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

Conditions caused gradually: Covered only if work-related

Accident Compensation Act 2001, s 30

In general ACC doesn’t cover conditions, diseases or infections that are caused gradually. However, there are some exceptions to this, and a key one is when you’re exposed to something harmful at work over a period of time and as a result you develop a disease or infection or a condition like hearing loss or repetitive strain injury (RSI). For your claim to succeed you’ll have to show that:

  • your work tasks or work environment had a particular characteristic (like the presence of a harmful substance, or loud noise) that caused the harm, and
  • this characteristic isn’t found to any real extent outside your work, and
  • the risk of suffering the harm is significantly greater for people who do your particular work tasks or have your particular work environment than it is for other people.

Note: For some specific occupational diseases, you don’t have to prove that your work tasks or environment were the cause. These diseases include conditions caused by asbestos, lead, arsenic or mercury. Here you only have to show that your job exposed you to the particular substance.

Because conditions that are caused gradually are only covered if they’re work-related, this means ACC won’t cover you if you develop a condition like RSI or hearing loss from a hobby or other activity in your non-work life.

Illnesses and infections are also covered if they were caused by medical treatment (see below). Otherwise, illnesses and infections aren’t covered by ACC.

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 your health and safety as one of their employees.

Am I covered if I get COVID-19 at work?

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. However it may be very difficult to prove that your work tasks or enviornment were the cause of you contracting COVID-19.

For more information, see: “Conditions caused gradually: Covered only if work-related”.

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Accident compensation (ACC)

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Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)

ACC’s website provides information to help you navigate the ACC system. It includes information on the claims process, possible entitlements and how to resolve an issue with ACC.

Website: www.acc.co.nz

General questions 
Email: information@acc.co.nz
Phone: 04 816 7400
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Way Finders is a free nationwide independent service that can provide you with general or specific advice about ACC and help you navigate the system.

Website: www.wayfinders.org.nz 
Email: info@wayfinders.org.nz
Phone: 0800 273 030

Talk Meet Resolve (TMR)

Talk Meet Resolve is a free independent nationwide service that can assist you in resolving your dispute with ACC.

Website: www.talkmeetresolve.co.nz
Email: info@talkmeetresolve.co.nz
Phone: 0800 119 221

Complete the webform: www.talkmeetresolve.co.nz/contact

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The Medical Council of New Zealand is responsible for ensuring doctors are competent and fit to practise. The website contains a register of practising doctors.

Website: www.mcnz.org.nz

Health and Disability Commissioner

The Health and Disability Commissioner website sets out your rights under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights and how you can make a complaint to the Commissioner.

Website: www.hdc.org.nz
Email: hdc@hdc.co.nz
Phone: 0800 119 221

To make a complaint online: www.hdc.org.nz/making-a-complaint/make-a-complaint-to-hdc

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The Privacy Commissioner website provides information about your rights and responsibilities under the Privacy Act 2020 and the Privacy Principles. It also outlines the role of the Privacy Commissioner and how to make a privacy complaint.

Website: www.privacy.org.nz
Email: enquiries@privacy.org.nz
Phone: 0800 803 909

To make a complaint online: www.privacy.org.nz/your-rights/making-a-complaint

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