Who can receive funding?

Whaikaha funded disability support services are available to people who have a physical, intellectual or sensory disability (or a combination of these) which:

  • is likely to continue for at least six months
  • needs ongoing support to live independently, to the extent that ongoing support is required.

These services are mainly for people under the age of 65 years.

The Ministry will also fund disability support services for people with:

  • some neurological conditions that result in permanent disabilities
  • some developmental disabilities in children and young people, such as Autism
  • physical, intellectual or sensory disability that co-exists with a health condition and/or injury. 

Whaikaha does not generally fund disability support services for people with:

  • personal health conditions such as diabetes or asthma
  • mental health and addiction conditions such as schizophrenia, severe depression or long-term addiction to alcohol and drugs
  • conditions more commonly associated with ageing such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Further information about who can receive funding from Whaikaha is available from their website here.

It is worth noting that unlike disability support services funded by Whaikaha, Work and Income's definition of disability includes illness. This means even if you do not qualify for disability support from Whaikaha, you may be entitled to disability support from Work and Income. Further information about support available from Work and Income is available on our website here.

People with chronic health conditions are usually not able to receive funding from Whaikaha, but those with needs at the higher end of the scale my be able to receive home support services for people with chronic health conditions funded through Te Whatu Ora. Further information about this is available on our website here.

What sort of things are not funded?

Funding from Whaikaha does not replace the need for other income to support your life, nor is it aimed at improving aspects of your life that are not specific to your disability.

For income support see our page financial support available from Work and Income or visit the Work and Income website

What sort of things are funded?

The funding contribution from Whaikaha is specific to your disability.  

Some of the types of support that Whaikaha may fund are outlined below with web-links to Whaikaha's website for further details of what is included and the eligibility requirements.  

Support around the house 

Support so you can live independently at home. 

  • Support with household tasks e.g. meal prep, laundry, cleaning
  • support with personal care e.g. eating and drinking, dressing, bathroom needs.

Additional information about support around the house can be found on the Whaikaha website here.

Carer Support and Respite options 

Carer Support is a subsidy that helps the full time Carer to take some time out for themselves. It provides reimbursement of some of the costs of care and support for a disabled person while the Carer has a break.

Additional information about respite options and carer support services can be found on the Whaikaha website here and here. 

Community Residential Support Services 

Community Residential Support Services are offered by contracted providers to enable disabled people to live in a home like setting within their community while receiving support for up to 24 hours a day.

Staff are on hand in the homes to support people with all aspects of their daily lives.

Further information about Community Residential Support Services can be found on the Whaikaha website here. 

Home Modifications 

Help to fund modifications to your home, such as:

  • handrails to help you use a set of steps leading into your home
  • a ramp or lift to help you get into and out of your home and to get between levels inside your home
  • a shower with level access to help you use your bathroom safely and independently, or with help from a carer
  • changes to doorways to make it easier for you to move around the rooms that you have to use in your home
  • fencing that will help stop you being injured because of your disability. 

Further information about home modifications can be found on the Whaikaha website here.

Vehicle modifications

There's funding available for vehicle modifications and, in a small number of cases, for purchase of a vehicle that will then be modified. Further information about this can be found on the Whaikaha website here.

Equipment and aids 

There is a range of equipment and aids available to support you with communication or daily tasks. This funding is for equipment like hearing aids, medical alarms, glasses, and for making changes to your home or place of work. Further information about this can be found on the Whaikaha website here.

Behavioural support 

Explore Services has the contract with Whaikaha and they work with people who have challenging behaviours. Challenging behaviour includes things like consistent aggression, self-injury/harm, running away, distress and anxiety. Whaikaha's behaviour support services are based on the Positive Behaviour Support model, which aims to improve a person’s quality of life and the quality of life of those around them.

Further information about behavioural support can be found on the Whaikaha website here.


What is the process to check eligibility?

You need to contact to a Needs Assessment Service Coordinator (NASC) organisation. Further information about this process and contact details for your closest NASC can be found on the Whaikaha website here.  

The NASC will review your eligibility for Whaikaha funded disability support services.

Usually, a NASC will begin creating a profile of your situation over the phone and set up a time to meet with you if appropriate. This process is called a needs assessment. 

The purpose of the needs assessment is to gain an understanding of the support you need to live your life, to learn more about your goals and what help truly looks like to you.

The NASC will identify with you which services or supports you are eligible for, and which of the supports and services are funded. They then make it possible to start using these services and supports. 

If you live in Mid Central, Waikato or Christchurch, there are Enabling Good Lives (EGL) sites near you.  They operate slightly differently from each other and from a NASC in that they do not do needs assessments. To learn more about the EGL sites, visit the Enabling Good Lives website.

What is Individualised Funding (IF)? 

Individualised Funding (IF) is available throughout New Zealand for eligible people who have been assessed to receive either Home and Community Support Services (help with household management and personal care) or Respite Services.

IF gives disabled people and their family more choice in how they are supported to live their lives fully. IF can be used to pay for Personal Care, Household Management and Respite Services.  

To get IF you need to be eligible for Whaikaha funded support, it needs to be a support you are allowed to manage using IF, and you need to have talked to a NASC (Needs Assessment Service Coordinator) to see whether IF is suitable for you.

Further information about IF can be found on the Whaikaha website here.

Purchasing guidelines which outline the rules and provide guidance on the use of disability funding can be found here.

What is Enabling Good Lives (EGL)?

Enabling Good Lives (EGL) is a new approach to supporting disabled people.

The objective is to make it easier for disabled people and their families to create good lives for themselves.

The vision of EGL is to give disabled people and their families greater choice and control over their lives and supports, and make more use of natural and universally available supports. 

The EGL approach started as a pilot in Christchurch. It is now available to groups of disabled people in Christchurch, Waikato, and Mid Central. 

Further information about EGL is available from the following website: www.enablinggoodlives.co.nz/



Information provided on this page has been sourced from the website of Whaikaha - The Ministry of Disabled People, available here: www.whaikaha.govt.nz