News » ACC Admits to Short-Changing Claimants

Press Release – 15 January 2009:   ACC has dropped a bombshell admitting that from a sample of 144 claimants’ rehabilitation plans taken in June 2008 more than half did not meet ACC’s “standards.”

“This is a staggering admission by ACC” says Mr David Wadsworth, Advocate and Principal of Access Support Services. “It means over half of the claimants undergoing rehabilitation may have been short-changed and that the legislative processes were not followed correctly.”

For a number of years Access Support Services has been aware of systemic flaws in the way ACC prepares a claimant’s individual rehabilitation plan, which ACC ironically now call “My Plan”. This includes failure to give treating medical practitioners an opportunity to participate in the preparation of a claimant’s rehabilitation plan.

“Over the last 4 years we have written to the Minister of ACC, Opposition Parties, the CEO of ACC, various ACC staff and other organisations about this matter. We have also issued a number of press releases about this” says an outraged Mr Wadsworth. “It is a scandal only made worse by the fact it has taken until now for ACC to check what we have been saying all along is correct.”

“This is why claimants need representation when ACC’s prepares the individual rehabilitation plan,” opines Mr Wadsworth. “I think ACC has lost the right to be the gatekeeper to a proper rehabilitation plan and it should now make funding available to claimants so they can access effective representation to enable them to participate more fully in the rehabilitation process.”

References: COG Committee minutes for December 2008 – Item # 5.
Funding for representation in developing an IRP and follow up on IRP document- Neville Satchell and Ben Strickland.
Neville spoke to a briefing paper provided to COG members before the meeting.
He reviewed 144 plans in June and found that 38% met the standard. Following some staff training a review in September found that 68% met the standard and a further review a week prior to this meeting of 372 plans found that 80% met the standard and a further 11% had shortcomings that did not affect the validity of the plan. Only one case was found to have been incorrectly deemed. The issue was raised with the Team Leaders with the reminder that staff have been dismissed in similar situations.
Neville will be preparing a process document to help Team Managers check the quality of plans prepared by their staff.
Neville will obtain stats re outlier dates.
Read minutes of the meeting »

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