If you’re the unpaid full-time carer of a disabled person, then Carer Support is available for you.
The Ministry of Health is developing a Respite Strategy to improve the way we purchase respite or “short breaks” across the country. Read more
Carer Support provides reimbursement of some of the costs of using a support person to care and support a disabled person. This means you can take some time out for yourself.
A full-time carer is the person who provides more than 4 hours per day unpaid care to a disabled person, for example, the parent of a disabled child.
Carer Support is a subsidy funded by the Ministry of Health. The number of hours or days that carer support is funded for depends on your needs and those of the person you care for.
Getting Carer Support
You can be assessed by a Needs Assessment Service Coordination organisation (NASC) or, in some circumstances, by a doctor. They will then allocate your Carer Support days and undertake a review with you, usually after a year.
You can find out more about claiming Carer Support at Carer Support claims or by talking to your local NASC.
Who can provide support care
Carer Support is designed to be flexible. You can use it to pay:
- friends, some family members or neighbours who provide relief care
- people who provide relief care in a formal setting, for example a rest home.
Carer Support cannot be used:
- while the full-time carer is at work
- to pay a parent or partner of the disabled person
- while the disabled person is in hospital
- to pay a carer who lives at the same address as the full-time carer.
If you’re unsure about how you can use your Carer Support, please contact the person or agency who has allocated your carer support.
What are Carer Support payments regarded as?
Carer Support payments may be subject to income tax. This will depend on your individual circumstances. You may wish to seek advice regarding tax issues from the Inland Revenue Department or, if you receive a benefit, from Work and Income New Zealand.