18 Mar 2013

Stroke Foundation urges case for ACC support

7:30 pm on 18 March 2013

The Stroke Foundation hopes the Government will review the ACC scheme to include stroke sufferers.

An Otago University has found stroke victims receive far less support and are worse off financially than people who are injured in an accident.

It reveals stroke victims lose an average of 60% of their income in 12 months and are less likely to return to work, because they don't get the same support from ACC.

The foundation's chief executive, Mark Vivian, says the Government maintains it would cost too much to extend the scheme but he hopes the report makes it realise that by neglecting people, there are significant costs to the economy from lost income and productivity.

The study compared 109 stroke victims to 429people who'd suffered a comparable injury to see how they fared over a 12-month period.

Lead author Sue McAllister says she found stroke victims' incomes dropped by 60% compared to 13% in the injury group - something she attributes to differing levels of income support from ACC and Work and Income.

She says 79% of those injured were back at work after a year, compared to 49% of those who had suffered a stroke, because they had received better ACC support to return to work.

Dr McAllister says it's unfair that someone who suffers a stroke should be disadvantaged.

The ACC Minister has said there are no plans to change or extend the scheme.