Getting paid if you can't work - weekly compensation

We’ll pay up to 80% of your income as weekly compensation if you can’t work or perform all your usual work activities because of an injury we're covering. This means you'll still get paid while you recover.

On this page

    Check you're eligible for weekly compensation

    To be eligible for weekly compensation, you need: 

    • An injury we cover
      What injuries we cover

    • A medical certificate
      Your medical certificate needs to show you can’t perform all your usual work duties for more than seven days because of your injury.
      In most cases, your doctor will certify you as ‘fit for selected work’. They'll outline on the medical certificate the activities and type of work that you can do with your injury. They may also certify you as ‘fully unfit’ if you can’t do your job at all due to the nature of your injury and impairment.

    • To be employed
      You need to be an employee, self-employed or a shareholder-employee. This must be at the time of the accident and on the first day that your medical certificate shows you can't work.

    If you weren't employed when your injury happened

    If you weren’t in employment right before your injury, you may still be eligible if you:

    • had a new job lined up before your injury, and you:
      • o would’ve started this new job within three months of your accident and
      • had been working within the 28 days before your injury
    • are a seasonal worker. This is only if your employer hired you for two or more seasons and they would’ve hired you again for the next season
    • have been paid out leave from your last job and you're still receiving this pay on the first day that your medical certificate shows you can't work
    • have an unusual work situation, eg you were on unpaid parental leave.

    How to get weekly compensation

    1. Visit your doctor

       
    2. Your doctor will send us a medical certificate

      Your doctor will provide us with as much detail about your injury as they can. This helps us work out what support you need. If it's for a new injury, your doctor will send the certificate in when they lodge your claim. If it's for an injury we already cover, they can send this on its own.

    3. Contact us

      Contact us to talk about the support you need. Once we've got your medical certificate, we can start sorting out your weekly compensation. To set up payments, we'll need your:

      • bank account number
      • IRD number
      • tax code.

      Contact us

    4. Tell your employer about your injury

      As an employee, it’s your responsibility to keep your employer informed on your injury and recovery. Make sure you let them know about your situation as soon as you’re injured.

      Here’s a list of things to think about when you talk to your employer:

      • tell them about the injury and how it happened
      • outline the treatment you’re having for your injury
      • share the advice your doctor outlined about the type of work and the hours you can do while recovering
      • discuss alternate duties and keeping your role open
      • discuss getting to and from work, setting up your workstation, or paying salary or wages while you’re working through your recovery.

      With your consent, we'll get your earnings information directly from Inland Revenue and your employer. This is to establish if you're eligible — and how much to pay you in weekly compensation.

      If you’re self-employed or a shareholder-employee, we calculate your compensation based on your earnings listed in your most recent tax return with Inland Revenue. In some cases, if you haven’t lodged your returns with Inland Revenue yet, we can make an estimated payment to you in the meantime.

    5. We'll let you know our decision

      We'll be in touch and let you know if we've accepted your application. How fast we process this depends on the time it takes to get the details we need from your employer and Inland Revenue. If you talk to us directly, we may be able to speed up this process.

    If we decline your application 

    We’ll send you a letter explaining why. If you disagree with the decision, find out what your next steps are and how to get a review.

    Sort out a problem with your claim

    Receiving weekly compensation

    We pay weekly compensation of up to 80% of your earnings.

    If your doctor considers that you can’t work because of total inability, excessive risk, or available work tasks, then the amount is based on 80% of your weekly income before the injury happened.

    When you work reduced hours or alternative duties while recovering from your injury, your employer can pay you for the productive hours you work. ACC can top up these wages with weekly compensation, so instead of getting up to 80% of your pre-injury income through ACC (as you would if your employer has no suitable work for you), you may earn up to 100%.

    Getting paid in the first week

    We'll start paying you after we've accepted your claim and established your eligibility for weekly compensation.

    Depending on your situation and claim we may start paying you immediately. Otherwise, payments will start after a week. If you’re an employee or shareholder-employee and your injury happened:

    • at work, your employer must pay you for the first week
    • outside of work, you’ll need to take sick leave or annual leave.

    Receiving your weekly payments

    We'll pay your compensation every week, so this may be different from your normal pay cycle. Any tax will come out of your payments as they do with your normal wages.

    Talk to your recovery team if you want to set up KiwiSaver contributions on your payments. They may ask you to send them a KS2 KiwiSaver deduction form:
    Download the KS2 KiwiSaver deduction form from the Inland Revenue website

    If you’re an employee or shareholder-employee, you can talk to your employer about using your sick or annual leave to top up your payments.

