If you are injured, disabled or have a long term health condition, you can get extra help to find work or stay in work. And your employer can get help, too.

ACC or the Ministry of Social Development (Work and Income) may cover any extra training or work costs you have due to your disability, injury or illness.

For example, you may need:

  • help to get work experience or to look for a job
  • special work equipment or changes to your workplace
  • wage and training subsidies while you gain skills and experience to work
  • on-the-job induction, coaching or training 
  • help with transport.

If you have had an injury

If you need help to get back to work after an injury, talk to your doctor or ACC coordinator. ACC may arrange a workplace assessment to find out what help you need. Visit the ACC website for more information.

Go to Returning to work after an injury (external link)

If you have a long term disability or health condition

Contact a supported employment service

Supported employment services help people with disabilities or health conditions find work or stay in work. They can also help you apply for extra help from the government.

Visit the Work and Income website to find out what help you might be able to get.

Go to Job search help if you're disabled, injured or with a health condition (external link)

Here are some places to start.

Workbridge — supported employment and government funding agency

Workbridge is the largest New Zealand-owned employment agency for disabled people with all types of disability, injury or illness. It has offices throughout New Zealand, from Kerikeri to Invercargill.

  • Workbridge manages employment support funds for the Ministry of Social Development.
  • You might be able to apply to Workbridge for Job Support, Training Support or Self Start funding.
  • Tip: Look in the Jobseekers section on the Workbridge website.

Go to Workbridge - Where abilities equal employment (external link)

New Zealand Disability Support Network (NZDSN)

Search the NZDSN Providers database for supported employment agencies.

  • You can choose your region, the service (Employment Support), and your disability.
  • Look for success stories on agencies’ websites. They’ll give you a good idea how supported employment works.

Go to Disability Services’ Providers (external link)

Workwise — for people with experience of mental illness

Workwise is an employment agency for people with experience of mental illness or addiction. It has several offices in the North Island, and one in Christchurch.

Go to Workwise (external link)

National disability providers with employment services

CCS Disability Action, The Blind Foundation, Deaf Aotearoa and IDEA Services also provide employment support services.

Go to CCS Disability Action Employment and Vocational Services (external link)

Go to The Blind Foundation Employment Service (external link)

Go to Deaf Aotearoa's Employment Service (external link)

Go to IDEA Services Supported Employment (external link)

If you are a veteran with an illness or disability

If you have served in the New Zealand Armed Forces and need help to find or stay in work, you may be able to get vocational rehabilitation through Veterans’ Affairs. Visit the Veterans’ Affairs website for more information.

Go to Rehabilitation (external link)

More information

Employment for disabled people

Visit the Employment New Zealand website, which has information for disabled job seekers, employees and their employers. Topics include:

  • The benefits of being a disability confident organisation
  • How to communicate more effectively with disabled people
  • Hiring disabled people
  • Keeping disabled employees
  • Financial help for disabled jobseekers, employees and their employers
  • Resources and government support for disabled employees and jobseekers.

Go to Employment for disabled people (external link)

Employer Advice Line

If you have disabled staff or staff with a health condition, including mental health, you can get advice on how to support them.

Go to Employer Advice Line for disability and health-related questions (external link)

Mindful Employer NZ

Mindful Employer NZ is a programme to support employers and raise awareness and understanding of mental health issues in the workplace. It’s being piloted in the Waikato region, initially.

Go to Mindful Employer (external link)