Nick* suffered a brain injury in an accident and, as is quite common with brain injuries, he lacked insight into the effect his injury had on his brain function. For several years he attempted jobs but never lasted more than a month or two in any one position. He then spent all of his savings trying to set up a lawn mowing business which he was unable to manage.
It wasn’t until four years after his accident that Nick finally saw a doctor who helped him to understand that his brain injury was, and would likely continue to stop him from holding down a job. This doctor helped him apply for Disability Support Pension (DSP) which he was granted.
Nick came to Welfare Rights Centre after appealing for back pay to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. With the help of a Brain Injury Specialist, Nick's solicitor argued that due to his brain injury Nick had not understood that he should have applied for DSP much earlier.
Welfare Rights Centre was able to successfully convince the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to award Nick back pay (of the difference between DSP and Newstart Allowance, worth about $250/fortnight) for 2½ year period prior to his DSP application.
*This fictional name has been given to protect the client’s identity.