Allowances Available in New Zealand


This allowance is available to parents caring for a child or young person (under 18) who has a serious medical, physical and/or intellectual disability who requires constant care and attention for more than a year due to a medical condition and/or disability.

• It is not income tested
• Either a G.P. or paediatrician can sign the form to verify your child’s condition.
• The child automatically receives their own Community Services card for subsidised health costs.
• The child also becomes eligible for up to 50 hours per week subsidised care (by way of a Childcare Subsidy – subject to level of income).

Below are some of the questions from the medical examination section of the form:

  1. Is the child or young person likely to need constant care and attention over and above the ordinary care and supervision required by a child or young person of a similar age for a period exceeding 12 months? Yes/No

  2. What is the extent of the disability of the child or young person? Mild – has an impairment but no requirement for additional assistance reported; Moderate – requires assistance to function independently but does not require this assistance on a daily basis; Severe – requires assistance on a daily basis

  3. Does the child or young person need more assistance with their self care than that of a child of a similar age? Eg: dressing, eating, toileting, bathing and regular medication to maintain or improve quality of life. Yes/No

  4. Without regular supervision from another person could the child or young person cause harm to themselves or others? Yes/No

  5. Does the child or young person need constant attention and supervision substantially in excess of that normally required by a child or young person of the same age and sex? Constant attention and supervision means the child or young person cannot function in their day to day living with it. Some examples of serious disabilities that may require constant attention and supervision are : Downs Syndrome, severe visual impairment, Autism and Cystic Fibrosis. Yes/No

  1. Is the child or young person’s disability likely to improve? Yes / No / Don’t Know

  2. Would you recommend that we need to re-assess the Child Disability Allowance in relation to the child or young person’s disability? Yes (at what age) / Never to be reassessed

The application is now based mainly on the medical examination. There is no space for the caregiver to explain what extra care and attention their child requires. It may be worth attaching a page to the application with how your child’s condition affects each day.

It is our experience, that the Child Disability Allowance is unlikely to be given for an infant under the age of one year with gastric reflux as their only medical condition, as it is likely that they will outgrow this within a year.  (Number 3)

See Child Disability Allowance.

This is an income tested benefit available to cover costs which are directly related to the child/baby’s personal health need or disability. You may be eligible if your income is below a certain level (see WINZ – Disability Allowance). There is a maximum payment per week for a disability allowance, although separate allowances are generally payable for each member of the family with a personal health need/disability.

Expenses covered are:

  • Medical costs (medical fees, alternative medical fees and prescription fees)

  • Transport costs (travel to and from doctors, specialists and hospital)

  • Living expenses (power, gas, heating, food (i.e. food thickeners for babies, dairy free formulas if over two years of age), clothing)

  • Essential costs (medical alarms and telephone)

  • Extra costs (gardening and consumable items)
  • Extra costs may be able to be claimed, but you will also need to provide receipts, accounts or quotes for every cost claimed.


There may also be help available for respite care or personal care in severe cases.

NB: These allowances and the criteria for them change frequently so please don’t take this as gospel.

Acknowledgements: GRASP and WINZ (M08 (July 04))

Compiled by Roslyn Ballantyne (RN), National Coordinator for © Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust 21/02/2004. Edited February 2015.

Page may be printed or reproduced for personal use of families, as long as copyright and Crying Over Spilt Milk‘s URL are included. It may not be copied to other websites or publications without permission and acknowledgement.