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A number of changes have been implemented from 1 July 2023 to the likes of Child Support Payments, prescription fees, public transport and Residential Care Subsidy.
Child Support Pass On
Child support payments will be passed on to sole parents on a benefit by Inland Revenue (IR) each month, instead of being kept by the Government to offset the cost of their benefit.
The law changed on 1 July 2023 and the first payments will go through from 22 August 2023, if the paying parent pays on time. The payments will be treated as income when working out clients’ benefits and other support they get from us.
Sole parents applying for a benefit will no longer have to apply for child support through IR, however they still can if they want to, through IR or MSD.
IR will share information with MSD about formula and voluntary-assessed child support payments to clients. This includes sole parents and parents who now have another partner.
This means clients will no longer need to declare the formula and voluntary-assessed child support payments they get to us. Clients still need to tell us about other types of child support payments such as private arrangements.
Students who get a Student Allowance still need to tell us about any child support payments they get.
There is no change for people getting Unsupported Child’s Benefit as Oranga Tamariki is undertaking longer-term work on financial assistance and support for caregivers. Clients still need to apply for child support, and tell us about child support payments for any children they get an Unsupported Child’s Benefit for.
Clients paying formula-assessed child support through IR, may now be able to include this as an essential cost in their assessment for Temporary Additional Support or Special Benefit.
More detailed information about these changes is available on the Work and Income website (workandincome.govt.nz/childsupport).
Changes to prescription fees
You’re probably aware the Government announced the $5.00 co-payment for fully subsidised prescription items from public health providers (including public specialists) was removed from 1 July 2023 as part of Budget 2023. This change means people may pay less for their medication, so people getting Disability Allowance, Temporary Additional Support or Special Benefit may see their costs change.
If our clients have a change in prescription costs, this may also impact their entitlements to Disability Allowance. Shortly we’ll be writing to clients getting a Disability Allowance, suggesting they ask their pharmacy for an itemised printout of their prescriptions before their next review – if they’ve increased. This will help us at their next annual review. We’ve already spoken with pharmacists about this.
Any time clients’ circumstances change, it’s their responsibility to tell MSD, including changes to their prescription costs. Thanks very much for your support with helping to spread the word about this change.
Community Connect: 50% off public transport for Community Services Card holders
From 1 July, Community Services Card holders can get 50% off single-trip adult fares on public transport through the Community Connect concession.
People can apply through their local public transport provider’s website. They can visit the Public Transport page on the Work and Income website for a link.
SuperGold card holders already get free off-peak transport. If they also have a Community Services Card, they can apply for the 50% discount at peak travel times as well.
To find out if people can get a Community Services Card, they can check the information on the Community Services Card page on the Work and Income website.
Other discounts will be made available as part of Community Connect, including free fares for children aged 12 and under, and a 50% discount for anyone aged 13 to 24 as well as Total Mobility users. Check with transport providers about when these will be available in your area.
Residential Care Subsidy
Asset thresholds and income from assets exemptions are increasing (like every year) in line with CPI.
The allowable gifting amount increases to $7,500 a year (up from $7,000) within the five-year gifting period, without it affecting the person’s asset assessment.
The maximum amount a person can gift in recognition of care is increasing to $37,500 (up from $35,000).
Contact Name: Sarah Fry, MSD
Contact Phone: +6439897072
Contact Email: [email protected]