Dr David Bratt at the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has released a statement about changes to the medical certificate process for Work and Income (PDF) for people with a health condition, injury, or disability, and who are receiving Jobseeker Support.
Currently, people need to provide a medical certificate to help assess their eligibility for Jobseeker Support, health condition and disability. They’re also usually required to provide more medical certificates after a certain period to continue getting payments. This has been stopped for now and will continue to be deferred until the new process takes effect next year.
From January 2022, the proposed process would mean people will still need to provide an initial medical certificate when they apply for support as this helps to accurately assess their eligibility.
However, the time between providing their first medical certificate and their next one would be recommended by the person’s health practitioner, instead of being based on a mandatory set of weeks (for example, at least every four weeks for the first two months, and every 13 weeks after that).
The review period would instead be based on how long the person’s ability to work is expected to be affected by their health condition, injury or disability.
This new process would allow more flexibility in the time between medical reviews and may mean people need to visit their health practitioner less often. It’s also expected to reduce pressure on the health sector with an estimated 20,000 fewer medical certificated needing to be processed each month.
MSD wants to make sure this new proposed process will work for health practitioners and clients.
MSD will continue to communicate about these changes in the coming months. In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact David Bratt, principal health advisor.