Financial Support

Living with a chronic condition like EDS, where every day can be different to the one before, it can be hard to continue working and maintain your physical health. Here we have a list of financial services that you may be entitled to, some of these services are government provided and so you will need to discuss these options with your medical provider, while other services can help you reduce the costs of receiving medical support.

MSD Financial Support

MSD Financial Flowchart

In depth details of the above

Jobseekers Support – This payment is for people who are between jobs or returning to work after a period away.

To apply:

  • Fill in the online application form or pick up a paper copy from your local MSD office.  This form will also tell you what you need to do next, documentation you need to give to MSD, how the process of receiving the Jobseeker support works and the terms and conditions that need to be met and abided by.

Jobseekers Support with Medical certificate – This is for people who are likely to be able to work a minimum of 20 hours per week within the next 2 years but are presently unable to work due health struggles.

To Apply:

  •  Fill in the online application form or pick up a paper copy from your local MSD office.  This form will also tell you what you need to do next, documentation you need to give to MSD, how the process of receiving the Jobseeker support works and the terms and conditions that need to be met and abided by.
  • You will also need to see your GP who fills in a digital medical certificate (they already have this in their systems). This certificate will state your medical conditions along with estimation of work availability. This then gets sent automatically to MSD which then uses your name and personal details to be linked to your application.

Supported Living Payment (SLP) – This payment is for people who have long term health challenges and are medically deemed unable to work for a minimum of 2 years.

To apply:

  • You can either fill in the form online / download and print / pick up a copy of the form from your local MSD office.
  • Once this form is filled in, you then need to see your GP who needs to give you a MSD medical certificate stating you will be unable to work for a minimum of 2 years and that you will be unable to work more than part time hours.
  • It can also help to have a letter from your GP, specialist, physio etc reinforcing the diagnosis and that you won’t be able to work more than 20 hours per week for a minimum of 2 years. This isn’t necessary for the application but can help minimise possible questions.
  • Your application then goes to a review board who will access your application. They can request you to see a Dr of their choosing (at their expense) for an impartial 2nd opinion. This isn’t always required but if it is, I suggest you take the diagnostic criteria with you and any other documentation you have that may help clarify your situation. The report then gets sent back to MSD and added to your file to be assessed again then have the decision made.

Additional application information:

Accommodation Supplement – The amount of this payment is defined by the area you live and the type of accommodation (rent/ board or home mortgage with rates etc). Link:

         To apply

  • Download and print or pick up a application form from your local MSD office.
  • You need proof of your accommodation costs (rent/ board/ mortgage payments/ rates etc) to include in the application.
  • Take this to your appointment with MSD.

Disability Allowance – This is to help pay for ongoing medical expenses important to your health so can vary from person to person. Costs that can be covered are: GP visits, Prescriptions, Natural supplements, Alternative treatment (physio. osteopath, chiropractor etc), Clothing needed for your health, Bracing, Pool / Gym memberships, Dietary needs etc. The full list can be found here.

         To apply:

  • The application can be found as part of the SLP form / download from website and print / pick up a copy from your local MSD office.
  • Make a lists of all your expenses related to your medical needs for a year (including costs that are yet to happen)
  • You will need your GP to sign a medical certificate that is included in the application form endorsing these expenses
  • Take this application to your MSD appointment which will then be processed broken down into weekly amounts which are paid into your account as part of your overall payment.
  • The disability allowance has a total sum of approximately $64 per week.

Temporary Additional Support (TAS) – This is to help with costs that are uncovered by the different supplementary, for example: medical costs above the $64 p/w for the disability allowance.

         To apply:

  • The application can be found online to download and print or pick up a copy from your local MSD office
  • You need to fill in the form including sharing what you are doing to try and reduce your costs.
  • Take this form with you to your MSD appointment or drop into your local MSD office for them to process
  • The TAS is reviewed every 3 months and can be reapplied for online via your ‘My MSD’.

Emergency Grants – These are there to help cover a variety of costs (emergency dental, car repairs, travel for medical needs or funerals or tangi’s, medical appointments that are with people who aren’t available to see through your local DHB or if you need to see someone else as a result of being declined from your DHB. Emergency costs that are unexpected but are necessary to supporting daily life).

