ACC was created to ensure that if any New Zealander had an accident and needed treatment, or was unable to work, the State would ensure that the treatment was paid for. It was an idealistic scheme and was originally intended to extend to cover illness. In the 40+ years since ACC was created, it has evolved through changes to legislation and is no longer as clear cut as it was intended.
Diana Clement published an excellent article in the NZ Herald recently that highlighted some of the issues with ACC. We have recently noted in our blogs some of the concerns that we have and issues that our clients have seen.
We have summarised these below, along with a link to Diana’s article and our previous blog articles for your reference.
What does ACC cover that you may not be aware of:
- If you die in an accident, ACC pays 80% of your wages or salary to your family or a portion of that to the childrens carer for a period of time.
- Special payments for prescriptions, home modifications, vocational rehabilitation, travel and accommodation, attendant care, services for hearing loss.
- Some treatment ‘injuries’ – ie a heart attack or a stroke that suffered when you were being treated.
- Some mental injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder relating to sexual abuse, and you can get free counselling.
Why is ACC not the complete solution – things to be aware of:
- There are 344 pages of the ACC Act and the definition of what is an ACCIDENT is not not necessarily what you and I would consider to be an accident.
- This is an exclusion under ACC that can apply to many things that we consider are as a result of an ‘accident’. Just because your initial trip to the doctor is is covered or accepted, this doesn’t mean that the rest of your treatment or time of work will be.
- If you are self employed – your income will be based on what you personally have declared to IRD. Any ‘cashies’ won’t be included, any income that you have split with your spouse won’t be included. Dividends are not included.
- If you have any ‘connection or intellectual input’ to the business while you are off on ACC weekly compensation, your compensation can be clawed back.
What does this mean for you? To ensure that you achieve your goals, you need to prepare for any impact of being off work as a result of illness or injury and the impact that this will have on your cashflow.
A complete financial plan incorporates income protection insurance and/or mortgage repayment insurance and trauma insurance. ACC is not enough to ensure that you are well protected.
If you want to make sure you have the most appropriate insurance cover for you – Get a Free Quote Now
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For more blog entries that you might be interested in:
By Carey Church