Funded Family Care is Ministry of Health funding for disabled people with high or very high needs to employ their parents or other family or whānau members they live with to provide their disability supports.
On this page:
- Getting Funded Family Care
- What Funded Family Care can be used for
- Setting up Funded Family Care payments
- Who can help me to understand Funded Family Care and decide whether to get it?
- If I can get Funded Family Care, what happens then?
- How will Funded Family Care be set up?
- How much money do I get through Funded Family Care and how will I get paid?
- What information does the Ministry need to make Funded Family Care payments?
- What are my responsibilities when I am getting Funded Family Care?
- Other support services and benefits
- If I want to stop getting Funded Family Care, what do I do?
- Who do I contact if I need help with Funded Family Care?
You first need to contact your nearest NASC to determine if you are eligible for Funded Family Care. If you are and you want to proceed, your NASC will determine an allocation of funded supports and then refer you to a host provider.
The host provider will give you advice and information about being an employer. They will also assist you to plan how you will receive your Funded Family Care supports as well as helping with setting up the arrangement with your chosen family member(s).
While you are getting Funded Family Care, the best help you can get is from your own circle of support. Friends, family and whānau who you know and trust may be able to support you with your decisions and assist you to manage the necessary arrangements.
After the first month of employing your family or whānau carers, your NASC will get in touch to check that everything is going well. They can help you if you have more support needs or if you want to change the way you get your supports.
If your NASC does not think you meet the conditions for getting Funded Family Care, you may apply to get it under exceptional circumstances. If you think you have a reason to be considered as an exception, you can ask your NASC to help you to make an exceptions application to the Ministry of Health.
The NASC will help you to fill in the application form and they will send it to the Ministry. The Ministry will decide whether to approve or turn down your exceptions application. It will tell the NASC about its decision and your NASC will tell you.
If the Ministry approves your exceptions application, you must then confirm with your NASC that you want to go ahead with Funded Family Care.
Only your parent(s) who live with you and/or other family or whānau members over 18 years of age who live with you in your home can be employed through Funded Family Care.
If family or whānau members (other than your parents) do not live with you, they can be employed to support you through a contracted service provider or through individualised funding.
You cannot use Funded Family Care to employ your husband, wife, civil union partner or partner you are living with (de facto partner).
If the family or whānau member you want to employ has another job, you should not employ them to support you if that would mean that they would be working more than 40 hours a week in total unless you have been granted an exemption to do this.
Your NASC assesses what personal care and household management services you need, such as help with having a shower or eating and help with household tasks such as cleaning and cooking. You can only use Funded Family Care to employ your parents or other family or whānau members living with you to provide just these types of services.
Your NASC will be the first point of contact for this information. A family/whānau member or a friend can also help you to understand this information and assist you to decide whether to proceed with Funded Family Care. But any family/ whānau member who you are thinking about employing as your carer cannot also be your recognised advocate for this purpose as this could involve a conflict of interest.
You can also ask a volunteer from a disability support service or community organisation to help you to understand and decide about proceeding with Funded Family Care.
Your NASC may also suggest that you or your family or whānau set up a circle of support. This is usually a small group of your friends or family or whānau members who give some of their time to guide and help you with Funded Family Care. You do not have to have a circle of support but it is recommended.
It is important that you understand what you are agreeing to before you choose Funded Family Care. The information in this resource will be a start.
After you have confirmed you want to take up Funded Family Care, your NASC will refer you to a host provider. This independent organisation will help you to make the arrangements needed for this funding. They appoint a facilitator to meet with you, your family or whānau members(s) you want to employ (and your advocate if you want one).
A host facilitator will explain the details about how Funded Family Care works. They will explain what you can use this money for and how payments will be made. They will also explain what everyone involved in this funding arrangement is expected to do.
The host facilitator will give you, your advocate and your chosen family or whānau carers a copy of a Family Care Notice. This Notice lists certain terms and conditions that you need to understand and agree to in order to get Funded Family Care.