         To apply:

  • Get a quote for the expense from the appropriate business.
  • Phone 0800 559 009 and say “Emergency costs” then follow through with the voice prompts.
  • Theses costs generally need to be paid back and are at the discretion of MSD as to if your eligible to receive the funding.

My MSD – through this service, you can: see your weekly payment, apply for a food grant, check your personal detail among a variety of other things.

You may not always need to have an in person appointment for these applications, there is now a facility online via ‘My MSD’ to upload documentation. This facility needs the person you speak with at MSD to make it available and they will talk you through how to use it.

If there is a decision made in relation to any of your applications that you disagree with, you can request a Review of the Outcome.

Additional Financial Support

These services can be applied for to help reduce medical costs.

Community Services Card

The Community Services Card (CSC) can help individuals and their families with the costs of healthcare. It entitles the holder and their family to a reduction in the cost of some health services and prescriptions.

Eligibility 

Applications for a CSC are assessed by Work and Income. Eligible people include:

  • those 16 years or over (not a dependent child)
  • New Zealand citizens or permanent residents
  • those who normally live in New Zealand and intend to stay here
  • those who have or have applied for, refugee or protection status.

They also need to be:

  • on a low income, or
  • living in public housing, or
  • receiving an accommodation supplement.

Benefits

The Community Services Card can reduce the cost of:

  • visits to their regular general practice for cardholders and their dependants
  • visits to a general practice in which a cardholder is not enrolled
  • prescription fees
  • fees for after-hours general practice visits
  • glasses for children under 16
  • emergency dental care provided by hospitals and approved dental contractors (cardholders should ask the dental provider if they are an approved contractor)
  • travel and accommodation for treatment at a public hospital outside the home area when the patient has been referred (at least 80 km away for adults and 25 km for children)
  • home help.

The card can also be used for dependent children aged under 18 years.

Visit the Work and Income website to find out more.

High User Health Card

This card gives a general practice a higher government subsidy for patients with high health needs. This allows the general practice to spend more time with patients with higher health needs more time in developing plans to manage a patient’s health condition. 

Eligibility

To be eligible for this card the patient needs to have visited a health practitioner at the general practice they are enrolled in, 12 or more times in 1 year, with the consultations being related to a particular condition or condition(s) which are ongoing. 

The general practice will have a record of visits, and the doctor will need to make the application on the patient’s behalf for a HUHC. The card lasts for 1 year, after which time a new application can be made (if appropriate).

Benefits

The HUHC may reduce the cost of:

  • fees for after-hours general practice visits
  • visits to a general practice where the individual is not enrolled – check this with the practice.

Some practices may charge a lower fee to enrolled patients with a HUHC – talk to your doctor or nurse about whether this is the case for you.

For patients with a Community Services Card (CSC), the subsidy for prescription fees and general practice visits for non-enrolled patients is the same. However, for patients with a HUHC, there is an advantage in also having a CSC, because the CSC enables enrolled patients to get lower cost fees and also gives subsidies to dependent family members.

For more information on the High Use Health Card, go to Claims, provider payments and entitlements.

National Travel Assistance

The National Travel Assistance scheme may be available to you for help in travelling to and from hospital and specialist appointments. This scheme reimburses you for money spent on travelling costs such as petrol, public transport, or flying, even accommodation costs, if you are regularly travelling long distances for health appointments.

There are many different criteria that need to be met in order to be eligible for this assistance, which includes distance travelled, frequency of travel, what type of appointments you are travelling for, and even where in the country you are located. You can use the Ministry of Health’s National Travel Assistance Eligibility Checker to see if you qualify for this assistance.

The National Travel Assistance scheme is run by the Ministry of Health, there are support staff located at most hospitals who can assess you for eligibility and help you fill out the necessary forms needed. Each time you attend an appointment, you will need fill out the form and have it signed off at the reception of the hospital department you are visiting.

For more information, including Region specific information, please read the Ministry of Health’s page about the National Travel Assistance Scheme.

 Please visit our Travel Support page for other travel assistance services you may be eligible for.

Care Plus

Care Plus is a primary health care funding initiative that supports people with high health needs due to chronic conditions, acute medical or mental health needs, or terminal illness.

Care Plus funding is given to medical practices to improve chronic care management, reduce inequalities, improve primary health care teamwork and reduce costs of services for high-need patients.

