Contents

Supplementary benefits

Disability Allowance

Costs covered

A Disability Allowance reimburses people for many types of actual and ongoing regular costs arising from disability. In general, a Disability Allowance only covers costs not met or subsidised by other agencies.

A Disability Allowance – Telephone Support (also known as a Telephone Costs Payment) provides a telephone subsidy to people who have ongoing telephone costs as a direct result of their disabilities. The statistics below on Disability Allowance include information on Disability Allowance – Telephone Support.

EligibilityTop

A Disability Allowance is available to people who have a disability that:

– ongoing help with normal living tasks, or
– ongoing supervision or treatment from a registered health professional that is likely to last at least six months

People receiving Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) support for extra costs related to their disabilities may receive a Disability Allowance for the proportion of those costs not met by ACC.

A Disability Allowance – Telephone Support is only available to people who:

Income, asset and residency tests apply.

Numbers assisted by a Disability AllowanceTop

Some clients may be receiving an allowance for more than one member of their household

This information may therefore differ from other published information concerning the number of Disability Allowance recipients.

The number assisted by a Disability Allowance decreased between 2011 and 2012

This decrease (see table DA.1) largely reflected changes in the number of clients receiving main benefits. The number receiving a Disability Allowance and being paid New Zealand Superannuation or a Veteran’s Pension remained relatively constant, as did the number of allowance recipients in working families (see table DA.3).

table DA.1: Numbers of people assisted by a Disability Allowance

  People for whom a Disability Allowance was paid1
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Total assisted by allowance 233,595 245,432 254,263 252,085 247,064

Note

  1. The number of clients recorded in SWIFTT as being assisted by a Disability Allowance at the end of June.

The number of grants of Disability Allowance decreased between 2009/2010 and 2011/2012

This decrease (see table DA.2) largely reflected the patterns in the number of grants of main benefits. The number of allowances granted to working families, and the number granted to recipients of New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension, each remained relatively constant (see table DA.4).

table DA.2: Numbers of Disability Allowances granted

  Grants of Disability Allowances1
2007/2008 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012
Total allowances granted 78,864 81,510 84,910 76,501 73,017

Note

  1. The number of successful applications for a Disability Allowance recorded in SWIFTT during years ended June.

A relatively small number of those aged 18 or over were receiving a Disability Allowance

In 2012, an estimated 5.6% of those aged 18 or over were receiving a Disability Allowance, down slightly from 5.8% in 2010. The likelihood of receiving a Disability Allowance increased with age for those aged 40 or over. Twenty-one percent of those aged 65 or over were receiving an allowance, making this group much more likely than younger people to do so.

More information about people receiving a Disability Allowance

Around one in two of the people assisted by a Disability Allowance were receiving New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension

Between 2010 and 2012, 51% of the people assisted by a Disability Allowance were receiving New Zealand Superannuation or Veteran’s Pension (see table DA.3). Another 23% were receiving an Invalid’s Benefit.

table DA.3: Financial assistance paid to clients assisted by a Disability Allowance, or to their caregivers

Financial assistance paid at the end of June People for whom a Disability Allowance was paid1
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Unemployment Benefits 921 1,961 2,952 3,234 2,972
Domestic Purposes Benefits 16,930 19,206 20,781 20,522 19,343
Sickness Benefits 19,941 24,215 27,465 27,513 27,395
Invalid’s Benefit 58,992 60,357 60,531 58,962 56,678
Other main benefits2 5,426 5,213 4,923 4,454 4,073
New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension 124,330 127,066 129,678 129,569 129,090
None of the above assistance3 7,055 7,414 7,933 7,831 7,513
Total 233,595 245,432 254,263 252,085 247,064

Notes

  1. The number of clients recorded in SWIFTT as being assisted by a Disability Allowance at the end of June.
  2. Comprises Unemployment Benefit – Training, Unemployment Benefit – Hardship – Training, Unemployment Benefit – Student Hardship, Independent Youth Benefit, Widow’s Benefit and Emergency Benefit.
  3. Includes clients receiving other supplementary benefits, and clients entitled to a Disability Allowance through receiving an Unsupported Child’s Benefit or an Orphan’s Benefit.

Two in five of the grants of Disability Allowance were for clients receiving an Invalid’s Benefit or a Sickness Benefit, or for their dependants

Between 2009/2010 and 2011/2012, 41% of these grants assisted clients receiving a Sickness Benefit or an Invalid’s Benefit, or who were the dependants of caregivers receiving one of those benefits (see table DA.4). Another 24% of these grants assisted people receiving New Zealand Superannuation or their dependants.

table DA.4: Financial assistance paid to clients covered by a Disability Allowance granted,
or paid to their caregivers

Financial assistance paid when Disability Allowance granted Grants of Disability Allowances1
2007/2008 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012
Unemployment Benefits 2,638 4,115 5,978 6,176 5,949
Domestic Purposes Benefits 9,868 10,726 10,680 9,196 8,008
Sickness Benefits 19,802 22,645 24,119 21,483 20,576
Invalid’s Benefit 14,894 11,609 11,146 9,577 8,746
Other main benefits2 3,374 3,249 3,263 3,206 3,395
New Zealand Superannuation or
Veteran’s Pension
20,060 20,787 20,744 18,178 18,224
None of the above assistance3 8,228 8,379 8,980 8,685 8,119
Total 78,864 81,510 84,910 76,501 73,017

Notes

  1. The number of successful applications for a Disability Allowance recorded in SWIFTT during years ended June.
  2. Comprises Unemployment Benefit – Training, Unemployment Benefit – Hardship – Training, Unemployment Benefit – Student Hardship, Independent Youth Benefit, Widow’s Benefit and Emergency Benefit.
  3. Includes clients receiving other supplementary benefits, and clients entitled to a Disability Allowance through receiving an Unsupported Child’s Benefit or an Orphan’s Benefit.