Individualised Funding (IF) is a mechanism that enables disabled people to directly manage their disability supports.
IF is available throughout New Zealand for eligible people who have either a Home and Community Support Services or Respite allocation. IF gives disabled people more choice in how they are supported.
IF gives you increased choice and control to choose who provides this support, and how and when you use it. Your options range from engaging support workers and planning how your supports will be used, to employing your own care providers and managing all aspects of service delivery.
What can you use IF for?
IF can be used to:
- purchase Household Management, Personal Care provided by support workers (employees, contracted personnel or organisations) and pay costs relating to the employment of support workers
- purchase Respite through support workers or other opportunities where the full time carer is able to have a break (including school holiday programmes or facilities).
IF cannot be used to employ or contract support workers who are:
- the spouse/partner or parents of the disabled person; or
- family members who live in the same house as the disabled person.
IF doesn’t cover costs related to medical supplies, equipment, home renovations, leisure, recreation and personal or family costs, and can’t be used to increase the personal income of an individual or family.
Who can get Individualised Funding?
If you can manage your own services, or have someone in your support network willing to do so, then IF may be right for you.
Talk to your local Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) service to learn more. They’ll do a needs assessment, which takes into account essential need and natural supports available to you.
You can get IF if you:
- are eligible for Ministry-funded services
- have talked to a NASC to see if IF is suitable for you
- have been allocated a support that is able to be managed using IF.
If you are not eligible for Ministry-funded services and are eligible for District Health Board (DHB) funded Home and Community Support Services and you wish to explore Individualised Funding, contact your local DHB.
What supports can be managed using Individualised Funding?
The following combinations of contracted services can be transferred into IF budgets.
|Contracted service combinations||Applicable IF budgets|
|Home and Community Support Services (HCSS)||IF HCSS|
|Respite (either Facility Based Respite and/or In-home Support)||IF Respite|
|Respite and Carer Support||IF Respite|
|HCSS and Respite||IF HCSS and IF Respite|
|HCSS and Carer Support||IF HCSS and IF Respite|
|Carer Support (only)||IF is not applicable.|
If you want to use IF to manage your support allocations, you must do this through an IF Host organisation. These are organisations contracted by the Ministry of Health to support people using IF.
IF Hosts will:
- help you understand IF
- help you learn how to organise, setup and manage your supports
- administer payments for the support services
- help you manage your responsibilities – this includes reporting back to them on the support hours used, so that they can be paid for.
IF Hosts are also required to ensure that the service is working well and report back to the Ministry.
All IF Hosts provide this level of service for a fee set by the Ministry. If you want IF Hosts to take on the responsibility 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 determined by them and paid by you.
Find out more from the Ministry
An operational policy defining restrictions on access to IF is available under the Restrictions to Hosted Budgets policy.