HELP NEEDED: Tony Dollard is seeking a four-wheeler from the NDIA to help him on his property.
HELP NEEDED: Tony Dollard is seeking a four-wheeler from the NDIA to help him on his property. Taylor Battersby

Denied twice by NDIA

EMERALD man Tony Dollard is staring down "a long, straight and narrow black road” following news that his request for federal assistance has now twice been denied.

Mr Dollard, who was left physically disabled following a horse riding accident in 1992, said an employee of the National Disability Insurance Agency told him he had to be "in a wheelchair” to qualify for National Disability Insurance Scheme funding.

"Your legs are what get you to from A to B and that's my problem, my legs,” Mr Dollard said.

"What have you got to do? I know I've got a major disability in my legs - you need your legs to get through life and they (NDIA) won't help me.”

The property owner said he put in his initial claim for NDIS support two months prior to Christmas.

This claim was denied by the NDIA on January 18. This decision was upheld following a review on March 18.

"I've got some country out there (near Emerald) - I'd just like a quad bike to go around and check my fences and do some cattle work,” Mr Dollard said.

"That's all I've basically asked for. I don't want much.

"I don't need nothing special done to it. It just needs a roll bar and as long as it goes.

"... I've got all the doctor's information and that but it's not good enough.

"I don't know what they want.”

While Mr Dollard acknowledged he had people such as his brother and wife to support him, he said he "hated” it and wanted to be able to do everything himself.

"I'm an independent person. I can get up into a grader, drive, operate ...,” he said.

"It's just that people see me with a walking stick and crack me off straight away.

"It is frustrating, by Jesus - (It) really tees me off.”

Mr Dollard said having his claim denied had left him feeling depressed.

"I was going to someone for depression before (I got denied by) the NDIS, yeah - not regularly but I got (anti-depressant) tablets from the medical centre,.' he said.

"I was in a bad way. I was waking up crying and wondering where our next lot of money was coming from.”

An NIDA spokesperson said "access to the NDIS is based on a person's functional impairment, not on their condition or diagnosis”.

"This means no condition is, or will be, automatically excluded from the NDIS,” the spokesperson said.

"Any person who is eligible for the NDIS will receive the reasonable and necessary disability-related supports they need.”

However, the NDIS "is not designed to replace or fund other support systems such as health and education”.

"The clinical care, treatment and management of health conditions continue to be the responsibility of the health system,” they said.

The spokesperson also said the NDIA "fully respects an individual's right to seek an internal review of a decision made by the NDIA”.

"If a person remains unsatisfied after an internal review, they are able to seek a review through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal processes.”


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