Eligibility Reviews For Caregiver Allowances Put On Hold Following
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 5, 2003
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA--Advocates, including many family members, have effectively pressured the government to temporarily stop performing new needs assessments for people with disabilities to see if they can continue to receive care services in their homes.
Newspapers and radio stations were flooded with public responses earlier this week after they reported that the Family and Community Services Ministry intended to review the needs of thousands of people, regardless of their disabilities. This included Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and cerebral palsy, which in the past had automatically guaranteed eligibility to the benefit allowance.
In some cases, the reviews would mean that families will lose the $89 they currently receive every two weeks to offset the cost of in-home care.
One family lost the payment after their blind daughter's disability was determined to be "not at a level that would entitle you to a payment of a carer's allowance".
Prime Minister John Howard's government announced that the reviews would be put on hold "for a few months". Some advocates worried that the decision may be a temporary tactical move rather than a true change in policy.
"I'm sorry, your daughter isn't blind enough for assistance" (Sydney Morning Herald)
"Carers' reviews on hold for now" (The Age)