An update on Disability Support Services:

Support worker vaccination

Disabled people who receive support in their own homes are entitled to confirm and ask for evidence that a support worker has been vaccinated. If this information is refused, the person has the right to manage access to their home and refuse support from an individual who does not meet those requirements.

You can contact your local NASC for further information regarding the availability of alternative support.  

MBIE has updated information here: Vaccines and the workplace » Employment New Zealand  

Carer Support

Please note that this applies to those people who are funded by the Ministry of Health for disability support services only (i.e., not funded through DHBs (District Health Boards).  

You can use Carer Support more flexibly so that:

  • you can pay family members who you live with to provide you with a break
  • relief care can be used when you are doing your other paid work (even if you are working from home)
  • you can continue to use your Carer Support funding to buy things that will provide you with respite if you stay within your total budget. Examples are art and craft supplies, books, or DVDs.

As it is up to you to choose what support or service to buy, it is your job to make sure the respite is good quality and covers all your requirements. In most cases, if you run out of Carer Support, you will not get additional funding.  

You cannot use your Carer Support for the following:

  • 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.

To claim your Carer Support, please send in your Carer Support claim forms as usual and, if applicable attach receipts for any goods you have purchased. If you have not received any relief care, you do not need a signature from a relief carer on your Carer Support forms. Payments will continue to be made in half days or days as usual.  

You will be able to email Carer Support claim forms in over Alert Levels three and four shortly.  The Ministry will let you know when this up and running and how to use it.  

Additional Support Services

From the Ministry of Health Disability Directorate:

We have been talking with our Disability Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC) organisations, making direct contact with those disabled people in their local communities known to be more vulnerable due to the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 status.

NASCs will contact those people during the lockdown period, check they are getting the information they need, have access to the supports and services they need and have a contact point should they need it. If a need for additional support is identified, the NASC will assist in coordinating an appropriate response.  

With a concentration of community cases and locations of interest in the Auckland region, the local NASC Taikura has re-established linkages with community groups. Taikura has also established a local provider forum to support the local disability network to connect with government and social agencies and help respond to emerging issues.

Emerging issues have included the management of staff resources due to the number of people unable to work due to being identified as close contacts, being unwell or are more vulnerable. Access to food and essential supplies is a growing concern.