What you need to know.
If you have a claim accepted with ACC, funding may be available for the assessment and possibly towards modifications or vehicle costs. The first contact is through your support coordinator. There are ACC specific transport forms and processes including Determine Transport Options and Transport for Independence Assessments. ACC consider a wide range of factors when working with you to meet your transport needs. All funding decisions are made by ACC, the Occupational Therapist while providing the report and information to ACC has no influence on what ACC decides to fund or support as a suitable transport solution.
Ministry of Health: Accessable/Enable New Zealand
Funding for Ministry of Health clients is very limited. You can locate a MOH accredited assessor here (https://www.disabilityfunding.co.nz/ems-assessors). Specific criteria must be met to access funding for an assessment and towards modification and vehicle.
Where the use of alternative or unmodified transport is not a viable option, a person may be able to get assistance with funding for:
Modifications to their own or a family vehicle
Modifications to a business owned vehicle
Modifications to a vehicle to be purchased.
Such modifications must be considered as a long-term solution that is essential to enable the person to be able to drive independently or travel safely, including transferring in/out of the vehicle and transporting mobility equipment.
The level of funding available for vehicle modifications is up to a maximum of $12,165 (incl GST). This funding is not subject to income and cash asset testing. Additional requests for funding will generally only be considered after a period for six years if the person’s disability related needs have changed resulting in the need for different modifications to their vehicle.
The funding for modifications is considered separately from funding for purchase of a vehicle.
Access criteria for vehicle modifications requires there is no alternative viable transport options. Alternative transport means public transport, mobility taxi, being a passenger in a private vehicle. Not a viable option includes no access to regular and reliable transport (i.e. the person doing shift work, person lives with others who cannot assist with transport), no physically accessible or safe transport available.
Funding for vehicle modifications will be considered where it has been identified as being essential for the person to do one of the following:
- Get to/from or undertake their full time employment (30 hours a week) or working to maximum of physical ability OR
- Get to/from tertiary education or vocation training OR
- Undertake their role as the main carer of dependent children.
Adult Passenger (16 years and over):
Must be a passenger who is unable to drive because of their disability. The person will require a modified vehicle to travel safely in order to meet their full time employment or tertiary education requirements. They must always have someone who is available to drive the vehicle for them.
Child Passenger (15 years and under):
Must be a passenger where it has been identified that the modifications are essential to enable the child to:
- Get in/out of the vehicle safely
- Travel in the vehicle safely.
Funding towards the purchase of a vehicle is only considered for adults 16 years of age and over. When access to alternative transport is not a viable option, the person with a disability may be able to receive a once-only funding contribution up to a maximum of $12,165 (incl GST) towards the purchase of a vehicle to be modified. This vehicle will be required to enable the person to get to and from their work, tertiary study or vocation training or fulfil their role as the main carer of a dependent child who lives with them.
Alternative transport means public transport, mobility taxi, being a passenger in a private vehicle. Not a viable option includes no access to regular and reliable transport (ie the person doing shift work, person lives with others who cannot assist with transport), no physically accessible or safe transport available.
The person will be required to have an income and a cash asset test administered by Work and Income to determine the amount of funding the person will be eligible to receive.
Lottery Grants Board
The Individuals with Disabilities Subcommittee provides lottery grants on a discretionary basis for mobility and community equipment to help disabled people achieve independence and gain access to the community.
You can access the application form online via (https://www.communitymatters.govt.nz/lottery-individuals-with-disabilities/). Approximately 40% of applications are successful. To increase your chances, ensure the application creates a “clear picture” of how the contribution to the vehicle or modifications will assist you to improve independence in day to day living, provide access to the community, maintain presence/mana in the community, ensure family coherence, need for transport to pursue community activities, to help prevent carer instability or vulnerability.
Priority funding is not usually awarded for situations where the person is covered by ACC or the responsibility to provide transportation/service rests with other agencies for example transport to school, medical or other therapy treatment, transport to renal dialysis, travel to training/employment.
Ministry of Education
Transport to and from school for a student attending compulsory education is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education.
You can self-fund vehicles and modifications to meet your needs. It is recommended that you use the information from your driving assessment to provide the modification company with a list of what is needed to assist you to drive safely.
Ideally, you would continue to work with a Driver Trained Occupational Therapist to ensure the vehicle and modifications are the most appropriate option for your needs. The Occupational Therapist is impartial and can discuss the difference between essential and desirable modifications and the pros and cons of each solution.