Carer support

Carer Support provides reimbursement of some of the costs of using a support person to care and support a disabled person. This means their carer can take some time out for themselves.

Kia ora, Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People is now the guardian of the content on this webpage, and they are preparing to move it to their new website. For more information please go to the Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People website.

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What Carer Support is

Carer Support is a subsidy that helps you take some time out for yourself. It provides reimbursement of some of the costs of care and support for a disabled person while you have a break.

Who can get Carer Support

Carer Support is available for ‘full-time carers’ – 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.

The number of hours or days that Carer Support is funded for depends on your needs and those of the person you care for.  

Who funds Carer Support

Carer Support for people with age-related support needs, mental health and long-term medical conditions is funded by district health boards.

Carer Support for people with disabilities is funded by the Ministry of Health.

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.

Tax issues

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.

Carer Support – funded by the Ministry of Health

The following information applies if you receive Carer Support from the Ministry of Health. Carer Support from DHBs is not affected.

You must work within your current funding allocation.

You can continue to spend your Carer Support on any disability support/service/item that:

  • helps you to live your life or makes your life better, and
  • gives you a break from caring for your family member with a disability, or to provide a break for the disabled person, and
  • use of funding is reasonable and cost-effective, and
  • not funded through other funding options such as a Disability Allowance. You can find out about what is reasonable for you to buy and you can find out more information at What People Can Buy with Disability Funding: Ministry of Health Purchasing Guidelines.

You cannot use your Carer Support for the following:

  • paying family carers who are either a family member living with a disabled person or a parent or a spouse;
  • illegal activities, gambling or alcohol; or
  • to pay for things that are not disability supports like rent/mortgage, food, personal debt, gifts, power, regular household items etc.

If you have not received relief care but have purchased something to give you a break, you do not need a signature from a relief carer on your Carer Support forms. Payments will continue to be made in half days or days as usual.

During the response to COVID-19, the Ministry of Health will accept Carer Support forms by email to [email protected].

There are some requirements to help the team get the high volumes of claims processed in the usual timeframes. The requirements are:

  • Send a single email for each claim
  • Include the client number in the subject line of your email (the client number is on the top right of the form)
  • Scan the claim first and then the supporting documentation (receipts etc) after it
  • The claim (including supporting documentation) must be saved as a pdf
  • Please make sure if can be easily read.

Please call the Contact Centre on 0800 855 066 if you have any queries.

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