Bucketts Way Neighbourhood Group (BWNG) hosted a free disability information session which was facilitated by Disability Advocacy NSW.
The session on Thursday February 18 was attended by around 10 members of the public as well as BWNG staff.
The session provided advice on the eligibility requirements for accessing the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) and Disability Support Pension (DSP).
NDIS is an Australian Government insurance support scheme that funds costs associated with disability.
It can help pay support funding for participants based on their needs, including daily activities, transport and mobility, access to work and education, household tasks, home and vehicle modifications and therapeutic support.
At the last census, 318 residents of the Gloucester area reported needing help in their day to day activity due to disability.
People often put off applying to access assistance through the NDIS because it seems daunting, and instead rely on family members to provide the help that they need.
Many people don't realise that time is of the essence when applying approval must be received before turning age 65. If approved, it stays in place after age 65. If not approved before age 65, access to assistance is through aged care funding, even if living with disability.
The information session featured presentations from three disability advocates and specialists in disability law.
These were: principal solicitor from the Hunter Community Legal Centre, Bronwyn Ambrogetti, senior disability law solicitor with the Mid North Coast Legal Centre, Kylie Hyde and Grant Murray from Disability Advocacy NSW
The session gave advice on evidence required to access the NDIS or DSP, and who to ask for help with your application.
Attendees also had the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters.
BWNG chief executive officer, Anna Burley said it was great to be chosen as a local venue for this event by Disability Advocacy NSW.
I think knowing who to turn to for advice and guidance will be really valuable to the members of the public who attended.Anna Burley
"Accessing assistance through the NDIS and DSP can be complex, and a bit daunting," Ms Burley said. "I think knowing who to turn to for advice and guidance will be really valuable to the members of the public who attended."
BWNG Disability Services Coordinator Kylie Tull found Grant's advice around the review process, and what to do if you've been declined for the NDIS especially insightful. "Knowing that there are channels available to people who really need help, but as yet haven't been able to access it is great," Ms Tull said.
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