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Court case adds fuel to targeted ACC inquiry

Court case adds fuel to targeted ACC inquiry

The National Party says a High Court appeal ruling is adding fresh impetus to the call for an urgent inquiry into ACC’s management of long-term claimants.

“The fact a Judge has questioned the methods ACC uses to assess work fitness should send alarm bells ringing,” says National’s ACC spokesman Dr Paul Hutchison.

In a written decision on one of two cases, Judge Tony Middleton says the ACC’s work capacity assessment has been used as a device to remove the entitlement to a weekly income.

“Work capacity assessment is at the core of ACC policy.

“These two cases represent a story that has become increasingly familiar in the past few months,” Dr Hutchison says.

“We’ve heard that ACC refers to people as ‘stock’ and it has also been claimed that some case managers get bonuses for exiting long-term claimants,” Dr Hutchison says.

“It’s vital long-term claimants who have genuine injuries are treated with dignity, sensitivity and that best practice guidelines are used.

“We don’t have time to fix everything now, but it’s critical we find out where ACC’s going wrong with these long-term claimants.”

Dr Hutchison hopes to table his call for an inquiry into ACC’s management of long-term claimants at this week’s Transport Select Committee meeting on Thursday.

“This is not about politics, it’s about ensuring the ACC safety net is not stitching up the people it’s supposed to serve,” says Dr Hutchison.

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