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Funding & Disability


This page is designed to explain the meanings of some of the words, terms, names, acronyms and abbreviations used in the disability sector.

Please contact us here if you would like to suggest an addition to the Glossary.



An Assessor is a person who conducts a needs assessment which helps to determine what a person’s abilities, resources, goals and needs are and then helps them to identify which of these is the most important.


A type of payment for services in which an amount of money is allocated per person regardless of the amount of services an individual uses.

Case Management (Case Manager)

Case management refers to a model of service delivery adapted to different settings. A Case Manager is responsible for coordinating and implementing the assessments and support interventions required to meet the needs of a person, usually described in a case management plan. The Case Manager also evaluates options and monitors the overall outcomes. Organisations currently using a case management model include ACC, Work and Income and some rehabilitation providers.

Cause of Impairment

Refers to how an impairment came about i.e.: injury as a result of accident, congenital condition, present at the time of birth or occurred during the birth process (includes congenital and pre-natal conditions), as part of a disease process or natural aging process.

Child Disability Allowance

A government-funded allowance paid to the parents or guardians of children requiring ‘constant care and attention’ because of severe disability. The allowance is a regular fixed amount payment that is not means tested.

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Community Services Card

A Community Services Card provides proof of eligibility for individuals to obtain subsides on certain healthcare costs. People who receive a main type of income support will be eligible for a Community Services Card.

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Community Support Worker (CSW)

Community Support Worker (CSW) is a term used to describe a paid staff person whose key role is to provide support activities as identified in an Individual Plan (IP). A CSW typically works with a person to obtain, maintain or regain skills required for increased independence and quality of life. Activities could include supporting a person to catch a bus, prepare a meal or dress themselves.

Crown Entity

Crown entities are public sector organisations that are not public service departments or State-owned enterprises. Examples include the Human Rights Commission and ACC.


A process that happens when people with impairments interact with inadequate environments and attitudes which create barriers to their full participation.

Disability Allowance

An income-tested, government-funded allowance that reimburses people for regular costs they have because of disability. The amount of the allowance depends on a person’s costs.

Find out more from Work and Income

Disability Community

Disabled people, together with their parents and Whanau/families. A Disability Community may refer to a locality, or a region, or a nation. Disabling attitudes and environments often affect this whole disabled community.

Disability Sector

All organisations and people whose purpose focuses on disabled people or the disabled community.

Disability Support Services (DSS)

Disability Support Services, which fund common supports for disabled people and the disabled community.

Fee for Service

This is a payment to a provider for a service. Providers are paid for each service performed as opposed to capitation. The fee for service may be a fixed amount that covers the services provided or may refer to an hourly rate. Many private providers charge a fee for service using a fee schedule.

Health Information Privacy Code 1994

This code sets specific rules for agencies in the health sector to better ensure the protection of individual privacy. The code addresses the health information collected, used, held and disclosed by health agencies.

View the Health Information and Privacy Code

High and Complex Needs

People with high and complex needs are those whose needs are severe and of a long standing duration, and who are not able to be catered for adequately through usual services. They may be at risk of harming themselves or others, or are medically frail, and require an unusual intensity of care. Some DS are aimed at meeting the needs of this group.

Human Rights Act 1993

The Human Rights Act protects New Zealanders from unlawful discrimination in a number of areas of life. The Human Rights Amendment Act 2001 made significant changes to the Human Rights Act 1993. The links on this page to the Human Rights Act 1993 are to a version of the Act that does not include the amendments. A large number of the sections in this old version are no longer in force. Therefore the significant changes are explained here, and links have also been provided to the Amendment Act.

View the Human Rights Act 1993


A physiological, psychological or cognitive reduction or loss of function. This is what used to be called "disabilities".

Income and Asset Test (I & A Test)

An Income and Asset Test is an assessment of a persons financial situation which is conducted by Work and Income New Zealand. An Income and Asset Test is voluntary, and if eligible a person may be entitled to funding of some Disability Support Services over and above a certain limit. For example, an Income and Asset Test is required for funding of housing modifications where the cost is more than $7900 (incl. GST).

Individual Plan (IP)

An individual plan refers to a written document detailing the service plan for each individual. It will typically describe goals and outcomes, and the strategies and actions for achieving these. It is usually time-framed and identifies who has responsibility for various actions as part of the plan.

Intersectoral collaboration

Activities, projects or services that are resourced by more than one organisation from more than one.

Invalids Benefit (IB)

Invalids benefit is available to people aged 16 years or over who are permanently and severely restricted in their capacity for work due to sickness, injury or disability.

For more information contact Work and Income

Mobility Parking Permit Scheme

The Mobility Parking Permit Scheme is an officially recognised concession-parking scheme owned and administered by CCS Disability Action with the cooperation of local GP’s and all city and district councils.

To find out more contact your nearest CCS Disability Action branch.

National Health Index (NHI)

The National Health Index is part of the New Zealand health system and refers to a number (NHI number) each person is allocated usually at birth. The National Health Index holds information on names and addresses, ethnicity, date of birth, date of death, gender and NZ residency status.