The Funded Family Care Notice sets out what you, your family or whānau carers and the Ministry of Health are responsible for. It also gives details about how the payments will be made.
The host facilitator will help you and your family or whānau carers to make an individualised service plan. This plan will specify how your carers will provide personal care and do household management tasks in ways that meet your needs.
The host facilitator will make sure that the support tasks described in the individualised service plan achieve the aims and goals in the support plan that your NASC made for you. You and your family or whānau carers will then need to sign the individualised service plan. By signing, you and your carers are confirming that you accept the plan and agree with the terms in the Notice.
When you get Funded Family Care, you will be the employer of one or more family or whānau members who you have chosen to support you. You will be funded to pay them the minimum wage for their work. Each hour of Funded Family Care paid to you allows you to pay:
- the minimum wage to your employed carers
- Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) employer contributions
- KiwiSaver contributions if applicable
- the minimum wage to a replacement carer when your main carer is on leave
and any other employment obligations.
The hourly rate will also include an amount that you must put aside to pay for another carer of your choice when your main family or whānau carer is on leave. The host facilitator will work with you to decide what you will do about selecting replacement carers and will put these arrangements in your individualised service plan.
The Ministry of Health will pay you every 2 weeks. This money will allow you to pay your carer for the personal care and household management supports that your family or whānau carer provided to you over the previous fortnight.
You will need to give the Ministry of Health information about your bank account so that it can pay your money into it every 2 weeks. You will be provided with a form to complete that will tell the Ministry the name of your bank account and the bank and branch account number.
When you get Funded Family Care, you are an employer. All employers need to obey New Zealand employment and tax laws. Your advocate, a friend or your circle of support may be able to help you to meet these requirements.
The law says you must make and sign an employment agreement with your family or whānau carers. Making an employment agreement can be quite simple.– check the Employment agreement builder from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
You must pay an employer ACC levy. You also need to know how much tax and KiwiSaver and ACC contributions your family or whānau carers must pay and you must take off this amount from their wages. Find out more from Inland Revenue.
Because you are getting this funding from the Ministry of Health, you must make sure that your family or whānau carers are providing the supports listed in your individualised service plan. You must also keep a record of your payments to your family or whānau carers. These actions are important because the Ministry may need to check that you are getting adequate care and support and that you and your carers are doing what the Funded Family Care Notice says you must do.
You can be allocated other Ministry-funded support services when you are getting Funded Family Care. But your parents or family or whānau members who live with you cannot be the ones who provide these services.
You may also be able to get some respite care and/or carer support days while you are getting Funded Family Care. When you get these services, family or whānau carers can have a break from caring duties that they are not paid for. How much respite care and carer support you get depends on how much unpaid support you get from your family or whānau, as well as on whether you are paying them for personal care and/or household management supports under Funded Family Care.
Your NASC will assess whether you can be allocated any respite care and/or carer support days in addition to the supports funded under Funded Family Care.
Only a contracted respite provider can provide respite care. You can use the carer support subsidy to help to pay for any relief carer other than a family or whānau member who lives with you.
Any benefit you get as a disabled person will not change if you get Funded Family Care.
The wages you pay your family or whānau carers are treated as income. This may affect any benefit your carers get – but it depends on how much they earn. For more on how income can affect your carer’s benefit, see the Work and Income website.
If you decide not to continue with Funded Family Care, you, your advocate or authorised representative can tell your NASC at any time. Your NASC can then work with other support services to get you support to meet your needs.
When you tell your NASC about this decision, your NASC will tell the Ministry of Health. The Ministry will then stop paying you for Funded Family Care at the end of the next 2-week payment cycle.
For general information on Funded Family Care, contact your NASC or email FFCinfo@health.govt.nz.
Find out more from the Ministry
Funded Family Care Operational Policy 2013 – find out more about how the Funded Family Care policy operates and what the funding arrangements are.