Funding for live-in care or support

Last updated on 14 December 2021

If you need live-in care or support, you might be able to get government help to pay for it.

What type of residential services are available?

ACC and the Ministry of Health fund residential support services, which provide accommodation and 24 hour support for the people who live in them. 

They are places like:

  • Rest homes
  • Dementia care homes
  • Community (or group) homes for disabled people
  • Supported accommodation for mental health support
  • Live-in drug and alcohol treatment centres
  • Live-in rehabilitation centres
  • Long term care hospitals.

If your disability is as the result of an injury

ACC funds residential support services for people who need them after an injury resulting in a serious disability. If you can’t return home (temporarily or permanently) after your injury, ACC says your support coordinator will help you make other arrangements.  

Visit ACC’s website for more information.

Go to What does ACC pay for? (external website)

If your disability is not due to an injury

If you are not covered by ACC you might be able to apply for Ministry of Health funding. The Ministry of Health funds residential support services for:

  • People with disabilities not covered by ACC
  • Older people who need rest home or private hospital care
  • People who need mental health support.

How do I get an assessment?

You'll need to have an assessment to see if you are eligible for funding support.

Contact a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) service about getting an assessment for residential support services.

Go to Community Residential Support Services (external website)

How to get a needs assessment for government funded support

18 to 65 years, with a physical, intellectual or sensory disability

The NASC (Disability) may assess you for community residential support services. These services enable you to live in a house or flat with other disabled people, and with support workers to help you.

18 to 65 years, with mental health or addiction problems

The NASC (Mental Health) may assess you for mental health or addiction residential based recovery services or support.

What help can I get if I am eligible?

If you are assessed as needing community residential support services, the NASC will apply for the Residential Support Subsidy for you. This will help pay for your care.

Go to Residential Support Subsidy (external website)

50 years and over, with chronic health condition or age-related disability

If you can’t manage at home even with support, the NASC (Older Peoples) may assess you for long term residential care.

What help can I get if I am eligible?

If the NASC assesses that you need live-in support, the NASC will apply for the Residential Support Subsidy for you. This will help pay for your care.

If the NASC assesses you as needing ongoing live-in care in a rest home or hospital, you could apply for a financial means assessment. This will show whether you can get the Residential Care Subsidy to help pay for your care.

The NASC will give you the forms you need to fill in and send to Work and Income.

Go to Residential Care Subsidy (external website)

Visit the Ministry of Health website to download a booklet that explains the:

  • Needs assessment process for aged residential care, and
  • Financial means assessment for the Residential Care Subsidy.

Long-term Residential Care for Older People: What you need to know: 2012 (Revised 2019) (external website)

  More information

Residential care funding

Visit the Work and Income website to find out more about residential care funding. You will also find information about other payments you can apply for if you are in residential care — or if your partner is in residential care.

Go to Residential care (external website)

Seniorline: Help making decisions about rest homes

The Seniorline website has information for older people to help make decisions about rest homes and hospitals.

  • In the ‘Where to begin’ section, you can find a booklet called Moving into Residential Care.
  • Seniorline also has a Residential Care Information Line you can call. The 0800 number is on their website, below.

Go to Seniorline website (external website)


Search Eldernet’s directory to find home support services, retirement villages, and residential care providers for older people.

Go to Eldernet (external website)

Examples of residential support services:

Go to Services for people with traumatic brain injury (external website)

Examples of community residential support services:

Go to IDEA Services (external website)

Go to NZCare Disability (external website)

Examples of mental health residential support services:

Go to Residential Based Recovery Services (external website)

Residential services, support houses, and drug treatment units for prisoners:

Go to Live-in treatment services for drug and alcohol problems (external website)

Information about long term residential care:

Go to Long-term residential care (external website)