The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is being slammed as ‘heartless’ after the claim of a disabled South Australian pensioner was rejected.
Martin Barclay’s hand is so damaged he struggles to shower and cook for himself, but he says he wasn’t disabled enough for the NDIS.
Mr Barclay, 48, from the Mid-North region, has been living with his severe injury for almost two decades.
“I can’t shower, I can’t cook… you can’t prepare your meal with one hand,” he said.
A workplace accident in 2002 damaged his hand, causing it to clench and spasm. It was already weak after a motorbike crash in his youth.
“I don’t want to go out in public like this, you know, and that’s the hard thing,” he said.
But when his doctor lodged a claim for support with the federal government’s disability scheme in February, it was rejected with a letter implying his impairment wasn’t permanent.
“When I got that letter I just cried for two days virtually,” he recalled.
“I find it absolutely appalling, you know, this poor disabled person, just being pushed to the side.”
Mr Barclay’s hand is so clenched, every six weeks he has to visit Clare Hospital to be sedated while doctors clean it.
To make matters worse, last year Mr Barclay was kicked out of his housing trust home by his ex-partner.
He’s been staying at his friend’s motel ever since.
“Without Gavin being here I don’t know where I’d be at the moment,” he admitted.
The SA housing authority has moved to help Mr Barclay following inquires by 7News, lining up housing in St Clare.
The NDIS has also confirmed they will review his disability claim.
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