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Beneficiary faces ACC fraud charges Mike "Milky" Gibson

#51 User is offline   Chrissy 

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 10:28 AM

View PostSparrow, on Jun 16 2009, 12:25 AM, said:

The above posts by Maunga regarding an Adovcate called Keen tohelp or his previous call sign Reality, will surely let the members know what sort of person we are up against.
For an Advocate to be so damning of a claimant is outright outrageous.
Time has shown this guy had his court case withdrawn and ACC are very quiet regarding all this.Those of us who saw the TV3 news will remember Warren's representation of this man and Warrens talk about his integrity and injury. None of us ever doubted that.

We should never be the judge and Jury. IT is not our place to judge anyone or make assertions regardng their integrity.
Also Sparrow will never reveal sources of info to KTH or anyone else.If KTH wants to check out info he does it the proper way and not abuse the messenger.
Time has told also that Sparrow was totally correct as ever.
It is also true that we can never judge anyone regarding their pain or injury. That is not our place to do so.
the ignorance of this man is apalling and truly a realm of jealousy exists.
Some of us are owed a huge apology but that would be wishful thinking.
Maunga has to live every day with the damage she received at the hands of an ACC toady. We all know of others who suffer from this man when assessing claimants.
These people lie thru ther teeth to gain the $millions of $$ reward from ACC .It is is now well known by a few that that is so true. Once again Sparrow was so correct in their claim regarding remuneration.
Of course ACC , of who this forum is all about will judge anyone if it means CM rewards and it is so sad and disturbing to think that an ACC claimant Advocate follows the same line of thinking.


While the comments of 'reality' were not 'nice' or helpful, it was interesting to see the debate unfold and could, if taken less personally, be helpful to those accused of such crimes...

The comments show 'perspective' and what people will come up against in the real world, not everyone understands injury like we do and therefore it is important to understand the thinking of people who lack this insight...

While I don't necessarily agree with what 'reality' said in this thread, he/she made valid points but of course in making his/her points he/she overlooked or ignored the fact that there was/is some question mark over when the video footage was taken. The fact that 'reality' made those points gave 'us' insight into how others would perceive the activities of the accused and better able to formulate a 'counter argument' or defence!

The problem with this forum is that when an opinion is not liked, people resort to 'personal criticism', which is quite sad really, we should be thankful to have differing opinions, these differing opinions will surely help us to reason, gain insight and perspective but that is if we choose to take it on board and debate the issue, without the continuous slanging matches, which are not really helpful to anyone.

If KTH, Reality etc are advocates, then good on them...as long as they are doing 'right' by the people they represent then I don't see any harm in them promoting themselves on an open forum...but that said, if such promotion is unwarranted they leave themselves open to differing opinions which may lead to 'personal criticism'.

Back in 2005, there was an 'advocate' who openly and blatantly promoted himself, yet I did not see people up in arms about it, in fact some regarded him as the saviour of all their woes, for a time, until the truth got out and people realised he is a con and in fact made their situations worse...and when he comes back in 2008 and possibly 2009 for another go...most just shrug their shoulders and ignore the fact that this 'advocate' is picking off innocent people from this forum, I would rather the 'advocates' who do come here, do so openly and their works will speak for themselves and that my friends is the only way we will stop those 'bad' advocates from coming here by stealth and obtaining victims using the PM system!

Considering people come here for 'help' and 'entertainment', surely we all have a responsibility to provide said 'help' and entertainment in good faith, surely we have a responsibilty to ensure that our experiences and knowledge are shared...and if that means promoting certain advocates and warning about others, then what is the harm? Or is this all about ego? Who can make themselves better, bigger, more important?
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#52 User is offline   jocko 

