Not earning

ACC provides injury insurance for everyone – whether they’re earning or not. So if you’re a student, retired, out of work, or unable to work, ACC can still help you. Find out more about how we fund the support and services we can offer you, 24 hours a day.

What are ACC levies?

ACC collects money (called levies) to pay for the help we provide to people who are injured in accidents. They could be compared to insurance premiums.

Levies are paid by different people for different purposes. In general:

  • employers pay levies to the ‘ACC Work Account’, which funds ACC cover for injuries that happen at work
  • employees and self-employed people pay levies to the “ACC Earners’ Account”, which funds ACC cover for injuries that happen to paid employees when they’re away from work (except road crash injuries)
  • motorists pay levies to the ‘ACC Motor Vehicle Account’, which funds ACC cover for people who are injured in accidents involving motor vehicles on New Zealand’s public roads.

People who aren’t in the paid workforce (such as students, beneficiaries, retired people and children) don’t pay any levies themselves. Instead the Government uses general taxation to make a contribution to the ‘ACC Non-Earners’ Account. This funds ACC cover for people in this group.

In addition, funds from the Earners’ and Non-Earners’ Accounts are used to provide ACC cover for personal injury caused by treatment.

You can find out more about the ACC accounts in the How we’re funded section of our website.

Why do levies change?

In setting the levies we charge each year, we have to take into account a whole range of factors, including:

  • the number of claims made in the past, and how many of them we’re still covering
  • the number of claims we expect to receive in the current year – and how much they’ll cost in future years (especially serious injury claims)
  • changes in New Zealand’s population
  • accident, crash and hospitalisation rates and trends
  • the costs of associated products and services, such as medical treatment and rehabilitation aids, including wheelchairs and hearing aids
  • our own financial position, such as the percentage level of funding in each levy Account
  • inflation rates and other economic factors
  • our own operating costs (such as salaries and levy-collection costs).

We also include a ‘funding adjustment’ to allow for any surplus or shortfall in our previous estimates that could affect the current year.

When these things change, levies often have to change too.

What’s the money used for?

The Government’s contribution goes into the ACC Non-Earners’ Account – one of five ACC Accounts that, together, pay for the services we provide for people who are injured in accidents.

The Non-Earners’ Account covers claims for injuries to people who aren’t in the paid workforce, such as students, beneficiaries, retired people and children. Note though that injuries related to motor vehicle accidents on public roads are covered by the Motor Vehicle Account.

So where does the money go?

We use our funding to pay for:

  • injury prevention programmes, which aim to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries, and therefore the costs to the ACC Scheme
  • medical treatment (covering everything from doctor’s visits to major surgery) for people injured outside work
  • vocational rehabilitation, which aims to help people injured outside work to get back to work or independent lives
  • compensation for people who can’t work because of their injuries (we cover 80% of their annual incomes after the first week)
  • one-off payments to people whose injuries have left them significantly and permanently impaired
  • if someone dies in an accident, help such as funeral grants, survivors’ grants and weekly compensation for their spouse or partner, children and other dependants
  • social rehabilitation services, such as attendant care (for seriously injured people), childcare and help at home
  • social rehabilitation-related aids and appliances, eg wheelchairs and home modifications
  • the costs of managing the ACC Scheme, such as the costs involved in collecting levies.

How can I help reduce the costs of ACC cover?

The best way for you to reduce the levies you pay is to do your bit to reduce the injuries that are happening – on our roads, in our workplaces, homes and during the sports we play. By being safer, and encouraging others to be safer too, you could achieve some amazing results. The more injured people we need to support, the higher the levies.

It’s all about injury prevention – and you can start right now by keeping safe:

Can I have a say about ACC’s levies?

Yes. We review all our levies every year and then make recommendations to the Minister for ACC - but before we make our recommendations to the Minister we invite New Zealanders to provide their feedback and ideas, this is what we call levy consultation. Find out more about the process and what happens next, in our Levy Consultation section.

What should I do if I get injured?

Find out about the first steps to get help when you’ve been injured, what to expect when you make a claim and how cover is decided.

Resolving issues

ACC aims to provide a high standard of customer service at all times. If you’re unhappy about how you have been dealt with or with a decision that has been made, please let us know.

Last updated: 25 June 2014

Last reviewed: 31 March 2015