Can I use the Bill of Rights as an instrument to get the mental health and ACC care I require?

Question Details: I have a disability, yet cannot get treatment I feel I am entitled to (under ACC and Mental Health & Disability laws). I have been involved with ongoing protests against what I feel are gross miscarriages of justice perpetrated against people in my situation by ACC. I cannot afford a lawyer, and have been told by Community Law that I will need to engage one. Is there any way for me to use the Bill of Rights in my situation to get damages or the care I require? Are there any other avenues for me to use?

Filed under Human Rights and Discrimination | 2532 View(s)

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Answers by Lawyers

Cooper Legal

We are unable to answer your question without knowing the particulars of your situation, what treatment or services have been declined, and how you think the Bill of Rights that might help you (ie: if you think that you are being discriminated against, what do you think that discrimination is?).

If you feel that you are being refused services that you should be entitled to, the first step is to make a complaint to ACC, setting out the things you think you should be entitled to. Given your ongoing protests, it is likely you have already tried this.

If you are having ongoing difficulties, then yes, you really do need representation. If you are unable to pay for a lawyer, we suggest the following two options:

a) that you contact the Health & Disability Advocacy Service (advocacy.hdc.org.nz which should be able to put you in contact with an advocate (many of whom do not charge); or
b) that you contact a lawyer who is able to work for you under a grant of legal aid.

This second option will depend on you being eligible for legal aid (which will depend on your personal circumstances and the nature of the work you need your lawyer to do), and whether the lawyer is certified to take legal aid cases. You can telephone Legal Aid to ask for a list of lawyers in your area who do legal aid work in the area you need.

Answered 6 Oct 2014. The IMPORTANT NOTICE below is part of this answer.

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