challenges Cliff Robinson and the group faced when challenging the courts for a decision. If you are affected by this whole system, good luck.

      • Natalie says:

        Hi Mark…yes I am severely affected by the Health System, I have severely disabled chronically ill 12 year old with very high & complex needs. I have had a lot to do with the Human Rights vs Ministry of Health Pay Family Members as carers and have been campaigning hard against the Government to overhaul the system so it actually supports the family carers as well. I have also been helping aged citizens obtain the supports and services they require and am utterly disgusted in the treatment they are exposed to. I have also initiated a major Investigation into Ministry of Health, Healthcare NZ & Taikura Trust via Health & Disability Commission. I do not at all have any faith in Health & Disability Commission and have advised them this is there last chance to recognise the horrific abuse and massive breaches of Human Rights, Civil Rights, Political Rights, UN Rights, to name but a few. I have advised if the outcome from this investigation is not satisfactory, I will be taking the situation to the Medical Counsel, Ombudsman and the media. I have demanded Independent Investigation and full public disclosure of the actual goings on inside the system. It is incredibly apparent that there are a lot of Ministry of Health systems and services providers employed being paid and far too many hands in the money pot, yet those who are in dire need of the supports etc are not receiving the supports they require. The system is extremely micky mouse and utterly complicated and ridiculously time consuming of time our families do not have and should not be subject too. I know there are a lot of us who have been tackling the Government for years to no avail. The abuse and cruelty we are exposed to is abhorrent and astounding that all our campaigning has theoretically got us no where. It is imperative the wider public (those not in our circumstance at present), realise this affects every single NZ’r as at some stage in all of our lives we will be dependent on our Health Services. It is tax payer money and we did not all work and pay our taxes and ACC levies to be treated so disgracefully inhumane. Its power of the people, we are the people and the we elect are entrusted by us to act on our behalf, but that is not at all what is happening. I have demanded legal proceedings be brought forth on the Government, Ministry of Health and all Healthcare Providers who have constantly breached our many rights and have rendered us into extreme undue unnecessary suffering and harm. After fighting for 6 years as another ‘plaintiff’ in the Human Rights vs Ministry of Health Pay Family Members as Carers its deeply hurtful that the 118 hours intensive nuerological, surgical and medical care I provide my daughter, I still do not count. However, I was happy for those families who are now eligible, however I knew the system and policy changes would be wrought with continued obstacles and continued mistreatment of our people. The battle is far from over, and I personally will not back down, ever. The Government is criminal and utterly negligent.

        • Mark says:

          Wow, what a real battler for those of out there who take everything for granted in that some systems work. I thank you for your commitment. Our daughter is 25yrs and classified as high needs, although we long ago acknowledged that there are far more challenged families out there.

          We are one of those quiet families not wishing to apply for everything available, why? I don’t really know, maybe we just believe we can do it on our own and someone else is more deserving. With this new FFC we thought finally my wife could receive credit for the hard work she has done all these years. Never being able to work since our daughter was born, she had got on with the relentless but loving task of caring, as a mother would.

          We had a standard assessment completed in September and were not even informed of the new system. Private research made me realise this option may be available to us. When I enquired if we were eligible in early October they said “yes you are”. Then they came back and said 28hours a week plus 2 for cleaning her room and doing laundry. I have now challenged this so a review is supposed to be carried out, however that was three weeks ago and still no decision.

          I asked the question direct, ” Do you know what you are doing” Answer: ” Not completely, this is a learning curve for all of us”.

          Incredible, if this was in any other employment area, someone would be held accountable and training provided. We were told on the 29th November that someone from FASS would be in contact with us for the next stage. As of today still no contact even after I enquired with my NASC facilitator when this would happen. Their response, ” we have sent an email enquiring when contact will be made”. My response ” get on the bloody phone and ask”.

          It’s a mess, a real mess, and no one knows how to handle the process.
          I just feel so angry for all those others who may be in a more desperate situation than us, it’s not fair.

