A decision was issued today confirming what ACC should already know but appeared to have forgotten – that it has an obligation to restore an injured person’s independence to the maximum extent practicable.
ACC had declined to provide adequate transport assistance to a 67-year-old man who was wheelchair bound. Instead, ACC issued a decision to fund a mere two taxi trips per week. He had to use these two trips to do his groceries, attend all medical assessments (of which there were countless), visit his children and grandchildren in Auckland, and participate in the community. The claimant had no non-injury related conditions and he had become socially isolated and depressed solely because of his covered injuries. The Reviewer concluded that the provision of only two taxi trips per week was wholly inadequate to restore the claimant’s independence to the maximum extent practicable. The Reviewer ordered ACC to contribute towards the cost of a vehicle and any modifications necessary.
The decision is a good reminder to ACC of the purpose of social rehabilitation and the ACC scheme generally – proper and meaningful rehabilitation.