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Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation Bill Q&A

Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation Bill Questions And Answers


Why is this Bill needed?

IPR Bill is the second phase of the Government's commitment to building a first class, fair and sustainable scheme for reducing personal injury which upholds the unique principles of no-fault, 24 hour cover.

What are the main differences to the current AI Act 1998?

Improved emphasis on injury prevention, improved management of injury-related information, improved emphasis on rehabilitation, lump sum compensation for permanent impairment, more flexibility in assessing weekly compensation for loss of earnings, more flexible products for self-employed, a Code of ACC claimants' rights.

What happens to me if I was injured before this Bill becomes law?

You will continue to be covered by the current law. The Bill maintains entitlements currently available and it contains transitional provisions to make sure that people who received entitlements under previous Acts, and remain eligible, continue to receive such entitlements.

Will the Work Capacity Testing be changed?

The work capacity assessment procedure will be used as it was originally intended - a rehabilitation tool rather than a means of removing a claimant's entitlement to cover. Injured workers must first go through comprehensive, monitored vocational rehabilitation before they are even considered for work capacity testing.
Who will be eligible for lump sum compensation?

People who suffer permanent impairment as a result of an injury. The intent of this change is to provide fairer compensation for those who, through impairment, suffer non-economic loss. This includes both physical impairment and mental injury (caused by a physical injury or sexual abuse).

Lump sums will be available to claimants who sustain injuries after the Act’s implementation date, and the assessment of impairment will be based only on injuries that take place after the Act’s implementation date.


How will people be assessed for lump sum compensation?

Assessment will be made using American Medical Association (AMA) guides and/or other guides as may be specified in regulations and is based on what is called "whole person impairment".

There will be a minimum payment of $2,500 and a maximum of $100,000.

The assessments will be calibrated so that more seriously injured claimants receive proportionately more than less seriously injured claimants and the assessment will take place when the claimant’s condition has stabilised, or after 2 years, whichever occurs first.

Examples of indicative whole person impairment calculations:

Loss of ring finger 5% whole person impairment
Loss of index finger 11%
Loss of thumb – 22%
Loss of leg (above knee) 32%– 40%
Loss of arm 57% – 60%
Loss of hearing 35%
Loss of vision in one eye 24%
Loss of vision in both eyes 85%


How much will lump sums cost?

Estimates from Treasury and the Department of Labour put the cost of lump sum payments at around $60 million dollars fully funded costs per accident year, across all accounts. This figure represents around 7 percent of the amount spent on compensation during 1998/1999.
Can I get a lump sum payment and weekly compensation?
Yes.
Will ACC costs and premiums go up when the new Bill becomes law?

The cost of lump sums will be partially off set by the cessation of the Independence Allowance and the cost will also be absorbed by more effective rehabilitation. The Bill will not impact on the new lower ACC levies announced this week and set to come into force next April.


When is the Bill expected to become law?

The Bill will probably take 6 months to move through the House after its introduction. Then it will be another 6 months before it comes into effect because of the many regulations etc that will need to be changed.

Which Select Committee is likely to consider the Bill?

The Minister's intention is that it will be referred to the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee

How do I make a submission?

You can contact the Select Committee Office to get them to send you a booklet on making a submission- phone 04 471 9520 or fax 04 499 0486. Or you can go to Parliament's website –
Long address:
www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/publications/submission/contents.html

shorter address:
www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz Then go to Publications and Information, and select 'Making a Submission to a Parliamentary Select Committee'


How do I find out more information about the Bill

Further information is available on the following websites:
www.dol.govt.nz

www.executive.govt.nz/acc


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