The Disability Allowance from Work and Income to Pay for Counselling
Work and Income (WINZ) subsidises counselling for beneficiaries and low income earners (including NZ Superannuitants and students) through the Disability Allowance. You can receive this Allowance if you meet income criteria and your Doctor agrees that you need counselling.
Is your income low enough for you to get the allowanceTo be eligible for the Disability Allowance your total income must be below certain "cut out points". The table below shows the cut out points as posted on the WINZ website on 1 April 2012. To check if you meet their current income criteria call 0800 559 009 or talk to your Case Manager. In general, people on benefits will be eligible. If you are a student or Superannuitant your income from all sources combined must be below the cut out points.
You need your doctor to approve your need for counsellingIf you meet the financial criteria for eligibility for the Disability Allowance then you need to see your doctor or psychiatrist to have your need for counselling assessed. Your Disability Allowance Counselling Certificate has sections that must be filled in by your doctor and counsellor before it will be processed by WINZ. Not all counsellors and doctors keep supplies of the forms you need, so it is worth checking whether you need to get the forms from WINZ before your appointments.
How much will you getThe Disability Allowance is currently paid up to a maximum of $60.17 per week for adults and $45.34 for children(as at 1.4.12) to contribute to the cost of your counselling. It is added to your benefit and paid into your bank account. You are responsible for paying your counsellor. How much of your counselling fee will be covered by the Allowance will depend on how much your counsellor charges and how often you go. They will discuss this with you when they fill out your form.
Can you see any counsellorMost counsellors, psychotherapists, and psychologists are able to see clients who are being subsidised by WINZ. So when choosing a counsellor ask them if they see clients funded by WINZ before you make an appointment. If you are using the talkingworks directory to find a counsellor, look for "WINZ" in the Listings and Profiles.
What forms will you need?You, your counsellor and doctor need to fill out the Disability Allowance Counselling Certificate. This form is not currently available online. Your counsellor will probably have copies, or you can get one from your local WINZ office.
If you are already getting assistance from WINZ you will also need the Disability Allowance Application Form. You and your doctor need to fill this out. These forms are available from your local WINZ office or download a copy from the WINZ website.
If you are not yet getting assistance from WINZ you will need the Extra Help Application Form. You and your doctor need to fill this out. These forms are available from your local WINZ office or download a copy from the WINZ website.