Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Big News: How ACC Breaks The Law

Big News with Dave Crampton

How ACC Case Managers Break The Law

Much has been made of ACC’s “stock” comments when referring to claimants, and Scoop revealed last week that ACC – related complaints to the Ombudsman doubled in two years.

More than 170 had complained to Catalyst Injury Management Ltd, an ACC subsidiary set up to kick people off ACC, about the handling of their claims before some went to the ombudsman. Claims to the ombudsman are merely the tip of the iceberg and many more complain to the ACC complaints 0800 number sent up for the purpose.

Many complain because they are not receiving the rehabilitation they are entitled to. Here’s why: Many ACC rehabilitation plans that are drawn up by case managers and signed by claimants are illegal.

This is because the Corporation must provide appropriate vocational and social rehabilitation before a rehab plan is signed by a claimant. Yet most rehabilitation does not happen until after a rehabilitation plan is signed, if it happens at all.

Claimants can legally refuse to sign rehabilitation plans if they have not been provided rehabilitation under the Act. Some will not require rehabilitation, yet a rehabilitation plan doesn’t have to be signed until a claimant has been on ACC for 13 weeks.

Chances are some claimants may need rehabilitation long before the 13 weeks is up. Some have rehabilitation plans drafted up early some don’t. However, all claimants are pressured to sign these plans, and if they don’t, the corporation illegally docks entitlements.

So sign them they do and many still don’t receive entitled rehabilitation, which is the reason ACC CEO Gary Wilson says that half those on ACC for longer than a year are still receiving compensation. In short, ACC is failing in its responsibility to uphold provisions in the ACC Act and case managers are acting illegally by not providing necessary rehabilitation before rehabilitation plans are signed - nor are many providing claimants with the help and advice they need.

Rehabilitation plans must identify the assessments to be done, yet many assessments are a surprise to claimants and are not noted on rehabilitation plans. This too is against the law.

So if this is constantly happening, why does Catalyst boss Kaye Laurence say that ACC wants to exit 2000 claimants - 500 more than the ACC targets agreed with the Government – by providing “appropriate rehabilitation” in order that claimants can return to independence?

Apparently, the claimants targeted should be exited from ACC after 18 months as they are seen to be able to respond to rehabilitation sufficiently enough to leave the scheme.

Some claimants who have had some rehabilitation have had their ACC file forwarded to Catalyst for reassessment. This reassessment is designed to remove claimants from the scheme to exceed desired targets. There have been cases where medical assessors provided substandard examinations or have done examinations off file notes.

ACC calls it a test for work capacity but work capacity assessments are designed to assess a claimants readiness to exit the scheme and hasten it as fast as possible. If it is done with in the terms of the ACC Act it is a bonus. If not, it doesn’t matter, the claimant can always apply for review.

It would be interesting to find out how many of the 1350 people docked by Catalyst case managers received appropriate rehabilitation or returned to independence?

How many were docked after their first assessment? No statistics have been done on claimants who have ended up on benefits.

What should really be reviewed is ACC’s methods and procedures for assessing claimants’ needs for rehabilitation. The way ACC staff request and conduct assessments should also be reviewed. The only people who should be docked ACC entitlements are the fit and the fraudsters.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Keith Rankin: Science, Scientists, And Scientism
Science, in the not-so-recent-past, has often had a bad press. It's been personified, particularly by the political left, as Frankenstein, as agents of capitalism, classical liberalism, colonialism, sexism (yang over yin), eugenics, and god-like pretension. More recently though, in the zeitgeists of climate change awareness and covid, it's had an unusually good press; although we retain this persistent worry that viruses such as SARS-Cov2 may be the unwitting or witting result of the work of careless or evil scientists... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Can ACT's Dream Run Continue?

By most reckonings the ACT Party has had a very successful political year. Not only has its expanded Parliamentary team settled in well to its work, without controversy or scandal, but its leader has gained in community respect, and the party’s support, at least according to the public opinion polls, has increased sharply... More>>

Keith Rankin: Basic Universal Income And Economic Rights
"Broad growth is only going to come when you put money in the hands of people, and that's why we talk about a Universal Basic Income". [Ritu Dewan, Indian Society of Labour Economics]. (From How long before India's economy recovers, 'Context India', Al Jazeera, 31 Oct 2021.) India may be to the 'Revolution of the twenty-first century' that Russia was to the 'Revolution of the twentieth century'... More>>

Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>

Globetrotter: Why Julian Assange’s Inhumane Prosecution Imperils Justice For Us All

When I first saw Julian Assange in Belmarsh prison, in 2019, shortly after he had been dragged from his refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy, he said, “I think I am losing my mind.”
He was gaunt and emaciated, his eyes hollow and the thinness of his arms was emphasized by a yellow identifying cloth tied around his left arm... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Labour's High Water Mark
If I were still a member of the Labour Party I would be feeling a little concerned after this week’s Colmar Brunton public opinion poll. Not because the poll suggested Labour is going to lose office any time soon – it did not – nor because it showed other parties doing better – they are not... More>>