Who can get support

If you have a disability, you may be eligible for support services funded by Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People.

Find out what you could be entitled to and how to get a needs assessment that supports the life you want to live.

Check if you're eligible for support

Ministry-funded disability support services are available to people who have a physical, intellectual or sensory disability (or a combination of these) which:

  • is likely to continue for at least six months
  • needs ongoing support to live independently, to the extent that ongoing support is required.

These services are mainly for people under the age of 65 years.

The Ministry will also fund disability support services for people with:

  • some neurological conditions that result in permanent disabilities
  • some developmental disabilities in children and young people, such as Autism
  • physical, intellectual or sensory disability that co-exists with a health condition and/or injury.

Your Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) organisation will be able to confirm if these apply to you.

What happens if you're not eligible for support?

The Ministry does not generally fund disability support services for people with:

  • personal health conditions such as diabetes or asthma
  • mental health and addiction conditions such as schizophrenia, severe depression or long-term addiction to alcohol and drugs
  • conditions more commonly associated with ageing such as Alzheimer’s disease.

However, that doesn't mean there aren't other sources of support.

Disability support services for people with mental health needs or age-related needs are generally funded by Health New Zealand .

Disability support services for people with impairments such as paraplegia and brain injury caused by accident or injury are generally funded by ACC .

Get a needs assessment

Needs assessments are available if you meet the Ministry’s definition of disability. A needs assessment looks at your abilities, resources, goals and needs and is completed by a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) organisation.

The role of a NASC is to work with disabled people and their family, whānau, aiga, or carers to:

  • identify their strengths and support needs
  • outline what disability support services are available
  • determine their eligibility for ministry-funded support services
  • maximise their independence so that they can live the life they want
  • make sure that the support and services allocated to them are fair and fit within the criteria.

Submit a referral to get started

Usually, you need a written referral before a needs assessment can take place. You can get a referral form from a NASC.

You can refer yourself or, another person or organisation can make the referral for you, as long as they have your agreement.

Once the NASC has your referral, they will review your eligibility for ministry-funded disability support services. They’ll make an appointment with you and any family, whānau, āiga or carer you would like to have with you.

If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements for ministry-funded disability support services, then the NASC will work with you to find other services that may be able to assist.

Find a NASC organisation to get a referral form

Connect with a Disability Information Advisory Service

Disability Information Advisory Services (DIAS) provide independent information and advice to disabled people and their families/whānau.

They can assist you to find:

  • support and advocacy groups
  • a NASC organisation in your area
  • information about what's available in your community
  • information related to a particular disability.

DIAS services run regionally and nationally, they are free services and available to anyone.

Find a Disability Information Advisory Service