Extended flexibility for Carer Support and Individualised Funding

The Ministry of Health is extending the flexibility for Carer Support and Individualised Funding (IF) until 30 November 2020 (instead of 30 June 2020). This is to cover the COVID-19 response during Alert Level 1.

While MoH is engaging with DHBs about these changes, these rules only apply if you are allocated Carer Support and IF through the Ministry (not your DHB). Please contact your DHB for information about other supports.

Carer Support funded by the Ministry of Health

This means that if you receive Carer Support from the Ministry of Health:

  • you must work within your current funding allocation;
  • you can continue to spend Carer Support on any support or service that helps you have a break from caring from your family member with a disability or to provide a break for the disabled person.

You cannot use your Carer Support for the following:

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

“As it is up to you to choose what support or services to buy, it’s your responsibility to make sure the respite is of good quality and covers all your requirements. You will need to keep a simple record of what you have spent the money on and when you buy items, keep the receipts.”

We have asked the Ministry for examples of support or services people can buy using their Carer Support allocation.

Individualised Funding – funded by the Ministry of Health
If you receive Individualised Funding through the Ministry of Health:

You must work within your current funding allocation.

You can continue to spend your Individualised Funding on any disability support or service that helps you to live your life or makes your life better, so long as it is reasonable and cost-effective, and not funded through other funding options such as a Disability Allowance. You can talk to your IF Host or Coach about what is reasonable for you to buy and you can find out more information here: www.health.govt.nz/publication/what-people-can-buy-disability-funding-ministry-health-purchasing-guidelines

You cannot use your Individualised Funding for the following:

Paying family carers who are either a family member living with the disabled person or a parent or a spouse (see exception below)

Illegal activities, gambling or alcohol

To pay for things that are not disability supports like rent/mortgage, food, personal debt, gifts, power, usual household items etc.

You can only pay a resident family member to provide household management and personal care supports for those disabled people assessed as having ‘high’ or ‘very high’ needs. You cannot pay resident family members to provide respite.

As it is up to you to choose what support or services to buy, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the support or service is of good quality and covers all your requirements.

You will need to keep a simple record of what you have spent the money on and when you buy items, keep the receipts.

Remember that you must continue to honour any employment contracts that you have. You can find out more about terminating an employment agreement at: www.employment.govt.nz/ending-employment/