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 10:53 AM

I can lift boulders and trim hedges and I am on ERC. I don't like to do it to often though as it hurts like shit and lays me up for a few days but no pain no gain and you shrivel up and die. I seen my mate Ben lift one end of a fridge one day and nearly shit myself. I thought he would tear his guts out or something as he is a tetraplegic with a bag and all. Does lifting a rock or trimming a hedge create some kind of miraculous fucking healing process to a permanently disabled spine? SHOW me the rock Doc!! Does anyone know how I can contact Milky? I would like to help him. If ACC is going to rehabiltate me to run fishing boats in what they call raging conditions surely they can not do him for fraud for lifting a rock. The rules in regard to rehab are to enable you to live as normal life as possible. It stands to reason that people should be actively encouraged to do as much as they can within their individual pain tolerance. How else do you exercise? If Mike Gibson were in Burwood pain clinic he would be encouraged vigorously to push himself to his limits. So what is the fuss if on the good days he goes above and beyond the call of duty in his normal life. What I say is like Michael fahey about the BNZ. It is my fucking back and I will do what I Like with it!!
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#53 User is offline   keentohelp 

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 11:44 AM

Mini, there is no need to feel confused although it is understandable if you are reading Sparrow’s posts.

It is Sparrow who is confused (you are often confused aren’t you Sparrow).

Having demonstrated to us all on another thread that she simply likes being rude and for no substantive reason (and even her rudeness in itself is irrational) she now has ‘decided’ (fantasised?) that I am yet another member who, presumably she also does not like.
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#54 User is offline   Maraqita 

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 06:25 PM

View PostReality, on Jan 12 2009, 05:44 PM, said:

So if you know things that I don't know then lets hear what they are.........


Tipsy?

View PostReality, on Jan 12 2009, 12:57 PM, said:

January 30 is when it will all be revealed Huggy. Eat your words then pal.

So Mr Gibson can ignore his doctors medical instructions not to lift, twist, bend or stand whenever it suits him??? To ACC the medical certificate determines a claimant's status in order for compensation to be paid. If the Dr says not to do various activities then the patient should not. If Mr Gibson chooses to ignore medical instruction and then claim compensation then that is fraud. I have read of similar cases in the past that have resulted in jail terms, and rightly so.

Doubtless the good members of ACCForum will be saying there is a conspiracy between ACC, doctors and rich neighbours to force Mr Gibson off his land. Yeh, right






View PostReality, on Aug 10 2008, 09:42 PM, said:

So, you are now a psychic as well. That explains everything!

What leads you to believe I'm an ACC staff member other than providing a convenient excuse not to provide informaiton for those who read this forum. If I was part of ACC I would doubtless be already well aware of the giant conspiracy that everyone except you and the secret handshake members are part of?

Does it not occur to you that some members of the general public might just be irritated by the unsubstantiated crap you write.

You won't tell this forum your sources or the MP's name because it's all a figment of your fevered imagination.

Your last comment about not reading your posts does have a ring of truth about it. One thing I've noted with your posts that once you post crap nobody cares about it. This is presumably because no-one else on this forum has your psychic powers, special knowledge and proof of fake assessments, how much toadys are paid and the whole ACC conspiracy and "huge fraud".

What did you think about Randy Pausch's U-tube video?


View PostReality, on Aug 10 2008, 03:53 PM, said:

Don't like any criticism do we eh Sparrow?
  • "Good decisions in favour of claimants" Presumably any decision against a claimant is a bad decision?
  • "Corrupt [sorry, CORRUPT] practices of ACC staff and their contractors". Obviously there is a huge conspiracy that only a privileged few know about. Presumably in your eyes every claimant is as pure as the driven snow?
  • "Well we know the answer" Secret society huh? I don't know the secret handshake but why don't you share the facts about conspiracies and toadies with the rest of us. We are waiting......
  • "Maunga has been seriously injured by an ACC TOADY" How on earth can that be? I understood that Doctors and Surgeons and Nurses do all the treatment. ACC is merely a bureacracy so its hard to see how ACC could cause serious injury. Just a thought, if the ACC toady had made Maunga better would he/she still be a toady?
  • "You have no idea who I am" Correct, just as you have no idea who I am. I criticise your comments and attitude. If you lost that great big chip off your shoulder you would find it much easier to move around and get back to work - if you could find someone willing to put up with your acid tongue.
  • "go carefully laddie" So, you can say what you like but I can't?
  • "Another TOMO in the making here friends" So Tomo does not know the secret handshake either?
.
Stop poncing around in your own self-importance Sparrow, from my scanning of your posts no-one seems to take much notice of you, apart from a few fellow secret handshake mates who also know about the conspiracies (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

On a serious note there are some very knowlegable correspondents on this site. Boho Refugee and Not Waddie put forward some good info. Even Alan Thomas posts some good points from time to time although I confess that I am confused about his ramblings sometimes that just don't seem to make much sense.
Sparrow. What did you think of Randy Pausch's final lecture? (the link on my previous post).



