Reviews of Residential Care Subsidy assessments

Anyone who had a financial means assessment for a Residential Care Subsidy before 3 December 2019 can ask for their assessment to be reviewed, based on a Court of Appeal decision in May 2019.

Chance to ask for a review

Anyone applying for a Residential Care Subsidy has to have a financial means assessment. We’ve realised the way we’ve been doing these assessments for some people is wrong. We’re offering people who may be affected by this the opportunity to ask for a review.

Since December 2019 we have adjusted our assessments based on the Court of Appeal decision for new and existing clients to make sure they are paying the right amount going forward. We’re now at the stage of looking back at Residential Care Subsidy financial means assessments in the past.

Why we're offering reviews

On 31 May 2019, the Court of Appeal issued a decision clarifying how the Ministry of Social Development can exercise discretion for people applying for a Residential Care Subsidy who may have deprived themselves of assets and/or income (called ‘deprivation’ – see separate section below).

The Court of Appeal found that our interpretation of the relevant law was wrong. This specifically included when and how we identified and included deprivation in your assessment.

Who can ask for a review

We’re writing to clients who we think have been impacted by the Court of Appeal’s decision.

If your financial means assessment didn’t include deprived assets or deprived income, a review may not change your situation. You can refer to your past financial means assessment to check if this applies to you.

Anyone who applied for a Residential Care Subsidy can ask for a review. You can also apply for a review on behalf of someone who has died if you are the executors or administrators of their estate.

Having someone help you with your review

If you decide to request a review, you can have someone help you fill in the form. If someone else is requesting the review on your behalf, they’ll need to have authority such as an MSD agent, Enduring Power of Attorney for Property or a property manager.

Having someone act on your behalf

What is deprivation

Deprivation takes many forms, but the most common examples are when you or your partner:

  • have given away more than the allowable amounts, more than five years before your financial means assessment
  • have sold an asset for less than its value
  • haven’t charged interest on past or current debts owed to you
  • do not generate reasonable income from your current assets.

The Ministry of Social Development has the discretion to include any deprived assets or income in your financial means assessment for Residential Care Subsidy.

If you’re the beneficiary of an estate or trust, MSD will generally assume those resources are available to help pay for your care. If you don’t think this is right, you’ll need to share information about the trust or estate to show that they are not.

How to request a review

You need to complete one of the forms below to request a review. You can fill in this form online or a paper form.

To fill in the form online use the button below:

Request a review

To fill in our paper form select the link below to download and print the form. If you don’t have a printer call us on 0800 752 101 and we’ll post a form to you.

After you have requested a review

In some circumstances we’ll need to ask you for more information. We’ll be in touch if we have any questions, and you can phone us for an update.

We’ll only ask you for more information if it’s essential.

We’ll write to you with the outcome of your review.