What are you entitled to?
Young people who have diabetes, and their families, often qualify for a range of benefits. Some of these benefitsc require means testing (verification that your income is not “excessive”), others do not. While some parents will choose not to use “the system” in this way, others may find that they have no option. The choice to proceed down the benefit path, as always, remains with the individual family.
- Child Disability Allowance
- Community Services Card
- Other allowances
- Carer Support
- Medical Identification
- Products for managing diabetes
- Sharps disposal
- Obtaining diabetes supplies
Child Disability Allowance
This is paid into the caregiver’s bank account fortnightly by Work and Income NZ, a service of the Ministry of Social Development. It is NOT means or income tested. It is a set amount per week and is quite separate from any other income support you may receive.
Who can get this allowance?
Care for a child or young person who has a serious medical, physical and/or intellectual disability; AND
Be providing the child or young person constant care and attention permanently or for more than 12 months
The child or young person must be under the age of 18 and be dependant on the person caring for them.
All Child Disability Allowance applications MUST be completed by a health professional, be it your GP, a pediatrician or diabetes specialist.
When you take the forms to your nearest Work and Income NZ office you will need:
Applicant – A birth certificate or passport AND one other form of identification e.g. drivers licence and the bank account details of the principal caregiver.
Young person with disability – their full birth certificate
The assessor’s decision is based solely on the information you and your specialist have provided on the forms provided, so make sure you have EXPLAINED EVERYTHING.
This allowance is subject to regular reviews – Work and Income will send you a renewal form that will often require a medical report. These forms must be returned swiftly or payments of the allowance will be stopped until forms are received and processed.
Community Services Card
When you get a Child Disability Allowance you also receive a Community Services Card. This is for the use of the child with diabetes only and is not means tested.
When you have a Community Services Card you get a subsidy for each visit your child makes to your family doctor. You will also pay less for prescriptions.
Everybody pays a ‘government prescription charge’ for prescription items that are subsidised by the Government.
Sometimes there is also a ‘premium’ to pay if the cost to manufacture the item is more than the government subsidy.
If you have a Community Services Card, all you‘ll pay is approximately $4 for a subsidised prescription item, but you will still have to pay the premium if there is one. The amount of the prescription charge and the premium can change.
There is no government prescription charge on items for children under 6. There may still be a manufacturers’ charge on some items that you will have to pay.
Please note: The Community Services Card does not subsidise visits to private health professionals including specialists, osteopaths, podiatrists, dieticians.
There are other allowances available, disability allowance (different from child disability allowance) and travel allowances for specialist appointments. Please check with your local branch of WINZ to see if you are eligible for these.
The purpose of the scheme is to provide relief for parents/guardians from the constant, emotional and physical strain of providing full time care and attention for a young person with diabetes. This benefit is currently only available to those in the South Island excluding Nelson/ Marlborough and in Auckland.
Because of the inequity of this support Diabetes Youth NZ lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission. Because of this Diabetes Youth New Zealand are currently in mediation talks with the Ministry of Health in regards to this issue.
Schools have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of all of its pupils. Schools that have students with Type 1 diabetes must make sure they provide a safe environment with adequate supervision for these students. Staff must be given sufficient information, either by the parent or by a Diabetes Nurse Educator, to ensure the safety of these students and understand what is required should an emergency arise.
The High Health Needs Fund provides paraprofessional (teacher aid) time for students with high health needs so that they can attend school safely. This can be particularly useful for a new entrant, a child who is newly diagnosed or who has just begun insulin pump therapy. The student’s parent/caregiver, health care workers and educators agree on the level and type of care required in an Individual Care Plan.
Parts of this form must be filled in by the child’s medical specialist Guidelines and application form can be found at http://www.minedu.govt.nz and type High Health Needs Fund Guidelines into search.
As yet, early childhood centre’s are not entitled to teacher aid funding.
High School students sitting exams should ensure that they have advised their school Dean of their diabetes and that they are able to eat, drink, test or leave to use a toilet if required. If their diabetes becomes an issue during an exam or affects their ability to sit an exam there must be systems in place for them to apply for ‘compassionate consideration.
It is recommended that young people with Diabetes wear a Medical ID that has the Universal Medical Emblem at all times. These are easily recognizable during an emergency. Medical ID’s have the patients primary medical conditions engraved on the back and are essential to first responders.
Products for managing diabetes
Blood glucose meters
Your first blood glucose meter will be provided free and will be either an AccuChek Performa or Optium blood glucose meter. Only one meter per patient is subsidised.
The number of test strips available for these meters is restricted to 50 UNLESS:
a) Prescribed with insulin or a sulphonylurea but are on a different prescription and the prescription is endorsed accordingly; or
b) Prescribed on the same prescription as insulin or a sulphonylurea in which case the prescription is deemed to be endorsed; or
c) Prescribed for a pregnant woman with diabetes and endorsed accordingly.
Disposable and non-disposable insulin syringes and pen needles are subsidised if prescribed on the same form as the one
used for the supply of insulin or when prescribed for an insulin patient and the prescription is endorsed accordingly. There is a maximum 100 pen needles per prescription.ulin pen NovoFine pen needles 31 g x 6 mm are subsidised for children under 12 years of age.
Glucagen Hypokit is fully subsidised with a Community Services Card Urine ketone strips carry a small prescription charge while blood ketone strips for the Optium and Xceed meters are not subsidised at this time Ensure that all diabetes related prescriptions are endorsed ‘Certified Exempt’ thus allowing you to uplift all prescriptions at once rather than returning for repeats.
This varies throughout the country. Each region has their own means of sharps disposal. Please check with your diabetes nurses as to what is available. ALWAYS remember to dispose of your sharps safely.
Obtaining diabetes supplies
All of your diabetes supplies, including test strips, are able to be obtained from:
Diabetes Supplies Ltd, Freepost DNZ, Box 54, Oamaru
Simply send your prescription to the above address with one of their order forms, (available from your local diabetes society) and all of your supplies will be couriered to your door within a few days.
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