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Senior Contributor

Disability Support Nightmare

Last July I left the paid workforce (I was a primary school teacher) to care full time for my husband and three adult sons who all have MI. Three have schizophrenia. The support from mental health workers has been good, though there is a frustrating reluctance on the part of private psychiatrists to diagnose. 


The number one challenge facing us was income support. I applied for and received carer's payment for my eldest son, and carer's allowance for my eldest son and husband. Our applications for disability support pension were rejected. In the meantime we sold our home in Melbourne and were trying to buy a bed and breakfast business in Tasmania. This fell through because we did not have enough income to get finance. Naturally I went through the complaints process and ended up writing to the minister for human services. He appointed someone to personally manage our case and we were told we were getting disability, it would be back paid to August. So the move to Tassie was back on. We had our interviews got on the boat and arrived at the only place we could get accommodation which was a country pub, only to find out on Christmas Eve our applications were rejected again. The man appointed to personally help us did not return our calls. 


So here we are, homeless for 48 days, having had 9 changes of address in the past two months, waiting to occupy a different affordable house, and the Australian Government has seriously expected me to support my family of five adults on less than $1000 a fortnight. 

We were also rejected for Newstart because we sold our house. But we might have a chance now we have a new one. 


I am so fed up. What right does the Australian government have to overturn the reports of treating professionals in order to deny income to chronically ill people? This is corruption. My husband is not well enough to cope with job capacity interviews. 


Since being in Tasmania we have had two visits from the CAT team and several trips to the doctor. They are all psychotic on and off. The places we have been staying in have lacked flooring, water, washing machines, fridges and freezers. I have spent thousands of dollars on take away and laundrettes. 


There is a light at the end of the tunnel as the new house will be affordable and is on an acre of land so we can grow things. But it is not right that people with serious mental illness cannot get income support. I am pursuing all options. 


Re: Disability Support Nightmare

@perseverer Hi perseverer you have certainly been through the mill Smiley Sad. I have two kidults with mi and have myself been diagnosed with schizo. If my son2, who has multiple disabilities including schizo, didn't receive dsp I don't know where we would be .... all I can say is a change of government is greatly needed. Good luck and take good care of yourself. greenpea xx


Re: Disability Support Nightmare

Yikes @perseverer I had been wondering how you were going. Is it long before settlement on the new place?  

Re: Disability Support Nightmare

12 days and counting! 

Re: Disability Support Nightmare

Hi @perseverer,


Our experience was that services in Tassie were very limited. We were living in a "remote" area (150km from a major city) and services didn't extend that far. You could try contacting a local federal MP and see if they're willing/able to help with your situation. They have alternative ways to access levels of the bureaucracy.


Hope the new place works out. 

Re: Disability Support Nightmare


Checking in, how are you placed re: Tassie fires

Re: Disability Support Nightmare

Hi @Darcy, thanks for checking on me. The news reports are slow and too general, concealing rather than revealing the extent of what is happening. We move in to our new home on Feb 11, and hope the highway will be open by then. Also cannot insure our home as everyone has placed an embargo on homes in the area. Many more homes have been lost than what has been told on the news. 

Re: Disability Support Nightmare

Will keep you in thoughts and prayers @perseverer

Re: Disability Support Nightmare

Hi @perseverer, this website has detailed information, also has road closure information. 

Re: Disability Support Nightmare

Any news re: house @perseverer?

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