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.
A Disability Allowance is available to people who have a disability that:
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.
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|
|Total assisted by allowance||233,595||245,432||254,263||252,085||247,064|
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|
|Total allowances granted||78,864||81,510||84,910||76,501||73,017|
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.
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|
|Domestic Purposes Benefits||16,930||19,206||20,781||20,522||19,343|
|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|
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|
|Domestic Purposes Benefits||9,868||10,726||10,680||9,196||8,008|
|Other main benefits2||3,374||3,249||3,263||3,206||3,395|
|New Zealand Superannuation or |
|None of the above assistance3||8,228||8,379||8,980||8,685||8,119|