Brain Injury SA provides a state-wide Advocacy Service to people with acquired brain injuries that promotes the individual’s right to freedom of expression, self-determination, and decision-making.
Housing and Homelessness
The housing crisis continues to be one of the significant problems for people from different backgrounds.
However, people with disabilities experience extra difficulties due to limited income and some special requirements (e.g. home modifications and support services delivery) that suit their needs. People with ABI at times fell into housing service gaps. They were not always accepted for assistance with mainstream homeless support and yet did not have the necessary funding for disability support services. As an Advocacy service, we can assist people in applying for public and community housing, however, the waitlist is still extremely lengthy even if we assist our participants to be placed in Category 1.
The Disability Support Pension (DSP) application is a complex process that many clients and their families find challenging.
Most of our participants, without our support, do not know how to collect the required information and medical evidence, and they feel frustrated to complete multiple lengthy forms. The internal review/appeal is another process that causes people stress. The prolonged process does not provide enough support and information to assist people in need to achieve their desired outcomes.
When supporting our participants, the advocates unfortunately continue to experience difficulties communicating with Centrelink. When an email address is unavailable, a phone call is the only option to speak with Centrelink. The advocates often have to spend hours waiting in the queue, which impacts the efficiency and quality of the service we provide.
Similar to the DSP application, the process of applying for access to the NDIS is also complicated for people with an ABI.
Therefore, assistance with completing NDIS Access Requests has appeared to be our most frequent service enquiry for Advocacy over the past year. Most of our participants have limited knowledge regarding the application procedure, and their requests have often been rejected before engaging our services. The need for recent assessments and reports can also be a barrier for those who are not engaged with GPs, specialists, and allied health professionals and lack the financial resources to pay for these.