NDIS denies woman vital shower equipment
THE National Disability Insurance Scheme has denied a Toowoomba woman with a severe disability a vital piece of equipment to help her shower, after nearly a year of waiting.
Jade Ochnio has muscular dystrophy, making it difficult for her to be washed in certain areas of her body while sitting down.
As a result, the skin under her arms, near her groin, and under her knees has been broken, causing incredible pain.
But when her mother Cheri applied through the NDIS for a $6000 shower trolley, which would allow her to lie flat while being washed, she was twice denied.
"They denied the shower trolley last year, so in September we submitted a recommendation from an occupational therapist arguing for it," Ms Ochnio said.
"Nine months from the original application, they said no again.
"(The sores) cause a lot of discomfort. She has been unwell because of it."
Ms Ochnio said while she had been mostly satisfied with the NDIS, she considered the organisation's previous reason for the rejection ridiculous.
"They're calling it a double up of the equipment because she has a toilet chair, but it's about cleaning those sorts of areas that aren't available when you're sitting upright," she said.
"To me, some bureaucrat is denying her this.
"At the moment, I'm lifting her in and out of a bath so she can be bathed properly. The people making the decisions aren't living the lives that the participants are."
Ms Ochnio said she wanted the National Disability Insurance Agency, which administered the NDIS, to reverse the decision and fund the chair.
"It took them nine months to decide she can't have it," she said.
A spokeswoman for the NDIA said the trolley was rejected because of concerns over safety.
"The NDIA recognises the transformative power of appropriate assistive technology for participants, in increasing independence and enhance their economic and community participation," she said.
"The NDIA is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of participants and carers. Safety risk assessments are conducted as part of the overall assessment process.
"As a result, the NDIA was unable to approve the request."