When you’re covered by ACC, and when you’re not
Maternal birth injuries
From 1 October 2022, ACC has included maternal birth injuries as injuries caused by accidents that you can now claim cover for. A maternal birth injury is described as “an application of a force or resistance internal to the human body at any time from the onset of labour to the completion of delivery that results in [a specified] injury to a person who gives birth.”
If you suffered from an injury during labour and childbirth, you may be covered by ACC if it is one of the birth injuries listed in the Accident Compensation Act (“the Act”).
What injuries are covered?
The Act lists the types of birth injuries covered by ACC including tears, prolapses, fractures and ruptures of the uterus.
You can also claim for a “mental injury,” or any other physical injury caused by a listed birth injury. If you are suffering from depression or other mental harm caused by a listed birth injury, talk to your doctor, nurse, midwife, physio, or other health care provider.
If your health care provider is submitting a claim for a maternal birth injury on your behalf, they need to be ACC registered. If your health care provider is not ACC registered, they should be able to refer you to one. For more information see: “Making a claim and dealing with ACC”.
What is not covered?
The definition of accident in terms of maternal birth injuries is “an application of a force or resistance internal to the human body.” So, while a tear will be considered an accident, an episiotomy or caesarean section will not be because they are considered a necessary surgical incision.
If an injury that happened during childbirth or labour isn’t covered, it might be covered as a treatment injury instead (for example, an infection after a caesarean section birth). For more information see: “Injuries caused by medical treatment: “Treatment injuries””
Note: You will only be covered for maternal birth injuries that happened on or after 1 October 2022. Any birth injury that happened before that date is not covered.