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ACC Tricks and Traps

ACC SCU Tricks and Traps

It is important to remember that the stated intentions of the SCU and the political spin that surrounds the Corporation are far removed from the reality of the experience of ACC SCU claimants. The public are informed that the SCU exists to make sure that victims of sexual assault can make claims for treatment and other entitlements in a manner that is safe and therapeutic. While this sounds very noble sadly it is simply not true.

The ACC staff are well versed in the art of gas lighting. Gas lighting is a term describing how an insurance company (which is what the ACC essentially is) make the claims process so unpleasant and degrading that the claimant simply gives up seeking their entitlements. This is particularly effective when the Corporation lights up a Sensitive Claimant relying on the nature of the injury in question.  This tactic works well for the ACC as a large percentage of claimants avoid the immediate stress of dealing with the ACC by giving up.

Of course there are those who will not give up and the ACC has alternative methods of dealing with those claimants. I will list these now. There may be additions to this list of ACC tactics so be sure to check in now and then.

Gas lighting: As mentioned the procedure of making the claims process so unpleasant the claimant gives up.

Hand braking: ACC staff simply fail to process the claim and leave it hanging for months in the hope the claimant gives up.

Misleading the Assessor:  The ACC will send a claimant to an assessment without providing accurate information. Medical information (that supports the claimant) may mysteriously fail to reach the assessor. The reason for the assessment may be deliberately vague or non-existent.

For example in my case the first assessment I was sent to the assessor had to ask me why I was there as the ACC had not provided any reason for the assessment. My second assessment was to determine incapacity to work but the reason provided to the assessor was that the assessment was a Whole Person Impairment Assessment. A WPI assessment cannot be used to determine incapacity for work.

Misinterpreting Assessment Reports:  In the event that an assessor leaves any aspect of their report open to interpretation, the ACC will put their own interpretation on the report to justify declining the claimant. The claimant will be lead to believe that the assessor is responsible for the declinature thus pitting the claimant against an assessor who will then become all defensive. While the claimant battles the assessor the ACC will sit back and let them get on with it.

Choosing an Assessor the ACC knows will favour it: This issue is more prevalent in General Claims than in Sensitive Claims but the SCU has hard line assessors that ACC uses to decline claims. The Psychiatric profession is very ethical but ACC has put a great deal of effort into stacking the deck in its favour as much as possible. The ACC will communicate with the assessor to taint the clients claim as much as possible and even goes so far as to ask questions in such a way that the psychiatric opinion gained can be manipulated when the legislation is applied. Also ACC knows that demands for the claimant to see a hand-picked assessor is a power play that unsettles and frightens claimants. This puts the claimant into an adversarial position with the assessor which plays into the ACC’s hands.

These are some of the basic tactics the ACC uses to decline claimants. There are effective counters to these practices but the claimant must be aware of these insurance tricks to deal with them effectively.