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Health & disability

When you’re covered by ACC, and when you’re not


The vast majority of ACC claims are for physical injuries caused by accidents – like broken, fractured or dislocated bones, muscle tears and strains, lacerations (deep cuts or tears), and sprains.

Most claims involve an “accident” in the everyday sense of the term, like a car crash, or falling off a ladder at work or at home. But sometimes there are less straightforward cases, and whether you’re covered or not will depend on the detailed definition of “accident” in the ACC laws: for a summary of the legal definition, see below under “Injuries caused by accidents”.

Usually ACC only covers injuries caused by a specific event, rather than by a long-term, gradual process. But sometimes ACC will cover conditions caused by long-term exposure to something harmful at work or by an action repeated over a long time as part of your work: see below, “Conditions caused gradually: Covered only if work-related”.

In a few situations, non-physical injuries like panic disorders or depression will also be covered, depending on how they were caused: see below, “Nervous shock and other mental conditions: Sometimes covered”.

ACC information about COVID-19

Am I covered if I’m injured while working from home?

Yes, if you are injured at home while doing a work-related task, it’s considered a work-related injury. Even if you are working from home, your employer is still responsible for the health and safety of their employees.

Visit www.business.govt.nz and search “COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic lights)” for information on working from home under the COVID-19 Protection Framework

Am I covered if I get COVID?

If you contracted COVID-19 at work, you may be covered by ACC if you meet the criteria for a work-related gradual process, disease or infection. For more information, see below. “Conditions caused gradually: Covered only if work-related”

Am I covered if I get an injury or reaction caused by the COVID-19 vaccination?

Physical injury resulting from a vaccination, including the COVID-19 vaccine, may be covered if you meet the criteria for a “treatment injury”. The injury has be clearly caused by the vaccination and not just be an ordinary consequence of the treatment. For more information, see below. “Injuries caused by medical treatment: “Treatment injuries”

For example, an ordinary consequence of a vaccination would be inflammation and pain around the site of the injection, flu like symptoms or fatigue and is unlikely to be covered. Infections (such as cellulitis or septic arthritis) due to the vaccination resulting in injury are not ordinary consequences and are likely to be covered.

The support ACC can provide would depend on your circumstances and needs. This may include medical treatment, compensation for loss of wages or salary and rehabilitation to help the claimant regain independence. There may be support provided in the case of death.

For more information, visit www.acc.co.nz/covid-19/clients


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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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