When you’re covered by ACC, and when you’re not
Conditions caused gradually: Covered only if work-related
Cover for work-related conditions, diseases and infections that are caused gradually
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”.