Dementia Care NZ

Funding & quality


How the system works, how to apply and what is covered

Following a Needs Assessment by a DHB assessor identifying that care is needed, the Needs Assessor will give you the Residential Care Subsidy forms. These forms need to be filled in and sent to Work and Income promptly (within 90 days of admission date) for a financial means assessment. The financial means assessment will determine whether you qualify for the Residential Care Subsidy. This is dependent on whether your assets are below or above the defined asset threshold.

If you qualify for the subsidy, Work and Income will assess your income and tell you how much Health New Zealand will pay towards the cost of care. This will include most of your NZ Super or the benefit, and may also include a private contribution.

If you don’t qualify for the subsidy, you will need to pay the maximum contribution. In this case, you may qualify for a residential care loan. You can apply for this through Work and Income. When you apply for a subsidy you can opt for the Super to be directed to the facility. However, this won’t come into effect until the subsidy is granted so you will initially need to pay the Super to the facility yourself.

The maximum contribution is the most a person can be asked to pay for their care, and is set at the most recent DHB contract price for rest home level care. It is increased every year on 1st July. The subsidy covers the fees but not extra services such as hairdressing, podiatry, premium room charges, and non-subsidised medications.

The Ministry of Health has produced a booklet with helpful advice on the process of accessing funding for long-term residential care - Long-term Residential Care for Older People: What you need to know.


If you are a private payer, the maximum private contribution is set by the District Health Board, and is subject to annual review. If you would like more information about this, please contact your local Work and Income Support Service.

Ministry of Health information on maximum fee contributions by district.

Policies, procedures and audit results

  • We are continually audited to ensure we meet the Health and Disability Sector Standards
  • We have an effective Risk Management Plan
  • We continuously manage, evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of our system
  • Our Policies are developed in line with the Best Practices available
  • Our Policies and Procedures are available for you to refer to on request

The Ministry of Health publishes audit reports for all rest homes.