The Accident Compensation Corporation has announced what it says are the biggest changes to its client services in over 20 years.
"The new way of working will help improve the way we support clients, giving you access to online self-service options. The service will be tailored to you, your needs, and your injury," it says.
"This new model could result in changes to the way ACC employees work and we’ll be consulting with employees on the structure and roles of this new model."
ACC says the new service model has been trialled for the last year in Hamilton and more recently Hawke’s Bay. Satisfaction levels for clients in the trial were significantly higher than usual.
Last year, ACC says it received 1.9 million new claims and it is expecting this to surpass the 2 million mark in 2019. It says the new model will give clients more options, and make it faster and easier to access ACC services.
"All our clients will have access to their personal information by accessing our online portal MyACC. An estimated 50% will be able to shift to a more self-managed recovery. People will be able to update their personal information and apply for some services, such as weekly compensation.
"We’ll still have our full range of options for people to get in touch with us – through phone, email, online and in person."
ACC chief operating officer Mike Tully says the new claim lodgement system, which went live in September, was one of the first efficiencies for clients where ACC replaced its paper-based processes.
"The new system assesses claims as soon as we receive them and, in some cases, approves them immediately. Clients can receive a text message or email letting them know their claim has been approved much faster than previously, where they had to wait for a letter in the post," he says.
“In the first week of operating this new system, we received 33,000 claims. The system was set up to be conservative, but still immediately accepted around 60% of these claims. This meant that all those clients were notified within minutes that their claim was accepted, rather than having to wait up to a week for their acceptance letter to arrive. Previously our staff would have had to manually assess every single claim."