Transport for Independence
If you have trouble travelling independently, because of service-related impairment, you may be able to get this travel support. It’s to help restore independence, especially if you’re impaired from travelling safely or to work.
What it covers
Based on your needs, we may approve funding for one (or more) of the following.
Retraining for a driver’s licence
We may pay for you to retrain for a driver’s licence, if you:
- had a driver’s licence; but
- need to drive a modified vehicle now.
Modifying a vehicle
We may pay for your vehicle to be modified, so you can:
- get in and out, and move freely and safely in it
- drive and operate it safely
- travel safely as a passenger
- take with you any mobility equipment you need.
Modifications may include controls, fittings and wheelchair-hoist. Maximum grant is $5,000.
Buying a vehicle
We may fund a new vehicle, from an approved supplier, if that’s the most suitable option. In deciding how much to pay, we’ll take account of:
- how closely the vehicle fits your needs (we may look at what type you had before)
- how much you got for any vehicle recently sold.
Maximum grant is $20,000.
We may help with costs of travel by public transport or taxi, or of escorted travel in a vehicle.
How we assess your needs
To get Transport for Independence you must first, for the service-related injury or illness, be :
- accepted for Social Rehabilitation; and
- assessed as needing Transport for Independence (it will then be added to your rehabilitation plan).
Contact us to discuss your rehabilitation needs, if you think travel services should be added to your rehabilitation plan.
Transport for Independence generally
To determine your needs, and the appropriate support, we’ll look at:
- your impairment, and how it hinders you from travelling as you used to
- your rehabilitation goals, and what support you need to reach them
- the costs and benefits of the help you’re seeking.
We may seek assessments from occupational therapists or advisors.
New vehicle, or modification of a vehicle
For a grant toward a vehicle or modifications, at least 5 years must have passed since any earlier grant. We’ll also look at:
- stability of your impairment, and of the travel difficulties it causes you
- present vehicle, if you have one—including condition, fitness for your needs, suitability for modification
- need for new vehicle (or modifications)—including where you live, when you’ll use it, how it will affect ability to work
- condition & suitability of vehicle (or modifications)—including ability to drive it safely and get comprehensive motor vehicle insurance
- other options for travel
- supplier—for a vehicle, must be a reputable approved motor vehicle supplier
- legal needs—such as registration, warrant of fitness, driver’s licence.
For more information
Factsheet (Transport for Independence) [PDF, 180 KB]: summary for printing
- Case Management: help accessing or managing the support you need
- Medical Travel: travel for assessment, treatment & rehabilitation
- Veterans’ Independence Programme: support to stay independent in your home—may include help with personal or day-to-day travel
- Total Mobility (external link) (Ministry of Transport website): district-council run scheme—may subsidise travel if impairment hinders you making journeys
- Veterans' Support Act (external link) (NZ Legislation website): section 121; and Schedule 1 clauses 15–16