Advocacy Trust proud of its high success rate

10 July, 2020

Southland ACC Advocacy Trust advocates/trustees Barry Rait and Lesley Soper (centre) and Trust president Lesley Pay. Photo: Petrina Wright

About the community group/organisation/individual

The Southland ACC Advocacy Trust, formed in 2004, is a non-profit charitable organisation which provides a free and independent advocacy service for ACC claimants who have had their claims declined by the ACC and who cannot afford to hire the services of a lawyer.

The Trust employees two advocates who provide claimants with independent information, advocacy and representation on ACC matters, assisting  about 40 people a year.

The team is proud of their 66% success rate in having ACC decisions reversed, the highest success rate of any ACC Advocacy Trust in New Zealand, they say.


What the grant went towards

The Southland ACC Advocacy Trust received a grant of $5,000 from the ILT Foundation to assist with operational costs for the next 12-month period.

The ILT Foundation has been providing an annual $5,000 grant to support the work of the  Southland ACC Advocacy Trust for the past 14 years, equating to $70,000.


What the grant means to the community group/organisation

“[The funding support] is a life saver to keep the whole organization afloat,” Southland ACC Advocacy Trust advocate/trustee Barry Rait said.

“It makes a huge difference to us.”

Trust advocate/trustee Lesley Soper said the funding meant they did not need to charge claimants for their services, who in many cases could not afford to pay the cost. This removed the barrier to them seeking a review when their ACC claim had been declined, she said.