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Tribunal: Member L Bygrave

The AAT affirmed an internal review decision by the National Disability Insurance Agency (the Agency) that the applicant did not meet access criteria for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The applicant had originally applied to the Agency to access support for disabilities arising from lumbar and cervical spine, shoulder and arm conditions, and for persistent depression. The applicant also had a history of heart disease and was receiving treatment for cancer but both parties accepted these medical conditions were being appropriately treated through the health system. This meant they did not warrant consideration in this matter.

In deciding whether the applicant met the access criteria for the Scheme, the Tribunal needed to consider whether they met age and residence requirements, and disability or early intervention requirements.

The applicant met age and residence requirements, so the AAT needed to consider whether they had a disability, as defined, and, if so, met related requirements, such as whether the impairments were permanent and how they impacted the applicant’s capacity to function.

After considering evidence from the applicant and medical and other specialists, the AAT was satisfied that the applicant’s lumbar spine, cervical spine and shoulder impairments were not permanent. The AAT considered the applicant’s impairment of persistent depressive disorder was permanent but that it did not result in substantially reduced functional activities requiring lifetime support under the Scheme.

The AAT did not find evidence that the applicant met early intervention requirements that would have otherwise enabled access to the Scheme.

Read the full decision