The Herald reports:
ACC’s focus on getting beneficiaries back to work could become a model for those on long-term social welfare, invalid and sickness benefits, says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.
Such a new direction would be costly, for example, by funding drug and alcohol rehabilitation and other treatments for social welfare beneficiaries, she said. And it could require a culture change to address.
As a taxpayer it is a cost I would be fairly happy to pay, if successful.
Ms Bennett told the Herald she had particular concerns about people as young as 16 and 17 being put on the invalid’s benefit for conditions such as Asperger’s Syndrome or low-level mental illness and remaining on it for a lifetime.
“It feels like sometimes in Work and Income that the whole system is set up to concentrate on what people can’t do.
“If we change that whole culture into one of what can they do, what can we actually do to get that support … it would make a big difference.”
A focus on treatment and work sounds good to me.Tags: Paula Bennett, welfare