The process

We'll determine if someone is eligible to receive Ministry of Health Disability Support Services (DSS) and help design a support plan that meets their unique disability needs.

We receive a referral  

The information on the referral is essential in determining whether someone can receive MOH disability supports and services. Please provide as much information as possible supporting the client's disability claims. 

Who can send a referral:  

GPs, specialists, teachers, social workers and anyone who knows the disabled person can send a referral. 

Before sending a referral:

  • Check if they meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Still not sure? Call our Access team at 09 278 6314 to find out more. 
  • Ensure consent is obtained - did the person give consent to the referral or did the legal authority give consent on their behalf?


Types of referrals: 

  • Specialist assessor reports that establish diagnosis and disability.
  • School letters that describe the person’s condition, current care and supports.
  • Clinical letters or summaries that clearly outline health and disability issues.

Take note:

  • We process referrals within 48 business hours upon receipt.
  • If a person does not meet the eligibility criteria, we advise the professional referrer the outcome of our eligibility assessment, and not the person they have referred. 


We call the client

If a person is eligible to receive our service, one of our service facilitators will call them to organise a needs assessment.

We meet them

  • We’ll talk about the things they do and would like to do; what’s important to them and the people in their life.
  • Their family, advocate, social worker, or anyone they feel comfortable with can be at the assessment. We can also organise language assistance if it’s needed
  • The assessment can take one to two hours long.
  • The assessment will be recorded digitally. The facilitator can read the report back to the person and give them a copy after the assessment.

We create a support plan with them

We use the information on the assessment to coordinate supports and services that fit their disability needs. This could be a mix of supports offered by the Ministry of Health and other services in the community.

We’re on this journey together  

After their first needs assessment, we’ll conduct the next assessment after one year, and then after every three years to see if their support plan still works for them.

If there are any changes, we can do a reassessment so their support plan meets their disability needs.