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Cruel ACC Law Denies Assistance

Press Release - Acclaim Otago

Cruel ACC Law Denies Assistance

"The government should change the ACC law back to where it was before 1992 so that victims of mental injury are able to obtain assistance from the state insurer", said Acclaim Otago spokesperson, Denise Powell.

Under the 1982 Act, victims of mental injury, such as that suffered by Mr Gardiner were covered by ACC and, if it was still in force today, he would be able to obtain entitlements such as weekly compensation if his injury stopped him from working.

"The 1992 Act severely restricted the availability of cover for mental injury and was the cause of considerable injustice, which we see today in Mr Gardiner's case. The Labour government, in spite of promising to deliver a fairer ACC scheme, has preserved some of the injustices of the 1992 Act and Acclaim Otago regards this as a clear breach of that promise", said Ms Powell.

The Ministerial Advisory Panel on Work-related Gradual Process Disease or Infection Report released yesterday recommended reinstating cover for mental injury to extend cover to situations where no ‘physical injury’ can be shown – but other forms of injury are proven – for example stress and mental injuries.

It is well past time that the government started to deliver justice to ordinary New Zealanders and it needs to implement the recommendations of the report in full so that people like Mr Gardiner can begin to heal the effects of mental trauma rather than compound the results of an horrific accident.


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