Equipment and aids

There is a range of equipment and aids available to support you with communication or daily tasks. Find out about funding for equipment like hearing aids, medical alarms, glasses, and making changes to your home or place of work.

Glasses for children

If your child is 15 years old or under and has vision problems, you may be able to get the spectacle subsidy. There are clinical guidelines your child will need to meet to be eligible for funding. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist can discuss these guidelines with you during your appointment. You may receive a subsidy each year for your child until they turn 16 years.

Find out more about the spectacles subsidy on the Ministry of Health website

Hearing aid services

Equipment like hearing aids can help people who are hard of hearing to live well and communicate with others. If you have hearing loss you may be able to get funding towards your hearing aids through either the Ministry of Health Subsidy Scheme or Hearing Aid Funding Scheme. For school-aged children the Ministry of Education may be able to fund a remote microphone hearing system.

Find out more about hearing aid funding on the Ministry of Health website

Find out more about hearing equipment for young people on the Ministry of Health website

Cochlear implants

A cochlear implant provides a sense of sound for people who are severely hard of hearing or profoundly deaf. Around 166 cochlear implants are provided each year through the Ministry's cochlear implant programme.

Find out more about cochlear implants on the Ministry of Health website

Medical alarms

You can get a Disability Allowance for medical alarms. There are several MSD-accredited medical alarm suppliers that have agreed service standards and charges. This allowance also covers MedicAlert bracelet membership fees, but you must pay for the initial enrolment fee and a bracelet/pendant. The maximum you can get for a Disability Allowance is $70.04 a week. You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify for a Disability Allowance.

Apply for a disability allowance on the Work and Income website

Communication Assistive Technology (CAT)

Communication Assistive technology (CAT) includes equipment ranging from simple picture boards to complex communication software and devices. Communication Assistive Technology can be used to replace or augment a person's speech. Funding is available for assessment, trial, equipment, and support to enable a person to communicate and participate in daily life, including tertiary study and work.

Visit the TalkLink website for assessments and funding for CAT

Modifying your vehicle

If you have difficulty getting in or out of a vehicle or driving and meet specific criteria, you may be eligible for funding for modifications to a vehicle. In some situations, funding towards a one-off purchase of a vehicle to be modified may also be considered.

Find out more about vehicle support on the Ministry of Health website

Modifying your home

People with disabilities may be able to get funding to make changes to their home. These changes can support you with daily tasks or make it easier to access and move around your home. Modifications might include rails, lifts, ramps or a level-access shower.

Find out more about modifying your home

Equipment or modifications at work

A wide range of equipment is available to support disabled people with everyday tasks and activities. This includes specialist equipment that can help meet a person's employment, vocational or tertiary education needs. For example, computer software.

Find out more about specialist equipment on the Ministry of Health website