ACC disputes and reviews

ACC disputes and reviews

If you disagree with a decision or outcome of a claim you’ve made to ACC, you can request to have it reviewed. When you do, FairWay will arrange the review for you.

If you are injured and a request is made for ACC to cover the costs of your treatment, you will be allocated a case file. If during the course of your case you feel ACC has made a decision that you don't agree with, you can ask us to mediate or facilitate a discussion between you and ACC to achieve an outcome. Or you can apply for a review, which will then be forwarded to FairWay.

About this service

An ACC review is a legal process where both sides meet with an independent and unbiased reviewer. The reviewer considers all of the information that has been provided and makes a decision. The reviewer may uphold (or agree) the original ACC decision, modifies the original decision or overturn it. The reviewer can also make decisions about costs and payments.


How the process works

You must apply to ACC for a review within three months of the date of its decision. In special circumstances, ACC can extend this time, but you should not rely on this. ACC will look at the issue in dispute and where possible try and resolve the matter with you. If it is not resolved ACC will send your file to FairWay for an independent review.


The cost

Applicants do not pay a fee to FairWay to handle their reviews. However, applicants need to cover their own expenses related to preparing for and attending the review. Some costs may be reimbursed, if the reviewer awards costs to the applicant. The specific amounts of money that can be awarded, and the types of costs covered, are set out in the Review Costs and Appeals Regulations 2002 (as amended).


Where to start

To apply for a review you must first contact ACC on 0800 101 996 and talk to your case manager. You may also want to contact an appropriately qualified professional such as a lawyer or professional advocate for detailed advice about your specific case. Citizens Advice Bureau and Community Law Centres can be a good place to start.


ACC Reviews brochure

ACC provides accident cover for all New Zealand citizens, residents, and temporary visitors to New Zealand. In return, people cannot sue for personal injury, other than for exemplary damages.

Facilitation aims to help an ACC client understand why ACC is making the decisions about their claim, and for ACC to understand what the client understands and wants.

Mediation could be a useful process to go through before applying for a formal review of your ACC case. Mediation is also an option after applying for a formal review, but before the review hearing. Most of the mediations that we do are review related mediation.

An ACC review is a legal process where both you and ACC meet with an independent, unbiased FairWay Resolution reviewer.

FairWay Resolution organises ACC reviews for people who do not agree with a decision or outcome of their ACC claim.

Once you have applied for a review, FairWay will contact you to arrange a hearing date. At the hearing both sides get to put forward their information, evidence and arguments to support their view.

There are a number of people involved in an ACC review, including the applicant, the reviewer or mediator, the resolution coordinator and ACC. Here is an overview of their roles.

Hearings are usually quite informal. Each reviewer decides on their own way to conduct the hearing, although they must always act independently, act promptly, and comply with legislation.

Hearings usually happen in this order:

One of our resolution coordinators will organise a hearing once all parties agree to a review.

What happens when the reviewer makes a decision?

ACC will pay the costs of providing a review.

These case studies look at some of the common types of ACC cases that come up for review and explain how the final decisions were reached. The case studies are not about specific people, but they have been based on a number of real cases.

An ACC appeal decisions database is available through the New Zealand Legal Information Institute (NZLII).

FairWay has two booklets: one that covers mediation and facilitation, and the other regarding ACC reviews and a simplified brochure on ACC reviews.

We have developed a set of guidelines so everyone involved in the ACC review process will be better informed, know what to expect and experience a more customer focussed service.