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Face covering exemption card

We support the use of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But some people are unable to wear face coverings because of their disability or specific health conditions.

The Ministry of Health released face covering exemption cards for people who can't reasonably wear face coverings. Find out more about face mask exemptions on public transport, in schools and tertiary education, for people who need visual cues and other situations. 


Published 18 September. 

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Carer Support and Individualised Funding flexibility extension- ending soon 

Flexible use of Carer Support and Individualised Funding (IF) is ending on 30 September 2020. A friendly reminder to keep the receipts on what you have spent your Carer Support budget on and to make a claim 90 days from the time of purchase. Those with IF can continue to invoice their hosts. 

You'll remember The Ministry of Health extended the flexibility for Carer Support and IF until 30 September 2020 (instead of 30 June 2020) to cover the COVID-19 response during Alert Level 1.

These rules only apply if you are allocated Carer Support and IF through the Ministry of Health (not your DHB). Please contact your DHB for information about other supports.

Carer Support – funded by the Ministry of Health
This means that if you receive Carer Support from the Ministry of Health:

  • you must work within your current funding allocation
  • you can continue to spend Carer Support on any support or service that helps you have a break from caring from your family member with a disability or to provide a break for the disabled person
  • you cannot use your Carer Support for the following:

-        paying family carers who are either a family member living with the disabled person or a parent or a spouse

-        illegal activities, gambling or alcohol

-        to pay for things that are not disability supports like rent/mortgage, food, personal debt, gifts, power, usual household items etc.

As it is up to you to choose what support or services to buy, it’s your responsibility to make sure the respite is of good quality and covers all your requirements.

You will need to keep a simple record of what you have spent the money on and when you buy items, keep the receipts.

Individualised Funding – funded by the Ministry of Health
This means that if you receive Individualised Funding through the Ministry of Health:

  • you must work within your current funding allocation
  • you can continue to spend your Individualised Funding on any disability support or service that helps you to live your life or makes your life better, so long as it is reasonable and cost-effective, and not funded through other funding options such as a Disability Allowance. You can talk to your IF Host or Coach about what is reasonable for you to buy and you can find out more information here: www.health.govt.nz/publication/what-people-can-buy-disability-funding-ministry-health-purchasing-guidelines.
  • you cannot use your Individualised Funding for the following:

-        paying family carers who are either a family member living with the disabled person or a parent or a spouse (see exception below)

-        illegal activities, gambling or alcohol

-        to pay for things that are not disability supports like rent/mortgage, food, personal debt, gifts, power, usual household items etc.

You can only pay a resident family member to provide household management and personal care supports for those disabled people assessed as having ‘high’ or ‘very high’ needs. You cannot pay resident family members to provide respite.

As it is up to you to choose what support or services to buy, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the support or service is of good quality and covers all your requirements.

Remember that you must continue to honour any employment contracts that you have. You can find out more about terminating an employment agreement at: www.employment.govt.nz/ending-employment/.  

 

Reviewed 9 September 2020

Published 30 June 2020

A person helping a child eat food

Update on Government funded free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) service in Auckland

The Government funded free PPE service in Auckland is now close.

If you need access to PPE, please contact your provider or IF host to find out if you can still be supplied with free PPE under Alert Level 2.5. 

 

Reviewed 8 September 2020

Published 28 August 2020

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Information about masks for our community

The Ministry of Health has updated its advice on wearing masks (also referred to as face coverings), which is part of the ongoing response to COVID-19.

Here's information on the use of masks for disabled people and their whanau

 

Who should use a mask

People do not need to wear a face mask if:

  • they are under the age of 12 years
  • they have a physical or mental health illness or condition or disability that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable
  • the person is communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing and visibility of the mouth is essential for communication. 

As always, covid19.govt.nz has more information on when people are not expected to wear a face mask. 

 

Make a mask 

Face coverings like scarves, bandanas or other fabric masks are acceptable forms of providing protective physical barrier to help keep people safe.

