What support can I get?

Travel and accommodation for treatment

ACC may be able to help with some of your travel costs if you have a long way to go to get treatment or rehabilitation services or have high travel costs. We may also be able to help with accommodation costs if you have to stay overnight after treatment or rehabilitation because there is no suitable transport to get you home (but not if you stay at the treatment or rehabilitation centre).

What help can I get?

ACC may be able to help with travel costs to get treatment or rehabilitation services. In some cases, prior approval is required before you can undertake the travel.

If you are receiving, or have received, treatment in a public hospital following admission for acute treatment, then the local district health board (DHB) usually decides about funding for transport and accommodation. However, if the DHB is unable to assist you, we may be able to. Contact us to discuss your situation.

Examples:

You receive physiotherapy several times a week for an injury that prevents you from driving. None of your family members can drive, but there is a good bus service you can use. You can claim for bus fares to get to and from the treatment, either the actual fare or a per kilometre rate.

You live in a rural area and have ACC approval to attend a rehabilitation programme in a nearby town. You have no means of transport and there is no public transport within a reasonable distance that travels between your home and the town. We decide the most practical option is to travel by taxi and gives prior approval to pay the actual costs of travel.

Transport for independence

We may also be able to assist with longer term transport needs while you recover from an injury (see Funded transport to work, school or for other necessary trips), and to help you regain your independence (see Transportation). Talk to your ACC case owner or contact ACC Claims for more information.

What do I need to do to get help?

  • Read the ANCIS01 Travel to treatment or rehabilitation (143K). This details how ACC might be able to help if you have to travel a long way to receive medical treatment or rehabilitation, or you have high travel costs
  • Talk to us about the kind of help we may be able to provide
  • Complete an ACC250 Request for transport costs (208K), after you’ve discussed your needs with us, and have this signed or stamped by each treatment or rehabilitation provider you visit
    Note:
    Prior approval is required for payment of overnight accommodation and certain types of transport.
      • You may need to supply a medical certificate with your form, eg if you can’t use public transport or travel alone, or you must stay overnight; check with us about this.
      • Send the form to ACC, along with tickets and receipts.

      Prior approval

      • Please talk to us first if you want help with any of the following:
      • transport by taxi, hire car, shuttle or water taxi to get you to your nearest place of treatment
      • transport by air
      • if you need someone to travel with you
      • accommodation
      • when you need a support person during rehabilitation

      How am I eligible?

      ACC can only help with travel and accommodation costs if your claim for injury has already been accepted for cover, and you:

      • must travel more than 20 kilometres (one way per trip) to your nearest treatment centre or rehabilitation provider in the first two weeks after your injury
      • travel more than 80 kilometres within any calendar month
      • spend more than $46 on scheduled surface public transport or other transport within any calendar month
      • need to stay overnight because there is no suitable transport to get you home after treatment or rehabilitation (but not if you stay at the treatment or rehabilitation centre).

      In addition, the following criteria apply for transport that requires prior approval:

      Air travel

      We may pay for transport by air if:

      • it’s the only way you can travel because of the nature of your injury
      • you have to travel a long distance from where you live to the nearest treatment or rehabilitation centre, and air travel is the most cost-effective way of getting there.

      Accommodation

      We can contribute $57.55 a night towards accommodation costs if there is no transport available to get you home after your treatment or rehabilitation service (unless you are staying at the treatment or rehabilitation centre). Unfortunately that is the maximum amount payable, even if you have someone else staying with you.

      If you need someone to travel with you

      We can help with travel costs for someone to travel with you if you qualify for travel costs and:

      • you are under 18 years old
      • your medical condition requires that you travel with an escort
      • the transport provider requires that you have an escort.
        Note:
        If you share private transport with your escort, we’ll only pay the private transport rate for one person.

        When you need someone to support you during rehabilitation

        We may be able to help pay the travel costs for a support person to visit you if:

        • you are receiving ACC-approved inpatient or residential rehabilitation
        • you are under 18 years old and your support person travels more than 80 kilometres, or spends more than $46 on bus, train or ferry fares or other transport costs within any calendar month
        • you are over 18 years old and your support person travels more than 80 kilometres one way in a single trip to visit you (assistance is only available for one visit, and up to two nights accommodation, per week)
        • the presence of your support person will help you to achieve your rehabilitation outcome (the overall focus of your rehabilitation activities, eg restoring your independence).

        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.

        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?

        We’ll let you know if your request for travel costs is approved and make a payment into your bank account if you provide a bank generated deposit slip.

        If you meet the criteria in How am I eligible? above, we can pay your full bus, train or ferry fare, or 29 cents per kilometre if you use a private vehicle. We’ll also pay your return fare, providing you return to where you started your travel.

        If your request for accommodation costs is approved, we’ll contribute $57.55 a night towards those costs.

        If your request is declined, we’ll tell you why.

        Note:
        If you are unhappy with the decision, you can ask for it to be reviewed. See What if I have problems with a claim?

        Related legislation

        Accident Compensation Act 2001

        Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation (Ancillary Services) Regulations 2002

        Updated: 28 April 2015

        Reviewed: 24 April 2015