Letter received from Deputy Director General Adri Isbister below.
29 June 2020
Kia ora koutou
Extending flexibility for Individualised Funding
This letter is to let you know that we are extending the flexibility for Individualised Funding that was introduced during COVID-19 until 30 September 2020 (instead of 30 June 2020).
While we are engaging with DHBs about these changes, these rules only apply if you are allocated Individualised Funding through the Ministry of Health (not your DHB). Please contact your DHB for information about other supports.
This means that if you receive Individualised Funding through the Ministry of Health:
– you must work within your current funding allocation
– you can continue to spend your Individualised Funding on any disability support or service that helps you to live your life or makes your life better, so long as it is reasonable and cost-effective, not subject to a limit or exclusion. You can talk to your IF Host or Coach about what is reasonable for you to buy and you can find out more information here: www.health.govt.nz/publication/what-people-can-buy-disability-funding-ministry-health-purchasing-guidelines.
– you cannot use your Individualised Funding for the following:
- paying family carers who are either are a family member living with you or your parent or your spouse (see exception below)
- illegal activities, gambling or alcohol
- to pay for things that are not disability supports like rent/mortgage, food, personal debt, gifts, power, usual household items etc.
You can only pay a resident family member to provide household management and personal care supports if you have been assessed as having ‘high’ or ‘very high’ needs. You cannot pay resident family members to provide respite.
As it is up to you to choose what support or services to buy, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the support or service is of good quality and covers all your requirements.
You will need to keep a simple record of what you have spent the money on and when you buy items, keep the receipts.
Remember that you must continue to honour any employment contracts that you have. You can find out more about terminating an employment agreement at: www.employment.govt.nz/ending-employment/.
We will provide you with an update in September 2020 on what Individualised Funding looks like going forward.
Deputy Director General