UK to NZ every 28 days for ACC
Sun, 06 Jan 2013 6:17p.m.
By Melissa Davies
When Paige Carpenter was left severely disabled at birth because of a midwife's mistake, her mother was told she'd receive lifetime compensation from ACC. But 14 years later, Donna Carpenter has found out there are strings attached.
She and Paige have since moved to England to be with extended family, but to continue receiving payments they must fly back to New Zealand at least once every month.
The Carpenters say their battle with ACC to pay for a spinal operation for 14-year-old Paige is forcing them to go to great lengths, all the way from Essex to Auckland.
Paige was awarded compensation as a baby because of a mistake during her birth in Whakatane, which left her with cerebral palsy. But now that her mum has moved to England they say they have to travel back to New Zealand at least every 28 days to continue receiving payments.
After getting their passports stamped in New Zealand, sometimes they only stay a night and then fly back again.
“We have tried through our lawyer and through the courts to fight this for well over a year before we even made this trip,” says Donna. “It was a hard decision to do it and probably sounds really stupid to some people to do it, but if we stop now or if we stopped after once or twice then it would have been stopped.”
Donna says the money they do get barely covers the cost of the return trip and they've been told the payments may soon be halved.
While Paige and her siblings were born in New Zealand, personal circumstances forced them to move to England to be with Donna’s extended family and new partner, Stephen Barnett.
“Without extended family, because we care for Paige 24 hours a day, We wouldn’t have people to step in when we need them to help out with basic things, such as occasionally getting children to schools or taking them out when we're exhausted from working through the night,” says Mr Barnett. “It's basic things that you don’t normally need, but with a disabled child you do need it.”
ACC says support is restricted when clients leave New Zealand and a spokesman says it's not possible to guarantee permanent compensation for Paige's care. In a statement, ACC said it is “committed to working with Paige's family to consider ongoing solutions that will provide the family with peace of mind regarding the duration of overseas care approved, while at the same time ensuring ACC meets its legislative responsibilities”.
ACC says it is waiting for doctors’ reports to determine how much longer the compensation will continue.
But the family say they're in it for the long haul and they'll continue to make the journey to New Zealand for as long as they can afford just to make their point.
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21/01/2013 10:35:18 p.m.
While its terrible what happened.... They are British and should receive assistance from their government -it is not the kiwi tax payer that should keep paying out.....loosing faith in acc seems foreigners have no problem getting it but kiwis do!
10/01/2013 11:32:45 p.m.
And I say again Kim, that it was her parents choice to move to Britain, those being the parents who are responsible for this 14yo's wellbeing... They are the people who must foot the bill, and they are the ones who dragged their child to the other side of the globe.. And one last thing, I hear people complaining that ACC takes away our right to Sue, and whilst this is correct i'm guessing when it comes to the crunch most NZer's wouild prefer that it be this way. While unfortunate, people do get put in difficult positions and make mistakes, and should be held accountable via legal prosecution, but should they lose their house over it??? Should they be sue for volumes of money that they can no longer support their own innocent family?? Sueing is not the answer and the last thing NZ needs is a legal system as complicated as in the US.. We should count our lucky stars.
10/01/2013 9:57:26 p.m.
If they lived in a country that has a right to sue, would you expect them to leave whatever payout they got behind when they moved? People give up the right to sue because of acc, so acc should cover them no matter where they live..And i say again..Its not the victims choice to live in england..its her parents.
10/01/2013 5:57:43 p.m.
Kim - Because they chose to move to the UK. If they were to live in NZ there would be few problems. Of course I believe they're entitled to the support, and in no way do I believe it's a gravy train. It's completely necessary for folks like this, but if you leave this country indefinitely then ACC has every right to cut your funding... I've had my own run-ins with the wonderful ACC, bt in this case I have to agree with them.
10/01/2013 3:18:34 p.m.
Dave C wrote:
And meanwhile the world is full of starving people . . . Outrageous. Stop the payments and give it to a Kiwi who deserves it and still lives here.
10/01/2013 11:59:22 a.m.
While I think it's fair that the nature of the cover changes when you leave the country, it seems stupid and wasteful to give them money which gets spent on airfares and not care. That part should be easy to sort out.
We humans created bureaucracy, it is our invention; our hands should not be tied because of it.
Do it like this: "Oh, you have been travelling to NZ to remain eligible for care? That's a pointless waste of money and time. How about you just phone in or skype us instead?"
What are they confirming every time the visit is made that could not be confirmed another way?
10/01/2013 2:05:17 a.m.
Actually matty, you need to remember it is the child that was injured. She has no choice where she lives. You seem to think this is some sort of gravey train for the parent. Its a life sentence for careing parents. Remember that they would not be able to qualify for free British medical care as a New Zealander.. Could not get medical insurance that would cover this..given that the likely medical bills are going to be in the hundreds of thousands , Maybe you should explain why these caring parents, that did nothing wrong, should spend thier life paying bills that are in no way there fault?
They aren't traveling to get the weekly payments. They are traveling to keep thier child qualified for major medical procedures in the future.
9/01/2013 8:11:09 p.m.
Come on guys.... Do you honestly believe the government should keep paying you ACC if you choose to live in another country?? You wouldnt get the sickness benefit if you left, so why should you get ACC?
9/01/2013 2:21:15 p.m.
That is typical of ACC, any way to stop paying the genuine to pay the ones who have ripped them off for years on end. It must be a fairly substantial amount she gets monthly to be able to afford to fly here to get it as well. Why not go for a lump sum to save all the hassle. I claim for any accident I have too because i have paid tax all my working life so i might as well get some back instead of someone else. They have made the systems what they are and everyone has wised up basically. It's no different to having more and more kids to get more and more on the benefit. I have even heard they have refused alot of children getting teeth they broke on the school playground fixed. One place I wouldn't be proud to be working that is for sure. bet the staff lie to people about where they work too, I would.................
8/01/2013 8:36:26 p.m.
Bill Mudgeway wrote:
Acc works very well indeed,but only if you are employed by them when you get hurt..For any one else, you just keep paying your levis as much as you do your taxes to pay huge wage increases to the Politicians every year.
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