Changes to MSD dental special needs grants

The Ministry of Health requested that we advise oral health practitioners on the changes made to the dental special needs grant (SNG), paid by the Ministry of Social Development. These changes come into effect 1 December 2022. The Information guide for Dental Special Needs Grants is available here.

In summary:

  • People can apply to receive a SNG when they or their dependent child have an immediate need for essential dental treatment.
  • The maximum available amount is increasing from $300 to $1,000 in a 52-week period (except where exceptional circumstances exist). These grants do not need to be paid back.
  • People will be able to apply to receive more than one SNG for essential dental treatment, up to a maximum of $1,000 in a 52-week period.

These changes recognises that not all dental treatment needs arise from an emergency, and will make it easier to support people to get a SNG for immediate and essential dental treatment when they need it.

Immediate needs for essential dental treatment are defined in the information guide as:

Dental treatment required immediately to treat an oral health issue that:

  • has deteriorated or would begin to deteriorate if left untreated, and
  • is having, or is likely to have, a detrimental effect on the person’s oral health and/or wider physical health.

Further details are available in the information guide.

Please get in touch with your local MSD Health and Disability Coordinator if you have queries (0800 559 009 or contact your local Work and Income site).