Justin Duncan's plan expired on March 23, leaving the 25-year-old with no NDIS funding, and forcing a growing list of expenses onto his father.
Justin Duncan's plan expired on March 23, leaving the 25-year-old with no NDIS funding, and forcing a growing list of expenses onto his father. Marc Stapelberg

Dad at breaking point after NDIS nightmare

AFTER enduring a "nightmare" two months trying to navigate the National Disability Insurance Scheme, one father has been left footing the bill for his disabled son's care.

Ellangowan father Bruce Duncan said he never had an issue with receiving funding for his disabled son Justin until the implementation of the NDIS.

Mr Duncan, who lives on a property south of Casino, said he has faced a number of issues with the National Disability Insurance Agency, including the loss of all of Justin's records during the switch, but has finally reached his breaking point.

Justin's plan expired on March 23, leaving the 25-year-old with no NDIS funding, and forcing a growing list of expenses onto his father.

Mr Duncan said although NDIA's solicitors had been in touch last week and a new draft plan had been created, he wasn't sure when the plan would be approved, meaning he is forced to continue paying for his son's care out of his own pocket.

"I'm on a pension having to pay for Justin's transport to medical appointments since March, and at this point I don't know if I'll even get that money back," he said.

However it wasn't just Mr Duncan who is out of pocket from the lack of funding; Justin's support worker is continuing to work each day, even though she is not getting paid.

"I'm just lucky Justin's providers are still letting workers come support Justin, otherwise I'd be on my own," he said.

"They haven't been paid in nearly two months. NDIA might backpay the workers, but why should the employee have to work for nothing? How can they expect workers to work every day just on IOUs?"

With no funding, no support and no solution in sight, Mr Duncan said he first turned to Kevin Hogan's office for help, and then to the media.

"The NDIA left me hanging on for nearly two months. No-one could give me a straight answer at first, and then I got no answer at all," he said.

"I really don't know how much longer this will take."

Kevin Hogan said after meeting with Mr Duncan, his office contacted NDIA to try and organise a solution.

"Justin's plan is very complex. While it is being determined by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, I have asked the NDIS to continue to fund and support him," Mr Hogan said.

On May 14, NDIA issued a statement and said the agency has been in contact with the Duncan family's nominated representative to confirm Justin's new NDIS plan has been approved and will continue to work with them to assist with claiming for supports provided since March 23.

"The NDIA apologises to the Duncan family for any anxiety caused and regrets that their experience has not lived up to the high standards to which the agency aspires," the statement said.



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