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Making a claim and dealing with ACC

Your rights when dealing with ACC

Accident Compensation Act 2001, ss 39–47

The Code of ACC Claimants’ Rights explains how ACC works with people who make claims. The Code is intended to foster positive relationships between you and ACC. It gives you rights and describes the responsibilities of ACC.

Note: The code is concerned with how a claimant is treated by ACC. It does not deal with entitlement. If you have a concern about an ACC decision regarding cover or entitlement, you must use the review processes available for challenging an ACC decision (see “Challenging an ACC decision in this chapter).

What rights do you have under the code?

You have the right to:

  • be treated with dignity and respect
  • be treated fairly and have your views considered
  • have your culture, values, and beliefs respected
  • a support person or people
  • effective communication
  • be fully informed
  • have your privacy respected
  • complain if ACC breaches your rights under the Code.

How can you make a complaint under the code?

If you think that your rights under the code have been breached, or you have some other complaint about the way you have been treated by ACC, you can either:

  • raise the problem at a local level with the person you have been dealing with at ACC, or with that person’s manager, or
  • lodge a complaint with ACC‘s complaints service, the Office of the Complaints Investigator. This must be done using the ACC‘s own ACC Code Complaint Form. It does not cost anything to make a complaint.

What can the Office of the Complaints Investigator do?

The Office of the Complaints Investigator is part of ACC, but it has to investigate complaints and help resolve them impartially and independently. Once the office has finished investigating a complaint, it will provide a written decision. It will give reasons for its decision and describe any action it intends to take.

The Office of the Complaints Investigator can tell ACC to do certain things, including:

  • apologise to you
  • meet with you so that you can put forward your views
  • provide you with relevant information
  • provide interpreting services.

The Office of the Complaints Investigator can also recommend “other remedial actions”, for example recommending to ACC that it change its decision.

What if you don’t agree with the decision of the Office of The Complaints Investigator?

If you are unhappy with the Office of the Complaints Investigator’s decision, you can request a review of the decision by an external reviewer, using the same procedure that applies to ACC decisions on claims (for information see “Challenging an ACC decision / External review” in this chapter).

Note: Unlike other external review decisions, an external reviewer’s decision about an alleged breach of the Code of ACC Claimants’ Rights cannot be appealed to the District Court.

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Accident compensation (ACC)

Where to go for more support

Community Law


Your local Community Law Centre can provide free initial legal advice and information.

Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)



Claims helpline: 0800 101 996
Treatment Injury and Sexual Abuse (sensitive claims): 0800 735 566
Accidental death: 0800 101 996
Deaf community fax: 0800 332 354
Email: claims@acc.co.nz

General enquiries

Phone: (04) 816 7400
Email: information@acc.co.nz


Phone: 0800 650 222
Email: complaints@acc.co.nz

Health and Disability Commissioner


Health and Disability advocates are available to help users of health services make complaints about their health service provider. Health and Disability advocates are free.

Sexual abuse claims (“Sensitive” claims)

ACC Sensitive Claims team

Phone: 0800 735 566
Email: sensitiveclaims@acc.co.nz

Find Support website – www.findsupport.co.nz

This is an ACC website that will help you find information and support. You can click on “Find a therapist” on the home page to find a therapist in your area who can help you begin the process of making an ACC claim.

Support organisations

Sexual abuse support centres


TOAHNNEST: Te Ohakii a Hine – National Network for Ending Sexual Violence Together has a list of places where you can get help.

Medical Council of NZ


The Medical Council registers doctors in New Zealand and has responsibilities in the areas of standards, conduct and competence.

Privacy Commissioner


The Privacy Commissioner has a wide range of functions, including investigating complaints about breaches of privacy, running education programmes, and examining proposed legislation and how it may affect individual privacy.



Phone: 0800 273 030

Email: info@wayfinders.org.nz

Wayfinders are a free national service that’s available to anyone who have questions about ACC or a specific ACC claim. Their service is available for people who may want an alternative way to interact with ACC rather than deal with ACC directly.

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