Here's a step by step instruction on how to make a face covering in 10 seconds.  

Here's a video from the WHO on how to make a fabric mask at home.

 

How to put on a mask

Using and handling disposable and reusable masks play an important role in stopping the spread of COVID-19. 

Download this Easy Read (PDF 1.75MB) version on how to put on face masks. 

Or read Government advice on how to use and dispose masks, which includes an instructional video on putting on masks.  

You can also print out this colourful PPE guide and show it to young members of your whanau if they're unsure about how to use face masks and coverings. 

 

Published 30 August 2020

 

Two young women wearing fabric face masks

Wage subsidy support for employers

Work and Income NZ (WINZ) have 3 payments currently available to support employers affected by COVID-19; the Wage Subsidy Extension, the Leave Support Scheme, and the new Resurgence Wage Subsidy.

You can only receive one COVID-19 subsidy at any one time per employee.

Find out more about these types of wage support for employers during COVID-19 and its resurgence.

 

Published 27 August 2020

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Community testing centres in Auckland

If you are not feeling well or if it's likely that you have been exposed to COVID-19, please take a test. There are several testing centres in Auckland you can go to. These tests are free.  

Community testing centres are drive-thru so people can maintain physical distancing and be safely tested.

If you’re unsure if you need to be tested, please call your family doctor or phone Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

To get a COVID-19 test outside these hours, please contact your GP or visit your local Urgent Care Clinic.

 

Reviewed 26 August 2020

Published 13 August 2020

A Covid-19 mobile testing unit

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for people accessing disability supports in Auckland

We know access to PPE is a big concern for you now that COVID-19 has returned to our communities. Find out how you and your carer can access free PPE in Auckland. 

 

Published 20 August 2020

 

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Behavioural support during lockdown

People who are eligible for disability support services from us can get immediate wellbeing and behaviour support advice, support, risk assessment and safety planning from Explore Specialist Advice

Please call Explore on 0800 000 421. Don’t wait until things become unmanageable or unsafe--call them earlyYou don’t need a referral from us to access these services, but you will be asked to identify your NASC. 

Explore is open Monday to Friday from 9am- 5pm.

Additionally, you can continue to contact your mental health service provider if this is available to you. 

 

Reviewed 13 August 2020

Published 14 April 2020

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Paerangi: An online resource created to better inform Maori on COVID-19

Paerangi is an online directory of supports and services available for Maori communities in Tamaki Makarau in the COVID-19 environment. They provide information in te reo and English, and even access to NZ interpreting service. Some of the information they've collated are around where to get:

  • mental health support
  • medical services
  • housing help
  • money help, and others

Check out their website now

 

Reviewed 13 August 2020

Published 20 April 2020

Paerangi website

Supporting Pacific communities to fight COVID-19

Bula Vinaka, Fakaalofa Lahi Atu, Fakatalofa Atu, Halo Olaketa, Kia Orana, Mālō e Lelei, Mālō Nī, Noa’ia, Talofa Lava, Taloha Ni, Tēnā Koutou Katoa.

Prepare Pacific

Check out Prepare Pacific for information that can help our Pacific communities battle against coronavirus. Information, updates and advice are available in Pacific languages.

Prepare Pacific features the very popular Talanoa with Dr Api Talemaitoga, where he shares regular updates about the coronavirus and answers questions and concerns from a Pacific perspective.

You can also view Pacific Panel discussions on Covid-19 and how to keep Pasifika families safe and healthy. Best of all, these discussions are provided in several Pacific languages. 

You can also follow them on Facebook

 

Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP)

The MPP website also features the latest key messages on Covid-19 in New Zealand in many Pacific languages. The videos are also available on MPP’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitter account, LinkedIn.

 

Pacific health support 

Visit http://pacifichealth.org.nz/covid-19-support/ for more information on how you can get Pacific focused health support. 

