ACC punishes injured claimant for proactively managing her own rehabilitation

A client who has a covered workplace injury and a covered pain syndrome, spent 3 years fighting to have her entitlements reinstated. ACC settled her Appeal in June 2012. The client applied for physiotherapy treatment, as this has proved to be the most effective way to manage her pain over the years. The request for treatment was declined.

Recently, the client told her case manager that she was going overseas for two months to visit her elderly parents and also to obtain physiotherapy, which is considerably cheaper in her country of origin than in New Zealand. The Case Manager issued a decision suspending the claimants entitlements for unreasonable non-compliance, because she was “effectively making [herself] unavailable for treatment or rehabilitation”. This occurred despite the fact that no treatment, rehabilitation, or other assessments were planned in the period during which the client will be overseas and the fact that the client has fulfilled every request and requirement of the Corporation. Given that the client had managed her own rehabilitation for three years it is also somewhat ironic.