Further Clarifications on Funding Updates March 2024

22 March 2024 – We know it has been a distressing week for Autistic people, families and carers due to the sudden changes to the Purchasing Rules for Respite.  We understand your concern and the uncertainty about how this will impact you and your whānau.

Many people are asking for clarity.  Below, we try to give clarity on the new rules as they are right now.


Question: Are these changes permanent?

These changes are temporary and will stay until Whaikaha finishes community consultation.  We do not know how long these changes will be for.

 

Question: What is the ‘grace period’?

  • If you bought something before 18 March, you can still send the cost for approval until 12 April.
  • If you got approval for a purchase before 18 March, you can still make this purchase before 29 March and claim before 12 April.

Question: What can I claim for under the new Carer Support Purchasing Rules?

  • Paying a support worker
  • Paying a support carer
  • Paying a family member who lives in the same home (but is not the full- time carer)
  • Local travel (like going shopping within your community ).

Question: What can I claim for under the new Individualised Funding Purchasing Rules?

  • Paying a support worker
  • Paying a support carer
  • Paying a family member who lives in the same home (but is not the full- time carer, but there might be tax implications)
  • Local travel (such as going shopping within your community to go shopping, )
  • Items that help you do tasks by yourself and:
    • Might reduce the support you need later
    • Are not already covered by EMS
  • Pre-made meals if they lower support costs.

 

What is not covered by the new Carer Support and Individualised Funding Purchasing Rules?

  • Travel within New Zealand or internationally
  • All accommodation including:
    • The full-time carer staying a night outside of the home
    • The disabled person staying a night outside the home.
  • Any activities or supports for the carer such as:
    • Self-care
    • Courses / workshops
    • Counselling, coaching
  • Food costs
  • Therapies or counselling for the disabled person or carer
  • Medication
  • Gifts and koha / donations.

 

Question: What about items and activities that give me respite?

There are a few specifics that we are seeking clarity on:

  • Items such as:
    • Noise reducing headphones, fidget tools, etc.
    • Tablets or iPads
    • Toys, trampolines, etc.
  • Activities such as RDA, mentoring, disability specific camps / holiday programmes, and mainstream camps / holiday programmes)
  • Accommodation cost if the disabled person stays outside the home
  • Subscription services
  • Paying for a support worker’s activity costs (like movie tickets when taking you to the cinema).

At Altogether Autism, we have asked Whaikaha for clarity.  We know these changes can be confusing and upsetting.

If you would like to contact the Altogether Autism team, please visit us on live chat or email us at

If you would like clarity on your specific claims, please contact the Carer Support team on 0800 855 066 or email . For Individualised Funding, please contact your IF host.

If you would like to provide your own feedback on these changes, we encourage you to email or

 

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