ACC claims continue more than a decade after Christchurch quakes

The Latimer Square triage centre after the February 22, 2011, earthquake. Today many people who...
The Latimer Square triage centre after the February 22, 2011, earthquake. Today many people who live with the injuries caused by the disaster still receive financial assistance from ACC. Photo: Geoff Sloan
A decade on from the earthquakes, 103 people who received physical and psychological injuries – or both – still have active claims with ACC, with financial commitments still significant despite numbers gradually decreasing.

Figures obtained by The Star reveal there were 20 fewer claims on ACC’s books for the 2020-2021 financial year, compared to 2019-2020.

From the existing claims, 82 were classified as physical injuries and nine as mental injuries, while a dozen claims were a combination of both.

ACC paid out $3,050,959 for those claims, compared to $2,636,894 during 2019-2020.

The amount needed for physical injuries dropped from $1,926,237 to $1,808 - 805 with 17 claims resolved.

But that reduction was offset by mental injuries ($350,653 to $571,008) and physical/mental injuries ($360,004 to $671,146) requiring a greater financial commitment.

Unsurprisingly, the 2011/2012 financial year produced the highest expenditure on claims from the February 22, 2011, earthquake - $12,140,380, with the bulk devoted to physical injury treatment ($10,618,068).

There were 5996 claims in 2011-2012. Minor physical injury claims appear to have been resolved swiftly - 7879 physical injury claims were made in 2010-2011, while 12 months later the number had reduced to 5904.

The greatest number of physical injury claims became inactive in 2012-2013, when 4715 dropped off the books.

Meanwhile, the number of claimants receiving weekly compensation relating to the earthquake peaked in 2010/2011 at 327 (306 physical, 13 mental, eight physical/mental), although the bill amounted to $1,337,393.

In the following financial year the claimants had reduced to 240 - the only category to increase was mental injury from 13 to 30 - but the expenditure surged to $2,796,151.

There are currently 20 claimants across all three categories, absorbing $1,337,658.

The bulk of the money is required for death benefits - weekly compensation ($830,487) followed by support for independence care ($357,664).

Conveyance for medical treatment was the smallest cost for the 2020-2021 financial year - $1227. 

 

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