If your visual impairment or blindness is injury related
ACC may help if your vision has been affected by an injury. They may fund braille equipment, glasses, counselling, or training in daily activities.
If your visual impairment or blindness isn’t injury related
You may qualify for equipment funded by Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People or Work and Income. You will need to be assessed by an approved optometrist or ophthalmologist to find out if you’re eligible for funding. The assessor will work out what equipment you need.
Services and support available to you
Equipment for people who are blind or have reduced vision
Learn more about Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People funded equipment and other options.
Prosthetic (artificial) eyes: subsidies
Visit the New Zealand Prosthetic Eye Service website for more information about government subsidies available for fitting or replacing prosthetic eyes.
Supported Living Payment
The Supported Living Payment is a weekly payment to help you if you have, or are caring for someone with, a health condition, injury, or disability.
Spectacle subsidy for children 15 years and under
You may be able to get the children's spectacle subsidy if your child has a problem with their eyesight.
It can help with the costs of eye tests, glasses, eye patches, and repairs. It’s available each year until your child turns 16.
To be eligible for the children's spectacle subsidy:
- You or your child must have a community services card, or
- your child must have a high use health card.
Enable New Zealand manages the children’s spectacle subsidy for Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People. If your optometrist or ophthalmologist is registered with Enable New Zealand, they will have the forms you need to claim the subsidy and will submit the claim for you.
Glasses payment (repayable loan)
If you’re on a low income or benefit, Work and Income may give you a loan to help with the cost of eye tests and glasses. You will have to pay back this loan.
Contact lens subsidy
If you have an eye condition that can’t be corrected by glasses, you may be able to get the contact lens subsidy. This is a payment to your optometrist towards the cost of contact lenses. The optometrist must have a contract with Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People to be able to claim the contact lens subsidy.
Speak to your optometrist to see if you’re eligible to claim the contact lens subsidy.
If you can’t get government funding
You could apply for a grant through Blind Low Vision NZ or another organisation.
Last updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2022