Budget 2012 - Information on Disability Support Services
Despite the economic climate health is getting more funding than any other vote in Budget 2012. Within this, Disability Support Services (DSS) have received a net additional investment of $132.7 million over the next four years to improve the lives of people with disabilities. For the 2012/13 financial year (July 2012 to June 2013) this represents additional funding of $32.98 million making a total of $1052 million Ministry of Health funded disability support service funding.
Environmental Support Services
Environmental Support Services cover a wide range of supports, including equipment such as wheelchairs, hoists and adjustable beds; housing modifications such as handrails and ramps; and service and supports for people who have vision, hearing or communication impairment. These services are available for disabled and older people to support them to remain in their own homes and living as independently as possible.
An additional $20.7m over four years has been allocated to cover the increased demand for many of these services. For the 2012/13 financial year, an extra $4.8m will be allocated to address cost pressures and increased demand.
A one-off additional amount of $1.3m in 2012/13 will provide additional cochlear implants and follow up services for children and adults. This means around 20 more implants will be available.
Includes Home and community support services (including Individualised Funding), Respite, Caregiver Support and Supported Living
Community Care funding allows people with disabilities to continue living in their community. Home and Community Support Services (HCSS) help people with activities such as showering, getting dressed, eating, preparing a meal, washing and house cleaning. Individualised Funding is a way of paying for HCSS that offers disabled people more choice and control over their supports. Additional investment has been allocated to community care services for the 2012/13 financial year. This extra funding will help address increases in the number of people needing HCSS, help us to meet the target of a significant growth in Individualised Funding services and provide a 1% price increase for HCSS providers and respite services which are available for caregivers to have a break. Provision has also been made for an increase of between 2 – 6% in client numbers for services such as supported living and caregiver support.
Residential Support Services
Residential Support services provide accommodation and supports to disabled people who often need a high level of support. Additional funding has been made available for the 2012/13 year and will be used to pay for an estimated 1% increase in the numbers of people accessing community residential services together with a 1% increase in the support needs of current clients. A provision of 1% has also been made for price increases. How that will be applied is still to be determined. In addition there is an increase of 1.5% for providers of services for younger people with a physical disability who reside in rest homes and hospitals.
Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) Services
For the 2012/13 year $0.23m has been allocated for NASC Management Services to cover an expected 1.5% increase in the numbers of people accessing these services.
Increased Choice and Flexibility
Over the next four years, $9.4m has been allocated to improve disabled people’s ability to live an everyday life giving them more control, choice and flexibility over the support they receive. This includes introducing more Local Area Coordinators, making Individualised Funding available for most types of supports and providing more flexible ways of contracting disability support services. This new model for supporting disabled people has begun to be demonstrated in the Western Bay of Plenty and will gradually be expanded to other regions over time.
A further $2.3m has been reserved to address service pressures throughout the 2012/13 year.