Health and wellbeing

Do you need support with COVID-19, general personal health or wellbeing? Find out what assistance may be available so you meet costs for a range of health services.


Get the latest support and information about COVID-19 created especially for the disabled community. Up-to-date information can be found in alternate formats such as braille, New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), Easy Read, large print, and audio.

Want to talk to someone?

  • The COVID-19 disability helpline can provide assistance with vaccines, applying for face mask exemptions, advice on COVID-19 testing, and guidance with managing COVID-19 at home, including assistance if you have COVID and your support worker or carer is unavailable. Call them on 800 11 12 13.
  • The COVID-19 welfare phone line can help if you are self-isolating and need food or other essential items. Call them on 0800 512 337.
  • If it is an emergency and you need urgent medical help or cannot breathe properly, call emergency services on 111. If you have COVID-19, tell them when you call. 

Find out more on the Unite against COVID-19 website

Health practitioner and prescription costs

If you're receiving financial assistance from Work and Income or you're on a low income, you may be able to get support with health costs.

This support can cover things like:

  • GP visits
  • prescriptions
  • funding for travel and accommodation
  • emergency medical treatment.

You can apply for Disability Assistance or a Special Needs Grant to cover these medical costs. Disability Allowance is a weekly payment for people who have regular, ongoing costs because of a disability, such as visits to the doctor or hospital, medicines, extra clothing or travel. A Special Needs Grant is a one-off payment to help you pay an essential or emergency cost if you can't pay it another way.

Find out more about health practitioner and prescription costs on the Work and Income website


Taking care of your wellbeing is very important. If you need support with counselling fees or transport to counselling, Work and Income may be able help you with a Disability Allowance. You don't have to be on a benefit to be eligible.

If you're applying for counselling for the first time, you can get up to ten free sessions. Counselling is provided by a professional counsellor who is a member (or an applicant or provisional member) of organisations like the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists or the New Zealand Association of Counsellors. To apply you, your health practitioner, or your counsellor need to fill out a Disability Certificate - Counselling form.

Find out more about counselling support on the Work and Income website

Hospital, rest home or residential treatment

If you need full-time care in a hospital, rest home or residential treatment programme, you may be able to get support through Work and Income. There are residential care subsidies and loans available for people 65 and over who need to be in a rest home or private hospital indefinitely. People under 65 are eligible for this funding and Community Costs Payments, for costs such as rent and childcare to pay.

If 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 to help with the extra costs.

Find out more about residential care on the Work and Income website