How do disability support services work?

The Ministry of Health (MoH) is the ‘funder’ of disability support services.

The Ministry’s Disability Support Services (DSS) unit is responsible for the planning and funding of disability support services, and administers the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003.

Most of the services DSS fund are accessed through a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) agency.

NASCs work with people with disabilities to help identify their support needs and to outline what supports are available. They allocate MoH-funded support services and assist with accessing other supports.

The regional NASCs:

  • Assess people for services
  • Refer people for services
  • Provide funding
  • Manage payments

Needs assessment is available for people who meet the Ministry’s definition of disability.

The services provided to individuals with disabilities are:

  1. Community Residential Services
  2. Supported Independent Living
  3. Respite Services
  4. Carer Support
  5. Rehabilitation Services

Disability support providers such as Spectrum Care offer some or all of these services, by way of the funding provided by NASCs.

Some disability support providers offer Regional Intellectual Disability Care and/or Individualised Funding services.

If a parent or guardian decides to manage their loved one’s funding directly, the NASC directs the funding to a provider of Individualised Funding, such as Manawanui In Charge.

Disability support providers such as Spectrum Care cannot, by law, pass funding on to parents and/or guardians. This is the role of Individualised Funding services.

Any issues arising from funding or the services provided are the domain of the NASC agencies.

Need more help? Call 0508 NAVIG8!

We’ve recently launched a ‘Navigator’ service, aimed at helping families new to disability support.

This new service can help you to:

  • Explore what services are available to you and your loved one
  • Engage with your local Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) agency
  • Seek and undertake a ‘needs assessment’
  • Apply for funding
  • Engage with support providers in support or on behalf of you/your loved one

Our Navigator service is staffed part-time, so simply email us or leave a message on our toll-free line and we’ll contact you within two working days.

Remember to include your contact information and details about the person seeking support.

Call 0508 NAVIG8 (0508 628 448) or email