Blended family

Social Security Act 2018 coming into force

25 October 2018.

The new Social Security Act 2018 comes into force on 26 November 2018. It won’t change anyone’s benefits or entitlements and it will make the legislation clearer and simpler to follow.

Three new Acts will replace the previous Social Security Act 1964:

  • Social Security Act 2018
  • Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018
  • Artificial Limb Service Act 2018.

Under the new Residential Care Act and Regulations, MSD will continue to conduct financial means assessments for the Residential Care Subsidy. The new Act won’t change the way we do things or the policy governing our assessments.

The new Acts will change the numbering of the legislation and some detail will now be found in regulations. Information about the old and new numbering is in Schedule 12 of the new Act.

The new Acts replace some outdated terms with more inclusive language and plain English. MSD is updating all its websites, forms and letters with the new terms.

Below is a table about the new terms, and the extended functions that Nurse Practitioners can do for MSD clients.

New sets of Regulations

The Regulations for the Social Security Act 2018 have also been updated.

Twenty four separate Social Security regulations have been combined into one set with a clear layout and easy to find section headings. Some things in the old Social Security Act 1964 have moved into the Regulations. For example, the process for applying and assessing benefit applications.

Anything about residential care that was in the Social Security regulations has been moved into the new Residential Care and Disability Support Services Regulations 2018.

Legislative references

Old term

New term

Social Security Act 1964 (SSA 1964)

Social Welfare (Reciprocity Agreements and New Zealand Artificial Limb Service) Act 1990

Social Security Act 2018 (SSA 2018)

Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018

Artificial Limb Service Act 2018

Old term New term Reason
Abate/Abatement Reduce or reduction Plain English change
Analogous Equivalent  Plain English change
‘an income of less than the amount that would fully abate that benefit’ Minimum income

Simplified term

This change replaces the term ‘an income of less than the amount that would fully abate that benefit’ and other similar terms.

This is found in the parts of the Act that describe the basic qualifying criteria for Jobseeker Support, Youth Payment and Young Parent Payment.

Chief Executive MSD

More inclusive language

The term MSD replaces chief executive in most places of the new Act.

MSD means the department or the chief executive, and includes a person acting under delegated authority from the Chief Executive.

‘in exceptional circumstances’ Parental support gap

Simplified term

Replaces the term ‘in exceptional circumstances’ in sections 159 and 165 of the 1964 Act.

This is used to describe the relationship breakdown between a young person and their parent/s or guardian/s when assessing eligibility for Youth Payment and Young Parent Payment.
‘is not in full-time employment’ and ‘is in employment, but is losing earnings because, through sickness or injury, he or she is not working at all, or is working only at a reduced level’ Work gap Simplified term
‘is undertaking or is available for a full-time course of secondary instruction, or tertiary education, or approved training, or approved work-based learning’ Study ready

Simplified term

Replaces the term ‘is undertaking or is available for a full-time course of secondary instruction, or tertiary education, or approved training, or approved work-based learning’, and other similar terms in sections 158 and 164 of the 1964 Act.

Relates to Youth Payment and Young Parent Payment.
Shared custody/custodian Shared care/carer Replacing an outdated term
Split custody Split care Replacing an outdated term

Changes relating to health and working with the health community

Old term New term Reason
Attention and supervision substantially in excess of that normally required Substantially more attention and supervision than is normally required Plain English change
Designated doctor (DD) Designated health practitioner New wider definition of health responsibilities to enable Nurse Practitioners to undertake this role
General Practitioner, GP, Doctor and Medical Practitioner Health practitioner

New wider definition of health responsibilities.

A health practitioner means a person registered with an authority as a practitioner of a particular profession under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

Nurse Practitioners

Nurse Practitioners can complete a wider range of medical and disability certificates and medical examinations for MSD, including applications and reviews of:

  • Childcare Assistance
  • Child Disability Allowance
  • Disability Allowance
  • Jobseeker Support on the ground of health condition, injury or disability
  • Supported Living Payment on the grounds of being permanently and severely restricted in the capacity for work because of a health condition, injury or disability or being totally blind
  • Supported Living Payment on the grounds of caring for a person who requires full-time care and attention who would otherwise require hospital care, rest home care or residential disability care or equivalent care.

Nurse Practitioners will be able to provide the required confirmation to support a client’s application for a Special Needs Grant for the following needs:

  • Health related travel
  • Laser therapy for the removal of birthmarks.

For the purposes of clients meeting their social obligations, MSD recognises that Nurse Practitioners:

  • are primary health care providers
  • provide Well Child/Tamariki Ora core checks.

Nurse Practitioners will also be able to become Designated Health Practitioners (previously Designated Doctors) if they meet specific criteria.

Illness, sickness and medical condition Health condition More inclusive language
Normal functions Everyday functions More inclusive language

Changes relating to residential care

 Old term

New term

Reason 

 

90-day period

New definition (not defined in old Act)

Eligible person

Funding eligible

Simplified term

Means a person who has had a financial means assessment and is eligible for the residential care subsidy.

Contracted care services

LTR contracted care

Simplified term and now includes the words ‘age related’

 

Qualifying person

New term

Means a person who is

  • aged 65 or over
  • is funding eligible
  • has been positively needs assessed and
  • is entitled to apply for a financial means assessment

 

Special case person

New definition that covers three different groups

  • a 50+ single person
  • an exempt person
  • an elderly victim of crime

Resident assessed as requiring care

Positively needs assessed

More inclusive language

 

Funding eligible

New definition (not defined in old Act)

 

50+ Single person

New definition (was part of eligible person definition in old Act)