NDIS funding cuts hurt local families

Local kids with a disability have had their funding cut by up to 70% in the last month.

Federal Member for Blaxland, Jason Clare MP has been campaigning against these funding cuts and today met with local families to hear how they are being affected. The meeting was also attended by representatives from Woodville Alliance and Disability Services Australia.

“I recently made a speech in Parliament about a little girl in my community who had 70 percent of her funding cut. Since I told her story other local families have contacted me and told me the same thing has happened to them,” Mr Clare said.

“All have had their funding cut. All in the last month. All by the Bankstown NDIS Office.”

Mr Clare met with Kirsten and her grandmother. Kristen is 21, she lives in Chester Hill and she is looked after by her aging grandmother. She has Cerebral Palsy, Cortical Vision Impairment and an intellectual impairment. On the 30th of January her funding was cut by 50 percent.

Kristen’s grandmother Yvonne said “my granddaughter will be missing out on programs that she attended last year, and they were specifically aimed at achieving and working towards her goals as outlined in her NDIS plan. She will not be able to keep working on her independent living skills and communication skills.”

Mr Clare also met with Yasemin and her family. Yasemin is 28 years old and lives in Yagoona with her mum and dad. She has Down Syndrome, Schizophrenia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is an elective mute. In the same month she also had her funding cut by 56 percent.

Yasemin’s mum Linda is very disappointed and said most shockingly they were not even given a reason or explanation for these cuts.

“Once a month on a Saturday evening Yasemin would go to Bankstown Sports Club for dinner and dancing with a support worker. This activity was really helping with her willingness to communicate, but now thanks to these cuts that’s been taken away,” Linda said.

Mr Clare said “The impact of all of this is a lot of stressed parents, disabled people that can’t get the services they need and in some cases parents having to cut back their days at work or give up work altogether.”

“There is something wrong here. Parents are telling me they are not being listened to by NDIS staff. In some cases they are getting plans back from the NDIS that aren’t relevant to their child and look like they have been cut and pasted from another child’s plan.”

“This is mess. I need the NDIA to investigate these cases and have a serious look at what is happening at the Bankstown NDIS Office,” Mr Clare said.
Woodville Alliance’s CEO, Ms Pam Batkin said “These decisions are creating great hardship for some people who have been developing new independence skills.”

“Some families have told us that they are now very weary of the NDIS process,” Ms Batkin said.

The Turnbull Government’s poor management of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) means that people with a disability, their families and carers are not receiving the support they need.

If you or someone you care for are affected by these funding cuts please contact the office of Jason Clare MP on (02) 9790 2466.

ISSUED: Friday, 2 March 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Jamie Wassef 02 9790 2466