Since 2014, respite can be used under Individualised Funding, known as IF-Respite which has a budget separate from the IF funds. To get IF-Respite people need to meet the Ministry of Health eligibility for Disability Support Services and have been allocated respite services by the NASC.
Respite supports full-time carers by providing them with temporary relief from their care-giving while still providing care and support for their disabled family member.
IF-Respite can be used for in-home respite, out-of-home respite provided by a host family, out-of-home respite provided by facility or out-of-home provided by a non-facility.
Respite can be provided by a host family, a non-Ministry of Health contracted organisation as well as a Ministry of Health contracted provider. If respite has already been allocated under the current funding package, a person can ask their NASC provider to transfer this over to IF-Respite.
IF and IF-Respite aims to provide increased choice and control over how, and when support allocations are used, and the people and organisations that provide the support.
It is flexible. For example, the hours in which support is available can be negotiated between the disabled person and the support workers and the type of support available. The only expectation is that the essential supports that the disabled person and the needs assessor have agreed upon are received.
IF Hosts charge at a rate which is determined by the Ministry and is determined by the size of the support package set out after the NASC assessment.
One of the roles of the IF Host is to work with the disabled person to set up the IF and support them to understand and manage their responsibilities. The responsibilities include maintaining records which detail where the funding allocations have been used and complying with relevant Ministry policies.
Additional responsibilities are associated with the employment of support workers, including managing staff and complying with relevant tax and employment laws and regulations, some of which may be outsourced to an IF Host (at an additional cost). Other roles of the IF Host are to invoice the Ministry of Health and pay the support workers or organisations. Furthermore, they are responsible for monitoring and reporting to the Ministry what services were used and the quality of these. They also facilitate networking between users of IF so they can share information and resources such as staff and staff training.
The additional roles which can be provided at a fee include a payroll aspect where the IF Host employs support workers chosen by the disabled person (and/or their family) and make payments to the support workers directly. They also manage ACC, tax and Kiwisaver obligations. Finally, the IF Host can also take on the role of recruitment, staff training and a bureau function, if required.
Getting a Break
Flexible respite is still tricky, especially as children get older and equipment and care becomes more complex such as requiring hospital beds. Some combinations are worth considering.
Don’t under estimate extended family, especially for respite. Use IF funding to reimburse their travel costs related to respite.
Talk with your IF Coach about how you can use IF when you go on holiday, or when you take a break away from home.
If the allocation of carer support days are insufficient to meet the needs of yourself and family Shared Care with extended family or a trusted friend could be an option for say 72 days per year. Payment to the shared carer varies depending on the agency used – but up to around $76/day.
EIF (Enhanced Individualised Funding)
When the needs of the young person becomes more demanding as they get older and $76/day seems insufficient, EIF could be helpful. This is when your respite funding allocation is combined with your IF funding at often a greater amount than $76/day. This may also allow you to purchase equipment necessary to provide respite such as a hospital bed or safety rail/ramps
*Currently you have to live in the Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty to be eligible for EIF.
Agency Respite care
Provider agencies with specialised staff and equipment may become necessary. Flexibility becomes difficult and respite will need to be planned sometimes months in advance.
Live in support such as au pairs/nannies could also be an option for flexible care and or respite. Rent or board is subsidised in exchange for care plus an IF ‘top up’
The possibilities with IF are endless … if plan A doesn’t work … think about a plan B … C… etc.