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If you or someone you care for needs support because of a disability, you can ask for government help.

You will have to have a needs assessment with a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination service. They are called NASCs for short. Their job is to help you identify what support you need.

If you are eligible for government support, the NASC will coordinate the support you need. They can also help you find other supports in your community.

Needs assessments are government funded and free.

Who can get a needs assessment?

You must meet Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People's criteria for funding. Your NASC can help you work this out.

All applicants

You must be a New Zealand citizen who is eligible for government funded health and disability services.

Access the guide to eligibility for publicly funded health services (external link)

Disabled children and adults under 65 years

You must also meet the Ministry’s definition of an eligible disabled person.

Find out if you're eligible for Whaikaha-funded disability support services (external link)

Older people 65 years and over

You must also meet the Ministry’s definition of an eligible older person.

Access information about older peoples NASC services (external link)

For people with mental health needs

You must also meet the Ministry’s definition of an eligible person for mental health services.

Access information about mental health NASC services (external link)

How to get a needs assessment

Step 1

Find your local NASC (external link)

Choose the region you live in. Then find the right NASC:

  • NASC – Disability – Children & Adults (under 65)
  • NASC – Mental Health
  • NASC - Older Persons’ Services (65 and over)

Step 2

Get a copy of the NASC’s referral form.

  • Ask the NASC to send you a referral form. 
  • Or go to the NASC’s website to download a form, if available.

Step 3

Complete the referral form. Return it to the NASC.


  • Anyone can complete the form, with your permission. 
  • You could ask a family member, a friend, your doctor or practice nurse, or a person at a disability support service or disability information centre.

You’ll need to provide these documents:

A letter or report that confirms your disability or condition. For example, from a doctor (GP), medical specialist, paediatrician or psychologist.

Any court papers to do with guardianship or Enduring Power of Attorney, if someone is acting on your behalf.

Step 4

The NASC should contact you within a few days of getting your referral form.

More about NASCs and needs assessments

Visit the Ministry of Health's website to learn about what's involved in a needs assessment.

Find out more about Needs Assessment and Service Coordination services (external link)

Last updated on Monday, 3 July 2023

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