Giving support as an advocate

You can give our clients informal advice on their claim, based on your own experiences or expertise. Find out how to become an advocate and how to work with our clients.

On this page

    Who can be an advocate

    You can work as an advocate if you're:

    • a friend or family member of a client
    • a client who's been successful with your own reviews or appeals, and want to offer advice to other clients
    • someone who gives advice as a part of their job.

    Ways you can help someone with their claim

    Depending on what the client needs, you can help by:

    • giving them information about reviews, appeals and cover
    • supporting them to successfully represent themselves
    • making sure they get access to accurate information about the claim decision
    • building positive relationships between us and your client.

    Your responsibilities as an advocate

    Because you’re working on our client’s behalf, you’re responsible for:

    • being sensitive to their emotional needs or difficulties
    • establishing and maintaining a good working relationship with our staff
    • showing them how to conduct disputes
    • knowing when you can no longer be an advocate. This could be if you feel you don’t have the necessary experience or expertise.

    Privacy and information responsibilities

    If you have access to our clients’ personal information, it’s important you:

    • make sure you know the privacy principles for collecting, managing and storing a client’s personal information
    • give the client’s personal information to them when you no longer need it
    • securely discard their personal information if they don’t want or need it
    • make sure you know the rules around document destruction.

    The Office of the Privacy Commissioner

    If your client needs expert advice

    If your client needs more information or expert help with something specific, they can contact community law centres. Some law centres have more experience, or may agree to provide free legal advice (pro bono) on ACC matters.

    They can also get free advocacy services through Workplace Injury Advocacy Service (WIAS).

    WIAS helps with:

    • giving advice and advocacy support with claims or accredited employers
    • finding the best way to sort out problems with us about treatment, rehabilitation or compensation
    • explaining rights as set out in the ACC Code of Claimants Rights
    • talking through options available and identifying other resources.

    Workplace Injury Advocacy Service

    Or contact WIAS:

    Phone 0800 486 466
    Email advocacy@nzctu.org.nz

    If you want more expert advice

    If you want more advice, contact community law centres. Most community law centres have expertise in dealing with ACC matters.

    Community Law Centres

    Last published: 20/07/17