Tribunal: Member K Parker
In this interlocutory decision, the AAT excluded a father from representing his adult son in an ongoing National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) matter. The Tribunal found the father was unwilling and unable to act in his son’s best interests.
The substantive application was for review of a decision not to include specialist disability accommodation in the son’s NDIS plan. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) refused to pay for the accommodation, which would be provided in the family home, and was to be paid to an incorporated association founded and wholly controlled by the father.
The same incorporated association had recently received thousands of dollars under the NDIS for providing respite care even though the son continued to live at home with his parents and his living circumstances were unchanged.
The Tribunal also found out that neither the son, nor his mother, were previously aware of the substantive application or what it was about.
As a result, the AAT had to decide whether the father could continue to represent the son in a way that served the son’s interests over his own.
In an earlier interlocutory decision, the AAT had allowed the father to continue representing the applicant based on his role as the son’s NDIA-appointed plan nominee and because he was his father.
However, the NDIA had since suspended the father’s appointment because of concerns he could cause harm to his son’s physical and mental wellbeing. The Tribunal also heard evidence from the son’s new support team made up of an occupational therapist, a behaviour support therapist and a specialist support coordinator that with support the son could make decisions about his NDIS plan.
The best person, to act in the support role, was his mother, who was the son’s carer and financial administrator as appointed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, along with the members of the support team.
Read the full decision