Impact of COVID-19 on the update to Funded Family Care payments

The Ministry and your local Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC) organisation have been planning to work with you and your family member to transition your current Funded Family Care arrangements to an alternative support option; either Individualised Funding (allowing you to employ your resident family member through a personal budget with the support of a host) or to a Ministry contracted Home and Community Support Services provider.

However, the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that this transition is now delayed. The Ministry is urgently redirecting all resources into managing the response to COVID-19 and keeping people safe. Therefore, changes to existing Funded Family Care arrangements will not take place until the Ministry, NASC and disability support providers are operating in a business as usual environment.

We recognise that some caregivers may be eligible for higher pay rates due to the length of time they have provided care or based on qualifications they hold. We want to assure you that when we return to business as usual, we will be in contact with you to assess any backpay claims.

Changes to the Funded Family care payment criteria and amount that will be happening in April 2020 are outlined below.  

Criteria changes:

The following changes to the Funded Family care payments will be happening in April 2020. New payments (based on the new criteria outlined below) will automatically start on April 14.

  • change to eligibility to allow:
    • spouses and partners to provide Funded Family Care to people with high or very high support needs.
    • children and young people under the age of 18 with high or very high needs to receive Funded Family Care from resident parents or family members (who are over 18).
  • removing the requirement for an employment relationship between a disabled person and their resident family member under the Ministry’s Funded Family Care policy.
  • allowing family members aged between 16 and 18 to be employed and paid as a carer.
  • raise pay rates for funded family carers under the Ministry’s Funded Family Care policy, to be consistent with the rates received by care and support workers.

Payment increases:

1. The minimum wage will change

To reflect the increase of the minimum wage rate, as of 1 April 2020 the hourly rate will increase to $18.90 plus employer obligations, bringing the total hourly rate to $22.92.

2. Changes to family funded carer payments

On 14 April 2020 the hourly rate to family funded carers will increase further. The new rate will be $20.50 per hour, plus employer obligations, bringing the total hourly rate to $24.86. From 14 April 2020 this new rate will automatically be paid to clients.

If you have any further question you may contact the Ministry of Health on 0800 855 066 or submit questions via our email FFCinfo@health.govt.nz.

Letters for clients and carers:

The current Covid-19 lock down has meant that we have been unable to print letters from our central offices. Please see copies of those letters below.

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