Individualised Funding (IF) is a mechanism that enables disabled people to employ or directly manage their disability supports.
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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.
Enhanced Individualised Funding (EIF) is part of the New Model for Supporting People demonstration that gives you more choice control and flexibility in the way you use your disability support budget. EIF enables people to pay for a wider range of disability supports – not just the traditional supports (Personal Care or Household Management, Respite Services currently available under IF). People using EIF are able to purchase supports aligned to the Purchasing Guidelines.
If you live in the Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty and are already receiving IF, you may wish to choose EIF as a way of managing your supports.
What does this mean for me?
EIF gives you greater control over your disability support budget.
It puts you in charge and gives you the job of controlling what you have been allocated.
EIF is different because:
- it allows your budget to be used to fund support that has not traditionally been available
- it's about creating a plan that lets you set your own timetable, enjoy more independence, be included more in your community and generally take control of your own life.
You can pay for support to achieve the goals in your plan.
This might mean that you can:
- employ people to support you and agree the hourly rates for the support you receive
- pay for support to help you participate in the community.
You are given an amount available for support and then you choose how to use it based on your plan.
There are a few rules!
You can only spend EIF on support that is:
- a disability support (or the additional cost of living with a disability)
- part of your plan and helps you progress towards your goals
- support that is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and not provided by other government agencies (such as education).
How do I know what counts as a disability support?
A disability support is something that can help a disabled person achieve their goals, but something they would not have needed if they did not have a disability.
A disability support can be:
- something a person needs because they are disabled
- a service that costs more because the person is disabled
- an additional fee that needs to be paid for any service or goods because the person is disabled
- a ‘payment in kind’ to someone providing voluntary support to a person with a disability.
You can discuss what may be a disability support with your NASC, LAC or Host provider.
All disability supports that you choose to purchase will be agreed in your plan.
What is not a disability support?
The funding does not cover anything that you would be expected to pay for if you were not disabled. So, personal expenses such as a ticket to the movies for yourself, food, insurance, whiteware, bills, or any goods or services that you would pay for yourself if you weren't disabled, do not count.
Read more about the Ministry of Health's Purchasing Guidelines for the New Model for Supporting Disabled People.
What am I responsible for?
You are accountable for how the allocation is spent. You have certain responsibilities, including to:
- keep good records that show how the funding has been used
- ensure that funding is only spent on what is allowed
- understand the rules and regulations around employing and managing staff and what is expected of you when it comes to tax and employment laws and regulations.
How are supports paid for?
All support purchases are confirmed with the host provider and they then arrange for all the payments to be made.
Can I use EIF without a host provider?
EIF can only be accessed via a host provider. Host providers are contracted to help people by providing an invoicing function, set-up advice, information, support and coaching to People, that helps them establish and manage their Support Allocation.
How do I apply for EIF?
If you live and receive Disability Support Services within the Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty region, talk to your Local Area Coordinator or Support Net to find out if this is an option for you.
If it is, talk to your family/whānau and people such as your Local Area Coordinator about the life you want and dreams you have.
Together, create and agree on a plan that outlines these goals and what needs to happen for you to achieve your goals.
The NASC will work with you – through an assessment process – to establish the amount of funding that is available. You will then be referred to a host organisation that will work with you to manage your budget.
Read more about the people who have started using the Ministry of Health’s New Model for Supporting Disabled People in the New Model people stories section.
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