When Jessica Eshel heard a new national disability scheme was coming, she vowed to advocate on behalf of her sister Antonella, 41, who has an intellectual and other complex disabilities.
So she was shocked when, after a brief conversation with an NDIS planner on the phone, Antonella’s finished plan arrived in the letterbox. No meeting, no consultation.
“It’s so basic, it’s like a five-year-old wrote it,” she says. “My sister is complex needs, she needs a high level of support.”
Not only was there no chance to raise the problem of Antonella’s worsening mental health, but she was financially worse off. Because she went onto the NDIS her mobility allowance from Centrelink was cut, leaving her $90 a fortnight out of pocket.
Other Victorians with severe disabilities have been left financially worse off after joining the NDIS, and given no meaningful opportunity to shape their new care plans.
Disability advocates – who all emphasised their strong support for the NDIS – said the agency managing the scheme was under enormous pressure to sign up participants in an unrealistic timeframe, and with inadequate federal funding.
Source: The Courier