Travel for assessment, treatment & rehabilitation
If you’re travelling for assessment, treatment or rehabilitation, we may be able to help with your travel costs. Sometimes we can also help with travel costs for someone escorting you.
Travel that may be covered
We may be able to help with your travel costs, if your travel is for:
- treatment of an accepted disability
- rehabilitation of an accepted disability
- an assessment we asked you to have, to help decide your application for an entitlement or service; or
- an assessment the Appeals Board or a Review Officer asked you to have, to help decide an appeal or review.
We may be able to help with travel costs of someone travelling with you, if:
- you’re medically certified as unfit to travel alone; and
- they can give you the help you need to travel.
Travel that isn't covered
But we won’t cover international travel, cancelled travel arrangements, or unreasonable costs such as:
- taxi fare, if you could reasonably have used public transport
- public transport fare, if you could have travelled free with a SuperGold Card.
Costs we can help with are the travel itself, accommodation and meals, and out-of-pocket costs. Costs must be actual, reasonable, and not covered by another organisation.
- Private vehicle — (for round trip) $0.62 per km, for first 200km; then reducing to $0.27 (except in some exceptional situations)
- Rail, bus or ferry — fare paid
- Ambulance (if needed) — what you had to pay
- Other kinds of travel (if needed) — what’s reasonable.
When calculating distance, we take the shortest road distance between start point and hospital. We use:
- AA Maps website (external link) (for distances within New Zealand)
- another suitable website (for distances overseas).
We can help with costs of an overnight stay, if:
- it was in commercial accommodation; and
- you couldn’t reasonably have avoided an overnight stay (taking into account your health, and recommendations from your health practitioner).
We’ll pay up to:
- $80 (veteran); or
- $100 (veteran and approved escort).
If you need an overnight stay we’ll help with reasonable meal costs, within these limits:
- Period under 24 hours — up to $35 (dinner), $15 (lunch), $12 (breakfast)
- Period over 24 hours — up to $62 (total).
We’ll only help with out-of-pocket costs if they:
- were directly linked to the travel (for example, parking or road toll fees)
- couldn’t be avoided (except by paying more in other travel costs); and
- are supported by evidence (for example, pay-and-display parking ticket).
Your travel escort may claim the same kind of costs as you, but only:
- for their travel to be with you, escort you, and return to their home
- for actual costs (that are on top of your costs); and
- up to the amount we could pay for your costs (whatever you actually claim).
Contact us to speak to a case manager for pre-approval of costs. You’ll usually need pre-approval for:
- travel to a medical specialist for treatment
- travel that’s not to the nearest provider
- travel that’s not by bus, train or private vehicle
- accommodation, meal & out-of-pocket costs
- travel escort’s costs.
Pre-approval not needed
You won’t need pre-approval for costs, if we’ve told you we’ll cover them in:
- Your Plan, or
- the letter asking you to have the appointment.
And you won’t need pre-approval if the travel is for emergency treatment. (We’ll assess the costs when you apply for them.)
Once costs are incurred, deadline for claiming them is last day of the following month. We must get the claim by that date.
As evidence for your claim, we’ll usually need (originals or certified copies):
- receipts for the appointment; and
- itemised tickets/receipts showing amounts paid, when they were paid, and what for. (If you don’t have these due to your disability, try to send other evidence you travelled).
Factsheet (travel for assessment, treatment or rehabilitation) [PDF, 331 KB] — summary for printing
- Travel Allowance: allowance where severe impairment increases day-to-day travel costs
- Travel Concession: personal travel funding where service-related impairment is severe, or directly & significantly restricts lower-body mobility
- Complaints: your rights if unhappy with how we've administered your travel
- Veterans' Support Act (external link) (NZ Legislation website): sections 42–44 & 46