In the early stages, people don’t know where to go for advice, how to request assistance and how to deal with a host of practical consequences. Our liaison officers are available to help you navigate this landscape where possible or to refer you on to more expert advice as the need arises. These include rehabilitation, medical, financial, legal and relationship issues.
If you are currently a claimant with ACC in respect of a brain injury or have been in the past but have let your claim lapse through changed circumstances, then we may be able to support you to access ACC or public health services. If your injury was historical and unreported or if your claim has been formally signed off by ACC, then you may require the services of a lawyer or specialist advocate. We may be able to advise you on this but please note we are not a specialist ACC advocacy service.
There are a number of different health professionals who provide clinical services after a brain injury. These include doctors and specialists, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation nurses, social workers and others. Our liaison officers will be able to explain the different roles of these clinicians and if necessary speak to them on your behalf if you have concerns. If you are going to a clinician for a particular assessment or consultation, a liaison officer may be able to accompany you as a support person.
A number of financial issues can arise after a brain injury, particularly if the injured person was the primary income earner or ran a business. There may also be concerns about tax, with banks over mortgages or other debt, with hire purchase agreements or with access to savings.
Income to meet living costs is usually the most pressing financial concern. If the injured person has a claim accepted by ACC and was earning a wages or drawing income from a business, then they may be eligible for weekly compensation. If an injured person is not eligible for weekly compensation, then application for a WINZ benefit will have to be made. The liaison officer can advise you on these matters including referring you on for budgeting assistance or other professional help as may be required.
As with finances, a range of legal issues may arise at the time a person sustains a brain injury or later as they come to terms with a changed lifestyle. These issues can include police or court concerns, family matters including custody/access to children and, especially where someone has had a serious injury, there may be concerns over powers of attorney and welfare guardianship. The liaison officers can advise you on these matters.
These may include assessment for total mobility card, how to go about restoration of drivers licence, access to counselling, problems with drug, alcohol or other addictions.
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