Needs assessment

Needs Assessment Service Coordination agencies (NASCs) operate the needs assessment and service coordination process on behalf of the relevant district health board (DHB).

Every person who wishes to receive disability support services funded by a DHB must be needs assessed by the NASC. The information from the assessment is then used to determine the level of need the person has – very low, low, medium, high or very high.

The criteria for residential care entry is that the person has been assessed as having high or very high needs which are indefinite and cannot be safely met with a package of care in the community.

Go to How to access support services for a list of NASCs in each region.

How does a person apply for a needs assessment?

Any person can apply for a needs assessment, either in person or by referral from any other person, such as a general practitioner. The contact details for a local needs assessment and service coordination service are available by clicking on the following link, contacting the local DHB.

If a person is living in the community and requires support, they should apply as soon as possible for a needs assessment by a NASC. The person may be eligible for health and disability support services that help them to maintain their independence at home. If a person receiving a support services package is unable to live safely in the community, and is re-assessed as requiring a high or very high level of care, then long-term residential care is available.

If a person is currently living in the community, and their health circumstances have changed they are able to apply for a re-assessment of their needs.

If a person is currently living in a residential care facility but has not been officially needs assessed by the NASC and wishes to apply for a needs assessment, then the person should apply for a needs assessment as soon as possible. This first step is necessary before the person applies for a financial means assessment to determine if they are eligible for government funding (the residential-care subsidy).

Go to Residential care questions and answers for more information.

How long does a person have to wait to be needs assessed?

The NASC should contact the referred person within two days of receiving a referral. A completed needs assessment application should be processed within 20 working days, but it may take longer depending on the demands on the assessment service.

Is there a time limit on the validity of the needs assessment?

There is no time limit on the validity of the needs assessment. A reassessment may be called for if there has been a significant change to your needs and/or circumstances and the existing support plan no longer meets your needs.

In this section

  • All older people wishing to access publicly funded support services must have their needs assessed by a district health board Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC) agency. Read more