My National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) journey has stalled again, with at least another 9-week delay. I will likely be in the hospital before this next meeting, still waiting for the NDIS to accept me into the Scheme. Not being able to satisfy the questions they asked my clinical team (More on this later).
I don’t remember a time in my adult life I wasn’t in pain. I have learnt to mask, tricks to take the edge off, faking it purely keep running anyways. I had a workplace injury when I was 20. As a result, I have chronic pain, which has recently been defined as a permanent disability in its own right.As such, my baseline functional mobility has steadily declined since 2010. All because I went to the bathroom one morning getting ready for work (amazingly, my boss picked me up that morning because I couldn’t drive but was adamant I was going to the office). When I stood up from the toilet, I heard my hip pop, leaving me in agony with a partially dislocated hip.
Over the six years that followed, I was subject to a plethora of tests, diagnoses, new injuries, hospital stays, multiple surgeries, and an extensive list of symptoms that never made sense, oh, and many incorrect or partial diagnoses.I learnt in 2016 that I had also developed a Functional Neurological Disorder (or FND for short) because of my chronic pain (More about FND here).I am currently going through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (more information here, www.aat.gov.au/about-the-aat ) in short, an independent body that reviews decisions made by a commonwealth body (for me, the NDIS)For those counting at home, this is my fourth interaction with the NDIS trying to gain access to the Scheme. (I did go through this process 5 years ago for my daughter)I have just concluded my second case conference. There was a simple instruction at the first case conference. For a medical professional, to answer some prepared (from the NDIS Lawyer and disputes team) questions. These questions were to focus on the following:
“Section 24(1)(c) requires that the Applicant satisfy the Respondent that his Impairments result in a substantially reduced functional capacity to undertake one or more specific functional activities, being communication, social interaction, learning, mobility, self-care and self-management.”
Our response was detailed and evidence-based and referenced my functional capacity on good and bad days, clearly articulating my lifelong Disability and impairment.This was meant to be the end of it. Either the NDIS liked what I wrote, or they would send me to an ‘Independent Medical Assessment’ (more than likely an Occupational therapist).Even though we met the brief and answered the question (exceptionality well, mind you), the NDIS Lawyer and Disputes Team had ‘one more question’ for my GP (I had under seven days to deliver this response).
“The Agency would like to thank you for the information and response you have sent through in relation to the targeted questions. They have greatly assisted the Agency with understanding your condition and functional capacity. The Agency does have one further request for information and that is just in relation to your flare ups in relation to Functional Neurological Disorder. In order to assist the Agency would you be able to provide some further information from a medical practitioner in relation to how often your flare ups occur and how long these flare up episodes last for?”
Read the full story: jeramyhope.com/ndis-take-4