Damning ACC research released
Hundreds of thousands of injured Kiwis are declined cover each year by ACC, causing ‘‘unacceptable harm’’ to many legitimate claimants, according to new research.
Injured people who have been denied cover ’’find themselves pitted against a huge, billion-dollar specialist Crown agency’’, the Law Foundation and University of Otago-backed report said.
The report, published on Tuesday, calls for the establishment of a personal injury commissioner to help people navigate the Accident Compensation Corporation’s (ACC) ’’incredibly complex and difficult’’ complaints process. It also calls for change to the way ACC determines whether it will cover a person.
ACC’s ‘‘narrow, technical, legalistic’’ interpretation of the law was ‘‘shutting out’’ many legitimate claimants and ‘‘shifting costs’’ to injured people and other institutions, the report found.
It also had increasingly higher cover thresholds and asked claimants to ‘‘produce more complex evidence’’. These factors led to ‘‘unacceptably low levels’’ of public trust and confidence, the document said.
ACC chief executive Scott Pickering said he agreed the organisation’s systems and processes were ‘‘complex and difficult to navigate for customers and our own staff’’, but it had been working to address this in recent years.