Eligibility

A general practice that is part of a PHO can enrol a patient in Care Plus if they are assessed by a doctor or nurse at the general practice as:

  • being able to benefit from intensive clinical management in primary health care (at least 2 hours of care from 1 or more members of the primary health care team over the following 6 months), and
  • having 2 or more chronic health conditions, as long as each condition is one that:
    • is a significant disability or has a significant burden of morbidity; and
    • creates a significant cost to the health system; and
    • has agreed and objective diagnostic criteria; and
    • requires continuity of care and where a primary health care team approach has an important role in management; or
  • requiring intensive clinical care because they:
    • have a terminal illness (defined as someone who has advanced, progressive disease whose death is likely within 12 months); or
    • have had 2 acute medical or mental health-related hospital admissions in the past 12 months (excluding surgical admissions); or
    • have had 6 first-level service or similar primary health care visits in the past 12 months (including emergency department visits); or
    • are on active review for elective services.

If you think you may be eligible for Care Plus, ask your doctor or nurse if you could benefit from a more intensive care program. They will assess you to see if you are eligible for Care Plus. If you are not eligible they may be able to help you in other ways or review your care.

Benefits

The provision of Care Plus varies between PHOs, and in some cases it varies between practices within the same PHO.

In general, a Care Plus patient can expect an initial comprehensive assessment where their health needs are explored in more depth. An individual care plan should be developed to set realistic, achievable health and quality of life-related goals, with regular follow-ups. People using Care Plus will get effective management of chronic health conditions, better understanding of their conditions and support to make lifestyle changes.

Care Plus services are usually provided at a low or reduced cost.

Please visit the Ministry of Health website for more information on Care Plus.

Medication Financial Assistance

We understand that the costs of medications can cause financial difficulties. Below we have compiled a list of services that can help ease the burden of paying for medications.

Prescription Subsidy Card

A prescription subsidy card is aimed at reducing costs for families/whānau and people who are prescribed a lot of medicines. You are eligible for the subsidy once you have paid for 20 new subsidised prescription medicine items from 1 February to 31 January each year.

  • You can reach the 20-item threshold by combining prescription items for your partner and dependent children aged from 14–18 years old.
  • Most prescriptions for children under 14 years of age are free and do not count towards the total.

You can get this card through your pharmacy. Your pharmacy will keep count of your prescriptions. If you tell your pharmacy the name of your partner and dependent family/whānau members, they can keep track of how many items have been bought for them as well. 

Pharmacy systems are not all linked, so one pharmacy may not always be aware of prescriptions you get from another pharmacy. If you or other family/whānau members visit different pharmacies, keep all the prescription fee receipts. Show them to one pharmacy, so they can keep a record of your total prescription count in their system.

Please visit Health Navigator for more information on prescription costs and subsidies.

Zoom Pharmacy

Zoom Pharmacy is an online pharmacy that can help you save money on prescriptions, as well as having an online store for non-prescription items. They deliver anywhere within New Zealand within 1-2 working days.

How Zoom Works

Send your prescription to Zoom – this can be done by having your medical centre send it directly to them, via your patient portal, uploading it directly to their website or by freeposting/couriering it to them. Zoom will send you a confirmation of your order, and will deliver your prescription right to your door within 1-2 working days. Zoom will also help organise your repeat prescriptions.

Benefits

  • If you are on 1-3 fully funded medications you are eligible for free prescriptions, although a $6.50 delivery fee does apply to all prescriptions sent.
  • If you are on 4 or more fully funded medications you are eligible for free prescriptions and delivery anywhere in New Zealand.

For more information visit the Zoom Pharmacy website.

PillDrop Pharmacy

Pilldrop Pharmacy is an online pharmacy that can help you save money on prescriptions, as well has having an online store for non-prescription items.

How Pilldrop Works

Take a photo of your prescription and send it through to PillDrop via their online portal. Choose your delivery date and time, along with address, and wait for it to be delivered.

Benefits

All fully-funded medications are free of charge with a prescription. 

An online Medication Diary which gives you access to: 

  1. Fill Prescriptions
  2. Medicine Information
  3. Order Repeats
  4. Family Profiles
  5. Medication History
  6. Order New Scripts

Please visit the PillDrop website for more information.