Support cut after wife dies

Frank Caracoglia with son Jacob and Blaxland MP Jason Clare.

WHEN Frank Caracoglia’s wife Joanne passed away in September last year after a three-year battle with a brain tumour, he contacted the NDIS to ask for more help with his eight-year-old son Jacob who has Angelman Syndrome.

However, after waiting for more than three months for the review, Mr Caracoglia said his son’s NDIS funding was instead cut by a third.
Jacob is completely dependent on others for his care and requires constant supervision from the moment he wakes up, which can be an average of four times a night.
Under Jacob’s previous plan, the NDIS provided for carers to help the family day-to-day, however Mr Caracoglia said that support was cut back under the latest plan.
Mr Caracoglia said the death of his wife left him as the sole parent to Jacob as well as their two other sons, Joseph, 15 and Christian, 12.
“Jacob takes up 95 per cent of my energy on any day,” he said.
“After losing my wife, (the NDIS) actually gave me less help.
“Without carers to help out, I’m pretty much stuck at home.
“It also means I can’t do anything with my other boys on the weekend.
“It’s almost to the point where I can’t be bothered fighting anymore. I think that’s how they structure their whole system – so people get frustrated and just give up.”
Federal MP for Blaxland, Jason Clare, described the situation as appalling.
“The NDIS was created to help people like Jacob. The cuts to his funding need to be reversed as soon as possible,” Mr Clare said.
Responding to questions from the Torch, a spokesperson for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) said Jacob’s “overall funding” plan, which will be reviewed in July, “has not been reduced”.
“Funding in his current plan is almost double that of his previous plan for the same period. Jacob continues to have funds available for his disability-related support needs,” she said.