 

Published 13 August 2020

Prepare pacific

How to make WHO's recommended 3 layer fabric mask

At Level 3, it is strongly encouraged to wear a mask when you are out and about.

The advice on wearing mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19 was changed to reflect the more recent recommendations of the World Health Organisation on it. WHO findings show that wearing a mask can reduce the risk of infected people spreading COVID-19.

You can use a non-medical grade mask for each person in your household or make your own fabric mask. You can also use scarves or bandanas to cover your mouth and nose when going out--please do your part to beat the spread of COVID in your community. 

Here's a video from the WHO on how to make a fabric mask at home

 

Published 12 August 2020

Two young women wearing fabric face masks

Health and disability services at Alert Level 1

Health and disability services will be running as normal under Alert Level 1 but some precautions will be in place to protect people who are vulnerable to severe COVID-19 from exposure to the virus.

This will include:

  • strict adherence to infection prevention and control protocols
  • and screening on entrance to medical facilities, where staff may ask you if you have been overseas recently, had contact with anyone who has been overseas recently, or had any potential recent exposure to COVID-19 such as being a close contact of a confirmed or probable case. 

For more information, visit the Ministry of Health website.

 

Published 9 June 2020

Unite against COVID-19

Parents' Zoom meeting: managing anxiety

Monday 8 June 10.30am-12pm 

Disability Connect is holding a Zoom meeting for parents/carers of disabled peopled on how to manage anxiety. They have invited Judy Ng (Registered Psychologist/Behaviour Therapist) to this meeting to help deepen participants' understanding of anxiety and discuss strategies that may help manage it. 

 

Published 2 June 2020

 

People chatting on video conference

Housing survey: COVID-19 and living arrangements

This is a follow-up to the Housing Collective's survey about the challenges disabled people experience in finding accommodation. 

The purpose of this survey is to gain information on the experiences of people with disabilities and their families during the COVID-19 shutdown. In particular the survey covers changes in these peoples’ housing, living arrangements and wellbeing during this period.

 

Published 2 June 2020

Person typing on laptop

Alert Level 2 guidance for disabled people

Here's what our community can expect under level 2:

Individualised Funding (IF) - Increased flexibility continues throughout all levels. These purchases must be within your allocation, and your budget needs to last for your whole allocation. 

Flexibility for respite paid for under Individualised Funding remains under Alert Level 2.

Respite - Alert Level 2 allows for limited opening of facility-based respite services for families of disabled people where urgent respite care is required, so long as public health measures are in place. 

Carer support - There is flexibility for carer support under Alert Level 2. That is, the disabled person, and/or their family have choice around how relief is provided to the disabled person’s carer, and what the disabled person does while their usual carer is given a break.

Please note that this flexibility is for Carer Support paid through disability support services only (i.e. not through DHBs).

Find out more about Health and Disability services at Level 2.

Alert Level 2 guidance for disabled people.

Information and guidelines on the rules disability support services need to follow at Alert Level 2.

 

Reviewed 22 May 2020

Published 14 May 2020

Unite against COVID-19

Transitioning students with disabilities back to school

Wellbeing and transitions back to early learning and school for students with learning support needs

Thursday 21 May at 11.00a.m via livestream

The Ministry of Education is hosting a live webinar for parents and whānau of children and young people with disabilities, high health needs and learning and behaviour difficulties.  
  
The webinar will  focus on wellbeing and transition back to early learning services and schools for young children and school students and will include a panel made up of the following people:

David Wales National Director, Learning Support
Mark Potter, Principal, Berhampore School
Frian Wadia, Parent of three boys
Sonja Macfarlane, Practice Adviser Māori, Ministry of Education
Roseanne Gibson, RTLB Cluster Manager
Michelle Wood, psychologist, Early Intervention, Ministry of Education

You may want to advise your parent community that they can join the live webinar any time from 10.45am for an 11am start on Thursday 21 May and participate by sending questions you’d like the panel to answer through the live chat.

