29 Jun 2012

ACC says no lie detector used

6:21 am on 29 June 2012

A woman alleging unfair treatment by the Accident Compensation Corporation says she was required to take a lie detector test - but ACC says it does not use lie detector tests on its clients.

Margaret Read - who contacted Radio New Zealand - claims that she was an ACC client and that the request was a result of ACC not believing her statements about spinal and brain injuries, nor the evidence from specialists.

An ACC spokesperson says lie detector tests are not used on clients, but she declines to comment on the woman's story.

Ms Read says she took a lie detector test to prove she did have spinal and brain injuries, and she passed,

Separately, lawyer Kathryn Dalziel says talking with doctors, family members, and employers would be a far better way to confirm an injury than a lie detector test.

Labour MP Andrew Little says if the neuropsychological and psychological assessments as described by ACC are not lie detector tests, then they are as close as you can get to them.

Mr Little says ACC should not be using tests that are designed to tell whether a person is being truthful.

He says the corporation should be testing claimants' medical health, and whether their injury is accident-related.

Mr Little says the assessments go to the heart of ACC's culture problem of not trusting claimants.

ACC says the tests examine cognitive functioning and indicate whether clients are exaggerating their symptoms.