Disability Allowance

Disability Allowance is a weekly payment for people who have regular, ongoing costs because of a disability, such as visits to the doctor or hospital, medicines, extra clothing or travel.


You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify for a Disability Allowance.

  • Who can get it

    You may get a Disability Allowance if you:

    • have a disability that is likely to last at least 6 months
    • have regular, ongoing costs because of your disability that are not fully covered by another agency
    • are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
    • normally live in New Zealand and intend to stay here.

    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

    You can apply on behalf of a child if they're 18 or under and financially dependent on you.

    You may be able to get both the Disability Allowance and the Child Disability Allowance for the same child.

    You can't get a Disability Allowance if you get board payments from Oranga Tamariki for the child.

    The information provided in this page is a guide only. Contact us to talk about your individual circumstances.

  • What you can get

    We pay up to a maximum of $66.11 a week for Disability Allowance and it's not taxed. How much you get depends on the extra costs you have because of your disability.

    The Disability Allowance is usually paid straight into your bank account with your main benefit or pension (or weekly if you don't get any other assistance).

    The Disability Allowance can help pay for a number of things - as long as your health practitioner tells us you need them because of your disability. Here are some of the things we may be able to help with, and the sorts of proof we need to see - so keep all your receipts.

    Some of the extra costs we may be able to help with... We'll need to see...
    Doctor's, specialist's and hospital fees that aren't already subsidised Receipts or invoices showing the date, cost and reason for your visit
    Prescription fees Receipts or print-outs from your chemist showing the date, cost, the item you received and whether it's subsidised
    Travel to your doctor, specialist, hospital or counsellor Tickets or receipts showing the date, cost and how you travelled (if you travelled in your own car, we need to know the cc rating of your car and how far you travelled)
    Heating Your summer and winter electricity bills
    Medical alarm rental and monitoring

    The Disability Allowance - Medical Assessment for Medical Alarm form completed by a health practitioner, and the contract or receipt for the installation/rental of the medical alarm.

  • Are you eligible?

    Find out if you might get this benefit, and what other financial assistance may be available to you.

  • How to apply

    What application form you fill out depends on what payments you're already getting from us.

    We can grant you the financial assistance you're entitled to from the date you first contact us if you complete your application within 20 working days of that date.

    New client or only getting childcare payments

    If you're not getting any payments from us, or only getting childcare payments, you can apply online through MyMSD.

    We'll also check to see if you can get any other help from us based on the answers you give in your application.

    Can't use MyMSD

    If you can't use MyMSD, you can print out and complete an Extra Help application form.

    Once completed, you'll need to send the form and proof of your costs to us. Call us to talk about the best way to do this.

    Existing client

    If you're already getting payments from us, eg, a benefit or Accommodation Supplement, you can complete a Disability Allowance application form.

    Your health practitioner (eg. your doctor) also needs to complete the Disability Certificate inside this form.

    Once completed, you'll need to send the form and proof of your costs to us. Call us to talk about the best way to do this.

    Applying for counselling or medical alarm costs

    If you're applying for a Disability Allowance for the cost of counselling or medical alarms, there's an extra form that needs to be completed.

    Counselling costs:

    Medical alarm costs:

    Applying on behalf of someone else

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

  • Already getting Disability Allowance and costs change

    If you're already getting Disability Allowance and your costs change, you need to let us know.

    If you're not sure what costs are included in your Disability Allowance, you can check in MyMSD.


Contact us for more information.