Needs Assessment Service Co-ordination (NASC) Agencies:

These agencies are funded by the Ministry of Health. Their roles are first to assess service user’s needs, and then to co-ordinate other services to meet those needs.

New Zealand Disability Strategy (NZDS)

The New Zealand Disability Strategy is an over-arching government policy document that presents a long-term plan for changing New Zealand from a disabling to an inclusive society. It has been developed in consultation with disabled people and the wider disability sector.

Underpinning the New Zealand Disability Strategy is a vision of a fully inclusive society. New Zealand will be inclusive when people with impairments can say they live in:

"A society that highly values our lives and continually enhances our full participation."

View the New Zealand Disability Strategy

Neurological Condition

A Neurological condition results from abnormal function or damage (caused by illness or injury) to the brain, spinal column or nerves.

For more information on Neurological conditions

Northern DHB Support Agency (NDSA)

The NDSA is a shared services agency joint venture owned by the three Auckland Metro DHBs (Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitemata) in their roles as health and disability service funders, for areas of service provision identified as benefiting from a regional solution.  NDSA also provide services to Northland DHB as a client.                 Governance of the NDSA is through a Board of Directors comprising two representatives from each shareholding DHB.

More on NDSA

Pathways to Inclusion

Pathways to Inclusion is a document describing the two key objectives of vocational services funded through Work and Income. These are to increase the participation of people with disabilities in employment and increase the participation of people with disabilities in their communities.

Personal Health (in the context of DS Funding)

A personal health need is defined as when a person’s level of independent function is reduced by a condition that requires ongoing supervision by a health professional.

Primary Health Organisation (PHO)

Primary Health Organisations are local groups of primary health care providers, i.e.: local medical centre, marae health clinic, responsible for arranging and delivering primary health care to those people enrolled with them.


A person or organisation that provides services to disabled people or the disabled community.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

When a government agency issues a new contract or grant program, it advertises a Request For Proposal (RFP). Many RFP’s are advised on the Government Electronic Tenders Site (GETS). Another way of advising an RFP is to send it to agencies that the funding body (sponsor of the RFP) believes may be qualified to participate. An RFP lists project specifications and application procedures.
To view Government RFP’s visit:

Residential Care Line

Residential Care Line is funded through a contract with the Ministry of Health and administered by Auckland DHB.

Residential Care Subsidy

A Residential Care Subsidy provides financial assistance towards the costs associated with long term residential care in a rest home or a hospital.

Work and Income is responsible for assessing assets and income of those who apply for the Residential Care Subsidy. This is called a Financial Means Assessment. The Ministry of Health assesses all aspects of eligibility including the start date of the subsidy payments to the rest home or hospital through a NASC agency.

More information on Residential Care Subsidy

Residential Support Subsidy

Residential Support Subsidy is the name given to payments to service providers for people with physical, intellectual and psychiatric disabilities who are receiving residential care services.

This initiative provides funding so that those people in disability-related residential care can receive the Disability Allowance on the same basis as those living in the community.

Service Specification

A Service Specification is a document that details the requirements and procedures that are required for an organisation that is providing a service to a funding body.

Specialised assessment

During a needs assessment a person may be referred to a third party for a specialised assessment. The purpose of a specialised assessment is to obtain detailed information and knowledge to better assess a person’s need and identify a range of possible options. The assessment is completed by a person with specialist expertise in the area to which they have been referred. Specialist assessment may be used to confirm diagnosis (and eligibility for disability support services), to determine a suitable support, for example a piece of equipment, or detail the type of rehabilitation required.

Social Model of Disability

The social model of disability recognises that some people have impairments which affect how they function physically or mentally. But those people are disabled by the barriers that exist in a society that does not take account of their needs. These barriers may be in the physical, organisational or personal aspects of society - for instance, stairs without lifts, information not available in large print, or peoples negative attitudes.

Total Mobility Scheme

The Total Mobility Scheme aims to assist people with impairments to enhance their community participation by accessing appropriate transport by way of taxi vouchers that provide a discount of (usually) 50 percent off the normal taxi fare. It also provides funding assistance for the purchase and installation of wheelchair hoists in taxi vans.

For more information about Total Mobility in Auckland contact DRC Auckland

In Northland contact the Northland Regional Council

Treaty of Waitangi

New Zealand’s founding document. It establishes the relationship between the Crown and Maori as tangata whenua (first peoples) and requires both the Crown and Maori to act reasonably towards each other and with utmost good faith.

Weka (What everybody keeps asking - about disability information)

Weka is New Zealand's national disability information web site, for people with disabilities, their families, whanau and caregivers, health professionals and disability information providers. Weka is maintained by Enable New Zealand and the New Zealand Federation of Disability Information Centres (NZFDIC).

To visit Weka link to:


Weka (What everybody keeps asking about disability information) provides information about different conditions and impairments with links to a number of organisations.


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