After having thousands of dollars in his National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding skimmed while waiting for property modifications, Jay White will soon have a wheelchair ramp to more easily access his own home.
Disability service provider Engage Abilities has offered to build a ramp at White’s property in Bargo, NSW at no cost to him after reading Inq’s investigation on Thursday.
In the investigation, Inq examined how some providers have drained the accounts of people with disabilities and featured White’s story.
“It will make a huge difference,” White told Inq. “What I’ve got now is dangerous.”
White, who has scoliosis, chronic pain and severe muscle spasms, hand-built the ramp he currently uses before his condition deteriorated. It runs along a barbed-wire fence and leads White to the two caravans he lives in.
Builders will visit White at home on Wednesday to estimate the costs. Barring any major setbacks, they will start building on December 7, and will take two or three days to finish the work.
The news couldn’t come sooner: White said that on Sunday he nearly fell out of his chair after the wheel got hooked on a loose piece of wood. He also worries for the safety of his support workers who visit him at home.
White had hired support coordination company Trusted Support to help organise home modifications and support workers in November 2019. It charged him nearly $5000 over one year for its services, but no progress was made on home modifications, and White organised all of his support workers himself.
In the days after dropping White as a client, Trusted Support charged him $901.26 over nine transactions, despite not providing any new services. These transactions were refunded after Inq’s request for comment, and the company has said it is investigating.
Because of his past experience with providers, White is only cautiously optimistic about this latest offer.
He is also still waiting on other modifications and services: he needs botched alterations on his wheelchair fixed, and still needs other modifications to his home, including an accessible shower, toilet and kitchen.