View PostReality, on Aug 10 2008, 07:56 AM, said:

Seems like the whole world is out of step with you Maungataniwha, apart from Sparrow of course who is also prone to making unsubstantiated statements.

It appears that if some doctor thinks you are fit to work then he is a toady. Conversely if a doctor says that you are crippled then the sun shines out of his backside and he is your best mate for life. What a miserable existence you and Sparrow must lead, looking for stuff that proves you are crippled. Get a life, put your miseries to one side and concentrate on what you can do - if not for yourself then for others.

http://abcnews.go.co...=4614281&page=1

P.S. If all these 'Toadies" lie about you and injure you then how come they are still practicing? Surely you have complained to the numerous commissions that have been setup to investigate such serious issues. The Commission industry would love to hear from you - it helps to justify their existence, even if they find that your complaints prove to be baseless.
SPINOZA???
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#55 User is offline   Sparrow 

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 06:42 PM

kindly stop dragging up old stuff.
We all know who this guy is and what he stands for but, I dont want my name involved with him anymore thanks. Delete your post, you are stirring.
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#56 User is offline   awryly 

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:11 PM

So a beneficiary cannot, per se, be guilty of ACC fraud?

:lol:
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#57 User is offline   awryly 

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:14 PM

(I have a father that did not beget Cain.)
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#58 User is offline   jocko 

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 10:34 AM

ACC ARE SCUM AND CASE MANAGERS ARE LIARS


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Member No.: 13



STUFF — SUNDAY STAR TIMES — SUNDAY STAR TIMES — 13 OCT 2002
Doctors put ACC bullies on blacklist
By PRAVIN CHAR


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Doctors are blacklisting some ACC case managers, whom they claim are seeking biased medical assessments to get patients off the scheme.

Professor Des Gorman, head of occupational medicine at Auckland University, said Accident Compensation Corporation case managers had approached him to produce this kind of report.

To avoid accusations of being "ACC hitmen", he said the university had compiled a blacklist of managers it would no longer deal with.

"As soon as we suspected we were dealing with managers who were after a particular outcome, that we were being used, we didn't deal with them. In other instances they have got angry when they didn't get the report they wanted."

Gorman's claims have been backed by medical experts across New Zealand.

Dr Harvey Williams, a Christchurch psychiatrist who has patients referred to him by ACC, described the problem not as "bad apples" but as a "bad culture".

"I think at times the ACC think they are buying a report rather than paying for a report. The whole ACC thing is to get as many people off their books as possible.

"When one case manager received a report there was a lot of disappointment because it wasn't what she wanted. I felt the best way to deal with it was for her to put it in writing - wisely she didn't do that."

Dr Peter Robinson, senior lecturer at Auckland Medical School and formerly the ACC's corporate medical adviser, now runs the Medical Protection Society. He revealed he too had blacklisted several ACC managers.

"I will now accept referrals from only about four case managers who I know and trust and have blacklisted at least half a dozen," he said. "There is an inference that certain opinions are expected and there are people whose opinions are not balanced.

"I had a recent situation where I was told by ACC to amend my report. I have gone back to them saying I will answer queries but I will not change my opinion."

There were suggestions case managers were given bonuses for putting people off the scheme.

Wellington occupational and aviation medicine specialist Peter Dodwell, who has handled hundreds of ACC cases, believes the managers are simply following orders.

Wellington barrister Hazel Armstrong, a former ACC board member involved in medico-legal litigation for more than 15 years, said it was increasingly difficult to get an independent medical opinion.

"The majority of case managers I have dealt with are looking for ways of getting people off the scheme."

