Saturday, July 20, 2024

Powers of attorney

BY GAYLE CHAMBERS - Marlborough President Grey Power NZ Federation

Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) allow a person to make choices for another when they are deemed to lack the capacity to make rational decisions.

Ask around for the best deal.

Not having a power of attorney can mean upsetting consequences such as a longer hospital stay. Older people have waited up to five weeks in hospital beds due to not having the legal representation to be discharged; or have difficulty moving easily into a residential care home from hospital.

If a family member suddenly loses capacity, an application for a welfare guardian goes through the Family Court. This legal process can be time-consuming, meaning hospital patients continuing to pay rent or electricity bills, because no one has the power to end living arrangement agreements for them.

Winter concerns

The Winter Energy payment, made from 1 May to 1 October 2024, helps people keep their homes and families warmer and healthier over winter. The payment is made automatically to those eligible with their other benefit and pension payments.

Couples and people with dependent children will get $31.82 a week and single people will get $20.46 a week. Someone getting a Foster Care Allowance may receive a higher rate. Contact the Ministry.

This year, clients paid weekly got a part Winter Energy Payment during the week of 6 May. The first full Winter Energy Payment comes in the week of 13 May.

Similarly, NZ Super and Veteran’s Pension senior clients get a part payment on Tuesday 7 May. The full amount comes in their next one on Tuesday 21 May.

Couples getting NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension can switch the payment to their partner’s account by calling the Ministry’s Seniors line on 0800 552 002. While overseas, seniors get the payment up to 28 days. If away longer, contact the Ministry to avoid paying back overpayments.

Clients redirecting their benefit for power costs can increase this amount over winter by getting in touch with the Ministry. People can choose not to get the Winter Energy Payment, or start getting it again after stopping previously.

Fill out the ‘Stop or Restart Winter Energy Payment’ online form, or call the Ministry. Learn more on the Work and Income site

– Courtesy of the Marlborough Grey Power Newsletter

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