 

Published 20 May 2020

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Carers survey


Carers.net is checking in to see how Covid-19 restrictions have gone for carers who support a friend or family member who is frail, unwell, or has a serious injury, health condition or disability.

The survey of mostly multiple choice questions will take about 10 minutes to complete. Answer as many as you like.

Carers.net will collate the feedback into a report which they will then share with you, government, other decision-makers, and the media.


Published 20 May 2020

Carers net

WINZ food grants and other urgent costs support

Work and Income NZ (WINZ) may be able to help you pay for food if you’re on a low income or a benefit.

  • You don't have to be on a benefit to qualify for this help.
  • You don't have to pay the money back.

If you're struggling to meet other living costs, or if you get an unexpected bill, WINZ might be able to help you, even if you're working.

 

Published 14 May 2020

Food parcel

Advice for family and whanau with children with learning support needs

The Ministry of Education recently updated the page on what family and whanau can expect around distance learning during level 3.

Schools should be in touch with families to find out how they can continue to support your tamariki at level 3. Feel free to contact them too if you have difficulty accessing online learning or can't pick up your child's school learning pack. 

If you need respite care, please contact us and we'll work through it. 

 

Published 7 May 2020

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Soup kitchen available in Papakura

Life Soup Kitchen provides contactless Soup Kitchens every week this May at the Papakura Marae. 

Please note that they will require every person to bring a photo ID to adhere to the contact tracing guidelines. Send only one person to collect the food and keep in mind social distancing rules when you arrive. Park in any of the allocated parking spaces outside the marae-- there will be a table outside the door where people can collect food.

Life Soup Kitchen dates:

Tuesdays May 12, 19, 26 from 6-7pm

Thursdays May 7, 14, 21, 28 from 6-7pm

Find more information from Life Soup Kitchen on their social media channels.

For a list of other foodbanks available, please go to our community page

 

Published 5 May 2020

Life Soup Kitchen at Papakura

Autistics' Zoom group lockdown experiences

When: Friday 22 and 29 May

Altogether Autism is providing Zoom groups for people with Autism who want to talk about their lockdown experiences.

The Zoom group is a place for safe sharing, connection, and understanding. The group is run by and for autistics. Teens and adults are welcome to join for free. 

There are limited spaces available so register now. Find out more information by going to the Altogether Autism website

 

Published 5 May 2020

People chatting on video conference

Respite options during alert level 3

If you need more support to provide some respite during alert level 3, consider asking someone in your bubble to help you and/or extend your bubble so you can have a break. Read more from the Ministry of Health.

 

Published 29 April 2020

A woman relaxing

In-home childcare for essential workers

The Ministry of Social Development are funding providers to deliver in-home childcare (for 5 to 14 year olds) for COVID-19 essential workers.

This means child carers (from authorised Ministry of Social Development childcare providers) coming into the homes of essential workers to provide childcare services directly to their children.

The service is fully funded until 8 May 2020. Find out how it works.

 

Published 28 April 2020

A person helping a child eat food

Alert Level 3 guidance for disabled people and whānau who employ their own support workers

For those who have Individualised Funding, here are some important things to note under Level 3: 

  • Essential services will continue.
  • The flexibility to use your funding differently will be in place until 30 June 2020. The Ministry of Health will announce what will happen after that, near the end of June. Talk to your IF Host about what is reasonable for you to buy.
  • Contracts with support workers need to be honoured during Alert Level 3. But you can employ family and whānau members who live with you to support you if your usual support worker is not available.
  • Support workers who cannot work can apply for COVID-19 Leave Support funding from the Ministry of Social Development. You can apply for this funding. 

Find out more. 

 

Published 28 April 2020

Support worker with client

Help with essential costs

If you’ve lost your job or can’t work at the moment, you may be able to get a benefit or some other financial help from the Ministry of Social Development. 

