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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.

Getting publicly funded health services

Government help with healthcare if you’re over 65

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.

Financial help and benefits if you’re over 65

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.

Getting a needs assessment

Community Services Card

Apply for a Disability Allowance to pay for:

  • getting your gardening and lawns done
  • cleaning the outside of your windows.

Disability Allowance

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.

Disability Allowance checklist

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.

What help can I get from ACC: home help

Home insulation

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.

Paying for home insulation

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 support for veterans and families

Freephone: 0800 483 8372
Email: veterans@nzdf.mil.nz

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.

Special Needs Grant

Recoverable Assistance Payment

If you already get NZ Super, a Veteran’s Pension or another benefit, you’ll usually be offered an Advance Payment of Benefit.

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.

Advance payment of benefit

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.

Citizens Advice Bureau

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.

SuperGold: home and garden

Age Concern gives advice about maintaining your home.

Repairs and maintenance: solutions for older people

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