Income and Finance

Income and Finance

To live a good life we need financial security. This section provides links to services, resources and information about income supports. For localised information please contact your nearest Disability Information Centre.

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Financial Support

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This is about gaining financial assistance to assist with costs if you are unable to work.

Benefits and Allowances

Work and Income provide financial support to disabled people who are unable to work, and for those who care for them.

There are different types of benefit available but first you will need a medical certificate from your doctor that says how your disability affects your ability to work. Let’s look at some of the benefits that you may be able to get.

Jobseeker Support

If you are temporarily unable to work but you have a job to go back to when you are able to then you may meet the criteria for Jobseeker Support.

How much you might get depends on your personal circumstances so you will need to talk to your local Work and Income service centre.

Supported Living Payment

Supported Living Payment is a weekly payment to help you if you have a significant health condition, injury or disability meaning that suitable work is unlikely within the next 2 years. If you are able to work at all you can earn up to a certain amount without your benefit being affected. Full time carers can apply for the Supported Living Payment if the person they are caring for would otherwise need hospital or residential level care. There are income limits. You can find more information on Supported Living Payments here

Disability Allowance

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.

You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify for a Disability Allowance but there are income limits. To check those income limits click here

If you care for a child who has a serious disability or health condition.

If your dependent child needs constant care and attention, over and above what a child or young person of the same age would need, because of a serious disability or health condition you may be able to get a Child Disability Allowance. You may also be eligible to receive assistance with extra childcare costs.

A Community Services Card can help with the costs of healthcare. You'll pay less for some health services simply by showing your card. Most people who are on a benefit automatically get one of these cards. If you're on a low income you can also apply for one.

To find out more about allowances for caring for a child with a disability click here

Other financial assistance

There are other benefits and payments you may be eligible for if you are a disabled person, or are caring for someone with a disability. From assistance with travel and accommodation costs to attend healthcare or hospital appointments, to dental treatment and glasses. It is worth having a chat to the Team at your local Work and Income service centre. More info here

Accident Compensation Corporation

ACC provide support to people who are disabled because of an accident.

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This is about the funding assistance you may be able access to purchase items to help you lead a good life.

Government Funding

The NZ government assists disabled people and their whanau with funding for specific purposes. This is usually via the Ministry of Health. People with accident related disability can access funding through ACC.

Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC)

NASC are available throughout New Zealand to undertake assessment of needs and allocation of services that are funded by the Ministry of Health. These services may include assistance with personal care, home help, carer support and respite care. They will work with you to put together a support plan, which includes family and community supports that you can use. You can also discuss individualised funding with them which can give you more choice and control over the services you wish to access.

Anyone that has a physical, intellectual and/or sensory impairment or disability that is likely to last more than six months can be assessed.

To find out more about the services that can be funded, or partially funded, by the Ministry of Health go here

To find contact details for your local NASC go to their website

If you are over 65 your needs can be assessed by an Older Persons NASC. You can find out who does this in your area here

Contact your nearest Disability Information Centre for more information.

Equipment and Modification Services (EMS)

If you need specific equipment, or modifications to your home or vehicle, to help you manage or access everyday activities, you may be eligible for support funded by the Ministry of Health.

The EMS can support people by:

  • providing advice on the best equipment or modifications to your home and/or vehicle to suit your particular needs
  • providing equipment on long-term loan
  • helping pay all or part of the costs of modifications to your home or vehicle

An EMS assessor can help you work out what you need and how to get it. They can also help you work out if you can get Ministry of Health funding and talk with you about other funding options.

EMS assessors are specialists such as occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech language therapists or other hearing and vision professionals.

To find an EMS assessor contact your local NASC click this link or your nearest Disability Information Centre.

Veterans’ Independence Programme

The Veterans' Independence Programme (VIP) supports you to remain independent and safe in your own home. You may not need to have a service-related condition to receive this.

The VIP includes many types of assistance including home adaption, attendant care, clothing allowance, home help, house and section maintenance, medical alarms and travel allowances.

Veterans’ Affairs will complete a needs assessment with you to check eligibility and to make sure which entitlements are right for you.

You can find out more about the VIP on their website

Other Funding Options

There are other ways you may be able to obtain funding assistance via community funders.

