Serious injury & disability
When you return home, your house may need some changes to meet your injury-related needs. ACC may be able to help with getting these changes made.
What ACC can help pay for?
Under ACC's legislation we are only allowed to fund modifications to help with the effects of your injury. Depending on your needs, we can help with:
- adding ramps or low-rise lifts
- adding handrails
- widening doorways
- changing bathrooms so you can use the toilet and shower
- changing the kitchen so you can reach cupboards, sinks and the stove
- adding storage for any injury-related equipment you need.
We can’t pay for extra rooms or features that aren’t needed for your injury.
These changes can take some time, so talk to your Support Coordinator as soon as you can so we can start the process.
The housing modification process
Specialist housing assessment
We usually start the process with a specialist housing assessment. This will help us to find out what you usually do around home, and what barriers may need to be overcome.
Making the changes
We use a specialist housing services provider who employs architects and builders to complete the changes to your home.
It may not be safe for you to live in your home while major changes are being done. We will arrange and pay for alternative accommodation for you and other residents while the work is being done.
If only minor changes are needed, we’ll contact our housing services provider to get quotes and arrange for the work to be done. Minor changes are things like:
- ramps under one metre high (these don’t require a building consent)
- door widening
- modifying steps to make them easier for you to use
- handheld showers.
Our housing services provider takes care of all payments to the builders, subcontractors and suppliers.
Major changes usually involve structural work and require some form of certification or building consent. Examples of major changes are:
- installing a wet-area shower in the bathroom
- installing lifts
- extensions to, or additional, bedrooms, bathrooms or living areas
- changes to the kitchen or laundry.
Major work happens in stages:
- Our housing services provider identifies what’s needed, prepares initial drawings and gets the property owner’s agreement to proceed.
- We get final drawings and quotes so we can approve the costs and get any building consents.
- Our housing services provider oversees the work to make sure it is done to a high standard and finished on time.
- We get the property owner to sign a document formally accepting the work – which means taking responsibility for all future maintenance and repairs to the modifications.
What happens if I need to move house?
Your accommodation may be unsuitable for you after your injury, and relocation may be the most effective solution.
If you need to move to a different house, we can provide access to expert advice to help you identify houses that are capable of meeting your needs – either with or without modifications. But you are responsible for buying or renting the new accommodation.
If you are considering moving house, please talk to us before you buy, build or rent another house.