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

The Child Disability Allowance is paid to the main caregiver of a child or young person with a serious disability in recognition of the extra care needed for that child.

To qualify, you must be:

  • a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, who normally lives here and • the main caregiver of a child or
  • have care and control of the child for the time being if there is no main caregiver. Also, the child must:
  • have a serious physical or intellectual disability and
  • be aged under 18 years and
  • need constant care and attention for at least 12 months because of their disability.

The Child Disability Allowance is a  set amount and doesn’t depend on your income or costs. This allowance is paid into your bank account every two weeks and is paid separately from any other assistance you may get.

All Child Disability Allowance applications MUST be completed by a health professional, preferably a pediatrician or diabetes specialist.

The assessor’s decision is based solely on the information you and your specialist have provided on the forms, 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.

A child’s needs may alter as they get older and even though an insulin pump may be used, this still needs constant monitoring to manage health condition so it is important that full information is provided from the Health professional.


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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.

The Community Services Card can reduce the cost of:

  • prescription fees
  • fees for after hours doctor visits
  • visits to a doctor who is not your regular doctor
  • glasses for children under 16
  • emergency dental care provided by hospitals and approved dental contractors (ask the dental provider if they are an approved contractor)
  • travel and accommodation for treatment at a public hospital outside your area when you have been referred (at least 80km away for adults and 25km for children)

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 $5 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.

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Other allowances

There are other allowances available, disability allowance (different from child disability allowance) Please check with your local branch of WORK AND INCOME to see if you are eligible for these as an income test may apply, or follow the Work and Income Link below.


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Carer Support

Not all areas in New Zealand are eligible for Carer Support for Young people with Diabetes. Check with your medical team as to whether it applies to your area and how many days your young person is entitled to. After diagnosis your medical team should fill in a Carer Support Registration Form.

This form states that the young person has ‘Type 1 diabetes and requires a trained adult to supervise insulin administration’.  This form once completed by the medical practitioner and you as the Full Time Carer can be sent to:

Ministry of Health
Private Bag 1942

Once the original Registration form has been processed you will receive your first Carer Support Claim form.  This form will state how many days you are entitled to.

The Support Carer must be at least 16 years of age.  They cannot be the parents or step parents of the young person and they cannot be living at the same address as the young person. Carer Support cannot be paid while the full-time carer is at work.

The Formal Rate for GST registered Carers is $67.16 per day. The Informal Rate is $64.50. You can claim half days.  The payment can be made to the Support Carer or to reimburse the Full time carer.

You can use Carer Support to pay for Camp fees.

You can see more information on Carer Support at: http://www.moh.govt.nz/sectorservices or phone Ministry of Health on 0800 281 222.


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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 the application form must be filled in by the child’s medical specialist. Guidelines and application forms can be found at http://www.minedu.govt.nz and type High Health Needs Fund Guidelines into search.

As yet, early childhood centres are not entitled to teacher aid funding.

Students with diabetes sitting NCEA exams are able to apply for Special Assessment Conditions. Once granted the student is entitled to take breaks during exams for the purposes of testing blood glucose levels and any treatments that may be required. Contact your school or consult the NZQA website for further information.

 Special Assessment Conditions – information for parents and caregivers

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Medical Identification

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.

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Products for managing diabetes

Blood glucose meters

Your first blood glucose meter will be provided free, by prescription, and will be a CareSens N, CareSens N Pop or CareSens II. Only one meter per patient is subsidised. If you manage your diabetes with diet or metformin you can only get the CareSens II meter for free from your doctor. You can buy one of the other models from the pharmacy, but you will need to pay.

The number of test strips available for the CareSens 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.

Are there any exceptions? You can use a previously prescribed blood glucose meter if:

  • You were using an Accu-Chek Performa meter with an Accu-Chek Compbo insulin pump before 1 June 2012.
  • You were using a Freestyle Optium meter and receiving prescriptions for both blood glucose and ketone testing before 1 June 2012.
  • You are visually impaired and use the SensoCard Plus Talking Blood Glucose Meter.

Freestyle Optium blood glucose strips and Accu-Chek Performa blood glucose strips will be funded subject to Special Authority criteria from 1 March 2013. Application details for Special Authority may be obtained from PHARMAC’s website http://www.pharmac.govt.nz

Insulin Pumps and Insulin Pump Consumables

Special Authorities are available for obtaining subsidised insulin pumps and subsidised insulin pump consumables. Contact your Diabetes Team for the eligibility criteria.

Insulin syringes

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 disposable syringes/pen needles per prescription.


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.

Ketone Testing

One Freestyle Optium blood ketone diagnostic test meter per patient will be subsidised every 5 years for the purposes of blood ketone diagnostics only. The patient must have had one or more episodes of ketoacidosis and is at risk of future episodes.

Ketone test strips – 20 strips per prescription

Urine test strips (Accu-Chek Ketur-Test  or Ketostix – 50 strip per prescription

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Sharps disposal

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.

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