          Regards
          Mark

        • Natalie says:

          Hi Mark…congrats to your dear wife and yourself for just trying to get on with things without requesting help till recently. Im an ex corporate and ex Occupational Health & Safety Officer.. Since they day my daughter was born I too was no longer able to work and was left a solo mum. My daughter requires 24/7 and is totally dependent on adult care and very medical, she requires 24/7 medical care and intervention. Cannot walk, talk, dress or feed herself. Has many many secondary chronic life threatening illness’s. Over the years caring for my daughter I have become extremely unwell and now have several chronic debilitating illness’s too. Im a hardworking career minded person and not at all shy of hard work and giving selflessly to my daughter. I now need to get my health in check before its too late, however have no option but to keep providing the 24/7 my girl needs…if we were eligible to ‘pay family’ as carers, my mother could give up her job and takeover caring for my daughter to allow me to get the medical help I need….my body is basically dying I live in extreme pain but have no option at this stage to care for myself. I will not institutionalise my daughter…I just would like to be fairly treated, recognised for the immense work I do with my daughter and retain some dignity and self worth…do you or have yourself and your wife been rendered onto a benefit? It seems everyway I go Im being shafted as a worthy citizen of NZ entitled to fare and equal rights and treatment.

        • Mark says:

          Hi Natalie, here is my email contact. Aimsector427@gmail.com
          Always good to have someone to talk to in a similar situation.

  16. Ross Mackenzie says:

    After many weeks of e mails and phone calls, receiving and postings forms, gathering information from the IRD, banks e.t.c I have received my first payment. A huge thank you to the wonderful people at Smart Pay for arranging the final details in a very short time frame. The next few weeks will be interesting with public holidays e.t.c but we can now relax and have a reasonably stress free christams. I hope all the other families start to receive their payments asap and I am happy to help out with suggestions if I can

    Regards
    Ross

    • Mark James says:

      Hi Ross,
      We has our visit last week from a FASS representative who was really helpful. We completed all the paperwork. Today we heard all the documentation had been received and our detail would be entered today into the system for a start date 23rd December. It’s been a really long process and really stressful but light seems to be at the end of the tunnel. Proof will be when my wife receives the first payment so like you our fingers will be crossed in two weeks time. It’s still a very stressful process and one hopes in time things will evolve into a more simpler process. We nearly gave up, but for me it was my duty to fight for all the hard work my wife has done over the years and obviously will continue to do in the years ahead. For those people applying for FFC, don’t give up, keep fighting and try and stay ahead of what is required to complete the process.
      Merry Christmas Ross
      Mark

      • Ross Mackenzie says:

        Hi Mark
        Well done, as you have probaly discovered you have to just keep chipping away with this dog of a system. I can highly recommend the “Smartpay” company, really helpful and super easy to manage.You just need to collect banking details, IRD number etc and you should be good to go, Don’t rely on any body contacting you from the MOH advising you when your first pay starts, just keep on being proactive and contact them and ask when and how much is being transfered.

        Regards

        Ross

        • Mark says:

          Thanks Ross, in the end we got there, just a long drawn out process with so many hurdles as you know. It certainly cheered us up for Christmas especially my wife. Definitely using the Smartpay company and that should be all set up now if not over the next few days when they work. I won’t be holding my breath on anyone contacting me but that’s fine as long as it starts and that they don’t stop it. I was surprised that they actually started in at the start of this week considering all the stat days coming up, but that’s good.
          Will keep in touch. Have a good New Year.
          Regards
          Mark

        • Mark says:

          Hi Ross, thought I would ask you as you will most probably know as I can’t seem to get an answer from anyone who knows. What days do payments come through the system and what is the cycle period. Our first two weeks are up from our start date and I just want to keep the ball rolling and contacting as you suggest. Everything is in place so now we wait and see.
          Hope you and your family had a great Christmas and new year, all the best for 2014.
          Regards
          Mark

        • Ross says:

          Hi Mark
          I have just got to pop out, will be back in about half an hour.

          Regards

          Ross

        • Ross says:

          Hi Mark
          The payments are each fortnight, paid in arrears. The MOH process the payments into our son’s account on the Wednesday night, we wait until it is in his account, then I process it through ‘Smart Pay” so I get it on the Thursday. This is the normal process but public holidays etc will alter the days that they process, as we had over the Xmas period.

