Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Drive out Inequity NDIS Clients Not Happy

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Drive out Inequity NDIS Clients Not Happy

Article excerpt

Byline: Marian Faa

UNFAIRNESS within the National Disability Insurance Scheme is leaving some people cut off from society and unable to access vital services while others zoom ahead with "Rolls-Royce" deals, a Warwick disability advocate says.

Surveys taken from around the state expose inconsistency in the information given to NDIS participants about funding for transport and mobility, resulting in major inequality, according to Warwick's Jennifer Leigh OAM.

The business manager of Queensland's peak body for community transport (Transport Development and Solutions Alliance), Ms Leigh said the issue was leading to social isolation, pressure on families and could result in reduced funding for NDIS participants in the future.

"The entire scheme as it is rolled out is unequal and inequitable because not everyone is given the same information about what is possible to have funded in relation to transport," she said.

When Stanthorpe's Peter Matthews became an NDIS client last year, there was no conversation with NDIS planners about his transport needs and the cost of getting around.

After an initial conversation with his local area coordinator, Mr Matthews was told he would receive $61.46 a fortnight for transport, which is less than the cost of a taxi to and from his house.

Now, on the days he needs a wheelchair, Mr Matthews said he is "completely separated from the rest of the world".

Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and hemiatrophy two years ago, the Stanthorpe man is unable to buy groceries, attend medical appointments and go to the post office when his mobility declines.

"To put it bluntly, it is rather depressing. It is very difficult to battle through those days," he said.

Mr Matthews said the approach to transport was inconsistent with everything the scheme promised. …

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