ACC entitlements: Treatment, compensation and other support
Lump-sum payments for permanent impairments
What compensation can I get for permanent injuries?
You can get lump-sum compensation for permanent impairments – for example, if you lose a finger in a machine accident at work. These are one-off, non-taxable payments that are paid on top of other ACC entitlements.
These lump-sum payments don’t include compensation for pain and suffering, or for loss of enjoyment of life, resulting from your impairment. However, permanent impairment can include mental harm caused by rape and sexual abuse (see: “Sexual abuse: Cover for resulting mental harm”).
Eligibility for lump-sum compensation is based on a medical assessment of the claimant’s impairment. The ACC-appointed assessor must decide if you are permanently impaired, and if so, to what degree or “percentage”. In assessing impairment, ACC uses the American Medical Association guidelines. To qualify for lump-sum compensation, a claimant must have suffered a minimum threshold of 10 percent degree of impairment.
Usually, assessment for lump-sum compensation takes place after a registered medical practitioner confirms to ACC that your personal injury has stabilised, and that it’s likely that you have a permanent impairment. If your personal injury hasn’t stabilised after two years, you can still get an assessment if the practitioner thinks that it’s likely you have a permanent impairment.
For information about laws protecting disabled people generally, see: “Disability rights”.