About Disability Support Services

Disability Support Services (DSS) is responsible for the planning and funding of disability support services, and administers the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003.

Disability Support Services (DSS) responsibilities include:

  • Purchasing disability support services for people (generally under 65 years of age) with a long-term physical, intellectual and/or sensory impairment that will require ongoing support (for more information on eligibility refer to Am I eligible?)
  • Providing policy advice to the Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Health on issues related to disability and disability support.
  • Hosting forums and groups where disabled people and stakeholders can discuss strategic disability issues and opportunities. This feedback is used to inform the policy advice to government, strategic direction and the purchase of disability support services.

Our strategic direction

Our vision is that disabled people and their families are supported to live the lives they choose. We are committed to increasing disabled people’s choice, control and flexibility regarding the supports they use.

We are continuing to focus on supporting people to live the life they want. This includes increasing individualised funding and trialling new ways of delivering services (eg, supported self-assessment).

For more information the strategies and commitments that guide our direction, refer to our Strategic direction.

Accessing services

Most of the services we fund are accessed through a Needs Assessment and Service Co-ordination (NASC) service. There are 16 NASCs located across New Zealand. NASCs work with disabled people to help identify their disability support needs and to outline what supports are available. They allocate Ministry-funded support services and assist with accessing other supports.

Services we fund include home help, assistance with personal cares and supported living in individual or group homes, as well as the provision of equipment (such as wheelchairs) and modifications to housing and vehicles. Disability Support Services also funds breaks for carers and respite services.

We contract disability information advisory services to provide independent information and advice to disabled people, their whānau/families, aiga, caregivers, providers and the general public. These services provide advice on Ministry and non-Ministry-funded support and services, how to find support through a range of condition-specific groups, how to find NASC organisations and information related to specific disabilities.

DSS legislation

There are three key pieces of legislation that provide a framework for Disability Support Services:

  • New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000
  • Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001 (and the associated Health and Disability Standards NZS 8134:2008)
  • Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003) (referred to as ID(CC&R) Act)

We fund services to support the administration of the ID(CC&R) Act. The Act provides for the compulsory care and rehabilitation of individuals with intellectual disabilities who have been either found unfit to stand trial on, or convicted of, an imprisonable offence. More information on this can be found on the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003 page.

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