Like most people, Chris and Bobbie English were unaware NDIS funding cuts out at 65 until their circumstances changed and they tried to access it.
They have started a campaign to alert people to this anomaly and attempt to have it fixed.
“It is age discrimination in the worst possible way,” says Bobbie.
A freak accident on his 69th birthday left Chris a quadriplegic.
“His C4 spinal injury means he can breathe, but that is about it,” says his wife Bobbie.
“He needs help with everything else.”
After nine months in Prince of Wales Hospital and more time in Port Kembla Rehabilitation Hospital, he is now being cared for at home by his wife Bobbie and family.
The long time Kiama residents have had to move to Tullimbar as their family home wasn’t suitable for his care once out of hospital.
“Chris has been assessed as Level 4 high priority, but as he is over 65 he is grouped with other older people who only need shopping done, house cleaned and other minor day to day requirements,” explains Bobbie.
“Out of his package we pay for one carer for one and a half hours a day, five days a week.
“The other two days our daughter and I look after Chris.
“Our son helps me put Chris to bed of a night.
“If Chris was on the NDIS he would get 60 hours a week and double the amount of funds and services.”
No longer in the Gilmore electorate, they contacted their local Federal member to request assistance and were unimpressed by their reception.
“It felt like once you turn 65 and sustain a disability you should be dead,” says Bobbie.
She has had a much more sympathetic hearing from the State Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward, who is doing what he can to help.
Mr Ward’s ministerial portfolio takes in Disability Services.
Their petition has already reached 8,500 signatures and they are hoping to reach 10,000 before presenting it to the Federal Minister for the NDIS, Stuart Robert.
Details: The petition can be signed at Milk and Honey, My Room, Kiama Leagues Club, and Kiama Council