Disability Support Services FAQ

Who funds Disability Support Services?

The Ministry of Health funds disability support services through Disability Support Services (DSS) for people with a physical, intellectual or sensory disability (or a combination of these) that is likely to continue for a minimum of six months and result in a reduction of independent function to the extent that ongoing support is required.

The Ministry of Health funds services for disabled people under the age of 65 years, with the exception of equipment and modification services which it funds for all age groups.  Disability support services for people aged 65 years and over, or those with mental health needs, are funded by District Health Boards.

A number of other government agencies such as the Ministries of Social Development and Education, and the Accident Compensation Corporation also fund or provide support services for disabled people. There are also a range of community organisations both national and regional that provide support services.

What services does Disability Support Services fund?

·     Needs Assessment and Service Co-ordination (NASC) services

·     Disability Information Advisory Services (DIAS)

·     Home and Community Support Services

·     Individualised Funding

·     Autism Spectrum Disorder Support

·     Behaviour Support

·     Child Development Services

·     Community Residential services

·     Community Day Services

·     Respite & Carer Support

·     Supported Living

·     Habilitation and rehabilitation

·     Environmental Support Services (for all ages).  These include:

o    equipment such as wheelchairs, shower stools, walking frames etc.

o    housing modifications such as installation of handrails, ramps etc, widening of doors etc.

o    vehicle modifications such as a wheelchair carrier or van hoist, hand controls etc.

o    hearing aid subsidy and funding scheme

o    services supporting those people with hearing and vision loss

How do I get support services funded by Disability Support Services?

DSS-funded services are accessed through NASC organisations. These organisations are contracted by DSS to determine disabled people’s eligibility for Ministry of Health funded disability support services. They work with disabled people to identify their disability support needs. They then outline what DSS-funded services are available and coordinate the provision of these to the person (see NASC factsheet).

How does the Ministry of Health monitor quality of service?

The main way the Ministry of Health monitors the quality of services is through our contract management process. A part of this involves regular auditing of the provider. Auditing provides an independent overview of an organisation and identifies those areas that require further development. A routine audit evaluates the ability of the contracted organisation to provide a service. An issues-based audit usually results from ongoing complaints about the service a provider is delivering.

How do I make a complaint?

If the complaint is about a service that is being provided then in the first instance you would contact the organisation that is providing the service. All organisations should have a complaints process in place. Alternatively you can contact the Health and Disability Commissioner on Freephone  0800 11 22 33 or online at www.hdc.org.nz,  or Health and Disability Advocacy Service on: 0800 555 050, Website: http://advocacy.hdc.org.nz, Email: advocacy@hdc.org.nz, or or your local Ministry of Health office. You can also email the Disability Support Services on dsscomplaints@moh.govt.nz or call free on 0800 373 664) press 2.

How do I find my local Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) service?

You can look online under contact details at www.health.govt.nz/disability or contact your local Disability Information Centre. Your doctor or health professional should also be able to tell you who your local NASC is.

Where can I get information on disability?

There are a number of ways you can get information.

  • You can contact your local disability information centre on 0800 693 342 or email admin@nzfdic.org.nz or on the list of Centres on the Federation website www.nzfdic.org.nz
  • You can go online at www.health.govt.nz/disability or www.weka.net.nz.
  • You can contact your local NASC (listed on the above websites or through your local disability information service).
  • You can contact Disability Support Services directly on Phone: 0800 DSD MOH (0800 373 664) press 1,  email: disability@moh.govt.nz.
  • You can contact other government agencies who provide support services such as the Ministries of Social Development and Education and the Accident Compensation Corporation whose numbers can be found at the front of the White Pages.