Just days after being raped by a stranger, a 22-year-old woman received a letter from ACC saying that her pain wasn't enough to deserve counselling, she says.

Stricter rules around ACC sexual abuse counselling claims introduced last year have meant hundreds - almost 90 per cent - of people who have faced sexual abuse have had counselling claims either denied or delayed.

"It's just another humiliation, you know, having a faceless government institution saying that you need to get over it as well," said the woman, who nzherald.co.nz has agreed not to identify.

"I'm not unreasonable. I know this happens to a lot of girls. I know I'm not the only one. It happens to a lot of guys as well.

"I know there's limited funds. But just the cold and calculated way they tell you, and the fact that they tell you your experience doesn't amount to enough pain - it's just another humiliation."

The Auckland woman said that earlier this year a man dressed as a security guard had offered to drive her home, then took her to an underground car park and raped her.

She said she arrived home shivering, petrified and almost broken.

She went to police the next day, and received an initial treatment and assessment by a counsellor.

About a week later, she got a letter from ACC stating that it would not pay for any further counselling because her mental and physical injury was not sufficient, she said.

"It's one of those things that you think about everyday and you know it might break you, and they just told me I didn't have sufficient mental or physical injuries, in a letter. Like they have any idea," the woman said.

"I don't understand how anyone who hasn't met me can decide what it means to me or if it's caused sufficient pain or not.

"It's hard enough for people close to me to understand what I'm going through.

"The way they word [the letter] is particularly insulting. They know nothing about it. They've never met me. They know nothing about me."

The man accused of the rape is awaiting trial, expected to take place late this year.

A psychotherapist for sexual abuse, Christine Stewart, said many of her clients had been overwhelmed when faced with ACC's requirements for diagnoses, and she no longer undertook ACC work.

Some people had committed suicide as a result, Ms Stewart said.

Yvie Stewart, a sexual abuse survivor who has organised a hui for people who have gone through abuse, said some had been made to wait months for ACC counselling and many were on suicide watch.

Survivors of Sexual Abuse New Zealand's Gudrun Frerichs offered pages from a survey of therapists expressing frustration and "distress" at having to put clients through the diagnosis process.

The new rules restrict ACC counselling to people who have "a diagnosed mental injury resulting from sexual abuse or assault".

A form "to help determine cover for a sexual abuse claim" is available on ACC's website, to be filled out by accredited doctors.

It asks five questions under "mental injury", covering a "full narrative description of the presenting signs and symptoms of mental injury", treatment history and diagnosis results.

ACC claims manager Denise Cosgrove told the Herald yesterday that this was laid down by law, but ACC was for many years "acting beyond its mandate and providing services to people not covered by its legislation".

An ACC spokesperson was not immediately available today to say what criterion likely saw the woman disqualified.