To keep fees as low as possible most counsellors don’t have receptionists. So while they are working with clients their phone will go to voicemail. Leave them a message or send a text/email and they will get back to you when they have a gap between clients. Sometimes this won’t be until the end of the day.
Most counsellors are happy for you to send them a text asking them to call you back.
Lots of our counsellors offer online counselling if you are unable, or would rather not see them in-person go to the Find a Counsellor Directory and tick the box for “Online Consultations”
If your circumstances mean you can’t have regular sessions talk to the counsellor about it when you make contact or at your first session. Most counsellors will be flexible.
Work and Income (WINZ) subsidises counselling for people on benefits and low income earners through the Disability Allowance. You can receive this Allowance if you meet income criteria and your Doctor agrees that you need counselling. For current information see the WINZ website.
Is your income low enough?
You and your partner must earn less than the “income Limits”. In general, people on benefits will be eligible.
Weekly income limits (from all sources, before Tax) for Disability Allowance are (at 1 April 2023):
How much will you get?
The Disability Allowance is currently paid up to a maximum of $75.10 per week for adults (as at 1.4.23) to contribute to the cost of your counselling. It is added to your benefit and paid into your bank account. You are responsible for paying your counsellor. How much of your counselling fee will be covered by the Allowance will depend on how much your counsellor charges and how often you go. They will discuss this with you when they fill out your form.
Where can I get the forms?
You will need to get the forms that your counsellor and doctor need to fill in. Follow the instructions on the WINZ website to download the forms you need depending on your situation, and take them to your appointments
Who is eligible?
Any adult or child who experiences sexual violence in New Zealand, and in some cases NZ residents who experience sexual violence overseas.
Everybody has a different response to the abuse they suffered. For example you might be depressed, anxious, have sexual problems, not be able to trust people, abuse drugs or alcohol, have nightmares or flashbacks, have relationship problems, or just feel unsafe. if you are unsure whether you meet ACC criteria talk to an ACC counsellor about your situation.
How much will it cost me?
It’s free, ACC pays the full cost of counselling for sexual violence.
Can I see any counsellor?
ACC will only pay for counselling provided by an ACC Registered Counsellor.
How can I find an ACC registered counsellor?
How do I apply for ACC counselling?
The first thing to do is to make contact with an ACC Counsellor (see above), they will explain the process to you. You don’t have to wait for ACC to process your claim, you can start therapy straight away. You can choose how long you want counselling for. You can take a break and come back to counselling at a later time, and it is okay to change counsellors if you want someone who suits you better.
What if I need longer-term counselling?
If you and your therapist decide you need support for a longer time your therapist will lodge a claim for you. A dedicated Recovery Partner from ACC will then contact you. They’ll work with you to make sure you continue to get the help you need. Following this, you and your therapist will identify the services and support you may need.
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.
Who is eligible?
How much will the counselling cost me?
Victim Support fully funds homicide counselling so your sessions will be free.
Can I see any counsellor?
This funding is only available for counsellors registered by Victim Support. Your local Office will have a list of who is available in your area.
How do I access Victim Support Counselling?
To get approval for counselling contact Victim Support on their 24 hour phone line 0800 VICTIM (0800 842 846). They will put you in contact with your local Office where you can make an application.
The government has allocated some funding to pay for counselling for people with addiction issues and/or mild to moderate mental illness (don’t feel frightened by the words “mental illness” mild to moderate means ordinary people suffering from normal types of emotional or psychological stress).
The criteria for accessing the funding and what kind of treatment you can access varies depending which PHO your Doctor belongs to, so you need to ask your GP what is available in your area.