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MSD's MyMSD system creating unjustified debts for Jobseeker beneficiaries

D Dahya made this Official Information request to Ministry of Social Development

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From: D Dahya

Dear Ministry of Social Development,

I recently declared additional income(received during week starting 25/7/22) via MyMSD on the 28th or 29th of that same week. The following week the Jobseeker benefit/allowance was still paid(it should have been suspended) resulting in a 'manual ' letter sent via MyMSD directly from the Manager of Centralised Services(P S-M) advising I was over paid the JS benefit(ie when I shouldn't have received it) and so a debt has been created.

I recently declared additional income(received during week 1) via MyMSD in that same week. The following week the Jobseeker benefit/allowance was still paid(it should have been suspended) resulting in a 'manual ' letter sent via MyMSD directly from the Manager of Centralised Services(P S-M) advising I was over paid the JS benefit(ie when I shouldn't have received it) and so a debt has been created. I did manage to have the JS benefit suspended the week after(week 3).

Last year I declared income several times (where the JS benefit should have been suspended the following week) via MyMSD but the JS benefit was paid regardless resulting in a debt being created each time.

I have found this happened almost all of the times I declared additional income via MyMSD last year( I have sent an information request on this asking for the reasons why this has happened).

The process is- a JS beneficiary declares any additional income via MyMSD(the JS benefit is then suspended) and then redeclares their additional income(to zero) resuming the JS benefit the following week.

The JS benefit is resumed once the additional income has ceased-the process is automated not requiring staff intervention.

Questions:

1. I would like to know why the JS Benefit, in this case, was not suspended following week?

2. Why was a 'manual' letter generated as opposed to a 'standard' letter in this case?

3. What will MSD do in such instances, where the beneficiary has followed the correct process but the system has failed and created an 'unjustified' debt?

4.More importantly, how many other times has this occurred to other MSD beneficiaries unaware of this apparent failing in MyMSD who don't have the nous or inclination to question it because it is too much hassle and who don't bother to question it as it is performed by the MyMSD system?

5. Does MSD have the resources and ability to find out when such instances have occurred for all beneficiaries?

6. Is MSD able to find out how many times this has occurred in the past and what will they do in those cases?

7. Can MSD find out when the income was declared via MyMSD and whether the JS allowance was paid when it shouldn't have been?

8. Is there any other disadvantages/losses, apart from the unjustified debt, that such instances would incur for the MSD beneficiaries?

9. Does MSD consider their MyMSD system fit for purpose in such instances?

Example 2.

Last Friday (week 3) I declared additional income to zero meaning that I would receive a normal JS benefit payment the following week(week 4). A day before (Wednesday of week4) the JS benefit is due to be paid my MyMSD account shows the JS benefit is still suspended.

Note: MyMSD advises to wait 5 days for the changes to be processed- Wednesday was the 5th day.

Questions:

1. Why hasn't it been resumed/unsuspended as Thursday is the day the JS benefit is usually paid?

2. What is the process a JS beneficiary should follow, in such cases, and at what stage should the job seeker do so?

MyMSD advises to wait up to 5 days for the changes to be processed so if the JS beneficiary declares income received on the Friday -5 days from that day is the following Wednesday- only 1 day before the JS allowance is paid. .

3. Has there been any system changes to the MyMSD system recently?

Yours faithfully,

D Dahya

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From: OIA_Requests (MSD)
Ministry of Social Development

Tēnā koe,

Thank you for your email received 18 August 2022, under the Official Information Act 1982. Your request has been forwarded to the appropriate officials at National Office to respond. 

Ngā manaakitanga,

Official and Parliamentary Information Team | Ministerial and Executive Services
Ministry of Social Development

Our Purpose:
We help New Zealanders to help themselves to be safe, strong and independent
Ko ta mātou he whakamana tangata kia tū haumaru, kia tū kaha, kia tū motuhake

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From: OIA_Requests (MSD)
Ministry of Social Development

 

 

Dear D Dahya

We refer to your below request made to the Ministry of Social Development
(the Ministry) under the Official Information Act 1982 (the Act).

This letter is to advise you that the Ministry requires more time to
respond to this request. In accordance with section 15(1) and 15A of the
Act, the Ministry’s decision will be with you no later than 13 October
2022.

The reason for the extension is that consultations necessary to make a
decision on the request are such that a proper response to the request
cannot reasonably be made within the original time limit.

We will respond to you sooner if we are able to.

You have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Ombudsman of
this decision. Information about how to make a complaint is available at
[1]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz or 0800 802 602.

If you wish to discuss any aspect of your request with us, including this
decision, please feel free to contact [2][MSD request email]. 

Kind regards

Official and Parliamentary Information team | Ministerial and Executive
Services

Ministry of Social Development

Our purpose:
We help New Zealanders to be safe, strong and independent.
Manaaki Tangata, Manaaki Whânau.

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