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Friday, 8 August 2008

Penalised for Returning to Work

I am extremely angry and frustrated. I want to kick inanimate objects and scream.

As you know I returned to work this week for the first time following the months I have been off work due to a car accident. I only worked 6 hours but I was feeling so good, especially yesterday when my manager asked me to create a new confidentiality agreement for the company as that's the kind of thing they need me for, that only I can do for the company (out of the other employees I mean). I guess I am trying to convey that I felt needed or missed and that that felt good because this accident has made me feel useless and limited and frustrating to others and like I have let work down by being injured even though the accident was not my fault.

Then last night Sherry, my 16 year old daughter, sent me a text to be picked up from youth group with the reminder "tell Dad I need to pay for the ski trip, he needs to bring $85 each for Christian and me when he picks me up." I couldn't find the cheque book so Matt said he would stop off at the ATM and get cash on the way. As he was finding his keys and wallet I rang phone banking to check the account balance and discovered instead of having ample money our account was overdrawn by nearly $200. I listened to the last 10 transactions - nothing out of the ordinary so I checked the past deposits - there was only Matt's pay, nothing from ACC, I hadn't been paid for over a week - but they had all my med certificates, everything was up to date from my end.

Crap! I must have eftpossed about half a dozen times yesterday as I had gone into town to meet DF1 for coffee and I'd grabbed gas, I'd parked... I knew Matt had been eftpossing too as had to had to buy a birthday present for a party the kids went to yesterday after school and he had texted asking where the wrapping paper was and had gone out and bought more and he'd gotten gas too and he had grabbed takeout when we'd gotten home... argh! all I could think about was the bank's policy of charging for each and every separate transaction over the overdraft limit. I felt sick.

I phoned ACC first thing this morning. My case manager had the day off, could I please phone him back on Monday? I was not about to start racking up visa charges or losing interest by funneling money from our on call account over the weekend to fit around his leave and their screw up - I mean if I hadn't had to live the past 4 months on 80% of my income forking out for ACC surcharges that they don't reimburse at the doctors fortnightly I might have a tad more loose change in my everyday account. I politely refused to call back on Monday and firmly asked to be put onto someone else.

A different case manager explained that the first week you go back to work there is always a delay in your payments as you have to work the week and then your employer has to advise ACC your hours the following week and then they pay you, so don't worry, you'll get paid next week on Tuesday or Wednesday. Further, as you not getting paid is not due to an error on ACC's part we will not be advancing you any money any sooner. I had the following things to say:

Nice of you to tell me this always happens AFTER I discovered all my regular transactions and automatic payments put my bank account into overdraft. Thanks for the warning.

Who is going to pay my bank fees?

Who is going to explain to my bank that I am not the slack incompetent I now look like thanks to this lack of information?

How can you fix the embarassment my teenagers feel being the only kids who did not pay for their ski camp in their group of friends and ended up feeling like the poor kids when the youth group leaders were all sympathetic?

Who is going to explain how this looks on my mortgage application that we intend to apply for the minute I have resumed full time work and we know I am over my injury?

Who is going to reimburse me for my lost interest on the money I have now had to swipe out of my savings account?

I am sure you can guess the answers to these questions.

Questions I did not ask that I wanted to:

Why can't I sue the person responsible for putting me in this mess in the first place?

Why do I have to put up with this ridiculous, insufficient, incompetent, bumbling excuse for compensation that the government has no business having anything to do with in the first place?

Why am I being penalised for returning to work?


  1. You have got enough money for your kids to go on ski trips and you for to sit around chugging back coffee with your friends. What's your problem? How much taxpayer money do you want?

  2. I don't want any taxpayer money.

    I don't want to deal with ACC.

    That's my point.

    I work for my money. I will spend it however I want. My kids will go on whatever trips I want them to and I will drink coffee in my free time whenever I want to.

    I did not cause the accident. I did not ask to be on ACC. I think the goverment has no place in shielding people from the consequences of causing other people harm.

  3. I love it - ACC tells you "there is always a delay in your payments" the first week back. What, like you are on ACC all the time and its something everyone should know.

    I hope they sorted their stuff out and paid you.

    Get better soon.


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