Funding options

Below is a list of funding which MAY be available for those who people with FASD and for those who care for them.

Please note that we would like to add to this list as more information becomes available – if you are aware of other possible funding sources, please let us know!

General Support Services

Disability Support Services (DSS)

FASD is recognised as a disability by Te Whatu Ora / Health New Zealand and Manatū Haouora/ the Ministry of Health, but is not funded as a disability – unless the individual has an IQ of 70 or lower (i.e. an Intellectual Disability or ID). Less than 20% of those with FASD have an ID and a formal assessment is required to find out whether this is the case. 

If you have had a diagnosis for your child which proves they have an intellectual disability, you may be able to apply for DSS. 

Click here for more information about DSS. They may recommend you talk to a Needs Assessment and Service Coordinator (NASC) to begin the process. 

Find your local NASC on the Needs Assessment and Service Co-ordination Association website.

IF you find that your child is eligible for Disability Support Services, then you may also be able to claim other benefits such as Carer Support (respite care for you) or Individualised Funding (IF) - person-directed funding from Whaikaha which gives disabled people and their whānau more choice in how they are supported to live their lives fully.

Work and Income benefits

If you’re caring for someone else’s child

• Unsupported child’s benefit

This is a weekly payment from Work and Income NZ which helps carers supporting a child or young person whose parents can't care for them because of a family breakdown.

Find out more here

• Orphan’s Benefit

Orphan's Benefit is a weekly payment which helps carers supporting a child or young person whose parents have died or can't be found, or can't look after them because they have a serious long-term health condition or incapacity.

Find out more here.

• School Start up payment

If you're caring for someone else's child and need help with pre-school or school-related costs at the beginning of the year, you may be able to get the School and Year Start-up Payment. It's a one-off payment of between $400-$550 depending on the age of the child. You must apply between mid-January and the end of February to receive this. Apply to WINZ.

Find out more here.

• Supported Living Payment   

A weekly payment which may be available to help if you are caring full-time for someone.

You can apply through Work and Income NZ.

Find out more here

• Child Disability Allowance (CDA) - up to age 18

This is a fortnightly payment made to the main carer of a child or young person under 18 with a serious disability or health condition.

This payment is for the extra care and attention that you need to give to a disabled child. It is a set amount and doesn't depend on your income, assets or costs. 

Parents/caregivers may be eligible if: 1) they are the main carer of the young person, 2) they are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, 3) the young person has been assessed as needing constant care and attention for at least 12 months because of a serious disability.

Find out more here.

• Childcare subsidy and OSCAR subsidy

Whether you can get childcare subsidy and/or OSCAR subsidy depends on how much you and your partner earn. The amount you can earn and still receive childcare subsidy and OSCAR subsidy increased fairly substantially on 1 April 2023 so it may be worth checking if you are now able to get it.

The income thresholds and rates of subsidy are available here for OSCAR subsidy and here for childcare subsidy.

Childcare Subsidy

Childcare Subsidy is a payment that helps families with the cost of pre-school childcare.

If a child receives the Child Disability Allowance (CDA), you are entitled to childcare subsidy up to the age of 6, rather than 5. 

Further information about childcare subsidy is available via Work and Income NZ here

OSCAR subsidy 

Out of School Care and Recreation (OSCAR) Subsidy is a payment which helps families with the costs of before and after school care, and holiday programmes.

To get the OSCAR Subsidy you must be the main carer of a child or young person who is under 14 years old (or under 18 years old if the main carer gets a Child Disability Allowance for them), and to be unable to take care of the child or young person because of your own work, study, illness or disability.

Further information about the OSCAR subsidy is available via Work and Income NZ here.


Funding for people (over 16) with FASD

Disability Allowance 

Weekly payment for people with regular, ongoing costs because of a disability (e.g., visits to the doctor, medicines, extra clothing or travel).

Young people (from 16 years) are eligible if they have a disability that is likely to last at least six months; have regular, ongoing costs due to the disability that another agency does not fully cover; are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident; normally live in New Zealand and intend to stay here. Young people with FASD qualify if they meet criteria.

Young people can apply through Work and Income.

Find out more here.


Supported Living Payment   

A weekly payment which may be available to help if you have a health condition, injury, or disability.

You can apply through Work and Income.

Find out more here


Educational Funding

We have a handy flow chart for pathways to funding at school here

High and Complex Needs (HCN)

Funded by the Ministries of Health and Education, and Oranga Tamariki.  

HCN works with children and young people who have high and complex needs. They work with multiple government and non-government agencies to help families find positive solutions. The service is intensive and lasts between six to 24 months.

Young people may be eligible if they have high and complex needs across at least two sectors (education, health, and care and protection). Young people with suspected FASD qualify if they meet criteria. Two required agencies have to put in a joint referral.

Find out more here.


ORS (Ongoing Resourcing Scheme)

This is educational funding which may provide support for students with the highest ongoing levels of need for specialist support. The scheme enables them to attend school and participate alongside other students.

More info is available here.


Intensive Wraparound Service (IWS) – Te Kahu Tōī

Funded by the Ministry of Education, IWS is a support programme for young people aged 5–14 years who have behaviour, social and learning needs that are highly complex and challenging, and who require support at school, at home and in the community.

IWS takes a bespoke, comprehensive, holistic, youth- and family-driven approach. It has two key criteria: 1) there has to be a need in the school, home, and community, and 2) every other intervention has been used or attempted and was unable to meet needs.

A panel reviews all referrals and decides if the young person is accepted. Applications are made by Ministry of Education Learning Support staff, RTLB and day specialist schools, or fund-holder (ORS) schools.

More info is available here.


Standalone Funding

The Children’s Flexi Fund – one-off funding for tamariki/rangatahi coming from family violence

Funded by the NZ Police. The purpose of the flexi fund is to enhance tamariki / rangatahi wellbeing following family violence ‘through the purchase of one-off or timebound goods or services.’ This fund can be applied for on behalf of young people up to the age of 18.

More about this fund here.