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ACC supporting victims of Christchurch terror attack

ACC is boosting frontline resources in Christchurch to ensure urgent help is provided to the victims and their families following Friday’s terror attacks, says Chief Executive Scott Pickering.

“Everyone who was injured in the shootings, and the families of those who were killed, are entitled to support from us, irrespective of whether they are residents or just visiting New Zealand,” Scott Pickering says.

“For those with injuries, all acute medical care costs will be taken care of, as well as support with longer-term medical treatment.

“Anyone who was working in New Zealand will be entitled to weekly compensation while they recover. There is also a range of supports such as home help, transportation assistance, and child care where required.

“Families of those who lost their lives will receive an immediate funeral grant, and a survivor’s grant for their partners. There is additional support for those with dependents, such as children.

“Our team in Christchurch is connected with the Police family liaison officer, who is directing victims and families to us,” Scott Pickering says.

“We have two senior staff at the community hub at Hagley College, including our Christchurch branch manager. We’re getting employees who are fluent in a range of languages spoken by victims and their families to Christchurch to support our staff.

“A fact sheet is in the process of being translated into multiple languages to explain entitlements and support available for victims and their families.

“We will fast-track all claims so there are no delays to any weekly compensation payments. If victims need medical transfers, ACC is willing and able to pay for family to accompany that person.

“Two members from our specialist Accidental Death Unit have travelled to Christchurch, and we will work directly with funeral directors to ensure the process is as seamless as possible for grieving families,” Scott Pickering says.

Accidental death payments
ACC pays a tax-free funeral grant of up to $6,219.44. This is paid irrespective of whether the funeral takes place in New Zealand or abroad. A top-up provided by the Ministry of Justice for murder or manslaughter victims will take that figure to $10,000.

A one-off tax-free survivor’s grant is paid to the deceased's partner, children, and dependents. ACC will pay $6,668.03 to the partner ,and $3,334.04 to each child under 18, or other dependents. If the child or dependent is under 16, this money will go to their parent or caregiver.

If the deceased had children living in New Zealand, those caring for the children can get weekly payments to help with childcare.

If the deceased was earning an income in New Zealand when they died, families may be able to get compensation of 80 per cent of the deceased's earnings. ACC will keep making payments to a partner for five years from the date payments started or until the youngest child turns 18. Payments can continue until that child turns 21 if they are in full time study.

If someone lives overseas, they can still get these payments provided they have a New Zealand bank account and an Inland Revenue number.

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