Had Ian Williams – who lives with paraplegia and has used a wheelchair for more than 40 years – been born 27 days earlier, he’d be eligible for thousands of extra dollars.
Under the current National Disability Insurance Scheme, those who acquire their injuries after the age of 65 are not eligible for support and instead need to go through the aged care system.
This meant he wasn’t eligible when the NDIS rolled out in his hometown in far north Queensland and has since worked to try to fix the injustice, after becoming one of the faces for Disability Doesn’t Discriminate.
Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie is due to move a motion in the House of Representatives today calling on the Government to strike out the cutoff to prevent overt ageism or to expand the retirees disability payment.
“This age-based exclusion is deeply unjust and discriminatory,” Sharkie said.
“The current system does not treat older Australians living with disability in a respectful and equitable manner.”
Figures cited by the member for Mayo revealed a person who has a spinal injury before they turn 65 could access likely average funding of $162,000 under the NDIS.
But a person with the same injury acquired after the age cut off, would likely be eligible for a level four home care package of around $52,000 instead.
“I’m at a loss to see how the need to maintain a person’s independence and quality of life is diminished by two thirds or more overnight,” Sharkie said.