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Pensioner Education Supplement cut off? Here's some suggestions about what to do

Social media is reporting that many people who receive the Pensioner Education Supplement (PES) are being cut off in January despite having provided proof they are enrolled to study to Centrelink.

After discussions with Centrelink Staff it is very clear that the necessary staffing levels are not available to process the completed forms even when they are returned immediately by post or even handed directly to them at a Centrelink Office. This means that the "Computer" automatically cuts you off from that payment. The Pensioner then receives a letter saying their PES has been ceased because the person has completed their study.

Centrelink staff may tell you it is not necessary to ring them to complain and request the payment be reinstated automatically. This however does not match the instructions on the letters sent out which state if you disagree with their decision to call the Complaints number provided.

Another disappointing response from the NDIA

Below is the NDIA's disappointing response to a personal letter about the NDIS halting its intake in the ACT. 

As usual, the NDIA's response fails to answer the very simple question asked. And it fails to address the key issues raised in the letter.

What the response does show is that the original commitment to Australian's with disability, that the Commonwealth would fund any NDIS participants above the initial estimates, was a incorrect. The response shows that official lied about the initial NDIS agreement and progress of the NDIS in the ACT depended on a new NDIS agreement being struck in November 2016.

Urgent: funding for out-of-home support for children with disability

Ms R Steven-Smith MLA
Minister for Disability
GPO Box 1020,
Canberra, ACT 2601

 

Dear Ms Steven-Smith MLA

Please tell us, the organisations listed below, which government agency or agencies are responsible for funding supported accommodation for children with disability when they do not or cannot live at home? As this matter is urgent for several very vulnerable children, we would appreciate an answer in the next 10 working days.

Yellow Ladybugs helps girls in Canberra with autism connect

A volunteer-based community group is helping improve the lives of young autistic girls in Canberra through inclusive social meet-ups.

Last Sunday, 17 young girls and their parents attended their first Yellow Ladybugs event.

The group's ambassador — Jeanette Purkis, a prominent author and public speaker who was diagnosed with autism two decades ago — said it was important to have a group of this kind available in the region.

She spoke with a number of parents at the event, held at a trampoline playground, who had recently discovered their daughters had autism.

"My favourite conversation was a very poignant and teary one.

"I thought I'd go and talk to [a mother], and she said, 'Oh Jeannette, my daughter has never had a friend, and look at her now, she's talking to that girl and they've exchanged phone numbers and they are playing together'.

"She was so happy. We both had a bit of a cry."

NDIS gaps destroy ACT disability supports

Media Release

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) shut-down some essential services and supports for autistic people in the ACT when it started its ACT trial in 2014. The NDIA has just announced that it hopes to resume some of the missing disability services in the ACT in January 2017. The NDIA is using the name information, linkages and capacity building or ILC for its new disability services and support scheme.

A recent ANAO report suggests that some key disability supports will take another decade to emerge (or re-emerge) under the NDIS.

The funding gaps for these disability services from 2014 caused the loss/closure of essential disability services, skilled staff were lost (moved on) and especially vulnerable people missed out on essential services and supports.

Talks continue after ACT, federal NDIS stalemate

Stephen Jeffery​ 

The ACT government and the federal agency overseeing the National Disability Insurance Scheme rollout have resumed planning meetings to cope with increased demand.

Negotiations between the territory and Commonwealth over which government would provide more funding to participants beyond the initial target of 5075 stalled during caretaker mode prior to the ACT election.

Missing autistic man Damien Ezzy found alive in Canberra

The aunt of Damien Ezzy says his family has been touched and moved by the community's efforts to find him after he was discovered safe and well on Saturday.

Australian Federal Police search and rescue patrols found Mr Ezzy, who has autism, near the side of Woodcock Drive, Gordon, about 9.30am after a woman reported seeing him near a pond.

Police said Mr Ezzy was found with another woman, who did not have a phone and decided to walk with him until she could get help because "he seemed vulnerable".

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