Who can get this payment?

To be eligible for Disability Allowance you must:

  • Have a disability that is likely to last at least 6 months
  • Have regular, ongoing costs because of your disability

You also need to meet the residential requirement.

You can get the Disability Allowance even if you’re not getting a benefit. 

If you have a child who is under 18 and financially dependent on you, you can apply for the Disability Allowance on their behalf. You may also be able to get the Child Disability Allowance for the same child. 

How much will I get?

The most you can get for the Disability Allowance is $78.60 a week, but how much you get depends on your situation and the extra costs you have due to disability. This allowance is not taxed.

If the Disability Allowance you get doesn’t cover your actual costs, you might be able to get another benefit called Temporary Additional Support.

Does this payment have income or asset limits? 

There is an income limit on the Disability Allowance, but no asset limit.

How often will I get paid?

If you’re already getting a Work and Income benefit, the Disability Allowance will be paid with that. So if you get a benefit fortnightly, then the Disability Allowance will be paid fortnightly as well.

If you’re not getting any benefits, the Disability Allowance is paid weekly.

What does this payment cover?

The Disability Allowance will cover a range of different things, as long as they’re costs associated with your ongoing support and care. 

For  example, it can cover:

  • Doctor and hospital visits
  • Physiotherapy and acupuncture
  • Special foods
  • Travel to and from appointments
  • Prescription fees
  • Heating your home
  • Extra clothing

What are my obligations if I’m getting this payment?

If you’re receiving the Disability Allowance you must tell Work and Income if your situation changes. This includes changes in:

  • Your employment status or how much you’re earning
  • Your disability costs
  • Your relationship or living situation

You can view details about these Disability Allowance obligations on the Work and Income website. 

What happens if I don’t meet my obligations?

If you don’t meet your obligations, your payments can be reduced or stopped. You may have to pay back the total amount of any overpayment you received. The Ministry for Social Development (MSD) will send you a letter warning when this happens. This letter might be sent to you through the MyMSD website. You should receive an email to let you know there’s a message for you on the MyMSD website. 

What happens if I have a partner?

If you have a partner, your partner’s income is part of the calculation for your eligibility, even if only one of you is working. This means that if your partner earns over the income limit you may not be able to get Disability Allowance. 

Both you and your partner must report your income if it changes. For example, if you’re not working but your partner is, your partner will need to report their income to MSD.

More information 

There are other benefits you may be able to get. Use the tool or check out other places to find out what else you might be able to get.