Sun, 16 Sep 2012 6:09p.m.
The drastic measure forms part of the Government's crackdown on long-term welfare dependency
Beneficiaries who fail to answer three phone calls and a voicemail from Work and Income are being told they'll have their welfare payments slashed in half.
The drastic measure forms part of the Government's crackdown on long-term welfare dependency.
But beneficiaries and their advocates are angry. They say they haven't been told about it.
Hana Bellingham is among 53,000 people who are receiving the unemployment benefit in New Zealand.
But she's one of the few who've heard about what's been called the Government's "three strikes" phone call policy.
“It's been a while since I've heard from you guys and I was informed by a friend if I missed three phone calls from Work and Income that my benefit could potentially be cut off?” Ms Bellingham asks the organisation over the phone.
“If they call you three times and cannot make contact with you they will actually look at suspending your unemployment benefit,” responds the Work and Income worker on the other end of the phone.
Work and Income says it will also send clients a letter, urging them to make contact. So how much of the benefit would be cut? It's 50 percent initially and after that if they still try and get in contact, that's when they'll look at suspending the full benefit.
“That's unfair because many beneficiaries at certain times of the month don't have credit and it
Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Benefits-cut-if-you-dont-return-calls/tabid/1607/articleID/269478/Default.aspx#ixzz26hNLvY00