Supported living payments

Patients suffering from life threatening illnesses could receive extra support if Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni has her Members Bill dawn from the ballot.

“My Bill proposes to amend the Social Security Act 1964 so patients undergoing treatments like chemotherapy and radiation are eligible for the Supported Living Payment.

“I have consulted with the CEO of the New Zealand Cancer Society on the measures proposed in this Bill and have received their nod of approval.

“Patients requiring financial assistance during medical treatment are expected to apply for Jobseeker Support which assumes they’re available for work when they’re not.

“Labour believes they should instead be asked for one medical certificate to apply for Supported Living Payments and be exempt from inappropriate work obligations.

“For too long we’ve heard horror stories about cancer patients struggling with treatments having to apply for exemptions from job interviews.

“Those patients are suffering enough without the extra burden of bureaucracy. Having to provide repetitive medical certificates just adds to their trauma and costs.

“The current process is wrong and dishonest. It needs to change as soon as possible,” says Carmel Sepuloni.