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Denied ACC claimants urge Government to act


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#1 Admin

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 07:49 PM

Denied ACC claimants urge Government to act
CATE BROUGHTON
Last updated 20:39, December 15 2017

IAIN MCGREGOR/Stuff

Natasha Howell has spent years in pain, lost her job, her marriage, had two surgeries and is challenging ACC for not covering her injury.

A Christchurch woman denied ACC entitlements for a back injury five years ago is calling on the government to make the corporation accountable.

Natasha Howell says her life has been unbearable at times following a work place injury and two spinal fusion surgeries without ACC support.

The 44-year-old mother of three relies on morphine and other strong opiates to dull the constant pain.
Natasha Howell's spinal fusion surgery failed but it took three years to get a second opinion which led to another procedure.
IAN MCGREGOR/SUFF

Natasha Howell's spinal fusion surgery failed but it took three years to get a second opinion which led to another procedure.

"I've lost my health, my job, my marriage and my home."

Howell said her "nightmare" started when she injured her back lifting a heavy, stone-filled planter at work in June 2012.

The pain increased over the following days and eventually was so acute it caused urinary retention requiring a catheter and hospital care on several occasions.

 

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Iain McGregor
Natasha Howell, 44, is battling ACC after losing her entitlement for cover for a back injury. She has spent five years in acute pain and been forced to quit her job.

Howell's doctors agreed X-ray and MRI scans showed minor degenerative changes in her lumbar spine, "but nothing that identified the severity of her symptoms", an ACC spokesman said.

Based on this ACC accepted the claim for a "lumbar sprain or strain".

She was granted weekly payments when she was no longer able to work but the entitlement stopped after four weeks.
Natasha Howell, 44, is battling ACC after losing her entitlement for cover for a back injury. She has spent five years ...
IAIN MCGREGOR/STUFF

Natasha Howell, 44, is battling ACC after losing her entitlement for cover for a back injury. She has spent five years in acute pain and been forced to quit her job.

An ACC spokesman said the payments stopped because Howell "did not respond to phone messages or a letter checking if she needed further support".
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She eventually had surgery to fuse her spine in October 2013 but this failed to reduce her pain.

The surgeon insisted the procedure had been successful despite her symptoms continuing.
Natasha Howell says her life has been unbearable at times, following a workplace injury.
Iain McGregor

Natasha Howell says her life has been unbearable at times, following a workplace injury.

By 2016, Howell was still in pain, her marriage had broken down and she was unable to work.

She was told she was not eligible for home support from ACC.

She applied for weekly compensation again but was declined.

An ACC medical adviser (a GP) said Howell's back injury was not caused by the 2012 accident.

Howell applied to have the ACC decision reviewed and a hearing was held last month. A final decision is due in late January.

With support from her GP, Howell paid for a second opinion from a neurosurgeon who confirmed the first procedure had failed.

Howell had a second revision surgery in February but has still been left with chronic pain.

A hospital registrar said she would probably have permanent nerve damage as a result of the procedures.

She has lodged a separate treatment injury claim for the failed first surgery and this was being considered by ACC.

Howell said the Government needed to act to restore people's trust in ACC.

"The Government needs to have more input in to what ACC is doing and the Minister needs to have more involvement with ACC so people get a fairer deal."

Howell is one of 50,000 claimants denied cover each year but long-term advocate for claimants and barrister Warren Forster said the real figure is much higher – with up to 300,000 turned away.

Labour, New Zealand First and the Green Party called for sweeping changes to the ACC system during the election campaign to ensure greater transparency and fairness.

New Zealand First and the Green Party wanted an independent commissioner for personal injury established to provide independent oversight of the corporation.

ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway told Stuff he was happy with progress on reforms underway of the ACC.

He declined to say if the Government would consider an independent commissioner.

"There are a number of possibilities to ensure sufficient independent oversight. I will ask officials to explore options in the new year."

The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) declined to comment on Howell's care.


- Stuff

 

 

 

https://www.stuff.co...vernment-to-act


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#2 gordon

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 09:19 AM

thanks for posting this story and as we know its only the tip of the iceberg as most people don't want to come forward with there story about there treatment from ACC,what they have put that lady through is disgusting and it has destroyed her life but good that shes still fighting and trying to make them accountable,its a tough road but i hope she keeps going,the acc can destroy someone but they can't take your spirit away..so keep plugging away and get the right people in your corner.   


