In New Zealand we have a Government Department called Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). It is based on a “No Fault” insurance system and we pay insurance premiums in our wages, petrol tax, and other revenue system, to be covered by this Government Insurance System.
ACC then kicks in when you have an injury. They pay your treatment costs, and assist you in your recovery in what ever way they need to. Their goal, is a quick, successful return to work.
Just before Easter, trying to do some outside chores that Derek would normally do, I strained my back. It was bad enough to put me off work for 4 weeks. The first week at my expense, but then ACC paid 80% of my wages for the other weeks I was off, including when I returned to work, but could only work short hours.
When the Dr considered me fit to return to work, I was still unable to drive myself, and taking a train was not practical, so, with 1 swift call, I had someone come to assess me, and agreed that a Train to a particular station, then a Taxi from there, was the best option.
Almost instantly, it was agreed and organised.
We have been asking for the same help with getting Derek to work. It is Autumn in New Zealand and getting very cold, wet, windy and generally miserable. We have purchased extra winter clothing (from places like Canada, who know about cold) to help him with the cold weather.
You can see by reading the “An Experiment in Independance” how well that worked (or not).
It is now two weeks on from that experiment. Derek got a cold, which required extra dosing, he took and extra 20mg for 3 days to try and recover from it. He went to work last week for 3 days (he had taken leave over a long weekend).
Friday afternoon he got a call from his ACC Case Manager. Derek had e-mailed her to find out what was happening with the help he required to get to work.
She kept making excuses for why things hadn’t happened. He finally asked to speak to her supervisor. They then had a heated discussion.
As other Addisonians’ will tell you, Stress, when you don’t produce your own stress hormone, is not something you want to actively partake of.
Derek became stressed. So much so that he decided it wasn’t safe to bring himself home by train. Thankfully, before he could call me to go and get him, his boss offered him a lift home.
He rested this weekend (he wasn’t capable of doing anything). Today he could not get out of bed. His blood pressure is all over the place because he is fatigued. One minute his blood pressure is so high he gets a head ache standing up, then it drops to a point where he gets very dizzy.
He has taken extra medication again today to try and get over this.
We have now been to the Dr who has put him off work for a week, to try and recover from everything.
Now, we have done the Math on this.
Taxi to work (he will take a train home) – $250/week
Sick leave for a week (covered by ACC) – $1500/week
They say they want to save money. You choose which option you think they should go with. We told them last week that he was becoming sick, and would probably need to go on sick leave until they were able to sort something out.
Still he has to wait for a response.