Kerri-Anne Kennerley lost her beloved husband John more than two years ago, now the television presenter has hit out at the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), saying she is considering legal action against the government.
John was left a paraplegic after a devastating fall at a Coffs Harbour golf course in 2016. The incident left him paralysed from the neck down. But, because of his age, he was not eligible for the scheme. To be eligible for the NDIS, applicants have to be Australian citizens aged between seven and 65 years old. He was 75 at the time of the incident.
Instead, John was put on to the My Aged Care package. Under that scheme, John received just 10 hours a week of care and anything further needed to be paid.
Appearing on Channel 9’s A Current Affair on Monday night, Kerri-Anne said she wants to take action against the federal government because the NDIS “discriminates” against older Australians who become disabled.
“I am angry, for years, I have been angry about this,” she said.
“I want to sue the government … until it happens to them, nobody is aware of this. Who would have thought that somebody is not entitled to care because of a catastrophic accident at no fault of their own … that they cannot be looked after properly.
“[The care provided] didn’t even scratch the surface.”
Viewers back at home who had been through a similar experience or were shocked to hear this was the case, were quick to show their support.
“It’s not an issue to most until it happens to you or someone you love,” one person wrote. “People need to be supported who have disabilities.”
Another added: “My Aged Care has no more funds at the moment and my 84-year-old mother is on a 12-month wait list just for a package. She receives three hours respite once a fortnight at a small cost until more funds available.”
While a third wrote: “Thanks Kerry-Anne for making us aware, I was shocked to find this out. As if older Australians don’t have it tough enough, now they are discriminated as well. Totally appalling when you consider someone on NDIS can have access to so much. Bloody disgrace.”
John tragically passed away in February 2019 at the age of 78. At the time, Kerri-Anne announced her husband’s passing on her Instagram page alongside a photo from their wedding day.
“It’s with a heavy heart and awful sadness that I let you know that my beautiful husband John passed away last night,” she wrote. “As you all know, John has faced some tremendous challenges over the past few years and with each he has been extraordinarily brave and determined to overcome those hurdles and live a normal life.”