Family says Brad lost out

September 01, 2017

Cassandra Holdroyd, pictured with brother Brad Holdroyd, is disappointed with Brad's NDIS plan. Photo by Luke Hemer.

ECHUCA’S Cassandra Holdroyd says her disabled brother Brad is worse off under his NDIS plan.

Brad, 36, who is blind, non-verbal and has autism and an intellectual disability, has been living in a supported disability accommodation house with three others for the past 15 years.

Brad accesses Murray Human Services day programs five days a week and Ms Holdroyd said she had hoped the NDIS plan would allow him to have one-on-one support during the week.

‘‘What they have funded him for is a great package but they have put the price of living up, so that takes up most of his package,’’ she said.

‘‘This means he can’t cover five days a week of group program. So his quality of supports diminishes. It’s heartbreaking.

‘‘At this stage, he will be $4000 worse off once the new pricing system comes out.’’

Ms Holdroyd, who is a disability support worker, said her brother needed fulltime support with personal care, domestic tasks, meal preparation and community access.

‘‘He can’t shower himself or go to the toilet by himself,’’ she said.

‘‘As soon as he is in day services, he is going to be sitting still for a period of time because the carers can’t give him every minute of the day.

‘‘He is put in a group with other high needs’ people which limits the staff’s ability to give him proper care which stretches resources even more.

‘‘I want to see that his supports are even across the board, so he can access the community and do the things he enjoys like they were promised.

‘‘They said they would provide individual suited packages, but we sat in an interview with a man we’d never met who asked a few questions and ticked the boxes and sent us on our way while he made decisions on the next 12 months of Brad’s life. It doesn’t make sense.

‘‘Families are contemplating whether to put their loved ones in care because it is more viable because they have lost so much funding for every day life.’’

Ms Holdroyd has applied for an immediate review of the plan.

‘‘I want to make sure his basic needs are covered. There is no way he is ever going to walk down the street or access the community without support and this plan is supposed to let him choose what kind of life he wants,’’ she said.

‘‘At the moment, I am thinking I will have to take the time off work to support him.’’

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