Social Rehabilitation

If you’re a New Zealand veteran with a disability, Social Rehabilitation may be able to help you toward living independently again.

Qualifying for Social Rehabilitation

You can get Social Rehabilitation, for an injury or illness linked to:

You must be assessed as needing Social Rehabilitation.


To seek rehabilitation (including Social Rehabilitation) of your injury or illness, you should first either:

If you have a qualifying injury or illness, we'll assess whether you need Social Rehabilitation for it.

Assessing your needs

Assessment of your Social Rehabilitation needs will cover:

  • how independent you were before the injury or illness, and how independent you are now
  • how the injury or illness limits you, and how Social Rehabilitation may reasonably address this
  • what goals may reasonably be met by Social Rehabilitation
  • how Social Rehabilitation may help you back to work (if you qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation).

Reassessing your needs

If you get Social Rehabilitation, we’ll reassess it from time-to-time. Reassessment will cover:

  • relevant changes in your situation and health
  • impact these changes may have on your ability to meet agreed Social Rehabilitation goals
  • changes needed to the Social Rehabilitation services you’re getting.

Getting Social Rehabilitation

Needs we can address

We’ll do all we reasonably can to help you regain your pre-injury independence, as far as you can. This might cover:

  • Communication (speech, language, memory, concentration, assertiveness, anger management, people skills, number skills, communication technology)
  • Decision-making (for dealing with day-to-day life)
  • Finances (budgeting, banking, making payments)
  • Health (for example, managing medicines)
  • Home tasks (cleaning, laundry, making meals, shopping)
  • Motivation (initiative and confidence)
  • Safety (personal and physical safety at home, keeping safe generally)
  • Sexuality (intimacy, relationships, sexual and emotional needs)
  • Transport (using it independently).

Services we can fund

Services we may fund include:

We may fund other services where suitable. To be funded, any service must be all the following:

  • high-quality, and normally offered by rehabilitation providers
  • needed (as a direct result of the condition qualifying you for rehabilitation)
  • suited to your agreed rehabilitation goals
  • set out in Your Plan (if you have one).

Companion and Service Dogs

Veterans’ Affairs will not pay or contribute towards the costs of companion, guide, or service dogs. This includes costs relating to their training, food or health care. We also do not cover the costs of training the veteran to manage the dog.

We will continue to monitor overseas research on the effectiveness of service dogs for supporting veterans with mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety or depression.  

Finding out more

Related information

Relevant legislation