If you need financial support regularly or just one-off assistance, there are a range of benefits, allowances and grants you may be able to apply for through different government agencies.
Health and disability-related benefits
Work and Income offers a range of income support assistance, providing that you meet their eligibility criteria. To apply, your health practitioner or doctor should refer you to your local Work and Income service centre as soon as possible. If you are the carer of a seriously disabled child or young person who requires constant care and attention, there is a specific Child Disability Allowance.
There are also benefits for veterans, amputees, orphans, and emergency assistance for people who are unable to earn enough to support themselves and their family but cannot receive another benefit.
The Disability Allowance is a weekly payment for people who have regular, ongoing costs because of a disability. This could include help towards visits to the doctor or hospital, medicines, extra clothing or travel. You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify for a Disability Allowance.
If you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, you may be able to get the Disability Allowance if you:
- have a disability that is likely to last at least 6 months
- have regular, ongoing costs because of your disability that are not fully covered by another agency.
How much you get depends on the extra costs related to your disability.
Modification grants for work spaces
The Modification Grant is a payment that assists people with disabilities to pay for workplace changes or equipment that makes it easier for them to stay in or get work.
You may get a Modification Grant if you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident and you:
- have a disability that's likely to last at least 6 months, and
- you don't get weekly payments from ACC.
The Modification Grant can help pay for equipment like ramps and handrails, visual aids, computer equipment, and other changes to your workplace. How much you receive depends on what you need to do your job.
Carer benefits and allowances
If you're caring for someone with a health condition, injury or disability, you may be able to get funding, depending on your situation.
You may be able to get a Supported Living Payment if you're caring for a person at home who would otherwise need hospital-level, rest home or residential care (or the equivalent). This includes caring for your own child, but not your partner. The person you're caring for can also apply for a Supported Living Payment.
You can also apply for help from us on someone else's behalf, but only if they've filled out a form to appoint you as their agent. If you're getting a benefit and your partner is in residential care, or has been in a public hospital for over 13 weeks, you may be able to get a Special Disability Allowance.
When your situation changes
If you receive financial support from Work and Income and your situation changes, you need to keep them up to date with any changes that might affect what you're entitled to or how much you get paid. This is so you get paid the right amount.
There are many different situation changes that you need to report. For example:
- if you're having a baby
- if your income has increased or decreased
- if you're travelling overseas.
If your situation has changed so much that you no longer qualify for your benefit or payment, you need to stop it as soon as possible. It's against the law to avoid reporting changes to your situation and could result in a fine, a debt to pay back or prosecution.
Individualised Funding (IF)
Individualised Funding is a funding mechanism that supports tāngata whaikaha Māori and disabled people to manage their own supports. This provides people to employ or engage their own support people or provider. People using this option will be supported via an IF Host provider who supports you as you move through the process.
Your Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) organisation will discuss your eligibility for IF with you.
You can use IF for things like:
- household management and personal care provided by support workers
- paying for supports or services related to respite (taking a break)
- using your funding for supports and associated costs eg mileage for support workers
- using your IF to purchase items that fit within the purchasing guidelines.
Learn more about Individualised Funding: