Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely different reality.
The reason behind them making it so difficult for these parents escapes me, and for once I’m actually surprised. According to the Ministry of Health only 121 parents are eligible for this payment and I can completely guarantee that there are more than that number of parents who require that payment in New Zealand but are not offered any such thing.
It’s not about handing out some kind of ‘sympathy payment’. It’s about understanding the practical realities of parents who are the primary caregivers of children who need extra assistance. This reality is that for a lot of these parents they can only have certain jobs that offer flexibility for them to work around their children’s timetables. This leads to employment discrimination as well as the inability to accept jobs that may offer a higher or more substantial wage for them to support their children as well as themselves and their families. This is why it’s only fair that parents are offered some kind of compensation in order to ease whichever situation they may be in.
However, this is an argument that has already been had. The issue is the way they are implementing it. The person with a disability has to apply for the payment, which makes sense on the surface. But if you dig a little deeper you’ll find that if they have an intellectual disability, banks don’t allow you to open an account. So where exactly is the money supposed to go? What now? What is the issue with allowing the parents to receive a payment rather than making the person with a disability the employer of their own parents?
This is only one example of many regarding how little thought went into the implementation of the scheme. So many people across the country were relying and depending on it to adequately support themselves while they are in a vulnerable position when it comes to having a substantial income. To make the process of applying for the payment so complex is to take advantage of the desperation of one of our country’s most vulnerable groups of people, which is the disabled community and their families