Living with a disability or supporting someone means that there are certain rights and benefits that you may be entitled to. Your local MS Field Worker is able to provide information and support around access to these services and help provide advocacy on your behalf.
Your Rights When Receiving a Health or Disability Service
The following is an outline of the rights guaranteed by the law known as the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights. They apply to all health and disability services, whether you pay for them or not.
Respect – You should always be treated with respect. This includes respect for your culture, values and beliefs, as well as your right to personal privacy.
Fair Treatment – No-one should discriminate against you, pressure you into something you do not want or take advantage of you in any way.
Dignity and Independence – Services should support you to live a dignified life, independent life.
Proper Standards – You have the right to be treated with care and skill, and to receive services that reflect your needs. All those involved in your care should work together for you.
Communication – You have the right to be listened to, understood and receive information in whatever way you need. When it is necessary and practicable an interpreter should be available.
Information – You have the right to have your condition explained and be told what your choices are. This includes how long you may have to wait, an estimate of any costs and likely benefits and side effects. You can ask any questions to help you be fully informed.
It’s Your Decision – It’s up to you to decide. You can say no or change your mind at any time.
Support – You have the right to have someone with you to give you support in most circumstances.
Teaching and Research – All these rights also apply when taking part in teaching and research.
Complaints – It is OK to complain – your complaints help improve services. It must be easy for you to make a complaint, and it should not have an adverse effect on the way you are treated.
Code of Rights – Health and Disability Commissioner Freephone 0800 11 22 33
Human Rights Commission – The Commission’s purpose is to promote and protect the human rights of all people in Aotearoa New Zealand. Working for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.
Lottery Individuals with Disabilities provides funding to people living with disabilities to buy equipment that helps them connect with, take part in and contribute to their communities. For this fund, a disability refers to a long-term (i.e. six months or longer) limiting condition that affects a person’s ability to participate in the community.
Lottery Individuals with Disabilities will fund vehicles, vehicle modifications, scooters and other mobility equipment that will provide outdoor mobility. It also provides grants to people who have disabilities that affect their communication, to buy equipment to help them communicate.
Your MS Field Worker can help put together your application and provide any support or advice when applying.
If you or someone you care for needs support because of a disability, you’ll need to talk to a Needs Assessment and Service Coordination service (NASC).
NASCs are organisations contracted by the Ministry of Health to work with disabled people and their family, whānau, aiga, or carers, to:
NASCs allocate Ministry-funded disability support services and help with accessing other supports. These services are then delivered by their respective service providers.
What’s involved in a needs assessment?
A needs assessment looks at your abilities, resources, goals and needs and the NASC will work with you to identify which of these is the most important.
The goal of the assessment is to figure out how to maximise your independence so that you can participate as fully as possible in society.
Who’s eligible for a needs assessment?
The needs assessment is available for those who meet the Ministry’s definition of disability. The Ministry funds services for people with a physical, intellectual and/or sensory impairment or disability that is
Acknowledgement: Ministry of Health
Click here for further information and to review eligibility.
MSNZ provides a number of scholarships and grants for people with MS. See here for more information.
The Total Mobility Scheme provides subsidised licensed taxi services to people who have an impairment that prevents them from undertaking any one or more of the following five components of a journey unaccompanied, on a bus, train or ferry in a safe and dignified manner:
The scheme provides:
Acknowledgement: Ministry of Transport
Mobility parking permit holders can use mobility parking spaces, which are wider than standard parks and closer to venues. These spaces are marked with the disability symbol and in many areas are now painted blue.
The permit also allows the permit holder to park in some regular parking spaces for longer than the designated time. This varies depending on where in New Zealand the permit holder lives.
To ensure that mobility parking spaces are available for people who really need them, there are clear criteria on who is eligible for a permit and permit holder’s responsibilities.
Click here to review the eligibility criteria and application form.
Acknowledgement: CCS Disability Action
Caring can be hard work. If you are the full-time, unpaid carer for a disabled person, then respite services and carer support are available for you from the government. These are services funded by the Ministry of Health to give you a break, and ensure that the person you care for gets the care and support they need in the meantime.
Work and Income provides employment services and financial assistance throughout New Zealand.