Child disability allowance in NZ
The Child Disability Allowance is paid to the principal carer of a dependent child or young person under the age of 18 years with a serious disability. It recognises the extra care and attention provided.
It isn’t paid to cover costs associated with the child or young person’s disability as these costs aren’t in themselves a qualification for the Child Disability Allowance.
The Child Disability Allowance isn’t income or asset tested, and is a nontaxable allowance. Anyone who cares for a child who meets the medical criteria should consider applying for this assistance, to see if they qualify.
Care and attention
The child or young person must need constant care and attention, over and above the ordinary care and attention required by a child or young person of the same age.
The child or young person requires either:
Why does Work and Income ask the primary caregiver about the extra care and attention
While the doctor provides information about diagnosis, they do not provide the daily care which is the essential part of the criteria for the Child Disability Allowance. As the primary caregiver you can tell them what it is like for you so they get an appreciation of the extra care and attention required. ADHD covers a broad spectrum of symptoms and behaviours and so they want to ensure you have the right amount for support for your situation.
The Disability Allowance differs from the Child Disability Allowance. The Disability Allowance is paid to reimburse on-going disability-related expenses and is income tested; the Child Disability Allowance is not.
Some carers can receive both the Child Disability Allowance and the Disability Allowance for the child or young person.
Guidance on the severity of disability
Here are a couple of illustrative examples – these are not hard and fast rules – each person’s situation needs to be considered as unique.
1. Kiri is a 5 year old who has a severe allergy to dairy products. She has constant eczema to her face and trunk. When exposed to milk products she becomes wheezy and flushed. Her diet requires close monitoring and she has been hospitalised three times in the past year.
> Kiri is likely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance. Suggested review period – 2 years.
2. Stuart is a 12 year old who has had an anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting while playing in the school yard a year ago. He now carries an Epi-pen with him at all times. He wears a medic alert bracelet.
> Stuart is unlikely to qualify for the Child Disability Allowance.
Shared care − principal caregiver
To receive a Child Disability Allowance, the client must be the principal caregiver of the child. That is the client (caregiver) must have the primary responsibility for the day to day care of the child, other than on a temporary basis.
Children who receive a Child Disability Allowance may be eligible for the OSCAR Subsidy.
OSCAR may be paid for up to 20 hours a week in term time or 50 hours a week in the school holidays if:
The subsidy will cease when:
Find out more about the Child Disability Allowance.
Photo by Elle Hughes