New Zealand has two main government funding channels. They can be divided into accident and non-accident related conditions. Alternatively you can purchase direct from a supplier without funding or talk to your therapist about partial funding options by the Ministry of Health.
Accident related conditions – ACC
ACC is an organisation that covers everyone, including visitors, who are injured in an accident in New Zealand. If ACC covered your injury, they can also help you with aids and equipment.
ACC cover most physical injuries if they’re caused by:
- an accident
- sexual violence
- a condition that comes on gradually because of work.
ACC can also cover injuries that are long-term, permanent or that happened at birth. ACC also pays for the aids and equipment you need to recover from your injury. You can use these aids and equipment for as long as you need them to support your injury.
ACC navigation service: Way Finders www.wayfinders.org.nz
Way Finders is a national navigation service that’s available to anyone who may have questions about ACC or even a specific ACC claim. Our service is available for people who may want an alternative way to interact with ACC rather than deal with ACC directly. Phone: 0800 273 030 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Non-accident related conditions – Ministry of Health (MOH)
Is funded by the Ministry of Health. You may be eligible for Ministry of Health funding for specialised equipment if:
You have a disability that will last over six months and result in a reduction of independent function to the extent that ongoing support is required &
You are not an ACC claimant (for that disability).
Equipment can only be provided if an EMS Assessor has identified that equipment is essential for you to:
- Get around more safely in your home, or
- Remain in, or return to, your home, or
- Communicate effectively, or,
- Study full-time or do vocational training, or,
- Work full-time, or,
- Work as a volunteer,
- Be the main carer of a dependent person.
Funding contribution from the person
If you wish to have equipment which has higher specifications, because it better suit your needs, but is more costly than that recommended by the EMS Assessor. Ministry of Health funding may in some cases only cover the cost of the essential components of the equipment solution. The additional costs of the items must be paid by the person directly to the supplier. This is called Partial funding.
Partial Funding – MOH
Then refer to section 5.7 of the MOH Equipment Manual (as used by therapists) that says:
5.7. Funding contribution from the person If a person wishes to have equipment which has higher specifications and is more costly than that recommended by the EMS Assessor, Ministry funding will only cover the cost of the essential components of the equipment item. The additional costs of the items must be paid by the person directly to the supplier. If there is suitable equipment currently available in the EMS Provider’s reissue store that meets the person’s essential disability-related needs, this equipment will be provided before any new equipment can be purchased.
The equipment issued remains the property of the Ministry. There is no reimbursement of the person’s contribution payable from the Ministry if or when the equipment is no longer required by them is returned to the EMS Provider.
To view the full manual visit https://www.disabilityfunding.co.nz/equipment/equipment-manual
Access to Funding – The process
You will require a needs assessment by a Therapist (Accredited Assessor)
- ACC; The first approach would be to speak to your health professional i.e. G.P. or case manager for such referral.
- MOH; Again speak to your G.P., ask for an occupational Therapist referral. In some areas, you can self-refer to this service at your local DHB hospital.
Alternative Funding Options
Advocacy Groups & Grants
If you are not eligible for ACC or Ministry of Health funding and don’t have the means to pay for the equipment yourself, there are various Advocacy Groups that may have loan closets that can supply you with a grant or assist with the payment of equipment.
Cerebral Palsy Association
The purpose of this grant is to assist people with Cerebral Palsy to obtain items of services that mitigate the effects of living with Cerebral Palsy. Grants should assist a person’s independence and or quality of life, or in the case of a child, also that of the parents/family.
Muscular Dystrophy New Zealand
The purpose of this fund is to provide discretionary grants for individuals with a neuromuscular condition to access opportunities and specialised resources that enable them to achieve freedom.
Lottery grants for people with disabilities
Grants funded by Lotto help to pay for equipment for people with disabilities who want to be more closely involved in their communities.
The Wilson Home Trust
If you are under 22 and live in the Upper North Island, The Wilson Home Trust offers a range of grants that aim to assist and improve the lives of children and young adults with physical disabilities, and their whanau.
Fundraising websites can be successful tools for raising the money needed to purchase an Obi.
There are a few online fundraising platform for New Zealanders to choose from:
Once you have created your campaign spread the word through multiple social media channels for optimal response.