Permanent injury compensation

Case study

A claimant who has suffered a permanent impairment from their personal injury may be entitled to receive lump sum compensation. Those who have suffered the personal injury prior to 1 April 2002 may be eligible for an independence allowance (an ongoing rather than a one-off payment).

When undertaking an assessment of whole person impairment, the assessor must consider the combined effects of all covered injuries. The assessor must exclude any permanent impairment that does not result from the covered personal injuries.

The situation

The Applicant applied to ACC for permanent injury compensation. He was subsequently assessed as having a final whole person impairment rating of 22%. ACC issued a decision to pay a lump sum to the Applicant based on that impairment rating. The Applicant lodged a review of the decision because he was dissatisfied with the rating and believed it to be higher.

How we helped

At the case conference, it became apparent the Applicant was not only dissatisfied with the impairment assessment but had wider concerns about the accuracy of his medical records and the scope of his covered injuries. These issues fell outside the scope of the review. Therefore, the reviewer encouraged the parties to attend a conciliation meeting to explore ways of resolving the dispute.

The conciliation meeting

At the conciliation meeting, the parties were able to discuss the Applicant’s concerns. The parties agreed the Applicant would prepare a statement of corrections to address some of the inaccuracies he believed were contained in the reports on his file. ACC agreed to provide a copy of that statement to the assessor who had completed the impairment assessment, to see if she had any further comments or wanted to amend her report. ACC also agreed to assist the Applicant in approaching his GP about lodging a claim for cover for his pain condition.

The Applicant decided to continue with his review application, but in the knowledge that the assessor would consider his concerns. Once his GP lodged the new claim, ACC would also investigate and determine whether he should have cover for a pain condition, allowing him to potentially access further entitlements.