Supported Living

Supported Living is a service that helps disabled people to live independently by providing support in those areas of their life where help is needed.

With Supported Living, you’ll identify the areas where you need help. These are written in a personal plan.

Areas where support may be needed could include:

  • using community facilities
  • shopping, budgeting or cooking
  • help when dealing with agencies such as WINZ or your bank.

A support worker will work with you, usually at your home, but support will be provided at times and places that are agreed. This support is provided by an organisation that has a contract with the Ministry of Health.

Supported Living cannot be used to support you with personal care, household management, rehabilitation or vocational services.

Who can get Supported Living

Supported Living is available to anyone aged 17 or older who is assessed as meeting the Ministry’s Disability Support Services eligibility criteria.

Supported Living is not means-tested in any way. 

How to access Supported Living

Talk to a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) organisation about getting Supported Living.

  • They’ll assess you to make sure you’re eligible and that supported living is the right service for you.
  • The NASC will then provide information about the Supported Living providers in your area, and you can choose who you would like to provide this service. You may wish to gather further information about the providers before making your choice.

What happens when I start with Supported Living?

You’ll work with the provider you have chosen to prepare a personal plan. This will:

  • describe what you want to achieve through being supported
  • be written so that you clearly understand what will be happening.

You’ll sign the plan to show that you agree with it.

The provider will then prepare a proposal for the NASC about how they plan to support you, including how often, for how long, when and where.

The proposal is sent to the NASC and a support package is agreed – you’ll sign this as well to show that you agree with the support that will be provided.

The provider will generally provide an identified staff member to meet you at agreed times to work on the goals that are written in your plan.

What happens to your income

You don’t have to pay for Supported Living – it’s funded by the Government, and isn’t means-tested in any way.

Your income, wherever it comes from, goes to a bank account of your choice. You retain full control over your financial affairs. However, you may require help with budgeting, and if this is the case then the person supporting you will work alongside you in managing this.

How long you can get Supported Living

Supported Living is a support service that is for an agreed period of time to ensure that your goals are achieved. How long you are able to use Supported Living depends on a number of things:

  • how long you’re assessed as needing support
  • how long it takes to achieve your goals
  • if you have enough support from the other people around you to keep living independently.

Find out more

Contact your local NASC to find out more about this service. Your doctor or health professional should also be able to refer you to a NASC.

A disability information service will also be able to help you find your local NASC and give you information about services and support in your area.

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