Aids & appliances

If you qualify for social rehabilitation we may be able to help with costs for some aids or appliances. These are items medically prescribed to help restore your independence. Examples include:

  • shower chair prescribed for injury to lower body
  • electric can opener prescribed for wrist injury.

 We may cover hearing aids but different rules apply for these. We won’t normally cover:

  • cochlear implants
  • other artificial implants (unless as part of surgery we approved)
  • general household items (such as beds or leisure equipment).

Assessing your needs

When you apply for an entitlement or service, we’ll usually consider your rehabilitation needs—these may include aids or appliances. We may seek assessments from occupational therapists or advisors.

To decide if we should fund an aid or appliance, we’ll look at:

  • prescriber—must be a qualified health practitioner
  • goals—rehabilitation goals the item will help with
  • normal practice—NZ practice as to prescribing it for rehabilitation of the condition
  • need, fitness & suitability for resolving or treating the condition—and likelihood of it doing so
  • other suitable options—such as training or medical treatment
  • cost-effectiveness—in relation to other options
  • other agencies involved—what they’ve done or recommended.

We won’t usually fund an aid or appliance if:

  • you can get it from ACC or through public health services (including on loan)
  • you already have one that’s suitable
  • you had a suitable one, since being injured or ill, but got rid of it.

Checking item meets your needs

Once the item’s delivered, the occupational therapist may need to check it and see you again, to make sure:

  • it’s safe and fits your needs
  • it’s properly set up
  • you and your support people know how to use it and look after it.

If the item is working well and meeting your needs, we’ll record in Your Plan:

  • approval of the item
  • rehabilitation goals it’s intended to meet.

We may reassess your needs in the future. As your life changes, other options (such as residential care) may become better solutions to your needs.

Replacing or repairing

Wear & tear

If the item no longer fits your needs, because of age or condition, we’ll replace it.

Loss, neglect & theft

We won’t usually replace or repair an item after loss, theft, neglect or misuse.

Travel

We don’t cover loss or damage during overseas travel. So if taking the item outside the country you live in, make sure it’s covered by travel insurance.

Finding out more

Related information

  • Veterans' Independence Programme: if you need help to stay independent such as home adaptions (ramps & rails), medical alarms, adaptive clothing or footwear
  • Complaints: if you disagree with how we’ve administered your aid or appliance (or your request for one)

Relevant legislation