21 Apr 2015

Landmark ruling on ACC entitlement

1:07 pm on 21 April 2015

Retired widows and widowers may now be entitled to extended ACC compensation and superannuation because of a landmark ruling by the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

no caption

Photo: ACC

Ernest Heads, whose wife was killed by a truck in 2008, may have set a legal precedent which will affect future claimants.

ACC pays weekly compensation to families for five years after a fatal accident, but, because Mr Heads was getting superannuation, it ruled he could only get one year's compensation and would then have to choose between ACC and super.

He took his case to the tribunal, arguing the Accident Compensation Act was in breach of the Human Rights Act because its discriminated against age.

The tribunal agreed and said Mr Heads, who's now 73, had lost about $75,000 as a result.

ACC said up to 30 people were eligible for both entitlements.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs