Woman with disability experiencing multiple and complex issues

Last year AMPARO advocated on behalf of Grete a young woman from a non-English speaking background who was left with significant physical and cognitive impairments after having a stroke.

Grete had been living in a domestic violence situation and had experienced physical, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse over many years. After her stroke, Grete’s partner left her and she became a single mother with a disability caring for two young children.

Grete was extremely socially isolated as she had no other family living in Australia and was having great difficulties managing her home, she struggled with undertaking basic tasks such as shopping, cleaning and cooking for her family, and accessing the community. Furthermore, Greta had limited proficiency in English, no understanding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and experienced difficulty accessing mainstream services and was needing to find safe and suitable housing.

Despite the fact she had received support from a hospital rehabilitation team, to access the NDIS, her application to the NDIS was rejected twice.

Grete had also been supported by the same team to apply for Disability Support Pension (DSP), however this and the following appeal was also rejected.

As a result despite her disability, Grete remained on Newstart Allowance and was required to actively look for work, which was extremely stressful.

AMPARO became involved and was able to secure further medical evidence to support another Access Request to the NDIS and in the meantime advocacy supported Greta to access the Qld Community Support Scheme. However not long after this AMPARO was successful in securing access to the NDIS for Greta.

In the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Grete’s partner returned to Australia to live in the same household with her and her children. Greta’s situation became more serious, but she did not feel she had the capacity or resources to find and pay for an alternative living situation and remained living in the same house with her children. Grete was hesitant for the advocate to assist her to apply for Department of Housing accommodation, as her financial situation was very unclear and she was in desperate need for legal assistance.

Over a 15 month period AMPARO’S advocacy was able to:

  • Secure a specialist’s assessment and further relevant medical evidence to support a new NDIS Access Request, which was successful.
  • Secure a good level of funding in Greta’s NDIS Plan to meet her needs, including adequate Support Coordination.
  • Connect Greta with a culturally responsive and skilled service providers who could meet her specific language and cultural needs.
  • Support Greta to obtain community legal assistance for advice and support.
  • Make a successful application for Greta to receive the disability support pension.
  • Applied for and accessed safe, affordable public housing and support for her to move to her new home.

The strong independent advocacy by AMPARO has brought positive and sustainable changes to Grete’s life and has given her new opportunities to care for her children, participate in the local community, build her informal support network, improve her physical strength and gain control over her own life.

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