Group of people holding a parachute.

How Government helps with the cost of disability

This brief summarises international evidence and government support for the additional resources disabled people require.


Disabled people want the chance to live like other New Zealanders. However, disabled people face many barriers and costs before they can achieve their aspirations to live an ordinary life.

There is a broad range of costs associated with disability. Disabled people may require extra resources to live an ordinary life. Their needs vary according to their personal circumstances, and the type and severity of their impairment.

The cost of disability can be met by the individual, their family, government and community agencies. Individuals may need to buy additional resources and/or services to help them in their daily living. A disabled person’s family, whānau and caregivers may help bear the social and economic costs of disability. Government and community agencies incur costs so they can provide resources and services to disabled people.

This paper provides information on the international situation for disabled people, and looks at the extra resources and associated costs incurred by working-age disabled individuals. It explains how government helps with those disability costs to give working-age disabled people the opportunity to enjoy an ordinary life.

Key points

• The Government funds services (including direct financial assistance) to support disabled people.

• By providing these services, the Government helps to give disabled people the opportunity to live an ordinary life.

• Disabled people receive extra support from a range of government agencies.

• Government support is responsive to the evolving needs of disabled people over their lifetimes.