    If your payment is late

    If your payment falls on or around a public holiday, we'll try to pay you earlier. Sometimes your payment can take 1-3 days to process, depending on your bank.

    If you haven't received a payment you were expecting and need this urgently, get in touch.

    Contact us

    How we calculate your payments

    In the first four weeks of receiving payments

    We calculate how much we'll pay based on your earnings in the four weeks before you were injured.

    After the first four weeks of receiving payments

    After the first four weeks, we base your payments on your earnings over the past year before you were injured.

    • For permanent employees: if you weren’t employed for the whole year, we base this on how long you were in permanent employment over that year.
    • For casual or non-permanent employees: we base our calculation on all PAYE earnings in the last year.
    • For PAYE shareholder-employees — we compare your shareholder earnings in the last year with your shareholder earnings over the financial year before you were injured. We’ll pay you whatever is highest.

    Minimum and maximum rates of compensation

    The rate of compensation we can provide is set in 'The Accident Compensation Act 2001' and depend on your personal circumstance and income. Current weekly compensation:

    • the minimum rate is $604.80
    • the maximum rate is $2,066.58

    These rates reflect the minimum and maximum liable income level that you pay ACC levies on. You only pay levies from, and up to, a certain amount. This means you can only get weekly compensation on the income that you pay levies on.

    We set minimum and maximum levels of liable income on 1 July each year.

    Find out more about how we calculate levies.

    Calculating your levies

    Payments in advance

    Sometimes your earnings can’t be calculated or there’s a delay in getting the details we need from your employer or Inland Revenue. We can make advance weekly payments until these details are available.

    Self-employed or tax year shareholders

    We’ll pay your compensation at up to 80% of your taxable income based on the most recently completed financial year.

    If you were an employee within the last year, we will consider these earnings as part of your overall calculation.

    If you have a qualifying Cover Plus Extra policy, we'll pay based on the agreed amount of cover offered under that policy. We can include employee earnings from any current employments that qualify for inclusion.

    Check if superannuation or income support affects your payments

    If you're receiving New Zealand Superannuation or support from Work and Income New Zealand, this may affect your weekly compensation payments. Get in touch with our claims team to find out more.

    Support while getting weekly compensation

    If we accept your application for weekly compensation, we’ll assign a recovery team to manage your claim. They’ll:

    • help if you have any issues with payments
    • develop a rehabilitation plan with you to help you recover faster
    • review your situation. 

    When we'll stop making payments

    Once you’ve been assessed as well enough to return to your regular pre-injury work or an alternative suitable role, we’ll stop weekly payments.

    If we overpay you

    If we pay you too much in weekly compensation, we’ll send you a letter. This tells you how much you owe and when you need to pay it back by.

    Use the Collections and Recoveries (C&R) number on your letter as a reference when you pay.

    Internet banking

    1. Use the one-off bill payment option
    2. Manually enter the account number:

      Bank – Westpac
      Account number – 03 0502 0287400 003
    3. Add these details so we can track the payment back to you:

      Payee code – the C&R number on your letter
      Reference – your claim number
      Particulars – your first initial and surname

    Credit card

    You can pay by Visa and MasterCard over the phone. We don't charge any credit cards fees. Have your C&R number ready when you call.

    Phone 0800 729 538 – Option 5

    If you have a current claim

    If you have a current claim, we can take the amount we overpaid you out of the future payments we make to you. Call us to organise this, with your C&R and claim numbers ready.

    Phone 0800 729 538 – Option 5

    If you were injured before you turned 18 years

    If your injury is stopping you from starting full-time work (over 30 hours per week), we may be able to pay you for loss of earnings. You could be eligible if:

    • you've turned 18
    • you were injured before you turned 18 (or injured after turning 18 but you've been in full-time study or training)
    • you can't work because of your injury for six months or more
    • you're no longer in full-time study or training
    • you're earning or already getting weekly compensation but it's less than what we'd pay for loss of potential earnings.

    How much we can pay for loss of potential earnings

    We can make weekly payments at 80% of the weekly minimum wage.

    Although the adult minimum wage changes from 1 April each year, ACC’s new minimum weekly earnings rate does not come into effect until 1 July each year.

    Applying for loss of potential earnings

    To apply, talk to your recovery team or get in touch. We'll send you the forms you need to complete and talk you through the process.

    Contact us

    If you want to know more about how we can help, talk to your recovery team or contact our claims team.

    Phone 0800 101 996 (Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 5pm)
    Email claims@acc.co.nz

    Last published: 21 September 2020