But ACC chief executive Garry Wilson said he was unaware of any inappropriate behaviour by case managers.

"ACC uses more than 1000 doctors or medical academics for assessments of claimants and none has contacted ACC expressing concerns about the conduct of ACC staff," he said.

Any doctors who had concerns about ACC should go to him, he said.

"ACC finds it difficult to believe doctors or medical academics feel pressured by case managers."

ACC Minister Ruth Dyson refused to comment but National's ACC spokesman Dr Paul Hutchison insisted an investigation was vital, saying constituents had complained about ACC decisions.
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#59 User is offline   MINI 

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:27 PM

Hi there

Read post 62 & 63 then go over to Tomos life story and read sparrows post to me over there.

What hipocrisy!!!

Post 62 in here quotes: "Another thom in the making"
Post 63 tells Mehment : "Kindly stop dragging up old stuff" & "Delete you post and stop stirring"

Sparrows post over on Tomos post is like to drop the "spite'.............. like who the hell is this bird to tell me who to like.

Thomo has threatened suicide and all sorts of shit in the past, he is a known liar, why should I beleive him now that he says he is dying.

This is the guy that was behind my naming!!! Why should I care if he is dire straits or not!! I am not two faced, I am not afraid to have my sayings put up here for all to see. I dont say them if I dont want them seen. Not like some people I am not two-faced. Thank god for that.

This forum has always got someone on the rampage, for something, nothing or otherwise.

I am not going to treat Thomo any different than I ever did. We are all slowly dying, some more slowly than others, but it is an eventuality which must come too us all at the passing of the years. Lots worse off than Thomo never hear a peep out of them. They have dignity!!! They live in spite of their injuries not because of them. I sulate all those people out there.

Now I must pop back to Thomo's thread and see what I need to be say there.

Fight hard guys and girls, dont waste time on tripe!

Yes thats right you can be sure that I will still have my say, I only speak for me though and am not so bold as to infer that I speak for others.

Mini
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#60 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 07:20 PM

Mini how dare you accuse me of being a liar. I have never lied, not once!

I do not know your name and do not care to know your name and have had no part in naming you. Mini you are clearly suffering from significant psychological disorders because you to lash out at whoever you think should be your victim. I have endured a lot from you over the years mini and have tolerated it simply because I accept that a large number on the site are suffering from their own psychological problems, injuries and Demons. I have also encouraged others to tolerate your bad behaviour so as to have regard for your injuries.

However you must take responsibility for your own actions and not make accusations without substance in the same way that you would not want ACC to make decisions or accusations without substance. I do believe it is within your capacity to intellectualise your way past your own disabilities and the stresses they cause.

As for myself and various other conditions that may not have been an issue if it were not for the way with in which the ACC has treated me, I have been aware of the additional problems since the 1980s, I am now on medication which hopefully may stabilise my current condition and I am thinking optimistic thoughts. I am also hoping for further diagnosis and treatment plan funded by the ACC as the national health system does not fund everything, as we all know.

Mini it is irrelevant as to whether some are better off worse off than another. What matters is that we get a proper return on our investment of ACC levies. Your position and thinking is no doubt driven by some form of self-styled morality of fairness and equality. I suspect you might be a socialist.

Evil prevails when good men do nothing means that good people should speak out rather than your nonsense suggesting that people who are suffering should remain silent with some kind of ridiculous dignity. Shame on you for such ridiculous logic pathways. Please think before you speak.

I do not want to be a subject of my environment, I want my environment to be a subject of me. This is what sets humans apart from animals. This is why medicine and medical remedies were invented.

Many you talk about fighting hard yet at the same time you talk about injured people remaining silent. Does this mean flailing your arms about like windmills in silence?

The site was set up in the hope that good people would say something and what they would say was something important.
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#61 User is offline   Maraqita 

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 02:01 AM

View PostMINI, on Aug 1 2009, 04:27 PM, said:

Hi there

Read post 62 & 63 then go over to Tomos life story and read sparrows post to me over there.

What hipocrisy!!!

