Maintaining your house and garden
If you have ongoing health problems, an injury or a disability, you can get help with housework, buying furniture or appliances, and some essential maintenance. First check that you’re eligible.
The government provides help with some household tasks, repairs and maintenance if you:
- have ongoing or age-related health problems
- live with a disability
- have an injury or disability as the result of an accident.
You must also be eligible for publicly funded healthcare.
Help you can get
You can get help with regular jobs, eg:
- maintaining your garden
- mowing your lawn
- cleaning windows
- housework, eg doing laundry or cleaning your bathroom.
You can also get help to:
- buy essential furniture or appliances
- repair and maintain some things around your property.
How to ask for government help
Help with regular household tasks if you’re ill or have a disability
You can get regular help with your housework if:
- you have a Community Services Card, and
- a needs assessment shows that you need this help.
Apply for a Disability Allowance to pay for:
- getting your gardening and lawns done
- cleaning the outside of your windows.
When you visit your doctor to talk about applying for your Disability Allowance, tell them that you would like help with gardening or cleaning your windows.
Help after an accident
If you have a disability or illness because of an accident or injury, you may be able to get help with the housework or other regular household tasks you did before your accident. The health professional treating you lodges a claim with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
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.
If you’re a tenant, your landlord may be able to apply for an insulation grant. If you own your own home, you may be able to add the cost of insulation to your mortgage or get a discount.
Help for veterans
If your service qualifies you for help, the Veterans’ Independence Programme pays for the upkeep of your house and garden if you cannot get other government help. Gardening services are provided by companies contracted by Veterans’ Affairs.
Contact Veterans’ Affairs to talk to a case manager about what you need.
General government help
There is some government help to maintain your house that is available to all New Zealanders.
Help with essential furniture, bedding or appliances
If you’re on a low income and do not have enough money to buy bedding, essential furniture or whiteware, eg a washing machine or fridge, talk to Work and Income about applying for financial help. The type of payment they offer you depends on your personal situation.
You normally have to pay this money back to Work and Income. As a guide, you can apply for up to $200 in any 12-month period.
If you already get NZ Super, a Veteran’s Pension or another benefit, you’ll usually be offered an Advance Payment of Benefit.
Help with house repairs or maintenance
If you’re on a benefit or NZ pension, ask for an advance to help with essential repairs to your home. You have to pay back the money to Work and Income. As a guide, the most you can apply for is $1,000, but it can be more or less depending on your situation.
If you cannot get government help
There are some other ways you can get help with home maintenance or gardening.
- You can pay for services yourself.
- Some charities or foundations offer services to people needing help with home maintenance. Your Citizens Advice Bureau can help.
65 years or older
Your SuperGold Card gives you discounts for some businesses that can help you with work around your house and in the garden.
Age Concern gives advice about maintaining your home.