What support can I get?

Childcare

What help can I get?

You may be eligible for help with childcare if you are not able to care for your child or children because of your injury. This could include help with taking then to and from school.

Example:
You are a single parent and have lost much of your mobility due to an injury. You live in a multi-level home and can no longer get up and down the stairs to adequately supervise your child before and after school.

Childcare can be provided in:

  • a home environment
  • an accredited childcare facility, such as a Playcentre or kindergarten.

Help with childcare payments may also be available for the dependants of a person who dies as a result of an injury. See Childcare payments following accidental death.

What do I need to do to get help?

  • Talk to ACC about the kind of help we may be able to provide. Contact us for more information
  • Complete the ACC001 Request for assistance form (PDF 188K), listing the details of childcare that you need
  • Attach any medical certificates, accounts, receipts or other proof you have to support your claim.

Note:

  • You can also make a verbal application for assistance, but you need to make sure you ask for specific help, such as having someone to come to your home to care for your children after school
  • You can authorise other people, eg a family member or your doctor, to apply for ACC’s help on your behalf.

How am I eligible?

Your eligibility for childcare assistance depends on several things.

The child (or children) in your care must be under 14 years old, or under 18 if they need care because of a physical or mental condition.

The child must also be:

  • your natural child
  • your adopted child
  • your partner or spouse’s child, for whom you act as a parent
  • a child who ordinarily lives with you, is raised as your child and for whom you act as a parent. This can include a foster child, if they fit this description.

Eligibility also depends on how much childcare:

  • you were responsible for before your injury and how much care you can continue to give
  • was provided by other household family members before your injury
  • other household members, or family members outside the home, might reasonably be expected to provide after your injury.

The length of time ACC can help with childcare for will depend on your injury and recovery. We will discuss your progress with you during your recovery and we may reassess your needs from time to time.

ACC childcare assistance will not replace any childcare arrangements you had in place prior to your injury.

Important:

  • help you may get depends on your individual circumstances. Contact us to confirm if you are eligible, or to identify other ways in which we can help. If you are unhappy with the decision, you can ask for it to be reviewed. See What if I have problems with a claim?

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

ACC regards 21 days as a reasonable timeframe for the majority of decisions about what assistance you may be entitled to.

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

What happens next?

ACC will advise you whether your application is accepted. If your needs are straightforward, we may approve the childcare help you need without having to do a detailed assessment.

Choosing a caregiver

Once your application is approved you’ll need to choose who you want to provide your childcare. You can choose from the following three options:

  • a childcare agency that has a contract with ACC (we’ll give you a list of contracted providers)
  • a childcare agency without a contract with ACC (a non-contracted agency)
  • a private caregiver (someone you know, such as a family member).

If you choose to use an agency:

  • ACC pays agencies directly on receipt of their bill, up to an approved amount
  • the agency is responsible for meeting all the legal and tax obligations of an employer.

We strongly recommend you use an ACC-contracted childcare agency in preference to a non-contracted agency, because we check that they provide high quality, professional care.

If you choose to use an agency, which has no contract with ACC (a non-contracted agency) a co-payment may be required from you if their rate is higher than the rate paid by ACC. There are no co-payments when using an ACC-contracted agency.

If you choose to use a private caregiver:

  • you and your caregiver both need to be aware that you may have income tax, GST, and other legal obligations
  • we strongly recommend that you and your caregiver get advice from an accountant or tax advisor – they can tell you about the implications of receiving these taxable payments from ACC
  • you will also need to decide whether you want ACC to pay your caregiver directly or pay you directly, so that your can pay your caregiver.

See the Deciding who’ll provide your paid care and support (PDF 295K) information booklet for more detailed information about this choice.

Related legislation

Accident Compensation (AC) Act 2001:

Reviewed: 1 October 2014