NZ Lottery Grants

Lottery Individuals with Disabilities will fund equipment to support individuals to contribute, participate in and connect with their communities.

This can include assistance dogs, communication equipment, vehicles, vehicle modifications, scooters and other mobility equipment.

The outcomes sought by this Fund are:

  • People with disabilities will actively participate in and have better access to their community;
  • Children and young people with disabilities and their families will be more connected to their community

People with Disabilities that have occurred as a result of an accident and are eligible for support from the Accident Compensation Corporation cannot apply to this fund.

To apply to the Lottery Individuals with Disabilities fund you need to provide:

  • A letter of support outlining how you will contribute to the community by receiving this grant.
  • A completed Verification of Disability form.

Your local Disability Information Centre can assist you to complete your application. Or you can apply online via the Lottery Grants system.

Fund for Good

Manawanui, New Zealand’s major Individualised Funding host, has set up the Fund for Good. It is an innovation programme which awards grants to help fund big ideas that cannot be funded through Individualised Funding or other funding sources.

It’s all about self-direction and is one of the ways that Manawanui, as a social enterprise, reinvests profits into initiatives that give customers choice and control about how they live. In previous years our grants supported business entrepreneurs, Special Olympics participation, getting a book published, building a greenhouse and song writing. Each big idea met the criteria to enhance self-direction and independence.

You can find out more about the fund, application dates and amounts you can apply for by going here

Generosity – givME

The givME directory offers access to scholarships and awards for individuals seeking to pursue:

  • Education, research and fellowships
  • Arts, cultural and sporting activities
  • Career change, professional or personal development

Subscribers can search the database at any time. Many local councils have a subscription and you can search for funding by going to your local library. Check if your library has givME by using the map here

Talk to your friendly Disability Information Centre staff about any local options for funding in your area.

Managing money

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In this section you can find out how you can manage your Individualised funding and how to use budgeting to manage the additional costs that may occur.

Individualised Funding

This may be allocated by a Ministry of Health Needs Assessment Service Coordination service. (You may also be able to access it through your District Health Board if you receive services from them.) It means that you can purchase and manage the services you need yourself. For example, you could employ your own support workers. You would then take on the role and the responsibilities of being an employer and some people may find this daunting. However, there are services that can help you manage your Individualised Funding (IF).

You can use IF to:

You can continue to spend your IF on any disability support or service that:

  • helps you to live your life or makes your life better, and
  • gives you a break from caring for your family member with a disability, or to provide a break for the disabled person, and
  • the use of funding if it is reasonable and cost-effective, and
  • not funded through other funding options such as a Disability Allowance.

If you want to use IF to manage your support allocations, you must do this through an IF Host organisation. These are organisations that the Ministry of Health contracts to support people using IF.

Your IF Host:

  • helps you understand IF
  • helps you learn how to organise, set up and manage your supports
  • administers payments for the support services
  • helps you manage your responsibilities – this includes reporting back to them on the support hours you have used, so that they can be paid for
  • can advise 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 the Ministry about it.

If you want your IF Host to be responsible for recruiting, training and paying your support workers and possibly managing the legal aspects of your service, your IF Host may do so for an extra fee that they set and you pay.

New Zealand’s leading IF Host is Manawanui. They are experts on what your funding can be used for, and provide digital tools and services to make it easier to manage your funding. So you can spend more time living your life how you choose. You can find out more about Manawanui’s services here: or contact your local NASC to find other hosts available in your area. Find out more

Budget Advice Services

Most of us have to work to a budget, especially those on lower incomes or benefits that make it hard to keep up with the costs of living. Even with allowances and grants to help, the additional costs that having a disability brings can make it hard to enjoy a good life.

There are several community organisations that can help you with budgeting advice. These include face-to-face help with budgeting, debt and money problems. Your local Disability Information Centre can help you find one in your area or you can look for one on the Money Talks website You can also find other resources on the Money Talks site. Another site where you can find services to help with managing your money is the Family Services Directory

If you feel bogged down with debt and money problems you can get help with Christians Against Poverty (CAP).  

You might also like to join a MoneyMates group. These are support groups for people wanting to improve their budgeting skills. You can check them out here

Sorted is another site where you can get budgeting and debt management information and advice.