Disability Support

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22 November 2021

People living with a disability in my community on the Central Coast of New South Wales are being left behind by this government. After years of cuts to the NDIS, Coasties with a disability are struggling to get the basic support they need to get by—people like Andrew from Shelly Beach. Andrew is 54. He was born with Spina Bifida, hydrocephalus, he's a wheelchair user and he's had a kidney transplant. His mum, Daphne, and dad are his full-time carers. They're both in their 80s. Andrew has been trying to move into supported independent living accommodation, but his application was recently knocked back by the NDIA. His family lodged an appeal last December, which was also knocked back because, they were told, the NDIA doesn't accept digital signatures. They lodged an appeal of the appeal earlier this year, and that's also been knocked back.

Now, Andrew, who is relying on a disability support pension, is expected to find private accommodation when rents on the Central Coast have gone up by about $3,600 a year. His mum, Daphne, told me last week her son needs proper support. She said: 'People in Canberra have rocks in their head. They're sitting around glossy tables making decisions about our lives without ever meeting us.' Daphne's right. She's cared for her son all of her life, and the NDIS should be there to support her and her family. Instead, the Morrison government is cutting funding and making it harder for people living with a disability in my community who are also fearful of any expansion of the NDIA CEO's powers. It's not good enough. Andrew deserves better.