Accident compensation dispute resolution

It is important that ACC clients have access to fair, effective and timely dispute resolution processes. In July 2015, advocacy group Acclaim Otago (Inc) (Acclaim) released a report into accident compensation dispute resolution processes. Acclaim’s report identified four issues (being heard, access to the law, access to evidence and access to representation) as the “likely causes of current inefficiencies in the dispute resolution system.”

Following the release of Acclaim’s report the Minister for ACC asked the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to commission an independent review of the report to determine the validity of the concerns raised. MBIE commissioned Miriam R Dean CNZM QC to undertake this review (the Independent Review).

The Independent Review’s report recognises the considerable work that both ACC and FairWay have already undertaken to improve the dispute resolution system. However, there is more work to be done and the Government’s response to the Independent Review’s recommendations will ensure that momentum is continued.

The Independent Review examined the validity of the issues raised by Acclaim. It found that some (though not all) of the concerns raised by Acclaim were valid and recommends a number of possible improvements to existing practice.

 

Cabinet Paper Response to the Independent Review of Acclaim Otago’s report into Accident Compensation Dispute Resolution Processes

Cabinet decided all recommendations contained in the independent report on ACC dispute resolution processes will be addressed.

Please note recommendation 6 was amended after the Cabinet Paper has been submitted. The amended recommendation reads:

Amended recommendation 6 for tabling in Response to the Independent Review of Acclaim Otago’s report into Accident Compensation Dispute Resolution Processes


6. Note that the Minister for ACC will report back to Cabinet by March 2017 with advice on the progress of all the proposals listed in Appendix 2 including:

6.1 the proposal to increase funding for existing free advocacy services for accident compensation claimants,

6.2 the proposal to fund a free nationwide advocacy service modelled broadly on the Health and Disability Commission Advocacy Service, and

6.3 any implications for ACC levies and appropriations arising from the implementation of the review recommendations as listed in Appendix 2.

Consultation on Changes to the Review Costs Regulations

The Government has been reviewing the Regulations under which clients are paid a contribution to their costs associated with reviews.

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