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Help with day-to-day personal care

If you have a disability or ongoing health problems, ask for an assessment to see if you can get help with getting dressed, showering or other personal care.

You can get help with your personal care if you:

  • have ongoing or age-related health problems
  • live with a disability
  • have an injury or disability because of an accident
  • are recovering after hospital treatment and need help for a short while.

You must also be eligible for publicly funded healthcare.

Getting publicly funded health services

What you can get help with

Help with your personal care includes:

  • getting in and out of bed
  • showering
  • dressing
  • washing your hair, shaving or cutting your nails
  • going to the toilet
  • rental or repair of equipment to help you manage in your home, eg a wheel chair, walking frame or a shower chair.

How to ask for government help

The help you can get from government with day-to-day personal care depends on your personal circumstances, for example, your income, or how much help you get from family or whānau.

If you have a disability or ongoing health issues

Arrange a needs assessment through your doctor or a Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC) team if you have:

  • health problems due to old age
  • an ongoing health condition that will last for more than 6 months, or
  • a disability.

Getting a needs assessment

If your assessment shows you need equipment, for example, a wheelchair or walking frame, the NASC team gets an assessor from Equipment and Modifications Services — often an occupational therapist — to help you.

Home modifications

If you’re on a low income, you can apply for a Disability Allowance to help with the cost of items you need for your personal care, for example, incontinence pads or clothes that wear out quickly because of your disability.

Disability Allowance

After an accident or injury

If you need help because of an injury, the health professional treating you lodges a claim with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).

ACC: making a claim

If your claim is accepted, your ACC case owner arranges help for you. They carry out a Social Rehabilitation Assessment to work out what you need. If your injury is serious and going to affect you for a long time, they do a Support Needs Assessment.

ACC: Personal care

If you need help with other things that are not related to your injury, your ACC case owner contacts a Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC) team to ask for a needs assessment.

After a stay in hospital

If you’re in hospital and need some help for a short time when you get home, talk to the social worker at the hospital. They can arrange help through the Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC).

If you find that you need help after you’re back home, contact your family doctor or the doctor treating you.

If you have someone caring for you

Your carer can apply for a Supported Living Payment if:

  • they’re not your partner
  • they care for you full time
  • you would otherwise need to move into residential care, for example, a rest home or long-stay hospital.

You can apply for Supported Living Payment, which can help to pay for your personal care if:

  • you have a health condition, injury or disability that means you cannot work now or in the future, or
  • you’re blind — you need to provide evidence, for example, an assessment from your opthalmologist or optometrist, or a Work Capacity Medical Certificate from your doctor.

Supported Living Payment

If you live in a retirement village

Most retirement villages do not provide day-to-day personal care as part of their services. If you cannot afford to pay for it yourself, you can get help through a Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC) team.

Getting a needs assessment

If you’re on a low income, you may also be able to get a Disability Allowance.

Disability Allowance

If you’re a veteran

Veterans’ Affairs has 2 programmes that help with personal care:

  • Veterans’ Independence Programme — if your service qualifies you can apply for care that helps you to stay in your own home
  • Rehabilitation — this provides someone to care for you in your home for a short time if you have a service-related injury or illness.

Contact Veterans’ Affairs to talk to a case manager about what you need. They’ll:

  • help you get the support you’re entitled to from other government agencies
  • recommend help from Veterans’ Affairs if no other service is available.

General support for veterans and families

Freephone: 0800 483 8372

Who provides your care

Most care is provided by businesses that have a contract with the government to provide personal care services.

Support at home after a needs assessment

How can I get what I need from ACC?

If you cannot get government help

There are other ways you can get help with day-to-day personal care.

  • You can pay for services yourself. If you have a needs assessment, ask the Needs Assessment Service Coordination (NASC) team to suggest services in your area.
  • If you have private health insurance, check your policy to find out if they pay for services to support you in your home.
  • Some charities or foundations offer services to people depending on their situation. Your Citizens Advice Bureau can help.

65 years or older

Discounted services

If you’re 65 or older, your SuperGold Card offers discounts for some businesses that provide personal care in your home.

SuperGold: home care and support


Age Concern can arrange for someone to visit you regularly. They’ll find a volunteer with similar interests to you who can provide you with some company.

Find your nearest Age Concern

Utility links and page information

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