Counselling

If you need help with counselling fees or transport to counselling, we may be able to pay this as part of a Disability Allowance.

Information

  • You can get a Disability Allowance for a number of different things, including counselling. The maximum you can get for a Disability Allowance is $66.11 a week.
  • You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify for a Disability Allowance.
  • Who can get it

    You can apply for a Disability Allowance for you, your partner or a child.

    The person who needs counselling must:

    • have a health condition or disability that's likely to last at least 6 months from when they were diagnosed
    • need counselling because of the health condition or disability
    • have regular, ongoing counselling costs that are not fully covered by another agency (eg Child, Youth and Family, ACC).

    They also need to be seeing either:

    • a counsellor who is a member of:
      • Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand
      • NZ Association of Counsellors (NZAC)
      • NZ Christian Counsellors Association
      • The Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB)
      • Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapy Association (ANZACATA) - previously known as the Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association (ANZATA)
      • Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association of Aotearoa New Zealand (DAPAANZ). This only includes Registered Competent Practitioners and Associate Practitioners. It does not include a support worker
    • a psychologist who:
      • holds a current practising certificate
      • is registered with the Psychologists Board.

    To apply, you need to be:

    • 16 and older
    • a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

    It also depends on how much you and your partner earn.

    The income limits for Disability Allowance are:

    Your situation Weekly income limits before tax
    Single 16-17 years $555.91
    Single 18+ years $692.52
    Couple (with or without children) $1,031.20
    Sole parent 1 child $775.31
    Sole parent 2+ children $816.86
  • What you can get

    We pay up to a maximum of $66.11 a week for Disability Allowance. How much you get for counselling depends on your situation.

    If this is the first time you're applying for counselling, you can get up to 10 sessions. You can apply for more if a health practitioner, eg, your doctor, recommends them.

    We don't pay for:

    • counselling not directly related to your disability or health condition, eg relationship counselling
    • counselling provided through hospitals (eg drug and alcohol), where no charge is made for these services (although we can pay for transport to these sessions)
    • the costs of childcare while you go to counselling.
  • How to apply

    Already getting payments from us (eg, a benefit or Accommodation Supplement) but not Disability Allowance

    • You need to apply for a Disability Allowance using this form. Your health practitioner (eg. your doctor) will need to complete the Disability Certificate inside this form.
    • You need to complete a Disability Certificate - Counselling form. This needs to be completed by you, your health practitioner and your counsellor.

    Call us to talk about how you can send us the forms, and if we need any other information.


    Already getting Disability Allowance

    You need to complete a Disability Certificate - Counselling form. This needs to be completed by you, your health practitioner and your counsellor.

    Call us to talk about how you can send us the form, and if we need any other information.

    We'll include the cost of counselling in your Disability Allowance from the date the cost started.


    Not getting any payments from us

    You can apply online.

    Apply online.

    You'll also need to:


    More than 10 sessions

    We'll send you a letter when your 10 sessions are finished. If your health practitioner recommends you need more sessions:

    • You need to complete another Disability Certificate - Counselling form. This needs to be completed by you, your health practitioner and your counsellor.
    • you'll need to get your record of attendance (a form that your counsellor will get you to sign).

    Call us to talk about how you can send us the form, and if we need any other information.


    Applying on behalf of someone else

    You can apply for Disability Allowance on someone else's behalf, but only if they've filled out a form to appoint you as their agent.

  • What happens next

    It's your responsibility to agree with your counsellor on:

    • what you hope to get from the counselling
    • how many counselling sessions you'll need
    • how much you'll pay and how you'll pay for them.

    You'll have to pay for your counselling sessions directly to your counsellor or the organisation you're getting counselling through.

    To show us you've been going to the sessions, we may ask you for receipts and your record of attendance (your counsellor will complete that for you).

    Your counsellor will also get you to sign a form that lets them tell Work and Income about your attendance, and if you don't turn up for appointments or your counselling has ended.