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#3 Doppelganger

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Posted 27 December 2017 - 04:57 PM

One can see why this person is having trouble in obtaining entitlements 

 

The Branch Medical Advisor is claiming 

An ACC medical adviser (a GP) said Howell's back injury was not caused by the 2012 accident. 

The claimant is more than likely claiming the injury is covered under section 20 (2) 

20 Cover for personal injury suffered in New Zealand (except mental injury
caused by certain criminal acts or work-related mental injury)
(1) A person has cover for a personal injury if—
(a) he or she suffers the personal injury in New Zealand on or after 1 April 2002; and
( B) the personal injury is any of the kinds of injuries described in section 26(1)(a) or ( B) or © or (e); and
© the personal injury is described in any of the paragraphs in subsection (2).
(2) Subsection (1)© applies to—
(a) personal injury caused by an accident to the person:
( B) personal injury that is treatment injury suffered by the person:
© treatment injury in circumstances described in section 32(7):
(d) personal injury that is a consequence of treatment given to the person for another personal injury for which the person has cover:
(e) personal injury caused by a work-related gradual process, disease, or infection suffered by the person:
(f) personal injury caused by a gradual process, disease, or infection that is treatment injury suffered by the person:
(g) personal injury caused by a gradual process, disease, or infection consequential on personal injury suffered by the person for which the person has cover:
(h) personal injury caused by a gradual process, disease, or infection consequential on treatment given to the person for personal injury for which the person has cover:
(i) personal injury that is a cardiovascular or cerebrovascular episode that is treatment injury suffered by the person:
(j) personal injury that is a cardiovascular or cerebrovascular episode that is personal injury suffered by the person to which section 28(3) applies.
(3) Subsections (1) and (2) are subject to the following qualifications:
(a) section 23 denies cover to some persons otherwise potentially within the scope of subsection (1):
( B) section 24 denies cover to some persons otherwise potentially within the scope of subsections (1) and (2)(e).
(4) A person who suffers personal injury that is mental injury in circumstances described in section 21 has cover under section 21, but not under this section.
Compare: 1998 No 114 s 39
 
and section 26 
26 Personal injury
(1) Personal injury means—
(a) the death of a person; or
( B) physical injuries suffered by a person, including, for example, a strain or a sprain; or
© mental injury suffered by a person because of physical injuries suffered by the person; or
(d) mental injury suffered by a person in the circumstances described in section 21; or
(da) work-related mental injury that is suffered by a person in the circumstances described in section 21B; or
(e) damage (other than wear and tear) to dentures or prostheses that replace a part of the human body.
(1A) Personal injury includes any degree of hearing loss that is 6% or more of binaural
hearing loss caused by a personal injury described in section 20(2).
(1B) Personal injury does not include any degree of hearing loss caused by—
(a) a personal injury other than a personal injury described in section 20(2); or
( B) the ageing process; or
© any other factors.
(2) Personal injury does not include personal injury caused wholly or substantially by a gradual process, disease, or infection unless it is personal injury of a kind described in section 20(2)(e) to (h).
(3) Personal injury does not include a cardiovascular or cerebrovascular episode unless it is personal injury of a kind described in section 20(2)(i) or (j).
(4) Personal injury does not include—
(a) personal injury caused wholly or substantially by the ageing process; or
( B) personal injury to teeth or dentures caused by the natural use of those teeth or dentures.
(5) For the purposes of subsection (1)(e) and to avoid doubt, prostheses does not include hearing aids, spectacles, or contact lenses.
Compare: 1998 No 114 s 29
Section 26(1)(da): inserted, on 1 October 2008, by section 8 of the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Amendment Act 2008 (2008 No 46).
Section 26(1A): inserted, on 1 July 2010, by section 8 of the Accident Compensation Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 1).
Section 26(1B): inserted, on 1 July 2010, by section 8 of the Accident Compensation Amendment Act 2010 (2010 No 1).
 
 
It is clear that the BMA can not read, but then he may be reading the CEO on how to determine injury.
 Treatment-Provider Handbook.  A book instructing GP and other providers on what information to supply ACC to enabling them to terminate entitlements.
 

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