Families with Disabled Children:
Today families with disabled children won an Appeal Court decision to be paid for looking after their children. Many of these children are now adults and caring for them is hard work.
Many disabled adults are in special homes with workers to look after them. These workers get paid but families who do this work every day do not get paid. They can, however, get a welfare benefit.
The fight for pay began 13 years ago when seven families went to a Human Rights Tribunal. This tribunal said that families should be paid. The Ministry of Health then took this case to the High Court which said the same. Then the Ministry of Health went to the Court of Appeal. Each time, the court said that family members who care for disabled people should be paid. The Ministry of Health could now go to the Supreme Court but it has already cost them $1.4m in legal costs.
The Minister of Health is worried that families who care for a sick, elderly parent might also want to be paid. The cost of paying families who are looking after dependants could be too much.
Listen to September 12th 2011 to hear about pay for workers caring for intellectually disabled people.
• welfare benefit – similar to unemployment benefit, money for someone who has no job
• Tribunal – a court
• legal – adjective from ‘law’; cost of lawyers
• a dependant. n. – (Brit); a dependent (Am)– someone who cannot look after himself or herself
• Do you think that family members who care for disabled children should be paid?
• Is caring for a disabled person similar to caring for a sick elderly parent? Should they be paid the same?