About the Wigs and Hairpieces Subsidy

Note: You should not rely solely on the answers provided here. The full rights and liabilities applicable to any service provider or funder must consult the contracts applicable to each provider and all relevant legislation.

The Wigs and Hairpieces Service Payment is for people who suffer from serious hair loss because of a medical condition or from certain cancer therapies. 

Your specialist or general practitioner (GP) needs to give you a current medical certificate with your NHI number, details of the hair loss condition and whether it is permanent or temporary.

Sector Operations on behalf of Te Whatu Ora, will:

  • pay any provider for providing wigs, hairpieces or other headwear (‘the Services’) to any eligible person; or
  • pay any eligible person for the purchase of the services by that eligible person from a provider.

Who it's for

You may claim for this service payment if you:

  • are a New Zealand citizen, or are ordinarily resident in New Zealand; and
  • have a medical condition that has caused you to lose your hair (like treatment for cancer, alopecia or other scalp conditions that cause hair loss). 

How to make a Wig and Hairpiece Subsidy claim

Your GP or medical specialist will inform you about the service payment and issue you with a medical certificate. All you will then need to do is go to a wig supplier and choose the right wig or hairpiece for you. Once you have chosen your wig, hairpiece or other item you may either request the supplier to make a claim to Sector Operations on your behalf or make a claim yourself.

Claim by supplier

The supplier will fill in details of the product and it’s cost on the Wig and Hairpiece Claim Form and then ask you to fill in your personal details, and sign the form. The supplier will then complete an additional form (stating that they are claiming on your behalf  and forward both forms to Sector Operations, with your medical certificate (where this is your first claim). You do not pay for the product yourself but keep a copy of the receipt the supplier gives you for your personal records.

Claim by you

You pay for the product yourself. To make a claim for reimbursement you must first have a Sector Operations payee number. Ring Sector Operations on 0800 855 066 for a Payee Number Application Form and a Wig and Hairpiece Claim Form. You will need to complete the forms and return them to Sector Operations for reimbursement of your costs.


What you can use the subsidy for

The service payment is available to cover the cost of the following items only:

  • wig or hairpiece
  • headwear (eg, hats, turbans)
  • eyebrow wigs and associated products.

How much you can claim

If you're an adult (18 years or over), the amount you are entitled to depends on whether your hair loss is permanent or temporary.

If you are under 18, your entitlement is the same whether the hair loss is temporary or permanent.

For adults (with permanent hair loss)

Your entitlement is $2330.66 (GST incl) over a 9-year period. You can claim all of or part of your $2330.66 (GST incl) entitlement at any time over the 9-year entitlement period.

For adults (with temporary hair loss)

Your entitlement is $408.88 (GST incl) over a 1-year period. You can claim all of or part of your $408.88 entitlement at any time over the 1-year period.

For children (with temporary or permanent hair loss)

If you are under 18 your entitlement is $1226.66 (GST incl) over a 3-year period or until you turn 18, if that happens first. You can claim all or part of your $1226.66 entitlement at any time over the entitlement period.

In exceptional situations Te Whatu Ora will consider:

  • allowing access to your next entitlement earlier (Early Access)
  • making the start date of your next entitlement earlier (New Term), or
  • approving actual costs over and above your current entitlement (Top Up).

Note: If you are 18 or over and your growth has been affected by cancer or cancer interventions you may still be entitled to $1226.66 over a 3-year period. To apply for this entitlement you need to contact Te Whatu Ora and provide supporting medical information.

What happens when your entitlement period ends

At the end of the your entitlement period any unspent amount is cancelled. If Te Whatu Ora is satisfied that your hair loss is permanent, an entitlement of $2,330.66 (GST incl) will be credited, for a 9-year period.

In the case of temporary hair loss, you must apply to Sector Operations for another entitlement. To do this you must send in a new medical certificate that verifies that your hair loss is either temporary or permanent. A new entitlement balance with then be credited.


Where to send your claims

Send your forms to:

Wigs and Hairpiece Subsidy
Sector Operations
Private Bag 1942
Dunedin 9054

Get in touch

Call the Sector Operations Contact Centre: 0800 855 066 – option 3 – Claims

Email: customerservice@health.govt.nz

Operating hours

Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: 8am – 5pm
Wed: 9.30am – 5pm

Forms and information

Download: Section 88 Client Payee Number Application Form - DOC, 259 KB

Section 88 Client Application form – Breast Prostheses / Wigs and Hairpieces / Artificial Eyes