What support can I get?

Services for visual impairment

ACC may be able to assist you if you have a claim for an injury that affects your vision.

What help can I get?

Depending on your particular needs, we may be able to help with:

  • training in daily living activities
  • training in orientation and mobility
  • training in literacy and communication
  • aids and appliances
  • counselling.

For example

Service

Examples

Daily living

Training in cleanliness, grooming, safety, laundry, ironing, cleaning, gardening, social skills, shopping, cooking, use of phone, financial management, equipment, home maintenance, childcare, etc.

Orientation and mobility

  • Training on how to identify surroundings such as home, work, school
  • Training on how to travel including bus, walking and taxi
  • Training on the use of orientation and mobility equipment such as a cane
  • Guide dog and assistance dog.

Literacy and communication

  • Coaching on how to access information
  • Teaching reading and writing skills, such as Braille and use of adaptive technology.

Aids and appliances

Adaptive technology, Braille items, magnifying device, monocular, electronic note taker, PC equipment, cane, Dictaphone, glasses, large print labeller, telephone, clock, watch, self-threading needle, talking electronic device (books, clocks, scales etc), voice diary, writing frame, etc.

Counselling

Counselling for depression, grief, anger management, assertiveness, motivational skills, etc.

What you need to do to get help

  1. Before we can make any payments we have to confirm that your vision was affected as the result of an injury. So the first step is to make a claim:
    How do I make a claim?
  2. We’ll ask you to complete a claimant consent form so that we’re able to access your medical records. We need these to confirm the extent of your injuries. Normally we’ll need:
  • a recent report from a registered optometrist or a registered ophthalmologist
  • recent general practitioner (GP) or specialist reports, if you have additional medical conditions.
  1. We then ask the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind (RNZFB) to review your case. We’ll write to you to let you know you’ve been referred to the RNZFB.
  2. Someone from the RNZFB will arrange an initial meeting with you and any other relevant people, such as your family or GP to identify the kind of help you might need. The RNZFB will then tell us what services they recommend for you.

Note:

  • In cases with complex needs you may need other types of assessment, eg assessments for serious injuries, nursing or social rehabilitation needs. We’ll will advise RNZFB so these assessors can work together on your case
  • You can authorise other people, such as a family member or your doctor, to make applications for assistance on your behalf
  • It is important not to incur any costs before you talk to us. We cannot guarantee payment for help that we have not arranged
  • ACC doesn’t fund the replacement of glasses/contact lenses that have been broken/stolen/damaged as a result of injury.

How am I eligible?

The injury that has left you visually impaired must have been accepted for cover by us. We need to have determined that you need the services as a result of that injury. We cannot provide services if you had vision impairment before the injury, unless there has been a change, eg deterioration in your eyesight as a direct result of the accident.

To be considered eligible for assistance your optometrist or a registered ophthalmologist needs to confirm you have a change in your vision as direct result of the accident.

Important:
The help you’ll get depends on your individual circumstances. Contact us to confirm if you’re eligible, or to identify other ways in which we can help:
Contact us

How long might ACC take to determine if I am eligible?

We need to receive your medical reports confirming the extent of your visual impairment.

We regard 21 days as a reasonable timeframe for the majority of decisions about what assistance you may be entitled to. In some cases it may take longer, eg if we need further information.

Contact us if you have not heard from us within a reasonable period of time.

What happens next?

We’ll contact you to discuss what the RNZFB have recommended. We’ll write to you to confirm what services have been approved to help you.

The RNZFB may make further appointments with you to provide the services and help that we have approved.

When your vision is impaired, there are other ways that we may be able to help you:
What support can I get?

Unhappy with a decision we’ve made

If you’re unhappy with the decision, it’s best to talk to us us. You can also have the decision reviewed:
Sort out a problem with your claim

Get a decision we made reviewed

Reviewed: 10 November 2016