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ACC for sexual abuse

ACC pays for counselling for people who have been affected by inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Who is eligible?

Any adult or child who is sexually abused in New Zealand and suffers a “mental injury” because of the abuse.
  • sexual abuse includes most forms of sexual violation or indecent assault on an adult, all sexual contact with children, and female genital mutilation.
  • “mental injury” means that the abuse has caused you psychological problems. For example you might be depressed, anxious, have sexual problems, not be able to trust people, abuse drugs or alcohol, have nightmares or flashbacks, or feel unsafe.
Everybody has a different response to the abuse they suffered, if you are unsure whether you meet ACC criteria talk to a counsellor about your situation.


How much will it cost me?

ACC pays the full cost of sexual abuse counselling. (Note that ACC will not pay for counselling for problems it does not consider were caused by the sexual abuse.)


Can I see any counsellor?

ACC will only pay for counselling provided by an ACC Registered Counsellor. Note that ACC calls all practitioners who they register to provide psychological treatment for sexual abuse an “ACC Counsellor” no matter what profession they are from eg. counsellor, psychologist, psychotherapist etc.

You can find an ACC registered counsellor near you by:  

How do I apply for ACC counselling?

ACC requires written reports for assessing your claim, both at the beginning and at various stages during your treatment. All reports are assessed by the ACC Sensitive Claims Unit, where they are treated confidentially and kept secure. Most ACC registered counsellors will have all the forms that you need.

The first step is to fill out an ACC 45 form with your counsellor or doctor, stating that a mental injury has happened as a result of sexual abuse. This requires a brief description of what happened. Your counsellor or doctor will send this to ACC which will entitle you to 16 sessions with an ACC Registered Counsellor.

If you require more than 16 sessions a detailed report and/or and independednt assessment will be required by ACC. The report/assessment will describe the abuse, and the affect the abuse has had on you. It will include a list of your goals for the ACC counselling. This report is assessed by ACC who will decide whether they will pay for more treatment and who that treatment ill be provided by (Note: ACC is currently undergoing changes and it is unclear exactly how a request for more sessions will be processed).


If I want counselling for sexual abuse do I have to see an ACC counsellor?

You only have to see an ACC counsellor if you want ACC to pay for your therapy. There are many counsellors, psychotherapists, and psychologists who provide excellent treatment for sexual abuse who choose not to register with ACC. Likewise, some clients prefer not to put in an ACC claim and to pay for their counselling themselves.


The ACC Website

The ACC website has full information on how to make a claim for counselling for sexual abuse » click here for more details

if this link doesn't work go to
once there click on "claims"
then click on "what do I need to do?"
then click on "injury resulting from sexual abuse or assault"

To find an ACC counsellor near you
arrow-10click here for a nationwide list of ACC registered counsellors

if this link doesn't work go to
once there click on "claims"
then click on "registered counsellors"