There are currently two main subsidised packages to support carers. Each however generally require some private ‘top up’ funding, which is a disincentive if you can’t afford it.
The Carer Support Subsidy
This is designed to look after your carer. It allows them to pay someone other than those who live with you to care for you while they get a break. Carer Support days are allocated depending on the need identified in an assessment. The allocation is reviewed each year.
The payment rate varies depending on where you live, where you take your care and who provides it. It can vary from approximately $65-$75 per day.
If Carer Support is taken at a care home, a top-up payment to cover the full cost of the service will probably be required. You or your carer should ask about this when booking.
For payment, your carer needs to ensure the assessment is done and allocation approved, keep track of days used, make the bookings and arrange for payment of the relief caregiver. Carer Support claims must be sent to the Payment Centre within 90 days or they may not be paid. Some relief caregivers or service providers may want an upfront payment. If so, a receipt is needed for reimbursement from the Payments Centre. See the Ministry of Health website for more information and for reimbursement forms, or contact the MOH’s Carer Support Line on freephone 0800 855 066.
This type of short-term care is, in most instances, provided in a care home. It is accessed via an assessment approved by your older person’s service/NASC.
Usually, you are allocated a set number of days, which varies from situation to situation. You cannot use it for convalescent care or when you are unwell. You may be able to arrange a booking in advance of your intended stay. Payment is arranged via your older person’s service. You may be asked to pay an additional top-up fee to cover the full cost of the service.