Post 62 in here quotes: "Another thom in the making"
Post 63 tells Mehment : "Kindly stop dragging up old stuff" & "Delete you post and stop stirring"

Sparrows post over on Tomos post is like to drop the "spite'.............. like who the hell is this bird to tell me who to like.

My injuries (chemical poisoning, PTSS etc) began when I served in war torn countries. Chemical injures were exacerbated by years of work in the OR. I delivered babies into the world, performed tracheostomy and burholes procedures without lighting and in less than sterile circumstances, sometimes under fire. (I watched my own husband, soul-mate and colleague pass out of this world right before my eyes.) Either I did surgical procedures beyond my wildest imaginations (or experience), or people would've died. I am thus neither intimidated, or easily bullied by big talking cyber-Commandantes or finger-pointer mein fuhrers of no importance. Having survived all of the above and more atrocities, (such as most here would not so much as contemplate) I do not take orders from those not able to harm nor enhance mine or my moko's life.

ACC on the other hand, are a new battlefield about which rules I am yet still to learn. I will find methods just as you have. Therefore as per your example, I too will focus on what I may or may not employ in dealing directly with ACC.

And so as are you, I do not know, "who the hell is this bird to tell me who to like". Unless they can help me, I am not interested.

View PostWitchiepoo, on Jun 13 2008, 06:04 PM, said:

Did you know :

My fraud files have 43 printed pages of postings from the ACCForum website. And very unflattering comments about myself from our PI friends. Apparently I am vindictive and malicious.

Your all in there guys - MacMac, Watcha, Doppel, Easyrider, Hatikva, Maungataniwha, Paradigm Shift, Noddy, Juscallin1, Limoges, FreefallNZ, Happy1, Kiwiwine, Fairgo, Grumpy, MG, IDB, ANG:), Magnarcata, Y O U R - A L L - F A M O U S - G U Y S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh yeah, there's another claimaint named in my investigation files that they were also stalking in Hibiscus Coast.

BLIMEY ...........

Hey Spacie, next time your in Auckland stop by for a coffee and have a read of the files, see what you think !

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#62 User is offline   MINI 

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 11:36 AM

Dear, Dear Mehmet

Thank you for your support!!

If I can be any help to you in your climb to get your entitlements, please let me know.

I don't promise I can help you because I only have the experience I have gained while traversing my own road. But the light is at the end of the tunnel now so maybe just maybe I can assist you in some way.

Cheers
Mini
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#63 User is offline   MINI 

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 11:57 AM

Oh there you are Thomo

You have risen again.

Oh mouth of Wonder, I kneel down in front of you..........blah blah blah!!

Not true, and do I really give a shit what you think of me my injuries or anything else which surrounds my flailing arms.

No not at all!!

Havent you just loved the glorous garbage spewing from your glorous forum at the moment.

Truely Mindbending!!!!

But they been leaving you alone for a long time. Even old Hardwired pretty quite.

Hey look at it this way, maybe, just maybe, your court case can take the fact that I don't like you into consideration eh???

And how you make smutty remarks concerning another particular lady and I (or are we one) thats right you thought I was the other one as well didnt you. Im sure the cops would love those smutty remarks and The posting that were made!!!

You have just witnessed how this forum can be used for devious and underhand means, again, and because it doesnt affect you you remain silent. The use of this forum is discusting. It is not to assist people, it is to rididcle them and bully your way around cyberspace.

Toodle-pip
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#64 User is offline   Sparrow 

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 03:10 PM

THIS THREAD IS ABOUT THE PROBLEMS OF MR GIBSON WHO IS FACING FRAUD CHARGES. HE ALSO HAS HAD TO FACE THE DEATH OF HIS LAWYER AND IT ALL MUST BE VERY STRESSFUL FOR HIM .

Mini and others have got a long way from the subject of the thread just to be spiteful and nasty. This is not a good look and is not in the spirit of the Forum Rules. Out of respect tp MR Gibson, please remove your nastiness to elsewhere.
People are offended.
Where is Admin?
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#65 User is offline   MINI 

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 05:49 PM

Oh sooooo sorry your majesty.

Did I step on the little webbed toes.