 

Published 28 April 2020

Hands holding a ceramic heart

Health and disability services at Alert Level 3

It's important to check the Ministry of Health website for guidance on how disability supports and services will continue at Level 3.  

This includes any questions you may have on what the new normal will look like for:

  • visiting residential care 
  • home-based support.  

 

Published 28 April 2020

 

Unite against COVID-19

"How life is going for the disability community" - a survey

The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) runs a weekly survey that allows you and disability providers to feedback on the issues you've faced in the COVID-19 environment. The ODI wants to know what works, what doesn't, and what our community can do better. 

Questions in the survey cover different topics, including information, safety, and how you are going. Some of these questions may bring up difficult feelings or thoughts, so links to information about these issues can be found at the end of the survey. 

All responses will be treated in confidence. 

Visit the ODI website for more information about the survey or if you want to complete the survey.

 

Published 20 April 2020

 

 

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Carer support: Taking a break during lockdown

Did you know that you can use your Carer Support funding more flexibly during Alert Level 4?

What does ‘more flexibly’ mean? 

  • Resident family members can be paid as relief carers
  • Relief care can be used whilst at work (even when working from home)
  • People can use the funding to purchase things that will provide respite for them, whilst staying within budget.

Some key things to keep in mind when using your Carer Support during this time:

  • A resident family member includes parents living with you in your bubble during lockdown.
  • Although there’s more flexibility around using your funding, the purpose of Carer Support remains unchanged: it’s funding for full-time carers so they can take a break, while the person they care for is looked after.
  • The Ministry provides clarity on their website on how you can use your Carer Support allocation during this time. It can't be used for things like food, gifts, rent, household items, etc—please read the guideline.
  • It’s important that you manage your funding sensibly so you don’t run out, as according to Ministry guidelines, you may not get extra if you use it all during lockdown. 
  • You can download a Carer Support form and then email it to csclaims@health.govt.nz. You can also take a clear photo of a completed paper form and email it to the address above. 

If you have questions about Carer Support, please give us a call.

Finally, if the person you’re caring for or supporting is not coping well and you’re concerned about their behaviour, there is a phone service available and we encourage you to use it. Explore Behaviour Service has a specialist available Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm. Please call them on 0800 000 421. Don’t wait until things become unmanageable or unsafe, call them early.

 

Published 16 April 2020

Family with child on a wheelchair

Impact of COVID-19 on the update to Funded Family Care payments

Plans to transition people from Family Funded Care to alternative support options have been delayed, so that the Government can fully respond to our current State of Emergency over COVID-19. 

Therefore, changes to existing Funded Family Care arrangements will not take place until the Ministry, NASC and disability support providers are operating in a business as usual environment.

Read the latest update from the Ministry of Health website. 

 

Published 12 April 2020

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Individualised Funding: Can I change who I receive support from on Alert Level 4?

The Ministry of Health gives guidance on what you can do to keep getting essential support from the people you choose while there is a COVID-19 outbreak in New Zealand. 

 

Published 3 April 2020

A person helping a child eat food

What are considered essential services under Alert Level 4

There's a 'checklist' that helps Government determine if a service remains available during Alert Level 4.

Those providing disability supports and services, like us, Taikura Trust, are essential so we're still available during lockdown. Visit the Ministry of Health website to read what are essential health and disability services during this time

 

Published 30 March 2020

Taking blood samples

Individualised Funding: Paying a support worker while you're self-isolating 

If you're wondering how to pay your support worker while you're self-isolating, the Ministry of Health provides some information on what you can do during this time.  

 

Published 27 March 2020

Support worker with client

Build your bubble

Right now people in at-risk groups need to do everything they can to stay away from anyone with the COVID-19 virus. This means being careful and making a plan. An important part of this plan is to build your bubble.

So, what is a bubble and how do you build one? Watch this video from the Ministry of Health on how to build your bubble for COVID-19 self-isolation

 

Published 27 March 2020

Build your bubble