Funded Family Care 2020

Funded Family Care allows payment of people to care for family members assessed as having high or very high support needs. Funded Family Care policies are administered by the Ministry of Health Disability Support Services and District Health Boards.

COVID-19 update: Due to the impact of COVID-19 and New Zealand moving into Alert Level 4, some of the changes to the Funded Family Care payments will be delayed. Read more about the changes to criteria and payments happening in April 2020.

Funded Family Care changes 2020

Find out more about changes to the Ministry of Health's Funded Family Care policy.

Funded Family Care Disability Support Services New Zealand Sign Language translation

What is Funded Family Care under Disability Support Services?

FFC Provides for the payment of resident family carers, for up to 40 hours per week, to provide personal care and household management services to people with high or very high support needs.

The future situation for of DSS FFC:

  • Will continue to apply to people with high and very high support needs.
  • The current 40 hour weekly maximum allocation per funded family carer will continue, with an exceptions process.
The Ministry’s FFC policy does not apply strictly to include other paid work outside of the FFC arrangement unless this is likely to impact the care provided.

Changes will be in place from April 2020


Family carers over the age of 18 can be paid to provide FFC to their resident adult family member who has been assessed as having high or very high support needs, but cannot be paid when the disabled person is aged under 18 or the carer is a spouse

The disabled person would not be able to remain in their chosen living environment at home with FFCand their care needs preclude their family member from full-time work.

Future situation for DSS

Government agreed to remove these exclusions and allow spouses or partners and resident family of under 18s to be funded family carers.

The minimum age of carer to be employed under FFC will be changed to 16 to align with Education and Human Rights law and ensure young carers can be recognised for the work they do.

FFC will no longer apply to people who would not be able to remain in their chosen living environment without it due to the disabled person’s care needs; the threshold of assessed high and very high disability support needs through a NASC process will determine eligibility.

Changes will be in place from April 2020

Pay rates

Currently family carers are paid minimum wage - $17.70 per hour.

Future situation for DSS Pay rates for the Ministry’s FFC policy to be raised to be comparable to other care and support workers’ rates, subject to length of service or qualifications.

The Ministry will undertake further work to ensure access to qualifications to progress on the pay scale under different employment options.

Changes will be in place from April 2020

Employment relationship

There is considerable criticism and current litigation on the Ministry FFC policy which requires disabled people to be the employer of their family member.

There will no longer be a requirement for an employment relationship under the Ministry’s policy, and FFC will be implemented through employment by providers and personal budgets such as Individualised Funding (IF), with transitional arrangements for current FFC recipients.

Everyone will transition off the current arrangement before April 2022. Changes in place from April 2020

What’s changing in 2020?

Changes to Funded Family Care policies of the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards will  take effect in 2020.

Eligibility for Funded Family Care

Funded Family Care is available to eligible people with high or very high support needs relating to disability, long term chronic health conditions, mental health and addiction and aged care needs.

Eligibility will expand to include partners and spouses of those with high or very high support needs, children and young people under the age of 18, and will lower the minimum age of a family carer to 16.

These changes will be in place from 14 April 2020 for Ministry of Health Disability Support Services and from June 2020 for District Health Boards.

Part 4A of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 will be repealed by September 2020

Part 4A of the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000 is the current legislation governing Funded Family Care policies of the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards. It was introduced under urgency in 2013.

The main concern of Part 4A is that it prevents disabled people and their families from making a complaint to the Human Rights Commission or the Courts about discrimination on the grounds of family status.

The repeal of Part 4A is expected by 1 September 2020 following Select Committee consideration.

There will be an opportunity for people with support needs, affected families and other stakeholders to make submissions. Committees usually advertise calls for submissions on Parliament TV, Parliament Twitter, and they also send out press releases. Each select committee has its own page on the Parliament website.

Removing the Ministry requirement for an employment arrangement between the disabled person and their funded family carer

From 14 April 2020 the Ministry will offer the choice for a funded family carer to be either:

  • employed by a home and community support service provider; or
  • funded through a personal budget, such as Individualised Funding

Personal budget policies like Individualised Funding provide flexibility for disabled people, carers and families and mean that:

  • the disabled person can be the employer of their carer
  • a nominated agent or Host agency can manage the budget and employment processes on their behalf; however, the disabled person as the budget holder will be the recognised employer under employment law
  • contracting arrangements can be used as appropriate, such as for short term cover or contingency care arrangements.

Employment by service providers will provide an option which does not place any employment obligations on disabled people. Employment of an individual by a provider would be subject to the provider’s employment policies and criteria.

Increasing pay rates

On 14 April 2020 pay rates for current Ministry funded family carers will increase to $20.50. From 14 April new employment arrangements will be available and current funded family carer clients will be able to transition off the current arrangement and onto either Individualised Funding or employment of their family carer through a home and community support service provider.

Once you have transitioned into a new employment arrangement funded family carers will receive a rate comparable to that of other care and support workers based on your qualifications and length of service as a funded family carer. Unpaid care experience will not be recognised as length of service.

New Funded Family Care arrangements will be provided either through Individualised Funding or employment through a home and community support service provider and will receive a comparable rate to other care and support workers. For new Funded Family Care arrangements, relevant qualifications will be considered in determining the pay rate.

The following table sets out the pay rates for care and support workers, including funded family carers.  These pay rates are used by DHB contracted providers employing funded family carers.

Pay Rates for Care and Support workers

Length of service


Pay band

Minimum pay rate from April 2020

Support Services Rate




<3 years OR




3-8 years OR

Level 2



8-12 years OR

Level 3



12+ years OR

Level 4



What’s not changing?

DHB Employment relationship will not change

The Funded Family Care arrangement is managed by the purchase of services from a District Health Board contracted provider who will be approached to employ the eligible family member to deliver the allocated services to their family member.

In regions where Individualised Funding is available, the client, or their agent, becomes the employer and may choose to employ a family member. A Host provider assists the clients with employment obligations.

Allocation of Support Packages

Support packages will still be allocated through a needs assessment conducted by a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination assessor.

The provision of Funded Family Care support is only for support assessed as being above the expected role of natural supports from family members to people with high and very high needs.

Types of care covered by Funded Family Care

Funded Family Care allows payments of people to provide home and community support services including household management and personal care to family members with high and very high needs.

Other paid work must not impact on the provision of safe and quality care

If your funded family carer also works in other paid employment, they must ensure that the safety and quality of care provided to the family member needing support is not impacted. In general funded family carers should not work more than a total of 40 hours per week in paid employment.

Background information on Funded Family Care

The following section covers key questions relating to the development of policy for Funded Family Care and other relevant work currently happening across government.

How we have worked with the sector

In 2018, the Ministry of Health received feedback about Funded Family care from a number of people and groups. You can see more about this here.

During policy development the Ministry of Health tested policy options with relevant carer and disability sector groups. This included ensuring the views of Māori and Pacific disabled people and their whanau/aiga were listened to. Māori and Pacific peoples are high users of Funded Family Care and the Ministry is committed to ensuring the policy options work for them and their communities.

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