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WINZ Sickness Benefit Changes - Keeping Up to Date

Work and Income (WINZ)

WINZ offer a range of assistance to support you and your family when you need it. To see if you are eligible to receive support through WINZ contact them on 0800 559 009 or visit their website www.workandincome.govt.nz

Sickness Benefit - Changes

WINZ is changing the way they work with disabled and sick people on a Sickness Benefit. The focus is on what people can do, instead of what they can't, with the goal of helping people into work if they're able to. From the 2nd May 2011 WINZ will be making three main changes to the Sickness Benefit.

These changes are:

  1. People receiving a Sickness Benefit who have been assessed by Work and Income as able to work at least 15 hours a week, will need to start looking for part-time work. This assessment will be based on information provided in the Work Capacity medical certificate along with what the client and other experts tell WINZ.
  1. When people start receiving a Sickness Benefit, their first medical certificate will be valid for a maximum of four weeks. They will need a second medical certificate for the next four weeks and then a new medical certificate every 13 weeks after that. This extra information early on will allow WINZ to work more closely with people to determine if they are capable of doing some work and what work would be most suitable. It will also help WINZ determine the right assistance the person should be getting.
  1. People who have been on a Sickness Benefit for 12 months or longer will need to come in for a review after every 12 month period. This is to ensure that people are getting the right assistance and support to help them get into work as quickly as possible.

People won't lose their benefit if they do not get a job, but they may have it reduced or stopped if they don't actively look for one. Work must be suitable to each person's particular situation.

If you are on a Sickness Benefit and have any questions regarding the changes please contact your WINZ Case Manager or the call centre on 0800 559 009.