Isnt this just lovely Chrissy goes off and I come on!!

This wonderful wonderful site!!

And who brought up the utter garbage. (This thread) Not me!! I couldnt give it the time of day to go trawling through old sheet and recurgitate it!! It is soooo boring!!

Dont you do any problem solving so you can bring some news and bits and bobs to those that need it!!

No, because the intent of this forum is not to assist and help, it is too control and hinder if have too!! Sometimes at all costs, like naming poeple eh???

There are selected special people who are meant to be doing all the 'helping' and bugger anyone who would like too, cause they will allow the receiver of the information to do it all for themselves. Oh boo hoo, no money passess hands from ACC to anyone other than the claimant, oh sooo sad!!

My aim here is to make anyone that is interested, aware of how they can do their own legal work so that they do not have to spend a dime on any (ANY) advocate sitting out there awaiting the crumbs from the ACC.

You are included from this statement David and thank you for your assistance in the past.

MIni
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#66 User is offline   awryly 

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 07:04 PM

Let's see.

Is the beneficiary in question guilty of a crime?

Is it the position of those here that no beneficiary can possibly be guilty of a crime?
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#67 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 07:22 PM

awryly the beneficiary in question cannot possibly be in a position of committing a crime while he provides all relevant information and the ACC administer the act properly and determined that he is entitled. What is happening however is that the ACC are encouraging private investigators to get about the community seeking information that the ACC might use to recalculate the entitlement. The problem is that the private investigators they use tell members of the community that they are investigating fraud and that the person concerned is not entitled.

As was described in the Burnet case by Beattie J. even though Mr Burnett confessed that he had committed fraud by working and earning while at the same time receiving earnings compensation that while the ACC had not carried out the legislated procedure to determine the quantum of entitlement Mr Burnett was completely entitled to all of his earnings compensation. The entitlement to his earnings compensation is dependent upon his incapacity to earn from the work he was doing rather work. This means that Mr Burnett cannot possibly have been committing fraud.

Mr Burnett was a spray painter that could no longer work and earn as a spray painter. He did however drive trucks but he had never been given medical parents to drive trucks so there was no way that the ACC could say that he was rehabilitated by the fact that he did drive trucks. As he was brain injured from spray-painting and suffered from severe exhaustion etc it is highly likely that it is not safe for him to drive. There is of course the issue of the overpayment which should have been captivated by way of abatement of earnings, which the ACC should have addressed when first notified rather than embarking upon fraud prosecution and suchlike and not asking for the money back at any time.

awryly ACC claimants can certainly be guilty of committing fraud. However fraud has certain ingredients one of which is establishing the ownership of the entitlement. Unfortunately for the claimants they do not have the authority to establish the ownership. As the ACC are the only body that I can establish ownership it is over them to perform this calculation as soon as they have possession of relevant information. Frequently the ACC will concoct their own version of the facts rather than establishing the facts from source even preferring not to listen to the claimant's information and turning them away.

There is only a very small portion of those who post on this site that it had any experience as a claimant being accused of fraud by the ACC, myself being one of them. Unfortunately even those of us who have been accused had been improperly advised.
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#68 User is offline   awryly 

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 07:27 PM

Hmmm..

So you are saying that ACC claimants have no idea how to establish " ownership" ( whatever that is?)

Why am I consumed by the idea that they should perhaps learn?
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#69 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 09:14 PM

awryly the ACC have very careful to prevent claimants knowing whether or not they have ownership of their entitlements or not. The hierarchy even go to the extent of employing extremely stupid people who they can guarantee will never learn how to determine whether or not the claimant has entitlements. They even go to great lengths to mislead medical professionals.

I too am concerned by the ideas that up insurance policy, the ACC, should be provided to us in the form of a contract.

