Assistance categories

Support Funds have a number of categories of assistance.

Some categories are available under both Job Support funding and Training Support Funding. A number of categories are employment related and only available under Job Support funding.

You may be need to have a workplace or training place assessment if you are applying for equipment, support person, job coach, productivity allowance or transport.

The independent assessment will be carried out by someone who understands your disability and can make recommendations about the support you need.

The Support Funds team will discuss any assessment requirements with you when you are applying for funding.

Below is a summary of assistance categories. For full details you will need to refer to the Job Support or Training Support Operational Guidelines, or contact the Support Funds team.

Job Support and Training Support assistance categories

You can apply for Job Support or Training Support funding for the following categories of assistance:

Equipment

Can include specialist disability office furniture or adaptive software, which an employer would not normally provide to employees.

In some cases, you or your employer may be asked to pay for part of the cost of the equipment.

Support funds do not pay for consumables or repairs.

Interpreter Services

Provides funding for qualified New Zealand Sign Language Interpreters.

Support Person

There are a number of areas where you may need a Support Person to assist you in your employment or training, such as a Reader/Writer or Driver.

Please note:

  • Support people are independent contractors contracted by the person receiving Support Funds; they are not employees of Support Funds, Workbridge or MSD
  • A Support Person -  Driver will need to meet the requirements of NZTA; they must hold a Passenger drivers licence and their vehicle must have a COF

Transport

Support Funds can be used for transport to and from your work or place of study where public transport is not available or accessible. The standard cost of travel for your journey (e.g. public transport equivalent) will be deducted from any funds paid to you.

Job Support assistance categories 

You can apply for Job Support funding for the following types of assistance:

Awareness training

Awareness training gives staff information about the most appropriate and effective way to fully integrate a disabled new employee into the workplace.

Job coach

A job coach provides intensive short-term coaching when:

  • you start work; or
  • when your job description has changed; or
  • If a change in your disability affects your ability to perform your usual employment tasks

Job coaches are independent contractors contracted by the person receiving Job Support; they are not employees of Support Funds, Workbridge or MSD.

Productivity allowance 

A productivity allowance is a wage subsidy available to your employer while you gain skills and establish workplace supports that would available to anyone starting a new job. It is not available if you have previously:

  • participated in MSD programmes such as Mainstream, Mana in Mahi or Skills for Industry
  • received other MSD wage subsidies such as Flexi-wage

A productivity allowance is only considered after all other support services have been provided, including physical supports relevant to your disability.

Like all MSD wage subsidies, productivity allowance is not permanent, and it is expected it will lead to unsubsidised employment.

Workplace Modifications

Modification Grant funding may be available to assist an employer with providing a workplace suitable to the person’s disability.

Support Funds cannot be used where the responsibility for the modification lies with the building owner under government or local council laws, regulations or requirements.