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