2018
Wednesday October 17, 2018
Thursday, 26 April 2018 18:00

ACC to fund service to help customers navigate processes

ACC to fund service to help customers navigate processes

ACC will fund a free, independent service to help clients navigate its processes, or to better understand or dispute a decision, Chief Customer Officer Mike Tully announced today.

The service, which will not charge clients, is likely to be a mixture of phone, web-based, and face-to-face advice and support up to, but not during, a formal review hearing.

“ACC’s going through a major transformation to better align ourselves with our clients’ needs. While good progress is being made, we acknowledge some clients still find it hard to get or understand information about their claim, entitlements, or rights,” Mike Tully says.

“It is stressful being injured, so every time we make a decision about the support or compensation we will provide, we need to make sure our client understands our reasons, or how to dispute that decision if they believe we are wrong. Sometimes they will want to get independent advice, and that is what the navigation service will provide.
“While we are open to the final shape of the navigation service, we have clear expectations around accessibility, especially for Māori, disabled people, and those with language or literacy needs.

“The service could be delivered by a single national organisation, or multiple providers covering different regions, or focusing on particular client groups. It should also be able to link clients with other agencies or community groups when we cannot help them.”

Mike Tully says ACC will seek expressions of interest in the navigation service over the next six months, and hopes to have it up and running in the first half of 2019. It is expected to support over 4,000 clients a year – more than four times the number served by the existing ACC-funded advocacy services.

The navigation service responds to a recommendation made by Miriam Dean QC’s review of ACC’s dispute resolution processes.

“As Miriam Dean noted, greater ACC funding of free, high-quality advice may reduce the risk that our clients will turn to poor-performing advocates when they need help.

“The navigation service will work with clients, ourselves, and other parties with the goal of finding an early and effective resolution to the problem. Resolving disputes without going to a formal review will save clients significant time and distress. It will be better for us well.

“Where a client does decide to proceed to review, the support they have had from the service should prepare them to engage effectively in the hearing, and to seek appropriate representation if required.

“The navigation service will give clients a choice in how they want to address issues with us. By empowering clients to engage with ACC in ways that feel safe, appropriate, and aligned with their own culture and values, we feel the concept also reflects and supports other changes we are making to be more customer-centric, and easier to deal with.

“We’re confident the service will be effective and responsive to clients’ needs as it is the result of 18 months of interviews, focus groups and co-design workshops involving clients, advocacy experts, and disability groups,” Mike Tully says.

Scoop

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet