Mum of disabled adult son 'delighted' to win pay appeal

A mother who looks after her severely disabled adult son has won an appeal to be fairly paid for her care work.

Diane Moody provides 24/7 care for her severely disabled son Shane Chamberlain, who is 51 years old. 

When health officials ruled Diane could only be paid 17 hours a week for her son's care, she took her objection all the way to the Court of Appeal.  

This week, they found out they won.   

"We were absolutely thrilled to pieces, thrilled to bits," Diane told Newshub.  

Her phone hasn't stopped ringing since she learned judges ordered the Ministry of Health to reassess what she's paid to care for Shane, who lives with a severe disability. 

Diane looks after Shane, in her own words, "really 24/7". That's 168 hours of support a week, but Diane was originally told she could be paid for only 17 hours. 

"He simply has to be cared for." 

Parents of adults with a disability can be paid up to 40 hours a week at minimum wage. Shane apparently didn't meet this level of need. 

Diane's lawyer, Paul Dale, says the whole funding policy is too confusing for parents and needs to be simplified.

"We should be encouraging parents to look after their children because the choices are an institution or external providers and, I have said this before, I don't think anyone looks after you like your mum."

Diane also objects to the funding criteria which requires her to guess how long Shane's toileting will take. 

She says it's degrading to "assess somebody minute by minute what they are allowed."

The Ministry of Health has said nothing about the finding yet, just that it will consider the implications.

Diane says she's "delighted" with the ruling.

"It's fairness, it's got to be fair."


Contact Newshub with your story tips: