Individualised Funding (IF) is self directed funding from Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People where you can purchase your own disability supports. Find out more here.
What is Individualised Funding (IF)
IF is a type of person directed funding from Whaikaha which gives disabled people and their family/whānau more choice in how they are supported to live their lives. It is available throughout New Zealand for eligible people who have been assessed to receive either:
- Home and Community Support Services external URL , which includes help with household management and personal care
- Respite services to help carers take a break. This can include facility based respite, Carer Support and In-home support.
IF increases your choice and control about who provides this support, and how, and when you use it. Your options range from engaging support workers to directly work with you and the person in your care, or choosing purchases which support you living a good life.
What you can use IF for
Working with a host, we want to make sure you feel confident to use your funding in the best way, so here are some guidelines to help.
You can use IF to:
- Get help with household management and the personal care of your disabled person by engaging a support worker (called "employees", these can include family members, contracted people or organisations) and pay costs relating to engaging support workers
- Take a break through engaging a support worker or other suitable alternatives so that the full-time carer can have time out (including school holiday programmes or facilities) and your disabled person can also have a good time doing something away from you while you take a break.
You can spend your IF on any disability support or service that meets all of the following criteria:
- It helps you to live your life or makes your life better.
- It is specific to your disability. Meaning that you would not need this item or support if you were not disabled.
- The use of funding is reasonable and cost-effective.
- It is not funded through other funding options, such as a Disability Allowance.
It's worth noting your funding cannot be used for illegal activities, gambling, alcohol or things that are not disability supports, such as health services provided by a hospital or income support.
IF also doesn’t cover costs related to medical supplies, equipment, home renovations, leisure, recreation, and personal or family costs.
If you are unsure what you can use your funding for, please either contact your host or you can ask us by emailing us at email@example.com.
Who can get IF
IF is something you need to have an assessment for, so contact the Needs Assessment Coordinator Service nearest you to talk about this funding.
You can get IF when you:
- are eligible for Ministry funded services and support
- have talked to a NASC to see whether IF is suitable for you
- have been allocated a support that you are allowed to manage using IF.
What is an IF host
IF Hosts are organisations that Whaikaha contracts to support people using IF and should provide you with an easy way to understand how to use your IF and support you with all the paper work required, for example, to employ a support worker.
Your IF Host does a number of things to support you including:
- helping you understand IF
- helping you learn how to organise, set up and manage your supports
- administering payments for the support services
- helping you manage your responsibilities – this includes reporting back to them on the support hours you have used, so that they can be paid for
- advising you if something that you want to purchase meets the Purchasing Guidelines.
Your IF Host must also check that the service is working well and report back to Whaikaha about it.
Depending on your level of confidence to manage your IF, you may also want your IF Host to be responsible for recruiting, training and paying your support workers and possibly managing the legal aspects of your service. They will be able to do this for an extra fee that they set and you pay.
IF is all about flexibility and support that works for you so when you talk to your Host organisation, make sure you talk to them about how they can support you. You are under no obligation to use them for all their services.
What is an agent?
An agent is a person nominated by a disabled person to act on their behalf regarding their IF. For example, if you are the parent/guardian of a disabled person under the age of 18, you will be their agent.
There are responsibilities you have that the Host can't do for you, for example with IRD so please talk to your IF host about the responsibilities you hold as an agent under IF. Please note, as an agent you cannot pay yourself.
What is a recognition payment?
A Recognition Payment is a payment given for administration work that is done on a voluntarily basis on the disabled person’s behalf. Usually, but not always, by the full time carer. The payment must be for reasonable expenditure incurred and be no more than $300 per year.
The requirement that the payment be made to cover "reasonable expenditure" is to ensure that it falls within the scope of the exemption in section CW 62B of the Income Tax Act 2007. Any questions about how or when to claim for this payment, please talk to your Host or connector.
IF Host Directory
Access Community Health
Geneva Healthcare Limited
- Phone: 0800 436 382
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.genevahealth.com/flexible-disability-injury-support/individualised-funding/ external URL
- Phone: 0800 101 057
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.nzcommunityliving.com/flexible-disability-support/ external URL
Manawanui Support Limited
Home Support North
The Lifewise Trust
Florence Nightingale Agency
- Phone: 0800 348 7600
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.florence2care.co.nz external URL
Care on Call
- Phone: 0800 66 44 22
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.careoncall.nz external URL
Where to go for help
If you have any questions about IF specific to your funding allocation please talk to your host or connector. They have all the information on your funding and are there to provide guidance and advice.
If you have questions about whether or not you are eligible, you need to contact your local Need Assessment Services Coordinator.
If neither of those sources answer your questions you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.