Millions of Australians are disabled themselves or care for someone with a profound disability. Read the shocking stories of those left to soldier on in silence.
The Briggs Family, South Australia
“There’s no flexibility for respite if you have a job”
"My husband Ken was brain-damaged as a passenger in a car-rollover in 1988 at age 58.
This was followed by a brain haemorrhage and although it was directly under the scar, it gave state insurers the opportunity to say that the haemorrhage, not the accident, caused the brain damage (and the two were not related!).
We were in the court system for 5 years. Of course a brain damaged man cannot cope with this and he accepted less than a year’s salary in an out-of-court settlement.
I enquired about programs for brain-injured people and was told that there were only 25 places and priority was given to under 25’s. He hasn’t worked since.
Despite asking a number of GPs I received no information or assistance whatsoever until 2 years ago when he was left on a hospital trolley for 18 hours and went ‘walkabout’.
A social worker referred me to disability services and respite was offered. I have two concerns: respite is from 10am-3pm and there is no flexibility.
Second, having no superannuation, I continued working part-time to support us.
Because I worked and he lives with me, my husband never had a disability or other pension.
While I’ve saved the taxpayer thousands of dollars, I’m now told I need at least $300,000 to $500,000 deposit for residential care.
Around $300 a month is deducted for 5 years plus a daily charge of around $40 a day. Had I abandoned him he would have received residential care for less than a pension.
Surely there is something wrong with a system that punishes you for doing the right thing!”
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