Rakaia man battles back-to-work ruling

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 02/02/2013

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A Rakaia man's battle with Accident Compensation Corporation could turn into a protest in Timaru if he is not reinstated on their books.

Jeremy Sayer, 42, received a letter from ACC in December, stating he was now fit to work 30 hours a week and his ACC entitlement would be cut off on March 1.

He told them if that happened he would pitch a tent in protest outside the Timaru branch of ACC.

Mr Sayer visited the branch this week to tell bosses face to face that he was giving them two months to review his case, because health professionals had told him returning to work was not yet advisable.

Mr Sayer, a mechanic by trade, has been off work since 2011, after he was diagnosed with lateral epicondylitus, a form of tennis elbow.

He initially got the condition in his right arm, but was misdiagnosed and continued to work. Now he has the condition in both arms, which he says affects his ability to do many daily tasks.

He said continuing to work when only his right arm was affected meant his left arm was over-compensating.

"Eighteen months down the track my left arm is totally shattered with ligament damage."

Armed with a large file of documents to support his case, Mr Sayer met Timaru ACC staff on Thursday in a bid to remedy the situation.

"What I'm after from them today is a review to make sure they don't cut my entitlements on the 1st of March.

"My GP has told me I'm not fit for work.

"If things were done properly at the start I wouldn't be having this problem now."

Mr Sayer said he would give ACC two weeks to get his review under way.

An ACC spokesperson said Mr Sayer has been assessed as "vocationally independent", which meant he was regarded as being fit to return to some sort of fulltime work.

"This decision is based on a medical assessment (undertaken by a medical professional, not an ACC staff member), and takes into consideration all aspects of a claimant's ability to undertake work."

The spokesperson said that if a client disagreed with ACC's review they were fit to return to some sort of fulltime work, they had the right to apply for a formal, independent review of that decision.

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- The Timaru Herald

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