Serious injury & disability

Working out what you'll need at home

We use Support Needs Assessments to work out the support needs of adults who have significant disabilities following injury.


What is a Support Needs Assessment?

In a Support Needs Assessment (SNA) an assessor works with you to get a clear picture of your abilities, your support needs and what will help you in your day-to-day life.

Before the assessment, we will provide the assessor with relevant background such as:

  • information about your injury
  • your work situation
  • rehabilitation you are receiving
  • therapy reports.

To complete an assessment the assessor will meet with you and, if needed, talk to others who have an understanding of your abilities, needs and future plans.

A visit from an assessor lasts around two hours. They may watch you carrying out everyday tasks, then they’ll prepare a report describing your abilities and needs.

When is one done?

An assessment is done before you leave rehabilitation or hospital to help plan your return home. We may do further assessments when:

  • you’ve settled in at home
  • your needs or circumstances change
  • you change your goals.

Your Support or Service Coordinator will talk with you about the need for an assessment before arranging for an assessor to contact you.

You can request an assessment at any time you feel your situation has changed and your support and services may need to change.

Who does the assessment?

Assessors are physiotherapists, registered nurses and occupational therapists who have experience working with people with serious injuries and disabilities. Assessors are not employees of ACC; they have contracts with ACC to carry out Support Needs Assessments and provide independent advice.

What do I have to do?

Your Support or Service Coordinator will talk about the assessment with you.

We’ll confirm the date and time of the assessment in writing. If the time doesn’t suit you, let the assessor and your Coordinator know as soon as possible.

You can provide copies of any documents to the assessor that you think may be helpful, such as:

  • reports you would like the assessor to consider
  • details of medical specialist appointments
  • a list of medications and how often you need them.

You can have a support person such as a friend or whānau/family member with you while you meet with the assessor. You can also ask for an interpreter if you need one.

What happens afterwards?

After visiting you, the assessor writes a report and sends it to us.

We use their advice to understand what you can do for yourself, what you need help with, and whether you have any safety or health concerns. We will consider:

  • what you might do yourself
  • the types of support that whānau/families typically provide to other whānau/family members
  • services available in your local community
  • ACC-funded services.

By law, we are only allowed to fund supports and services to help with the effects of your injury.

If the supports and services you are receiving from ACC change, your Coordinator will contact you to discuss the changes. Any changes will be confirmed in writing.

Find out more about Support Needs Assessments for adults.