Disability Allowance - for medical and nurse practitioners

Information about Disability Allowance for medical and nurse practitioners.

About the Disability Allowance

Disability Allowance is a weekly amount (up to $66.11) for people who have regular, ongoing additional costs because of a disability or health condition. These could be costs like:

  • visits to the doctor or hospital
  • medicines
  • extra clothing, or
  • travel.

There are certain criteria people need to meet to qualify for the Disability Allowance.

  • It's available to most people who qualify for a Community Services Card.
  • People don't have to be on a benefit.
  • It depends on their income.
  • Costs covered by Disability Allowance

    There's a wide range of costs a Disability Allowance can help pay for. The costs must be related to the person's health condition or disability.


    When it can be paid for

    Alternative treatment must be supported by a medical practitioner as being necessary to be publicly funded for the person's condition, and the treatment provided or supervised by a health practitioner (under the HPCAA).
    Ambulance fees and subscriptions when a person is required to pay ambulance fees or subscription fees on an annual on-going basis.
    Authorised consumables can cover the ongoing additional cost of consumable items needed by a person, eg hearing aids, vet's fees etc for guide dogs, incontinence pads (if they are not provided through Health).
    Clothing for additional clothing costs that a person has which may arise because of greater frequency of washing, wear and tear resulting from use of a prosthetic aid or wheelchair or the need to have clothes or shoes made-to-measure.
    Counselling for counselling fees if the need for counselling is directly related to the person's disability. It is limited to 10 sessions with the opportunity for some additional sessions if clinically indicated (uncommon). Transport costs may also be paid.
    Day care for older disabled people to help meet the costs of an older disabled person (usually aged 65 or over) to attend a day care centre, and/or the cost of transport to the centre.
    Gardening, lawns and outside window cleaning covers the costs of gardening, lawn-mowing, and outside window cleaning for the person's own home or private residence where the person or another resident in the home is unable to do these tasks themselves.
    Gym and swimming pool fees may be paid when the exercise activities are directly related to a person's disability and will have a therapeutic value.
    Medical alarms to cover the costs of medical alarm rental and monitoring if a medical alarm is necessary for normal daily living and without it, the person's life or health would be put at risk, or their disability would be aggravated.
    MedicAlert costs to cover the ongoing MedicAlert membership fee (also known as service fee) in order to provide medical information in an emergency situation. This could be for people who may be unable to speak for themselves in a medical emergency, such as people with insulin dependent diabetes, epilepsy, life-threatening allergies or haemophilia.
    Medical fees to cover the cost of appointments with general practitioners, specialists or hospital fees if the costs are additional and ongoing. This can also include fees for the some other health services (if a registered medical practitioner verifies the need and its relationship to the documented disability or health condition), for example occupational therapy, physiotherapy, audiology, podiatry or dental services.
    Nicotine replacement products when a nicotine replacement product has been prescribed by a health practitioner as part of the treatment/management of the health condition or disability.
    Pharmaceutical charges to cover the costs of regular and ongoing pharmaceutical charges. Note: It is generally only paid to assist with the cost of pharmaceutical products that are subsidised or partially subsidised under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act. This may also include nicotine replacement products when a person is giving up smoking as part of the treatment of a health condition or disability such cardiovascular disease.
    Power, gas and heating

    for the additional electricity, gas or heating costs that a person has. It is for the costs over and above the normal power consumption of similar-sized households.

    Private paying patients when a person is in a rest home as a private paying patient, costs can be paid for if they are in addition to the rest home fee for service and directly related to their disability.
    Rental equipment for necessary rental equipment when the client has a need for the item or service but can't receive funding through the District Health Board or another state funded agency and their life or health would be put at risk, or their disability aggravated if they could not hire the equipment.
    Residential care services for costs not covered by a person's contract with the residential care services provider when they get Residential Support Subsidy.
    Special foods to cover the additional costs of special foods, ie for costs over and above the normal cost of food. Vitamins, supplements, herbal remedies and minerals can also be included when they are recommended as necessary for the management of the condition.
    Telephone for telephone costs to a person with a disability only when the ongoing cost of the telephone is directly related to the person's disability.
    Transport - counselling for the costs of travel to counselling for the number of sessions that Disability Allowance is being paid for.
    Transport - disability for additional travel costs that a person has because of their disability. These additional travel costs can be incurred when a person with a disability is carrying out everyday activities. Examples of everyday activities may include (but is not limited to) shopping, vocational services and work.
    Transport - personal health to cover the costs of regular travel to a health practitioner for supervision or treatment of the person's disability.
    Vitamins, supplements, herbal remedies and minerals for costs not covered by alternative subsidised pharmaceutical items, and that either PHARMAC has funded it under their Named Patient Pharmaceutical Assessment Policy or the medical practitioner has verified the cost is essential and there are no suitable alternatives.
  • What you need to do

    If someone wants to apply for a Disability Allowance, you need to complete the Disability Certificate section of the person's Disability Allowance application form.

    By filling out the form, you are confirming the person has:

    • a health condition or disability that’s likely to last at least 6 months
    • regular, ongoing costs because of a health condition or disability that aren't fully covered by another agency.
  • Disability Allowance for children

    People who have a child with a health condition or disability can apply for a Disability Allowance for their child. Their child must have regular, ongoing costs because of their disability, eg:

    • additional doctors' visits
    • pharmaceutical charges
    • transport
    • special food costs.

    If their child has a serious disability, they may also be able to get a Child Disability Allowance. This is a fortnightly payment that's paid in recognition of the extra care and attention needed for that child.