The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is an organisation very unique to New Zealand. While similar schemes can be found in a few Scandinavian countries, it remains rare on a worldwide level. Though most Kiwis know of its existence, many people approach our clinic unsure of whether their injury is covered or not.
To help set you straight, here is a summary of the key points regarding ACC in New Zealand in regard to physiotherapy.
- What defines an accident?
ACC defines an accident as a specific incident, event, or series of events that causes injury to your body. Your typical accident will likely involve a slip, trip, bump or fall.
- Your injury does not have to be work-related.
ACC was originally designed only for workplace accidents but this hasn’t been the case for a long time. Any accident is eligible for cover.
- It can be your fault!
If you have had a few beverages and decide to cut some shapes on the dance floor at your cousin’s wedding, you will still be eligible for ACC cover if you are a little over-zealous and injure yourself when you slip over instead. They provide no-fault cover.
- What will not be covered?
Any injury that develops as a result of repetitive stress (unless work related), infections or illness. Moving house all day and waking up with a sore back the next day is not an accident and will not be covered. Any injuries related to ageing, such as arthritis, will not be covered. This can make things a little complicated as, for example, an accidental injury to the knee will likely be covered for physiotherapy, but if it doesn’t improve and you go on to get an x-ray and a surgical opinion, you may be declined for further cover if arthritis is found on imaging.
- You don’t have to go to the doctor first!
Physiotherapists are able to file an ACC claim for you, so no need to be referred to us by your GP first. If you require medications like anti-inflammatories for your injury though, you will need to see your GP.
If you are still unsure, call and chat to one of our receptionists or even to one of the physios and we can advise you on whether or not your injury qualifies for ACC.