ACC – What You Need to Know

The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) provides comprehensive, no-fault personal injury cover for all New Zealand residents and visitors to New Zealand.  Everyone in New Zealand has 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, no-fault comprehensive injury cover through ACC.

They also cover NZ citizens and residents who are injured whilst overseas – so long as the travel was intended to be less than 6 months.  ACC does NOT cover treatment costs incurred overseas.  If you have friends or relatives visiting, they are also covered if they have accidents that occur whilst they are here.

An accident is deemed as something in which an external force is applied, so falling, tripping, lifting, being knocked off your bike all count; sneezing, laughing and coughing in isolation do not.  Injuries as a result of giving birth are not ordinarily covered.  The aforementioned are by no means exhaustive.

The amount of treatments covered depends on which part of the body is injured. Ordinarily this varies from 6 to 18 treatments.  These need to be taken within 12 months of first reporting the injury.  Injury claims should also be lodged by individuals within 12 months of the accident (preferably much sooner).

Overuse Injuries

Overuse injuries, such as repetitive strain injuries, are only covered if they are as a result of work.  These cannot be diagnosed by an osteopath, physiotherapist or chiropractor, so individuals need to see a GP.  Their claims will then be investigated by ACC to see if they are eligible.

Common Misconceptions

Here are a few common misconceptions that we see in clinic:

  • Pensioners are not covered. Incorrect – everyone is covered – regardless of age or gender.  Pensioners can have accidents like everyone else.
  • People that do not pay ACC contributions are not eligible. Incorrect – you do not need to be in employment to claim.
  • Accidents that happen outside of work are not covered. Incorrect – you are covered 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
  • ACC cover the full cost of treatment. Incorrect – ACC subsidise treatment costs.  They also subsidise ultrasound imagery and x-rays.
  • You need to see a GP to report an accident. Incorrect – osteopaths, along with other ACC Treatment Providers (GPs, emergency departments, physiotherapists and chiropractors), can complete a form to lodge a claim with ACC.

What You Need To Do

If you are involved in an accident it is important to report the incident to an ACC Treatment Provider.  Most importantly to get it checked, get a diagnosis and treatment (if necessary), but also to ensure that a record is taken of it.  Whilst osteopaths and other manual health practitioners cannot ordinarily treat people for injuries that happened over 12 months prior; specialists, such as orthopaedic surgeons can.  Medical imaging can also be taken for older injuries and still be covered by ACC.

For more detailed information, have a look at the ACC website:

http://www.acc.co.nz/making-a-claim/am-i-covered/index.htm

http://www.acc.co.nz/making-a-claim/how-do-i-make-a-claim/index.htm

If you have any questions then you can either call the clinic on 035784434 or email us admin@mosl.co.nz.  Alternatively, contact ACC direct on 0800 101 996.  To make a booking, call the clinic or click here to make an online booking.

ACC