          Regards

          Ross

  17. Peter says:

    Carers NZ is asking for comments on Funded Family Care. Please moderator may I direct them to this blog?

    Peter.

      • Peter says:

        Thank you. Sara, National Coordinator for Carers NZ, told me to date there has been a very low FFC uptake and she has received a lot of feedback indicating it really isn’t working for families. I would like to ask your advice on another matter so if you are not too busy (yeah – it’s christmas holiday time – silly question) can you please email me directly?

  18. Ross mackenzie says:

    ACC levies
    For those families who are receiving Family Funded Care the amount that you need to put aside for your ACC invoice is $3.09 per $100 gross pay.
    This is the figure that I was advised as correct by ACC today. I’m not sure what rate you may have been advised of but I know that on my break down of how they reached the hourly rate it is wrong.
    As this money is not taken out on a fortnightly basis by any pay provider it needs to be saved separately as ACC will invoice you.

    Regards
    Ross

    • Mark says:

      Thanks Ross for the update. We are still waiting for the first payment to start. Start date given was 23rd December and as of last night still nothing started. Smartpay all set up and ready just nothing to pay my wife with. Have been told the delay is due to the festive period. With an employment contract all done, I’m sure if this was any other employer the recipient would have their pay on time or there would be complaints. Who is the best person to call in your opinion? Nearly 5 months now since the process started. Hope all is well with you and your family.
      Regards
      Mark

      • Ross says:

        Hi Mark
        Unfortunatley I’m not surprised, in your case I would be calling your NASC case worker, your local MP and if they are employed by the DHB I would be calling the CEO, or who ever is the employer of your NASC case worker is.
        I would also be asking the MOH for a date that your first payment is to be processed and the $ amount.

        Good luck, let me know if I can be of any other help>

        Ross

  19. james says:

    I tried to point out to fass the fact that my daughter as my employer will need a full risk assessment of our home a building wof fire service inspection and I will need a full first aid training also drug admin certificate all up about $ 11000 per year me on min wage how!!

    • Ross says:

      Hi James
      Firstly I do feel for you and have had similar frustrations but I am now at a point that I no longer worry and don’t waste time and energy on a DOG of a system.
      The staff at FASS are doing the best that they can given the structure and it’s not their fault, the issuese that you raise and all the other problems that families will encounter are due to the MOH deciding on using the Employer/Employee structure as this automaticlly brings into play a large number of laws and acts that are simply not applicable, partically around the wage entitlements.
      If you have already started to receive your payments, then look to making the best from a bad situation, if you are still to receive your payments, then I respectfully suggest that you put your time and energy into getting all the paper work correct.
      I would normally not give up on issues like this but I have now come to the conclusion that dealing with the MOH is difficult and generally highly stressful,they are not helpul, so while i’m not at all happy, I now just join the dots and move on.

      Regards and best wishes

      Ross

    • Mark says:

      Hi James,
      Just read what Ross had to say and I am with him in his thoughts and experience. Probably his best offer of advice “just join the dots and move on”. We also nearly gave up after nearly five months of fighting and yes everything is so highly stressful. I just kept telling myself to keep fighting for my wife as she deserves it. We are now into our 3rd cycle of payments and everything seems to be working. I also use Smart Payroll and if anything turns out to be wrong, its not my problem. I just did everything I was told to do and backed it up with emails (Hard Copy). I feel for the team at FASS as i understand that they are just a handful of staff taking on this new system. MOH are the ones frustrations should be taken out on as they drew up the system. I predict in a couple of years the who system be be revamped as the tide of frustrations are growing and not only for the end recipient. I had a lovely lady from SmartPayroll visit me a couple of weeks ago and she said we were the first people to receive training in our region.
      All the best.
      Mark

  20. Ross Mackenzie says:

    IRD and IR3
    Just a quick note to those who received FFC, as a result of us parents becoming employees IRD automatically issues a IR3 for the employer( our sons or daughters). If you contact IRD and be prepared for a long discussion they will cancel the need to file the IR3 provided no other income has been received. It seems that this will happen every year but should be easily dealt with.
    P.S have YOUR IRD number handy and they may need to talk to you son or daughter to get permission to discuss this issue.

    Regards

    Ross

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