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Care in the Community Disability Welfare Fund

On 5 May 2022, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced funding for the Government’s Care in the Community (CiC) welfare response to support people significantly impacted by COVID-19. The funding was originally for $5m, specifically to support the wellbeing of disabled people and their whānau, and was increased to $8m with an additional $3m in early October 2022.

The Fund is administered by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in collaboration with disabled communities, in line with the ‘nothing about us without us’ approach.

Providers and community groups were invited to apply for the Care in the Community Disability Welfare Fund during August/September.

The successful applicants

Overall, 378 applications were received; 176 applications were successful, and 202 applications were unsuccessful.

Grant funding must be spent by 30 June 2023. The funding will not be available beyond then.

Providers who receive a Direct Support fund grant are required to provide a short report on how the funds have been used and how funds contributed to one or more of the four needs. This report will be required three months after receipt of the funding (February 2023) and at the end of the financial year (July 2023).

Providers who received a Provider-led Innovation fund grant are required to provide a short report of how the funds have been used and how it contributed to one or more of the four needs, at the end of the financial year (July 2023).

List of successful applicants

The PDF below lists the successful applicants so far for both funds. This list will be updated shortly as all successful applicants are finalised.

Getting support from funded providers

Disabled people and their whānau who have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 can now apply to providers for funding support through the Direct Support fund.

Once you find a provider, they will work with you to see what help you need. Depending on your needs you may get direct funding, or the provider may buy services, devices or equipment for you.

Priority is given to helping with:

  • connecting with social networks and communities
  • support for the whānau of a disabled person
  • precautions to prevent exposure to COVID-19
  • connecting with support networks.

Funding cannot be used for:

  • Support provided by Community Connector service
  • Ongoing costs, such as subscriptions
  • Items already purchased
  • Food (you can access food through “Food Secure Communities Programme” and “Special Needs Grant” for food)
  • Purchasing cash assets
  • Purchasing a vehicle
  • Alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco, or vaping products
  • Lotto products
  • Gambling purposes.

Funding is limited with each disabled person within a whānau able to apply for up to a maximum of $2,000 as long as funding is available.

Background to the Fund

MSD has worked in close cooperation and collaboration with the disability sector and other government agencies to determine the best options for the use of this funding.

Four key needs have been identified through this engagement and meeting one or more of these needs is the basic criteria for the distribution of funds from either of two new fund types. These needs are:

  • Connecting to social networks, communities, and identities
  • Support for the whānau of a disabled person
  • Precautions to prevent exposure to COVID-19, and
  • Connecting with support networks

The $8m Fund will be distributed through providers and community groups/organisations. It will be split into two types of funding support:

Direct support fund (COVID-19 Wellbeing Grants)

The direct support fund enables disabled people and whānau to access support directly from providers that have applied for and received funding.

Providers can apply for up to $50,000 + 15% administration fee, with a disabled person within a whānau able to apply to a provider for assistance of up to $2,000.

Individuals and their whānau cannot apply for the funding from MSD but can contact providers who have successfully applied for funding for support. Contact information for providers awarded funding will be posted on the MSD webpage in late October.

Providers of CIC funding should take all necessary steps to ensure the disabled person and whānau they are funding do not receive funding from any other CIC provider.

Providers should also ensure funding for declared needs is not available or already being received from another funding stream. This would mean providers need to be aware of other funds available to meet needs specific to the disabled person and whānau, including food grants, hardship grants, or other MSD funding options. Check out what help’s available for disabled people on the Work and Income site.

How the support is delivered by the provider should be decided in collaboration with the disabled person and whānau. This could include direct funding to the disabled person or whānau, or purchase of the services, devices, or equipment by the provider.

This support is for a provider to address one or more of the following needs:

  • Connecting with social networks and communities
  • Support for the whānau of a disabled person
  • Precautions to prevent exposure to COVID-19
  • Connecting with support networks

The purpose, and design, of the funding is to meet the current needs of the disabled person and whānau, not their future needs.

The funds also cannot be used for:

  • Support provided via the Community Connector service (eg. Community Connector Discretionary Funding)
  • Ongoing costs, such as subscriptions
  • Items already purchased
  • Food (should be covered by “Food Secure Communities Programme” and “Special Needs Grant” for food)
  • Purchasing cash assets (Cash assets - Map (workandincome.govt.nz))
  • Purchasing a vehicle
  • Alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco, or vaping products
  • Lotto products
  • Gambling purposes

All funding was allocated in November 2022.

Provider-led innovation fund (community support)

The provider-led innovation fund enables providers to deliver a project, product, or initiative to a target community.

Providers can apply for up to $50,000 based on how many disabled people and whānau the project, product, or initiative will reach. Any costs for capacity will be included in the application and funding provided.

These funds can be used for:

  • Community-focused initiatives that address one or more of the needs
  • Previously delivered provider-led initiatives that are no longer funded
  • New and innovative provider-led initiatives.

The funds cannot be used for:

  • Capital expenses and purchase of long-term organisational assets that don’t provide direct benefit to the community, ie purchasing vehicles
  • Support provided via the Community Connector service (eg. Community Connector Discretionary Funding)
  • Food (should be covered by “Food Secure Communities Programme” and “Special Needs Grant” for food).

All funding was allocated in November 2022.

Key dates

Description

Date (2022)

Fund promotion and application process open

29 August 2022

Applications close

29 September 2022

Outcomes communicated

25 October

Contract negotiated and signed

November 2022

Delivery of funds begins

End of November 2022

Grants must be substantially spent

By 30 June 2023

Q&A from a community, disabled person and whānau perspective:

Q: How do I get support?

A list of all funded providers is on the MSD webpage. You are welcome to contact the organisation that best supports your needs.

Q: Do I have to provide proof of purchase?

Providers will try to make sure purchases are verified, but this is not a requirement.

Q: Do I have to prove my disability

No. Your need and the solution should be determined in collaboration with the provider.

Q: What if I have more than one disabled person in my whānau?

Support is available for each disabled person within a whānau. If you have more than one in your whānau, they are eligible for the same level of support.

Q: Can I purchase things I already have funding for or have already purchased?

No. Funds cannot be used for items already purchased or items or services you already receive funding for.

Q: Can the direct support funding be used to pay pre-paid and future expenses

No. Funds cannot be used for items already purchased or items or services you already receive funding for.

Q: Can the direct support funding be used to pay pre-paid and future expenses

The funding is to meet the current needs of the disabled person and whānau, not their future needs

Q: Is there an age limit for disabled people and whānau receiving support from a provider resulting from this funding?

There is no age limit.

Q: How long is the funding available for?

Funding is limited – so when providers have allocated their funds there will be nothing further available.

Q: Can a disabled person or whānau receive Care in the Community Disability Welfare funding from more than one provider?

No. Providers of the funding will ensure the disabled person and whānau they are funding receives funding from one provider only.