Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the common questions that get asked of DRSL about dispute resolution and ACC Reviews. If you can’t find a helpful answer here please feel free to contact DRSL and talk to us about it, or send us your suggestion for any other information that you think should be included.
Dispute Resolution Services is an independent Crown Owned company, offering ACC Reviews and other dispute resolution services to the public and private sector market.
We have offices in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. We also hold hearings in 25 other locations nationwide. Go to our Contact Us page to get more details about each of our offices.
Contact your nearest Dispute Resolution Services office and ask to talk to a Resolution Coordinator. Go to our Contact Us page to get more details about each of our offices.
As soon as you have a decision from ACC you can apply for a review.
If you're unhappy with an ACC decision it's a good idea to talk first with the person at ACC you've been dealing with. If you're still unhappy, it may help if you talk with their manager.
If you're still not satisfied you can apply for a review but you must do so within three months of the date of the decision letter, unless there are special circumstances that mean you have been unable to do it in that time.
If you don’t want to fill in a form, you can write a letter to ACC that says:
- you are applying for a review
- the date of the ACC decision
- your reasons for wanting a review
- the results you want from the review.
Then send the form or letter to ACC.
For reviews relating to claims and entitlement:
ACC Review Unit,
P.O. Box 242,
For reviews relating to levies:
ACC Business Service Centre,
P.O. Box 795,
Applying for a review won't affect a decision that ACC has already made. The decision stays in place until the review decision is issued - so if you are currently getting payments from ACC they will continue, and if you are NOT currently getting ACC payments this will stay the same.
There may be changes to your ACC payments if the outcome of the review is to change or overturn an ACC decision. For more information see 'review outcomes'.
No. Although ACC reviews are bound by legislation and there may be legal references made as part of review decision, you do not have to have a lawyer to represent you. Many people have review hearings without a lawyer. The review process is usually quite informal, and has been designed to make sure anyone can take part and do well with or without a lawyer.
However an ACC review is a legal process so you may want to get professional advice from a lawyer or a specialist advocate. Please note that DRSL cannot suggest a course of action to you nor recommend any legal representatives.
Non-ACC reviews, facilitation or mediations can sometimes refer to the law, but this does not necessarily mean you will need a lawyer. It is up to each individual to determine if they should get professional advice from a lawyer.
You will not be charged anything by DRSL or ACC for handling a review application or for a review hearing.
If you decide to use a lawyer or advocate representing you then they may charge you for their time. You might want to discuss that with them before you go ahead.
You may be awarded costs as part of the review decision, but there are set maximum amounts that can be awarded. For more information see ‘What does it cost?’.
Other types of reviews will be assessed before the dispute resolution process takes place, and all parties have agreed to the costs of providing and facilitating the review.
Yes there is, but you don't always have to attend. If all of the parties agree that they do not want a hearing, the reviewer can consider all of the information that has been provided in the claim file, and any relevant law. The reviewer will then issue a binding decision in writing. This type of review is referred to as a “decision on the papers”.
If one or more of the parties do want to attend a hearing, a date, time and location will be negotiated. If the parties can't agree on a date, time and location, the reviewer may make a final decision and let everyone else know.
You can attend a hearing in person or by phone. If there is a charge on your phone bill for attending the hearing by phone, you can claim the costs as expenses.
DRSL will let you know when the review hearing will be held, and where. Generally hearings are held in a location that is as close as possible to where the applicant lives. DRSL will also allow for special requirements such as wheelchair or hospital bed access.
The Resolution Coordinator will phone and then write to you to confirm the hearing date, time and venue.
If you can’t make it to the review hearing, talk to your Resolution Coordinator. They'll talk to the other parties and try to set up another date. If an agreement can't be reached about a new date, the Reviewer can decide on the date, and will give you seven days' notice of the new review date.
Please note that if the reviewer decides the hearing date should not be rescheduled, or adjourned, the process will continue without you.
Please bring any ACC case file or other relevant documents that you have. It is also a good idea to bring writing material for making notes.
If you want to present written evidence at the hearing you need to provide it in writing to Dispute Resolution Services and all other parties before the hearing, so they have a chance to consider it.
Yes, you can bring a representative such as a lawyer or an advocate, or they can attend on your behalf.
You can also bring a support person such as a friend or relative. Please let DRSL know beforehand how many people you think may come with you to the hearing, so a suitable room for the hearing can be arranged.
You'll get a complete written decision from the Reviewer within 28 days after the hearing finishes. This will include a full explanation of how the decision was made. Your ACC case manager may also contact you to discuss what action, if any, will be taken next.
People who are unhappy with the review decision can appeal through the District Court. This must be done within 28 days of the review decision being issued. The District Court may accept late submissions, but only if there are special circumstances.
There is more information about the appeal process, such as who can appeal and how long it will take, on the Appeals page.
If you'd like to make a suggestion, a comment or a complaint, please phone your nearest Dispute Resolution Services office and ask to talk to a Resolution Coordinator. There are details for each office on the Contact Us page. Or you can fill in a complaint form on-line.