Legislation requires the ACC to be the sole determinator of entitlement. This acts as a physical barrier for the claimant to learn or to calculate their entitlements. The extreme of the circumstance would be the Burnett case whereby he confessed guilt to ACC fraud and continued to think that he had committed fraud until Beattie J. corrected both Mr Burnett and the ACC on this matter. The ownership of the entitlement continued with Mr Burnett until the ACC obtained medical information to "determined" whether or not he continued to be incapacitated from working and therefore should not work and therefore continue to be entitled to earnings compensation rather than have this man work while he is incapacitated. Course ACC would be entitled to a discount of the earnings compensation with anything Mr Burnett did earn.
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#70 User is offline   Maraqita 

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 08:01 AM

Quote

Matt McCarten: The biggest bludgers are in our Parliament Doc
4:00AM Sunday Aug 02, 2009
By Matt McCarten

Sir Roger Douglas is defensive about his $44,000 in expenses. Photo / Hawke's Bay Today
Sir Roger Douglas is defensive about his $44,000 in expenses. Photo / Hawke's Bay Today

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Our MPs would have been embarrassed when details of their expenses were published on Friday, as the result of this newspaper's campaign for transparency.

I particularly enjoyed the defensiveness of Sir Roger Douglas when sprung about running up $44,000 of our hard-earned taxes on overseas holidays.

The best excuse he could come up with was that he was entitled to it as a previous trade-off for wage increases when he was first an MP.

What Sir Roger doesn't disclose is that MPs were once linked to the salary of a school deputy principal. They manipulated ways to inflate their salary package - rubber-stamped by the Remuneration Authority - to disguise their deception. And now an MP's package is triple what it was.

You'd think that Sir Roger's sense of entitlement to our taxes would have been satisfied once his cronies awarded him a knighthood. After all, other retirees are expected to be grateful for a gold watch when they toddle off.

Obviously different rules apply to Lord Roger of Manurewa.

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Not only is he receiving the gold-plated pension as a former MP, he is also collecting the ordinary superannuation the rest of us get. But he does better than double-dip, because he is also receiving a full perk-laden list MP package of nearly $180,000 a year.

It's ironic, I think, that Sir Roger vigorously opposed MMP on the basis that list MPs would be hacks, collecting big salaries with no responsibilities. He is now a caricature of the welfare gluttony he once railed against.

It seems to me, any objective analysis would anoint Sir Roger the biggest bludger in Parliament.

His parliamentary pension, superannuation pension, list MP's salary, knighthood and free business-class trips to London to visit his grown children must make him the taxpayer-funded, piggy-in-the-trough extraordinaire.

I can't wait for perk-buster Rodney Hide to demand a full investigation of this great swindle. After all, Sir Roger didn't get his retirement job as an Act list MP on his own merits - he rode in on someone else's canary coat tails.

Some of the other MPs' expenses are dubious as well. They only get away with it because they make their own rules about their entitlements. For example, how is it that MPs can buy a house in Wellington and expect the taxpayer to pay the mortgage interest? MPs' allowances require no receipts and are paid as lump sum amounts - effectively a tax-dodge that no ordinary citizen would get away with.

And the mere fact an MP's spouse has unlimited travel to and from anywhere in New Zealand would not be tolerated by any other employer.

It is well-known that some of these spouses carry out private business using this entitlement. Add in the unlimited taxi chits, phone calls and gold-plated superannuation, and it adds up to a very healthy remuneration package they wouldn't receive in a comparable, private-sector job. Don't believe me? Then explain to me what a list MP actually does.

But Parliament has always been an elitist club where MPs set their own rules and their own realities. Until they disclose all the details of their remuneration package - including perks, staff and support - taxpayers will never get the transparency to which we are entitled.

We are their employer, and it is a cheek that our parliamentary employees believe they can set their own disclosure rules. But the old hands in Parliament are well-versed at hiding the way that they rort us.

Sir Roger's old nemesis, Jim Anderton, collects a bigger salary and a support budget of about $200,000 a year as a party leader, even though he's a parliamentary party of one and has told what's left of his party members to join the Labour Party. He's a Labour MP in every sense and, in my opinion, only remains a separate entity on paper so he can claim more of our tax money.

Many would have been offended by this week's published MP expenses - but these are only the tip of the iceberg. This disclosure is a step in the right direction, but the sad truth is that we have a long way to go to discover the full extent of this thievery.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/best-of-politica...jectid=10588094
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