Let's transform ACC to become an Agency of Comprehensive Care
When our friends and whānau have an accident or become unable to work, we want them to be looked after with the care and support they need. But right now, ACC, the agency set-up to catch people in unexpected tough times, is letting too many people fall through the cracks.
ACC was originally established over 50 years ago to support people with a no-fault basis, but this is far from what it delivers today. Successive governments have undermined the intention of ACC. They’ve narrowed down who can get support and require that people jump through hoops to get it, often retraumatising people in the process. It is outdated, built at a time when the workplace was dominated by men, and in recent years ACC has become more like a corporate insurance company. This results in massive differences in compensation for women and people of colour. Women, for example, received almost a billion dollars less than men in ACC compensation each year , and the gap is thought to be even wider for Māori and Pasifika communities.
It’s clear we need to rebuild ACC so it’s purpose-built for today, not the 1970s.
We’re calling on Minister for ACC Carmel Sepuloni to transform ACC into a human-centred organisation, which catches people in times of unexpected need and provides comprehensive support for people when they’re at their most vulnerable.
As a start, we’re asking Minister Sepuloni to:
Cover ALL pain and suffering caused by traumatic births and birth injuries
Due to changes in ACC’s interpretation of current law, new parents are finding it harder and harder to get ACC support for the suffering and pain caused by traumatic births and birth injuries. We need to change the law to cover ALL birth injuries - both mental, and physical - so all new parents are cared for and are healthy when doing one of the most important jobs out there: nurturing our young babies.
Overhaul the sensitive claims process
Right now, victims of sexual assault have to jump through hoop after hoop to prove they should get ACC support. It retraumatises people and stops many survivors from even trying to get support. We need to overhaul the sensitive claims process so it is victim-centered and doesn’t retraumatise victims of sexual assault.
Extend ACC cover to ALL workplace injuries including gradual injuries
Currently, ACC only covers very limited types of gradual injuries, which must occur in the workplace. People whose existing conditions are aggravated by gradual injuries at work and those with gradual injuries outside the workplace are completely left out. This includes mothers with repetitive strain injury from lifting children in the home. ACC processes need to be expanded and simplified so that people don’t have to keep fighting to get support.
Ensure that all disabled people get equitable treatment and support regardless of the cause of their disability
Currently, people who become disabled due to an accident are eligible for good quality support from ACC, while those born with disabilities or with disabling health conditions are unable to get the same level of assistance. This means people with disabilities caused by an accident get much more financial support than others with disabilities. This discriminatory practice needs to be addressed.
ACC can become a human-centered organisation that provides comprehensive support for people in times of need. The changes outlined above will make a huge difference to all people in Aotearoa, providing fairer, more comprehensive support for anyone who needs it.
If we support our most vulnerable, we all benefit; our whānau, our tamariki, right out into our wider communities.
Help us show overwhelming public support for change by getting involved with the campaign below.