Contributed by Ugly
Doug Stubbs and his wife Sue, who live at Collingwood Park in southwest Brisbane, are doing it hard, because Centrelink has refused to grant them disability and the carers allowance.
An internal review stuck with the original decision and now the case is going before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. But it is dragging out and the bills, including medical expenses, still must be paid.
Supporters are raising money to help them get by. The 55-year old former transport contractor has undergone a series of surgical and other procedures that have made him unable to work and he needs care at home. His disability is the result of a horrific motorcycle accident that resulted in multiple fractures, an acquired brain injury and a right arm amputation.
Despite this, he did not generate enough points on the Centrelink test to qualify for payment.
A Centrelink Officer wrote, “While I accept that your right, dominant hand is non-functional as a result of the amputation, there is no objective medical evidence to indicate that there is a severe functional impact on activities like turning the pages of a book, using a pen or pencil or using a keyboard or carrying most objects with your functional arm.’’
According to the rules, he can work 15 hours a week. Regardless of what might be suggested by a piece of paper, rea;life reality is that Doug cannot work. Being able-bodied would be a challenge enough at his age. With disabilities like his and younger, fit alternatives, employers are not going to take him on.
Doug’s case is important, because it will be a test for many others finding themselves in the same boat. The message that needs to get through to Centrelink and the department heads is that people are have real life challenges, including problems overlooked, by an arbitrary and restrictive test that at best, only provides a rudimentary assessment. A thorough medical assessment, supported by competent medical evidence is needed. This is not what happens today. Those making the decisions must be reminded that they dealing with human beings, not case numbers.
You can help Doug and Sue by donating through GoGundMe. Just press this link.