Problems with ACC assessments also key for Sensitive Claimants

10th September, 2012

Press Release : New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists


Last night’s shocking expose on TV3’s 60 minutes showed how even “insiders” from ACC admit that a deliberate process of using medical assessors favourable to ACC has lead to a clear and dramatic increase in the “exit” of long term claimants from the ACC’s books.

This approach also continues to detrimentally affect survivors of sexual abuse and violence, or “sensitive claimants” says psychotherapist Kyle MacDonald:

“What was not widely reported with the release of the recent monitoring report of the Independent Clinical Review of the Sensitive Claims treatment pathway was how the ACC’s independent assessors are also preventing New Zealander’s accessing counselling.”

To access ongoing counselling, beyond sixteen support sessions, the client must have a cover determination report, or an external psychological assessment.  This is usually conducted by an ACC appointed and contracted assessor.

“What is shocking is to me is that the report details that less than 4{1b812f7ed7a77644fff58caf46676f6948311bf403a3d395b7a7f87010507f87} of claims have been accepted based on these assessors reports, in 2011 and 2012.  This is down from roughly 60{1b812f7ed7a77644fff58caf46676f6948311bf403a3d395b7a7f87010507f87} in 2008.” says MacDonald.  “I believe this is further evidence of the cynical management detailed by 60 minutes.  The idea that only 4 out of every hundred clients require more than four months of counselling to recover from sexual abuse and trauma makes no clinical sense.”

“It’s also clear that from the clinicians and clients I talk to that all the problems outlined with “hatchet” assessors, outlined in last nights report also apply to long term Sensitive Claimants and the ACC’s psychological and psychiatric assessments.”

The “Monitoring Report on the Recommendations from the Independent Panel’s Review of the ACC’s Sensitive Claims Treatment Pathway: 18 months follow up” was released on the 17th of July, 2012.  The quoted statistics can be found on p. 29


Contact: Kyle MacDonald 021 708 689.

Leave a Comment

  • birdofparadise September 10, 2012, 11:12 pm

    There are plenty of ‘hatchet’ assessors that SCU used. Read NZLII and the same names are quoted over and over and over again!! How about exposing other ‘rules’ SCU make clients abide by. Two weekly communication plans, after 13 weeks in the system still no rehabilitative IRP required by legislation, re-assessing when assessors find in favour of client – we are powerless to refuse 2 or 3 assessments even if Cover was determined some years ago, all proof of the insensitive claims unit thinking it is a law unto itself. Use of lawyers at Review or nothing would happen as SCU stonewall every chance possible. CLOSE DOWN SENSITIVE CLAIMS!!!

  • Unicorn September 11, 2012, 9:43 pm

    Just sack the entire current staff at ACC SCU…From top to bottom…..NO redundancy…just sack them all for not doing their jobs properly, and for being general allround bullies, and abusers of sensitive claimants.

    Contract out the SCU management to the local rape crisis centers….They know what theyre doing…and at long last theyd get proper wages for the great job they do.

    This is my opinion and belief based on my own first hand experiences with ACC SCU.

  • Dave Ward June 10, 2014, 7:43 pm

    I am an individual who is registered as a SCU, and I have been with ACC for 26 years. (length of time in a wheelchair). I have been trying to get my house modified to get my independence back and also to stop the ongoing pain in my shoulders etc, and it has taken ACC 2 years so far and the renovations have not even started. The plans are not even completed to date, and when I try to hurry things along or find out where the plans are as it is affecting my life big time due to shoulder pain etc, they send me a letter stating that they can and will ignore all of my emails to them and only reply to the ones that they deem URGENT. I thought my shoulders packing in due to the housing modification not being completed would be classed as urgent by them, but seemingly NOT. I am yet to receive a response from them regarding this, and I have tried to contact Enable NZ who are the project managers for the housing mods and they tell me to communicate with ACC ?? Who can I talk too, and who actually gives a damn that my health is being affected by ACC negligence. They don’t care as it does not affect them at all. If it was one of them that has to stay in a house that they can do nothing in because of access and has to stay home because they are in so much pain from doing only the basic daily chores, it would be a different story. I am considering giving this story to Fair Go, as this is absolutely ridiculous. I HATE the way things get processed by ACC and Enable NZ. Fix the problem !!

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