What support can I get?

Weekly compensation - loss of earnings

We’ll pay you weekly compensation payments if you’re unable to work because of an injury covered by us.

Weekly compensation and who can apply for it

You can apply for weekly compensation for loss of earnings if you were working recently before your injury as:

  • an employee
  • a self-employed person
  • a shareholder.

Weekly compensation if you’re an employee or PAYE shareholder

If you’re an employee or PAYE shareholder, we pay weekly compensation at 80% of your pre-incapacity weekly earnings. This will be paid as follows:

  • we’ll not pay you for the first week of incapacity. If your injury occurred at work, your employer will pay you for this week. For more information please refer to the Relationship to ACC entitlements section of the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website
  • after the first week we’ll begin paying weekly compensation. For the first four weeks of support your payments are calculated using your actual earnings from the last four weeks before your incapacity
  • after the first four weeks of ACC support, your payments are based on either earnings in the 52 weeks before your incapacity or less if you have been a permanent employee for fewer than 52 weeks
  • if your actual earnings cannot be calculated we can make advance weekly payments. These can be paid until your actual earnings details are available.

Weekly compensation if you’re self-employed or tax year shareholder

If you’re self employed or a tax year shareholder, we pay compensation at 80% of your pre-incapacity taxable income.

You’ll not be paid for the first week. After the first week, we’ll pay based on your taxable income from the most recently completed financial year.

Superannuation may affect your weekly compensation payments. Please contact us for more information.

Weekly compensation if you have mixed earnings

When deciding on weekly compensation for your mixed earning, we can take all earnings from the 52 weeks before your injury into account including:

  • employed work
  • self-employed work
  • weekly compensation.

We may also be able to provide weekly compensation for:

Important: Minimum and maximum rates are adjusted each year

The minimum and maximum rates of weekly compensation that we can pay are adjusted each year. Contact us for information regarding the minimum and maximum rates of weekly compensation.

How to apply for weekly compensation

  1. Make sure you’ve had a look at the ‘Checking your eligibility’ section below.
  2. Ensure that cover is approved. For more information, go to Am I Covered?
  3. Call us on 0800 101 996 to apply for weekly compensation.
  4. We’ll let you know if there is any documentation that we need from you. Examples of the types of information that we may request from you are:
  • any medical certificates you’ve been issued. These should:
  • be completed by the health professional that you went to see initially about your injury. If this isn’t possible, please let us know – we may be able to help.
  • clearly state how your work will be affected by your injury.
  • any referrals or approvals.

Checking your eligibility for weekly compensation

If your injury is work-related and you work for an accredited employer, we will not be responsible for your cover. We’ll let you know this, and you’ll deal directly with your employer instead of ACC.

If you have ACC CoverPlus Extra for self-employed people or shareholder employees, some of the eligibility restrictions will not apply.

How to check your eligibility for weekly compensation

To determine if you’re eligible for weekly compensation due to loss of earnings, we’ll:

  • determine if your claim has been accepted by us for cover
  • check your medical certificate to confirm that you can’t work because of your injury
  • determine your employment status before your injury (you need to have been working right before your injury).

Eligibility if you weren’t working right before your injury

If you weren’t working right before your injury, you may be eligible if you:

  • were working up to 28 days before your injury, have been paid out leave when you left your last employment and would have been employed again in the next three months (or 12 months for seasonal workers)
  • have an unusual work situation, eg you were on unpaid parental leave.

Contact us to confirm if you are eligible, or to find out other ways in which we can help.

How long weekly compensation decisions take

Usually, the time for processing the initial request for weekly compensation depends on the time it takes to source the required information from your employer or the Inland Revenue Department.

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

Making weekly compensation decisions

Once we have all the information we’ll make a decision. If your request for weekly compensation is declined, we’ll send you a letter explaining why. If you’re unhappy with the decision, you can:

If our decision is to pay you weekly compensation then you’ll receive payments on a weekly basis.

Your tax and weekly compensation

Any weekly compensation amount you’re paid may have to be taxed. We can’t help you with your tax situation. So if you expect to receive weekly compensation, get in touch with IRD to determine which tax code to use, then let your case owner know

Contact the Inland Revenue

Weekly compensation and your claim

Your ACC case owner will be your main point of contact. They’ll:

  • manage your claim and inform you of what we can offer
  • help you to develop a rehabilitation plan, if required, to ensure that you recover and are able to return to work as quickly as possible
  • review your situation periodically; you’ll need to provide regular medical certificate at least every 13 weeks to confirm that you are still unable to work.

When you’re well enough to return to work, we’ll stop weekly payments, or if you take up part-time work, we’ll reduce payments to reflect this and inform you of any changes.

You can begin or continue to contribute money to the government Kiwisaver scheme while receiving weekly compensation.

Related legislation

Accident Compensation (AC) Act 2001, Sections 100 to 106: Weekly compensation and Capacity for employment (external website)

Accident Compensation (AC) Acti 2001, Schedule 1, Clauses 32 to 53 (external website)

Updated: 20 June 2016
Reviewed: 20 January 2015