ACC's Dispute Resolution Services are under the spot light - again. This time, it's for claims rejected on the basis injuries were either pre-existing or degenerative. In other words, anyone over 40 years of age (who, incidentally, contribute the most in ACC payments) have a fat chance of getting a claim accepted.
Meanwhile, former Associate ACC Minister Pansy Wong told Mr Schmidt in an October reply to his letter that the Government recognised that ACC's disputes process needed attention.
"Once decisions are made in relation to the Government's stocktake of ACC accounts, I will be leading a review of the dispute process," she said.
That is all well and good but last I heard, Pansy Wong resigned so now what?
I am interested in this because ACC's Sensitive Claims Unit also underwent a major "review" of their current system and recommendations were put forward. We didn't expect major changes overnight but it would seem those same recommendations are just sitting in "Lala Land." Last I heard, ACC was going to get a "group" of people to implement those recommendations - one of which was to set up a more "palatable" if not humane screening process and to included a newly revised dispute resolution service.
The above controversy is for those claiming compensation for torn ligaments and the like but it does nothing for my confidence - to think those seeking compensation/counselling for sexual abuse will experience the same numbing effect.
In the case of Dispute Resolution Services, if ACC are paying their wages, how impartial can they truly be?
Yes, but maybe that is the purpose - to get a group of people, paid by ACC, to reject cases while claiming to be "impartial." The SCU are yet to establish a revised resolution. Maybe they're waiting for these same staff members to cross the floor into SCU to implement the same farcical in-house policy. It just wouldn't surprise me.