For a summary of financial support for older adults click on the link for the services for seniors booklet (external link)produced by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).
If you are living at home and your partner in care receives the Residential Care Subsidy, Work and Income will automatically increase your NZ superannuation(external link) to the single, living alone rate. If your partner pays their own fees, you can apply for the single, living alone rate.
You might be able to get help with the cost of renting, boarding or owning a home. The accommodation supplement(external link) is income and asset tested.
If you have immediate need for an essential item such as dentures, hearing aids or glasses, and have no other way to meet these costs, you may be able to get an advance payment of benefit(external link) from Work and Income. This is income and asset tested and must be paid back. If you receive a residential care subsidy you will not be asked to use your personal allowance to repay the advance. Recovery is generally sought from the estate.
The disability allowance(external link) helps towards extra disability costs, e.g. help with lawn mowing, a medical alarm or medical expenses. Your doctor has to complete a medical certificate for Work and Income to help decide eligibility. The allowance is income tested.
Partners of those receiving a Residential Care Subsidy may get the special disability allowance(external link) to help meet the costs of visiting.
The superGold card(external link) replaces the Community Services Card and the NZ Super Card. It gives over-65s discounts and concessions at participating businesses. Entitlement to Community Services Card subsidies on doctors' fees and prescriptions is noted on the card for those who qualify. Apply through Work and Income.
Criteria for entitlement to community services card(external link) and help with health costs.
The prescription subsidy scheme(external link) is aimed at reducing costs for families and people who are prescribed a lot of medicines. You become eligible for the subsidy once you have paid for 20 new prescription medicine items from February 1st each year. Once you're eligible, you do not have to pay any more prescription charges for the rest of that year January 31st. You can combine prescription items for your partner and dependent children to reach the 20-item threshold.
The high use health card(external link) offers the same benefits as a Community Services Card for general practitioner visits and prescription charges. If you do not qualify for Community Services Card subsidy but have frequent doctor visits for a chronic health condition, you might qualify. Discuss with your doctor.
If your income is limited, you may qualify for a rates rebate(external link). Contact your local council.
The total mobility scheme(external link) reduces the cost of taxi travel for people assessed as unable to use public transport because of permanent disability. Those eligible hold an identity card. A number of disability organisations such as Alzheimers, Stroke Foundation, Age Concern and others assess for eligibility. Cost for the assessment and identity card varies and not all agencies make home visits.