What support can I get?

Weekly compensation - loss of potential earnings

ACC can support you after six months of incapacity if you are over 18 and you would have finished your course of study.

What help can I get?

You may be able to get support from us for the work you would have started had you not been injured, if you are injured when you:

  • are under 18
  • have been in full-time study or training since turning 18.

We can support you after six months of being injured if you fulfil both of the following, you:

  • are over 18
  • would have finished your course of study.

Weekly compensation payments for loss of potential earnings are based on the higher of the minimum weekly wage or 125% of the invalid’s benefit, and you’ll be paid 80% of that rate.

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

What do I need to do to get help?

  1. Ensure that cover is approved. See How do I make a claim?
  2. Contact us in writing, or phone to request weekly compensation. We’ll send you the forms you need to complete.
  3. Complete the forms and provide us with a medical certificate. This must:
  • 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.
  1. Provide us with more referrals and approvals if needed.

How am I eligible?

To be eligible for weekly compensation due to loss of potential earnings, your ACC client services contact will:

  • determine that your claim has been accepted by us for cover
  • check your medical certificate to confirm that you can’t work because of your injury
  • gather information to confirm your eligibility, eg for example evidence from your university that you were in full-time study until the time of your accident
  • check that you fulfil all of the following, you:
  • are over 18
  • were injured before you were 18, or had been in full-time study or training since turning 18 when you were injured
  • have been unable to work because of your injury for more than six months
  • have not been studying since you started claiming from us.

For example

A child at the age of five suffers a serious car accident resulting in significant permanent brain damage. By the time they reach age 18 they are eligible to start receiving weekly compensation for loss of potential earning capacity, as they’ve already been injured for longer than six months.

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

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

The time for processing the initial request for weekly compensation depends on the time it takes to source any required supporting information.

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

What happens next?

If your request for weekly compensation is declined, we’ll send you a letter explaining why. If you are unhappy with the decision you can ask for it to be reviewed. See What if I have problems with a claim?

Otherwise you will receive payments on a weekly basis, and we’ll help with your recovery. Your ACC case owner will be your main point of contact. They will:

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

When you are well enough to begin 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

Last updated: 22 January 2015

Last reviewed: 20 January 2015