Carer Support is a subsidy that helps you take some time out for yourself. It provides reimbursement of some of the costs of using a support person to care and support a disabled person while you have a break.
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.
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. If your Carer Support is funded by the Ministry of Health, it will soon be replaced with a new support called I Choose.
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.
Who can provide support care
Carer Support is designed to be flexible. You can use it to subsidise:
- friends, some family members or neighbours who provide relief care
- people who provide relief care in a formal setting, for example a rest home.
Carer Support cannot be used:
- while the full-time carer is at work
- to pay a parent or partner of the disabled person
- while the disabled person is in hospital
- to pay a carer who lives at the same address as the client.
If you’re unsure about how you can use your Carer Support, please contact the person or agency who has allocated your carer support.
What about tax?
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.